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 will be held on the first Friday of the month, alternating with the Art talks. For the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and some nibbles, anyone can come to have a conversation about the latest ideas in science, engineering and technology. Meetings overseas have taken place in cafés, bars, restaurants, theatres, libraries and even out of doors, but always outside a traditional academic context.


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

2021  Café Schedule


Friday 2 July 5.30pm

Stories of ecological truth and beauty  on camera

with Stephen Curtain

Stephen who is a natural sciences and ecology cinematographer (B.Ed Environmental Science). He started his film career at the BBC Natural History Unit and has 20+ years as an outdoors and environmental science teacher, lecturer and journalist. He has worked as an expedition, polar and field-safety guide in Antarctica, Japan’s Hokkaido, Russia’s Kamchatka and Australia's Alps and Top End; experiences that provided Stephen with glimpses into Earth’s exquisite natural systems, their inhabitants and their interconnectedness. Stephen’s focus is to communicate the basics of ecology from a planetary scale, through to the everyday and to the microscopic beneath our feet.
More at

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Friday 3 Sept 5.30pm

Bird surveys and what they can tell us: windows to the world

with Ecologist Dr Richard Loyn

Richard is an ecologist with special interests in forests, fire, wetlands, threatened species, conservation and sustainable development. In 2013 he established a consultancy (Eco Insights), conducting strategic projects for clients in Australia and occasionally overseas. He was awarded the D.L. Serventy Medal in 2014 and a senior doctorate by the University of Melbourne in 2019, for his thesis on forest management and biodiversity conservation. He was appointed as an adjunct professor at La Trobe University in 2020. Richard recognises that birds and other wildlife provide a unique window on the natural world, and can help us conserve its extraordinary diversity, in partnership with local people.