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Grounds for Science

Grounds for Science

Exciting short talks on cutting-edge topics by upcoming researchers at UC Berkeley

6:30 pm, Fourth Fridays of the Month

Scarlet City Espresso Bar

3960 Adeline Street
Emeryville, CA  94608

Grounds for Science is a science cafe series organized by UC Berkeley Graduate Students, featuring UC Berkeley Graduate Students. Grounds takes place (usually) every 4th Friday of the month 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.

Be sure to check the calendar for upcoming programs! Dates and times are subject to change.

2017 Dates:

March 24
April 28
May 26
June 23
July 21
August 25
September 22
October 27
November 17
December 15

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.

If you are interested in participating in the Grounds for Science series, here is some guidance on the appropriate scope of your talk as well as logistical information.

You would be presenting your topic to a public audience. They are interested in STEM and are genuinely curious about the ongoing research at Berkeley, but they may not be scientifically literate at a technical level, or their expertise may lie in another field (i.e., if you are an immunologist, you probably are not intimately familiar with materials science, or if you are a nuclear engineer, you may not know much about neurology). As such, consider gearing your talk towards high school students. You do not need to defend your research, nor even focus on your specific research project – a conversation about your field would be just as appropriate.

Plan on a 15-20 minute talk without interruptions, which will typically end up being closer to 30 minutes with audience engagement. The audience is encouraged to interrupt and ask questions throughout to promote an informative discussion rather than a lecture. We love for our speakers to be amenable to sticking around for a few minutes after the talk(s) to engage more personally with audience members who have additional questions or want to have a friendly discussion.

If you are unsure about participating, we invite you to join us for one of our events to observe and see what it’s like. Don’t hesitate to contact us at with more questions!

Contact us


Scarlet City Espresso Bar