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Cafe Scientifique Critique


Published January 24, 2009 at 9:42 a.m.

I didn't make it to ECHO's Café Scientifique last night. I went home after a long day, had a beer, put the kids to bed, watched a couple episodes of "The Office" with my partner and fell asleep by 9 p.m.

But blogger Bill Simmon was there, and he's got an informative post up about the event over on Candleblog. Here's what he has to say about it:

Lastnight’s Café Scientifique was fun. It was surprisingly well-attendedtoo. Seats were hard to find as the presentation began. It’s great thata pure science topic can bring out so many folks on a cold Januaryweeknight.

Dr. Dennis Clougherty gave a fascinating 30 minute talkon the history and current state of nanotechnology, invoking cool ideaslike nanotube-constructed space elevators and cloaks of invisibility.Following the talk, the audience was invited to jot down some questionsfor the professor while everyone visited the bar and had a stretch.

Here’s where things got a little frustrating. Now, readers of this blogwill know that A: I am a bleeding heart liberal, and B: I love Vermonta lot. Despite my left-leaning Vermont pride however, I am oftenannoyed by the fact that I cannot go to any sort of public gatheringfocused on science, technology or culture in this state without thediscussion getting sidetracked or overtly hijacked by armchairactivists with an agenda.

Indeed. For more about the armchair activists, click here.