Carolina Science Cafe

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center introduced its Carolina Science Cafe program in October 2007. At that time, the program was known as the Current Science Forum and met in a room within the Morehead Building. Morehead's science programs manager, Jonathan Frederick, developed the program. The first speaker, Fred Stutzman, talked about Facebook, a social media channel that was just beginning to become known beyond its original audience of university students.

Fast-forward five years:

  • The Current Science Forum has become the Carolina Science Cafe
  • Attendance has increased by more than 400 percent
  • Sigma Xi and Back Bar (our current program venue, part of Top of the Hill restaurant) are sponsoring Carolina Science Cafe
  • More than 60 professors and other experts have shared their research as guest speakers
  • Our guest speakers have continued to make headlines as leaders in their fields: MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant," U.S. National Academy of Sciences, New York Times bestseller list, N&O "Tar Heel of the Year" and more
  • And Facebook, the topic of our first program ... well, you know what happened with that

Today, Carolina Science Cafe is presented through the North Carolina Science Festival, a statewide initiative that Morehead Planetarium and Science Center founded and continues to administer. Jonathan Frederick continues to manage Carolina Science Cafe in his current role as director of the Festival.

You can learn more about the current program from Carolina Science Cafe by clicking here. Want to know who has presented research in past programs? You'll find a complete list of every past program here on this page.

Month Speaker Topic
August 2014 Dr. Joel Meyer Mitochondria and Environmental Toxins
September 2014 Dr. Mary Jane Epps Fungal-insect Interactions: Explorations Into the Wild and Wacky
June 2014 Dr. David Weber Ebola from a scientist's perspective
May 2014 Dr. Mary Jane Epps Fungal-insect Interactions: Explorations Into the Wild and Wacky
April 2014 Dr. Flavio Frohlich Electrifying the Brain: Engineering meets Neuroscience meets Psychiatry
March 2014 Adrian Down Fracking in North Carolina: It's complicated.
February 2014
Dr. Stephanie Engel Endocrine Disruptors and Child Development
February 2014 Dr. Rebecca Fry Toxic metals in your children's food, cause for alarm?
December 2013 Dr. Zhen Gu Smart Insulin Delivery
October 2013 Dr. Greg Appelbaum Video Game Playing and Visual Perception
September 2013 Dr. Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom The Pharmacology Behind "Breaking Bad"
June 2013 Dr. Kenneth Hanson The Water Series:
Creating Tomorrow's Fuels Today
May 2013 Dr. Heather Patisaul The Water Series:
What's In My Water?
April 2013 Dr. Lee Weisert The Water Series:
Cryoacoustic Orbs
March 2013 Dr. Jamie Bartram The Water Series:
Water to Live by and Die for
February 2013 Ed Kerwin The Water Series:
Water, Second Only to Air
December 2012 Dr. Chris Clemens The Doomsday Series:
Predicting Future Earth Impacts
November 2012 Dr. William Goldman The Doomsday Series:
October 2012 Dr. Stan Riggs The Doomsday Series:
Sea Level Rise
September 2012 Dr. Gretchen Stuart Hot Topics in Contraception
August 2012
Dr. Joseph Piven Clues to Autism
August 2012 Brent Lane "Lost Colony" Science
April 2012 Dr. Andrea Lucky
and Dr. Holly Menninger
The Role of Citizen Science
March 2012 Dr. Dan Ariely Irrational Behavior
February 2012 Dr. Orrin Pilkey Global Climate Change
December 2011 Dr. Marcey Waters Molecular Architecture
November 2011 John Withey The Science of Beer
October 2011 Dr. Dan Stout Bed Bugs
September 2011 Dr. Mark Schoenfisch Just Say NO (Nitric Oxide)
August 2011 Don Goss and
Dr. Michael Gross
Barefoot Running
July 2011
Dr. Ted Bateman Mice in Space
July 2011 Dr. Myron Cohen Slowing the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus
June 2011 Dr. David DeMarini Chlorinated Chromosomes: Swimming and Your Genes
May 2011 Dr. Matt Ewend Brain Surgery While You're Awake?
April 2011 Dr. Cort Pedersen Spring Series: The Biology of Love
Oxytocin and the Evolution of Love, Intelligence and Mental Health
March 2011 Dr. Sabrina Burmeister Spring Series: The Biology of Love
Sensory Neurobiology and The Search for A Mate
February 2011 Sarah Williams Spring Series: The Biology of Love
Is It All in Your Head?
January 2011 Michael Mineiro International Space Law
December 2010 Ken Varner Photovoltaics: Harnessing the Sun
November 2010
Dr. Maureen Berner and
Dr. Sharon Paynter
Food Security in North Carolina
November 2010 Dr. Peter White The Science of Seed Banks
October 2010 Dr. Marcia E. Herman-Giddens Causes of Early Puberty
September 2010 Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz Concussions in Sports
August 2010 Dr. Joseph DeSimone Nanomedicine
July 2010 Dr. Rich McLaughlin Oil Rigged: Quantifying the BP Spill
June 2010 Paul Jones Is Internet Addiction Real?
May 2010 Patricia Devers Spring Series: Science and Ethics
Designer Babies
April 2010 David DeBatto Spring Series: Science and Ethics
Super Soldiers
March 2010 Dr. Russell Harris Spring Series: Science and Ethics
Breast Cancer Screening
February 2010 Dr. Lara Wagner Aftershocks: The Science of Earthquakes
February 2010 Michael Zunk New Technology for Airport Security Screening
December 2009 Dr. Kevin Weeks Decoding the HIV Genome
November 2009 Dr. Reyco Henning Restarting the Big Bang Machine
October 2009 Dr. Keith Payne Prejudice and Perception
September 2009 Dr. Chris Clemens Summer Series: The Future of Energy
A Look at the Business Side
August 2009 Dr. John Papanikolas Summer Series: The Future of Energy
Powering Our Way to 2050
July 2009 Dr. Gerald Cecil Summer Series: The Future of Energy
Peaking Beyond the End of Cheap Oil
June 2009 Dr. David McNelis Summer Series: The Future of Energy
A Nuclear Renaissance?
May 2009 Dr. Kathleen Sulik In Utero
April 2009 Special Program Thomas Harriot Conference
March 2009 Dr. Barbara Frederickson Positivity
February 2009 Dr. Jonathan Lees The Volcano Hunter
December 2008 Dr. Peter J. Mucha An Inside Look at Network Science
November 2008 Dr. Alex Roland NASA at 50
October 2008 Dr. George Rabinowitz The Science of Elections
September 2008 Dr. Cynthia Bulik Eating Disorders
August 2008 Dr. Kelly Giovanello Summer Series: The Brain
How The Brain Makes Memories
July 2008 Dr. Charlotte Boettinger Summer Series: The Brain
Exploring Addiction
June 2008 Dr. Aysenil Belger Summer Series: The Brain
Brain Breakthroughs & Breakdowns
May 2008 Dr. Jack Griffith Astrobiology & Life on Mars
April 2008 Dr. John Bruno Climate Change & Coral Reefs
March 2008 Dr. Daniel Pomp Cloned Meat
February 2008 Dr. Mario Ciocca Performance-Enhancing Drugs
December 2007 Dr. Greg Characklis The Drought in N.C.
November 2007 Dr. Noel Brewer HPV Vaccination
October 2007 Fred Stutzman Facebook & Social Media