Café Sci Program Kicks Off on July 16 at Boothbay Opera House


Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences will soon welcome back community members and ocean enthusiasts for its annual Café Sci series of free science talks. The talks take place at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays from July 16 through Aug. 6 at the Opera House in Boothbay Harbor.

Café Sci is a fun, free way to engage with ocean researchers on critical issues and groundbreaking science. This year, the series will launch the institute’s 50th anniversary — celebrating the past and looking ahead to the future. Those interested can learn more and register at While there will not be an option to attend virtually this year, the events will be recorded and shared through Bigelow Laboratory’s newsletter and YouTube channel.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, talks will look back at key innovations Bigelow Laboratory has advanced since its founding in 1974 and ahead to what those discoveries will enable scientists to accomplish over the next 50 years. Because of a major expansion underway at the Bigelow Laboratory campus, the Café Sci series will return to the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor where it was previously held.

“Bigelow Laboratory was designed from the ground up by scientists to supercharge ocean discoveries, solutions, and inspiration,” said President and CEO Deborah Bronk. “We’re excited to share some of our key innovations with the local community and supporters who have helped make that work possible — and share some of the ways we’ll continue to unlock the ocean’s potential over the next 50 years.”

The series, sponsored by HM Payson, kicks off on July 16 with “Nimble Science: Fueling Discovery with Independence and Ingenuity.” Senior Research Scientist Emeritus Barney Balch will tell the exciting story of how Bigelow Laboratory evolved into a world-class research organization, and Bronk will speak to how the institute will continue to advance ocean science in the coming decades.

The series continues on July 23 with Senior Research Scientist Nicole Poulton. Presenting, “Flow Cytometry: Revealing the Microscopic Wonders in a Drop of Seawater,” Poulton will discuss how a technology adapted from the biomedical industry by Bigelow Laboratory scientists has shaped global understanding of the ocean food web.

On July 30, Senior Research Scientist Ramunas Stepanauskas will discuss how cutting-edge technologies pioneered at Bigelow Laboratory have unlocked the secrets of individual cells. His talk, “Single Cell Genomics: Understanding the Ocean’s Potential, One Cell at a Time,” will look at how those technologies are illuminating the foundations of marine life now and in the future.

Finally, on Aug. 6, the series closes with “Satellite Oceanography: Unlocking Insights by Analyzing the Big Picture,” highlighting Bigelow Laboratory’s role from its earliest days in advancing the field of satellite oceanography. Senior Research Scientist Catherine Mitchell will dive into how she uses satellites to understand the global ocean and the ways our climate is changing it.

Space is limited, and free registration is required. You can register here.