Café Sci program kicks off on July 11


Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences will soon open its doors for its annual Café Sci series of free science talks. People can join in person or virtually for the talks, which take place at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays from July 11 through Aug. 15 at the Bigelow Laboratory campus in East Boothbay.

Café Sci is a fun, free way to engage with ocean researchers on critical issues and groundbreaking science. Space is limited, and free registration for both in-person and virtual attendance is required at

This year, the series is focused on work that will be expanded and enabled through the recently announced center for ocean education and innovation, slated to be completed in 2025. On World Ocean Day, June 8, Bigelow Laboratory announced this $30 million expansion to its laboratory facilities, which will help grow its education programming and solutions-focused science. Café Sci will highlight some of those exciting opportunities this summer.

"Education and outreach are integral to Bigelow Laboratory's mission, and we always value these opportunities to share our work with the local community," said Ben Twining, vice president for education. "But it's particularly exciting this year to be able to highlight research and programs that will be enabled by the new center for ocean education and innovation."

The series, sponsored by HM Payson, kicks off on July 11 with a special edition of Café Sci featuring a multimedia performance by the Halcyon String Quartet. Their performance explores the environmental, social, and economic drivers of climate change. Dr. Deborah Bronk, president and CEO of Bigelow Laboratory, will begin the performance with a brief talk on the science of climate change.

The series will continue on July 18 with “Science from a Seed: Growing Bold Sciences from Big Ideas,” which will highlight the work of Drs. Catherine Mitchell and Manoj Kamalanathan, both of whom received seed funding to explore promising, early-stage ideas and develop them into large-scale research efforts. On July 25, Dr. Ben Twining will share stories from our education programs and discuss how those programs advance our science and create lasting impact for participants.

On Aug. 1, Dr. Nick Record will discuss potential applications of artificial intelligence in ocean science and the challenges of ocean forecasting. The series continues on Aug. 8 with “Innovation through Collaboration: The Power of Science and Business Partnerships to Advance the Blue Economy” by Dr. Mike Lomas, the director of Bigelow Laboratory’s Center for Algal Innovations and National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota. Finally, on Aug. 15, Dr. Nichole Price will discuss the coast-cow-consumer project, presenting on an exciting new approach to sustainable food systems and climate change mitigation.

Photo: Yoon S. Byun