Grounds for Science is a talk series that features young Cal researchers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) community. This series provides an opportunity for graduate students and postdocs to share their research with a non-technical but science-enthused audience. The ability to effectively communicate highly specialized research in a way that is accessible to everyone is a powerful skill. In many academic settings, young researchers are not provided with opportunities to gain proficiency in this type of communication. Rather, they learn to associate scientific communication with defending the validity and worth of their work to other scientists or funding agencies. We seek to rekindle in young scientists the excitement of sharing their knowledge with people who are enthusiastic about receiving it. In accordance with all Science at Cal events, this series aims to engage and inform the public about the cool and cutting-edge science ongoing at Berkeley and about fascinating science topics in general.
To these ends, we organize our events to be comprised of short, interactive presentations in an informal cafe environment, and to encourage open discussion between the speakers and the public. Speakers are advised to give 20-minute presentations, during which audience members are urged to interrupt the speaker to ask questions and gain clarification. The speakers also mingle and converse with audience members after their talks.
The series takes place at Scarlet City Espresso Bar in Emeryville, a science-fiction-themed cafe that offers a small, intimate environment, home-roasted coffee, select beers and snacks, and a collection of sweet pinball machines.