AAAS Annual Meeting
11:16 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

St. Louisans Among Presenters At National Science Conference In Chicago

Credit American Association for the Advancement of Science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is wrapping up its annual meeting Monday in Chicago.

Among the presenters were researchers from Washington University and the vice president of the James S. McDonnell Foundation.

They discussed subjects ranging from racism in science, to the role of gut microbes in malnutrition, to how science funding affects innovation.

Carolyn Noe of the Academy of Science - St. Louis was also on a AAAS panel.

She spoke about science cafés for teenagers.

Noe says adult science cafés ― which are more common ― allow people to interact directly with a scientist and find out about their research in an informal setting.

“Now, a Teen Science Café takes that idea and really puts the teens in charge,” Noe said. “They get to plan the venue and the food, and they get to pick the topic and the scientist, and it’s just a really dynamic and hands-on experience.”

Noe says the Teen Science Cafés she’s helped organize in St. Louis have covered a wide variety of topics. “They’ve varied from emergency room medicine and technology, to zombies.” She says that one was really fun ― if somewhat chaotic. “The kids got to learn about infectious diseases and their spread, through the use of Glo Germ, which is this sort of powder-and-liquid substance that only shows up under black light.”

The next St. Louis Teen Science Café is about super lasers. It’s coming up this Thursday at the Center for Emerging Technologies.

Follow Veronique LaCapra on Twitter: @KWMUScience