Café Scientifique and Historique

Cafe Scientifique

Talk science and history with some of UVic's finest researchers

University research has a funny habit of being hard to reach if you don't work at a university, yet research itself in all of its many forms is one of those great universal passions that appeals to and connects us all.

UVic's Café Scientifique/Historique programs bridge the research-to-public gap. Hosted by a number of units across campus, these evening cafés provide insight into topics of popular interest that appeal to the lover of knowledge in all of us. They are also a fantastic opportunity to meet local researchers and discuss some of the most interesting and sometimes contentious research underway in Canada.

Autumn 2019

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Frank van Veggel - The Rare Earth: Why we can't live without them

Click here to register


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Olav Krigolson - Using Mobile Neuroscience Technology to Improve Brain Health and Performance

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All Café evenings are free to attend and held at : Hermann's Jazz Club, 753 View Street, Victoria BC
Start time:
6:00:  Doors open at 5:00 pm.  Free parking is available next door starting at 5:00 pm
Menu items available to order.


In a café, we pull research away from its usual habitat of the classroom or the laboratory into, well, a café or a bar.

Café Scientifique/Historique events are more informal and accessible than a public lecture. They are for people who are looking to learn about science and/or history and have the chance to discuss these topics directly with researchers from the field. .

The concept of the Café Scientifique goes back to the salons of Paris in the 19th century when people would gather to talk informally about science. This idea disappeared for a period but was brought back in the 1990s by groups in the United Kingdom and France. The concept has now spread around the world and cafés are held in countries as diverse as Morocco, Romania, Denmark, Spain, Argentina, Cameroon and Canada.

Café Scientifique and Café Historique  are hosted by the Centre for Biomedical Research, the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the History Department.

The “French Café Scientifique” is co-organized by the Consulate of France in Vancouver, the University of Victoria, French Department, the Alliance Française and the Association Français du Monde.

The views expressed by presenters are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Victoria.

