OSU-Marion’s first Science Cafe of the season is Tuesday, October 5, at 7:00 pm in the historic Harding Hotel at 267 West Center Street in downtown Marion. I’ve reproduced the University press release below the fold. The session features Mike Elzinga, a regular Thumb commenter, presenting on “Order, Disorder, and Entropy: Misconceptions and Misuses of Thermodynamics.” I’ll be there early to have dinner at the Harding before Mike’s presentation: come early too, if you can.
Science discussed in lay terms
Science Café engages the public in an open community forum to demystify science
The Ohio State University at Marion invites the community to the Infinity Restaurant in the historic Harding Hotel, 267 West Center Street, downtown Marion, Tuesday, October 5, 7 p.m., for the first in a yearlong series of free monthly community dialogues on science called Science Café.
In this first café event of the 2010-2011 series schedule, Michael B. Elzinga of the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center will lead a discussion entitled, “Order, Disorder, and Entropy: Misconceptions and Misuses of Thermodynamics.”
According to Elzinga, there are a number of common misconceptions in our society about order, disorder, entropy, and thermodynamics. “They impact our perceptions about the universe, our place in it, how we view the history of life on this planet, and how we treat our resources as we search for new sources of energy,” he said.
One of the central threads running through this Science Café is that matter interacts and condenses into all kinds of patterns; there are no apparent limits. Having a concise and basic understanding of how the universe behaves provides an excellent backdrop against which to evaluate the claims of those who would have us live our lives by tradition only.
“Nature cannot be fooled,” Elzinga said. This Science Café attempts to provide part of that basic understanding in a way that is understandable to the layperson.
Science Cafés involve lively conversations with scientists about current science topics. Science Cafés are free and open to everyone, and take place in casual settings like pubs and coffeehouses. At a café you can learn about the latest issues in science, chat with a scientist in plain language, meet new friends, speak your mind, and talk with your mouth full. The overriding goal of Ohio State Marion´s Science Café is to overcome reluctance to learning about science and to make science less mysterious.