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Carolina Science Cafe Archive

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 ten 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 100 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 Carolina Science Cafe program 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.



  • June: Mark Strynar || Everything You Wanted (and Didn’t Want) to Know About GenX and Your Drinking Water
  • May: Duane Deardorff || Life Lessons from Physics
  • April: Diego V. Bohórquez || The Neurobiology of Gut Feelings
  • March: Grace White​ || The Science of Art Conservation
  • February:  Dr. Louise Dolan || String Theory & the Substructure of Matter


  • December: John Wambaugh || The Chemicals All Around Us: What’s In My Couch Beyond Coins, Crumbs, and Dust?
  • November: Dan Costa || Intersecting Realities of Air Science and Policy
  • October: Melissa McCullough || Sustainability Science: The Big Picture and the Long View
  • September: Dr. Drew Pilant || Modern Mapping: From Photons to Crowdsourcing
  • August:  Tony Rice, Amy Sayle and Mickey Jo Sorrell || The 2017 U.S. Solar Eclipse
  • July: Dr. Anthony Hackney || Exercise & Sex: Too Much of a Good Thing? 
  • May: Dr. Allen Glazner || Weird Death Valley 
  • April: Dr. Kevin Stewart || When Chapel Hill Was In South America 
  • March: Dr. Drew Coleman || SUPERVOLCANO! Coming Soon To A Theater Near You 
  • February: Jeremy Whitley || The Unstoppable Wasp 
  • January: Dr. Jason West || Climate Change: What Now? 


  • December: Jonathan Frederick || Public Science in Post-Fact America
  • November: Dr. Jennifer Mersereau || Setting Your Biological Clock: A Look at Optimal Timing 
  • September: John Martin || Privacy and Oversharing Online: A Look at 21st Century Trust 
  • August: Dr. Vineet Menachery || High Stakes Science: Researching Future Pandemics 
  • July: Dr. Fred Gould || Are GMOs Safe to Eat?
  • June: Drs. John Wikerson, John R. Parker & Louise S. Parker || Going Underground to Study the Sun
  • May: Dr. Jonathan Heckman || After the Higgs Boson
  • April: Dr. Lee Weisert || The Music of Science
  • March: Dr. Sergey Krupenko || Diet, Current Science and Cancer
  • February (Special Edition): Dr. Helen Lazear || Fighting Zika
  • February: Dr. Summer Goodson || Male Fertility, Dining for Two?


  • December: Dr. Clint Penick || One Billion Beats: The Unanswered Question of Heart Rate and Lifespan.
  • November: Dr. Gail Henderson || GeneScreen: Testing Healthy Adults for Rare Conditions
  • October: Dr. Kurt Gray || The Mind Club-Who Thinks, What Feels and Why it Matters
  • September: Anthony Arceci, Jeremy Ford, Soo Kim, Colleen O’Neil || NeuroNostix-New Treatment Options for Schizophrenia
  • August : Dr. David Margolis || Shock and Kill-Accelerating the Search for an HIV Cure
  • July: Dr. Adrienne Erickcek || Big Bang 101
  • June: Erich Jarvis || Bird Songs & Human Speech: The Neuroscience of Vocal Learning
  • May: Tori Ekstrand & Kevin Jeffay || Net Neutrality: The Devil Is In The Details
  • April: Dr. Marc Lange || The Laws of Nature.
  • March: Dr. Ty Hedrick || A Look the Biomechanics of Birds
  • February: Jeff Powell || The Helping Hand Project
  • January: Dr. Barton Cobert || Medication & Drug Safety: Great Expectations or Bleak House? 


  • December: Dr. David McNelis || The Future of Nuclear Power and Energy Innovation
  • November: Dr. Jonathan Berg || Opening Pandora's Box: A Look at Genomic Sequencing in Newborns
  • October: Dr. Dan Ariely || The Psychology of Money
  • September: Dr. Mary Jane Epps || Fungal-insect Interactions: Explorations Into the Wild and Wacky
  • August: Dr. Joel Meyer || Mitochondria and Environmental Toxins
  • June: Dr. David Weber || Ebola from a Scientist's Perspective
  • May: Dr. Mary Jane Epps || Fungal-insect Interactions: Explorations Into the Wild and Wacky
  • April: Dr. Flavio Frohlich || Electrifying the Brain: Engineering meets Neuroscience meet Psychiatry
  • March: Adrian Down || Fracking in North Carolina. It's Complicated.
  • February Bonus: Dr. Stephanie Engel || Endocrine Disruptors and Child Development
  • February: Dr. Rebecca Fry || Toxic metals in your children's food, cause for alarm?


