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As part of the Art Society’s mission to be a centre of excellence for arts and sciences, steps were taken to gain membership of the worldwide network of Café Scientifique (


Café Scientifique is held on the first Sunday afternoon of the month, alternating with the Art talks. With a gold coin donation members, friends and guests can enjoy afternoon tea and come to have a conversation about the latest ideas in science, engineering and technology. They are often challenging, inspiring and always enjoyable and lots of fun.


The concept originated in the United Kingdom and the first Cafés Scientifiques were held in Leeds in 1998. From there, cafes gradually spread across the country and around the world. Café Scientifique is a forum for debating science issues, not a shop window for science. The commitment is to promoting engagement with science and to making science accountable.


Café audiences are therefore people who are interested in science. Anyone can participate; speakers are there to be questioned and to talk about their work at all levels. Cafés start with a short talk (usually no more than twenty minutes) by the speaker, to introduce the topic. After this there is usually a short break to allow glasses to be refilled and conversations to start. This is followed by an hour or so of questions and answers and general discussion

2022 Past Café Talks


Sunday 7 August 3.00pm

with Jade Miles

Jade founded the Beechworth Food Co-op and has practical skills to offer advice and information to those in the small agricultural sector. Her book Futuresteading is an inspirational guide to living in a way that values tomorrow: a slower, simpler, steadier existence that is healthier for you, your home, and the environment. It is an accessible and practical explainer, venturing through six seasonal chapters and complete with healthy recipes.


Jade, Charlie and family have created Black Barn Farm, Stanley. This is an orcharding and nursery business, and the first step, they believe, in building a localised fair food system.


Sunday 2 October 3.00pm

with Neil Funston

Neil lives in Beechworth and is a retired project manager/food process engineer. He is a Mechanical Engineer who has had an extensive and interesting career in food processing, food product design and management for some outstanding projects. His community minded spirit has also given him a passion for helping others. He is a director of BeyondHousing helping homeless people with social housing and an ambassador for White Ribbon, working to change social values to alleviate violence to women.


We look forward to hearing from Neil about all the projects in which he is involved and highlights of his career. 

2023 to come

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