Science Café is a public science initiative started in United Kingdom, but currently running all over the word. Typically, one monthly evening meeting is organised in a café or bar to which one or several scientists are invited to talk in laymen’s terms about their work in a topical or even controversial area. The events are known for their informal and friendly atmosphere, and are believed to improve the image of scientists and careers in science. Such approach aims to demystify scientific research for the general public and empower non-scientists to more comfortably and accurately assess science and technology issues, particularly those that impact on social policy making.
On February 17th the Portici Science Café invited Michela Florinda Picardi, a PONYS member, to give a speech on light for the International Year of Light. Michela, former president of our OSA Student Chapter, is now a PhD student at King’s College in London. She worked on the orbital angular moment of light, and on the possibility to use it as another degree of freedom for quantum computing. Her talk showed to the common public how light is nowadays in our daily lives, and how the development of new technologies in quantum optics can enlarge this use.
During the event Lorenzo Colaizzi, showed the PONYS activities to the Science Café participant. The short movie Blackout, directed by Michela with the help of all the association members was projected for the first time in Italy. And simple experiments on light had been shown to the public.
It was an amazing afternoon for us. Our first Science Café, and hopefully just the first one!