Clarkson University Sets Science Cafes for Spring in Potsdam & Canton

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Source: Clarkson News and Events

Local university professors will once again take to the stage starting Feb. 7 for the "Science Cafe."

Science Cafes bring together local university and college professors and townspeople in relaxed, informal settings, such as coffeehouses and pubs. The speaker makes a short presentation about a topic in his or her field, and then opens up the floor to discussion.

All Canton Science Cafes will take place Tuesdays at 7:15 p.m. in a new location at the Rushton Conference Room in the Best Western University Inn, 90 E. Main St.

All Potsdam Science Cafes will take place Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m. in the St. Lawrence Valley Roasters & Jernabi Coffeehouse, 11 Maple St. in Potsdam, N.Y.

Here's a rundown of this spring's topics and speakers:

SCREAM, <cough>, whisper, <burp!>: The Science of Human Sound Production
Feb. 7: Canton
Feb. 8: Potsdam

Vocal communication is one of the defining characteristics of the human race. Be it through a joyous shout of celebration, a subtle grunt of disapproval or a soft reverenced whisper, human voice is used in myriad ways to relay information, express emotion and convey individual personality and identity. Join Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering Byron Erath for a discussion about the science behind the noises we make and how an engineering approach can yield important insight into the diagnosis and treatment of vocal disorders.

Epibiosis: The Though World of Marine Invaders
Feb. 28: Canton
March 1: Potsdam

In the marine world, there is an ongoing battle for living space. Some species have won this battle by growing on top of competitors and utilizing their body surfaces as substrate. Overgrowth, or epibiosis, is certainly beneficial to the overgrowing species, but what about the species that is overgrown? Is this a beneficial or harmful arrangement? Join St. Lawrence University Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Linda Auker as she discusses the impacts of epibiosis, with a focus on invasive species and the traits that allow them to compete effectively.

What Is Mathematical Biology and Why Is It Useful?
March 14: Canton
March 15: Potsdam

During the past half-century, a new field of science called Mathematical Biology has emerged, where questions at the interface between mathematics, biology and related disciplines are explored. Many areas of biology have been explored using math models, from interactions within cells to the spread of human disease. Join Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Mathematics Diana White as she describes successes in this discipline as well as her own attempts to use math to account for interesting behavior seen at the cellular level.

From Molecules to Medicine: How Drug Design Inspires Chemical Innovation
April 4: Canton
April 5: Potsdam

We have access to a growing list of medicines that are as diverse as the diseases they are designed to treat. But even as we find new answers for previously debilitating illnesses, the cost of many medicines keeps increasing, limiting the accessibility to the drugs needed for treatment. This paradox leaves many seeking alternative therapies, while others become engaged in fierce debates about pricing and regulation. Join the discussion with St. Lawrence University Assistant Professor of Chemistry Samuel Tartakoff as he looks at the process by which new medicines are discovered, how it fuels chemical innovation, and where that leaves us as consumers.

Unmasking Parkinson's Disease
April 18: Canton
April 19: Potsdam

Known for causing small movements, shaking and loss of facial expression, the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease is growing. In 2003, researchers out of Washington University indicated that more than 13 percent of individuals with Medicare in our region had a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Experts are predicting that the number of people in the world with Parkinson’s will double by 2030. Join Clarkson University Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy and Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Faculty Scholar Rebecca Martin to learn more about the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and what the healthcare field is doing to help.

Find out more about Clarkson's Science Cafe at .

Email Daniel ben-Avraham at with any comments, questions or suggestions for future Science Cafe topics.

Find out more about Science Cafes in general at .

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

View All News »