  • December: Dr. Zhen Gu || Smart Insulin Delivery
  • October: Dr. Greg Appelbaum || Video Game Playing and Visual Perception
  • September: Dr. Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom || The Pharmacology Behind "Breaking Bad"
  • June: Dr. Kenneth Hanson || The Water Series: Creating Tomorrow's Fuels Today
  • May: Dr. Heather Patisaul || The Water Series: What's In My Water?
  • April: Dr. Lee Weisert || The Water Series: Cryoacoustic Orbs
  • March: Dr. Jamie Bartram || The Water Series: Water to Live by and Die for
  • February: Ed Kerwin || The Water Series: Water, Second Only to Air


  • December: Dr. Chris Clemens || The Doomsday Series: Predicting Future Earth Impacts
  • November: Dr. William Goldman || The Doomsday Series: Plague
  • October: Dr. Stan Riggs || The Doomsday Series: Sea Level Rise
  • September: Dr. Gretchen Stuart || Hot Topics in Contraception
  • August Bonus: Dr. Joseph Piven || Clues to Autism
  • August: Brent Lane || "Lost Colony" Science
  • April: Dr. Andrea Lucky and Dr. Holly Menninger || The Role of Citizen Science
  • March: Dr. Dan Ariely || Irrational Behavior
  • February: Dr. Orrin Pilkey || Global Climate Change


  • December: Dr. Marcey Waters || Molecular Architecture
  • November: John Withey || The Science of Beer
  • October: Dr. Dan Stout || Bed Bugs
  • September: Dr. Mark Schoenfisch || Just Say NO (Nitric Oxide)
  • August: Don Goss and Dr. Michael || Gross Barefoot Running
  • July Bonus: Dr. Ted Bateman || Mice in Space
  • July: Dr. Myron Cohen || Slowing the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • June: Dr. David DeMarini || Chlorinated Chromosomes: Swimming and Your Genes
  • May: Dr. Matt Ewend || Brain Surgery While You're Awake?
  • April: Dr. Cort Pedersen || Spring Series: The Biology of Love Oxytocin and the Evolution of Love, Intelligence and Mental Health
  • March: Dr. Sabrina Burmeister || Spring Series: The Biology of Love Sensory Neurobiology and The Search for A Mate
  • February: Sarah Williams || Spring Series: The Biology of Love Is It All in Your Head?
  • January: Michael Mineiro || International Space Law


  • December: Ken Varner || Photovoltaics: Harnessing the Sun
  • November Bonus: Dr. Maureen Berner and Dr. Sharon Paynter || Food Security in North Carolina
  • November: Dr. Peter White || The Science of Seed Banks
  • October: Dr. Marcia E. Herman-Giddens || Causes of Early Puberty
  • September: Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz || Concussions in Sports
  • August: Dr. Joseph DeSimone || Nanomedicine
  • July: Dr. Rich McLaughlin || Oil Rigged: Quantifying the BP Spill
  • June: Paul Jones || Is Internet Addiction Real?
  • May: Patricia Devers || Spring Series: Science and Ethics Designer Babies
  • April: David DeBatto || Spring Series: Science and Ethics Super Soldiers
  • March: Dr. Russell Harris || Spring Series: Science and Ethics Breast Cancer Screening
  • February Bonus: Dr. Lara Wagner || Aftershocks: The Science of Earthquakes
  • February: Michael Zunk || New Technology for Airport Security Screening


  • December: Dr. Kevin Weeks || Decoding the HIV Genome
  • November: Dr. Reyco Henning || Restarting the Big Bang Machine
  • October: Dr. Keith Payne || Prejudice and Perception
  • September: Dr. Chris Clemens || Summer Series: The Future of Energy A Look at the Business Side
  • August: Dr. John Papanikolas || Summer Series: The Future of Energy Powering Our Way to 2050
  • July: Dr. Gerald Cecil || Summer Series: The Future of Energy Peaking Beyond the End of Cheap Oil
  • June: Dr. David McNelis || Summer Series: The Future of Energy A Nuclear Renaissance?
  • May: Dr. Kathleen Sulik || In Utero
  • April: Special Program -- Thomas Harriot Conference
  • March: Dr. Barbara Frederickson || Positivity
  • February: Dr. Jonathan Lees || The Volcano Hunter


  • December: Dr. Peter J. Mucha || An Inside Look at Network Science
  • November: Dr. Alex Roland || NASA at 50
  • October: Dr. George Rabinowitz || The Science of Elections
  • September: Dr. Cynthia Bulik || Eating Disorders
  • August: Dr. Kelly Giovanello || Summer Series: The Brain How The Brain Makes Memories
  • July: Dr. Charlotte Boettinger || Summer Series: The Brain Exploring Addiction
  • June: Dr. Aysenil Belger || Summer Series: The Brain: Brain Breakthroughs & Breakdowns
  • May: Dr. Jack Griffith || Astrobiology & Life on Mars
  • April: Dr. John Bruno || Climate Change & Coral Reefs
  • March: Dr. Daniel Pomp || Cloned Meat
  • February: Dr. Mario Ciocca || Performance-Enhancing Drugs


  • December: Dr. Greg Characklis || The Drought in N.C.
  • November: Dr. Noel Brewer || HPV Vaccination
  • October: Fred Stutzman || Facebook & Social Media