  • Emily Abelseth - "Taking Pride in diversity in engineering" (Oct. 15, 2019)
  • Dr. Magdalena Bazalova-Carter - “Radiation Therapy of Cancer in a Flash: the Way Forward” (Oct. 8, 2019)
  • Dr. Roberta Hamme - “Robots Observing Climate Change” (Sept. 17, 2019)
  • Dr. Jon Willis - "20,000 Pings Under the Sea: An Astronomer’s Voyage on the Nautilus” (Sep. 10, 2019)
  • Juan C. Sanchez-Arias MD - “The Developing Brain: A Shapeshifting Powerhouse” (Mar. 19, 2019)
  • Dr. Jay Cullen - “Fukushima and the health of the Pacific Ocean: The science and the conspiracy theories” (Mar. 12, 2019)
  • Dr. Raquel Romay-Tallon - "Depression and social stigma" (Feb. 19, 2019)
  • Dr. Scott McIndoe - "Four months in the finest workshop in the world:  A scientist with a licence to art"
  • Dr. Hector Caruncho -  "Schizophrenia and society" (Jan. 15, 2019)
  • Dr. Josh Giles - "Engineering Recovery: Using biomechanics to improve orthopeadic outcomes" (November 20, 2018)
  • Dr. Julia Baum - "Corals and Climate Change: glimmers of hope from an ecological crisis" (November 13, 2018)
  • Devika Chithrani - "Role of novel therapeutics in cancer treatment" (Oct. 16, 2018)
  • Elaine Humphrey - "Adventures in microscopy" (Oct. 9, 2018)
  • Dr Kristin Semmens - "Touring the Nazi past" (Oct. 2, 2018)
  • Dr. Kim Venn - "Astronomical archeology: The early universe, the first stars and big telescopes" (Sept. 11, 2018)
  • Dr. Alan McConnachie, NRC Herzberg (Dominion Astrophysical Observatory) and Dept. of Physics and Astronomy - “Canada’s Place in the Galaxy ” (April 10, 2018)
  • Dr. Jason Colby, Department of History - “Washington DC: Then and Now” (April 3, 2018)
  • Dr. Olav Krigolson and Lab - “Tools of the Trade: An Interactive Evening with the Latest Technology in Neuroscience” (March 20, 2018)
  • Dr. Alex Brolo, Department of Chemistry and Director of CAMTEC - “Nanomedicine: Fighting Cancer with Precious Metals” (March 13, 2018)
  • Dr. Warren Magnusson, Department of Political Science - “London: Global and Local” (March 6, 2018)
  • Dr. Katherine Elvira, Department of Chemistry - “Smaller is better: Using lab-on-a-chip platforms in pharma and hospitals” (Feb. 27, 2018)
  • Dr. Alex van Netten, Department of Physics and Astronomy - “Caveman Science: From Fire to Bows” (Feb. 20, 2018)
  • UVic Graduate Students - “Emerging Biomedical Research at UVic: Cancer Drugs, Vaccines, Detecting Drugs and More....." (Feb. 13, 2018)
  • Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch, Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies - “Mexico City: From Tenochtitlan to Modern Metropolis” (Feb. 6, 2018)
  • Dr. Hector Caruncho, Division of Medical Sciences and The Island Medical Program - 'Depressed about depression. Insights from translational neuroscience' (Jan. 16, 2018)
  • Dr. Jane Gair, Division of Medical Sciences and The Island Medical Program - 'Teaching the New Medical Doctors in British Columbia : Our Experience After Graduating 10 Cohorts' (Jan. 09, 2018)
  • Dr. Peter Cook, Department of History - 'Montreal: The Bloody Origins of Canada's First Metropolis' (Dec. 12, 2017)
  • Dr. Olav Krigolson, School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education - 'How we learn: Insights from Neuroscience Research' (Nov. 28, 2017)
  • Dr. Rachel Boschen, Department of Biology - 'All that glitters is not gold: deep-sea mining and untold biological wealth' (Nov.21, 2017)
  • Dr. Alona Fyshe, Department of Computer Science - 'Humans read. Computers read?' (Nov. 14, 2017)
  • Dr Jill Walshaw, Department of History - 'Venice: Shifting Foundations of a Renaissance Powerhouse' (Nov. 7, 2017)
  • Dr. Stephanie Willerth, Department of Mechanical Engineering - 'Can we cure spinal cord injury? Engineering neural tissues from stem cells' (Oct. 24, 2017)
  • Kristin Morell, School of Earth and Ocean Science - 'Finding hidden active faults on Vancouver island' (Oct. 10, 2017)
  • Dr. Rodney Herring, Department of Mechanical Engineering - 'Seeing is believing or the power of imaging with phase and not power' (Sep. 12, 2017)
  • Dr. Geoff Steeves, Department of Physics and Astronomy - 'The future is analogue: Working with astronauts on analogue space missions' (Apr. 11, 2017)
  • Dr. Nickolai Dechev, Department of Mechanical Engineering - 'The Victoria Hand Project and 3D Printing' (Mar. 21, 2017)
  • Dr. Colin Goldblatt, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences - 'Studying the atmospheres of extrasolar planets: looking for life and finding lots of weird stuff on the way' (Mar. 14, 2017)
  • Dr. Mohsen Akbari, Department of Mechanical Engineering - 'Tissue printing: A paradigm shift in organ regeneration' (Feb. 21, 2017)
  • Dr. Michael Whiticar, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences - 'Methane – From Comets to Cows' (Feb. 07, 2017)
  • Dr. Michel Lefebvre, Department of Physics and Astronomy - 'The discovery of the Higgs boson and exploration at the Large Hadron Collider' (Jan. 10, 2017)
  • Dr. JJ Kavelaars, Department of Physics and Astronomy - 'The heart of the Kuiper belt' (Nov. 22, 2016)
  • Dr. Robert Smith, the Department of Mathematics  -University of Ottawa -'The top ten diseases of all time' (Nov. 15, 2016)
  • Taryn Klarner, School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education - 'Teaching an old spinal cord new tricks' (Oct. 18, 2016)
  • Dr. Laurence Coogan, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences - 'Earth’s thermostat: why has Earth had a habitable climate for 3.5 billion years?' (Oct. 11, 2016)
  • Patrick von Aderkas, Biology Dept. - 'World Wars, Douglas-fir and Megastigmus' - French Café Scientifique on Campus (Oct. 6, 2016)
  • Parminder Basran, BC Cancer Agency - 'Hitting the target: the role played by physics, big data, and what you had for lunch when delivering high precision radiation cancer treatment' (Sept. 13, 2016)

To see previous Café Scientifique seminars please see: and

The Faculty of Science series are funded by both the faculty itself and the individual departments associated with each seminar. 

The Centre for Biomedical Research series are funded by the centre itself and the Office of the Vice-President Research.

Café Scientifique is sponsored jointly by UVic's Office of the Vice-President Research and the Faculty of Science and hosted by the Centre for Biomedical Research and the Department of Physics & Astronomy.

The Café Historique series is sponsored and hosted by the History Department.

The “French Café Scientifique” is sponsored by the Consulate of France in Vancouver, the University of Victoria’s French Department and the Alliance Française and the Association Français du Monde.