B y Linda Ellingsworth
Whether you’ve ever pondered something as mundane as “what goes up must come down” or wondered about the “God” particle, this month’s Science Pub will whet your appetite for the fascinating world of physics. On Sunday, Jan. 5 at 4 p.m., Middlebury College Physics Professor Rich Wolfson will discuss “Physics in Your Life and Your Universe” at the Fair Haven Inn.
Presented by the Friends of the Castleton Library, Science Pub is now in its third season, said organizer Martha Molnar. A concept that began in the Northwest U.S. and has now spread across the world, Science Pubs, also known as Science Cafes, have become very popular. Molnar said when she learned about it, she brought the idea to the Friends of the Castleton Library, who thought it was a great idea for Vermont in the winter months.
“There’s a lot less to do here in the winter,” said Molnar. This gives people something to look forward to on a Sunday afternoon.”
The program has grown from approximately 40 attendees at the first Science Pub to an average of 85 people, she said. People come from not only the Castleton area, but also from farther out towns such as Shrewsbury and Brandon.
“It’s a way to build community among people who are curious,” said Molnar.
Each Science Pub has a different topic and is very informal, she explained, emphasizing “it’s not a lecture.”
Typically at a Science Pub, the presenting professor only speaks for about 15 to 20 minutes. The rest is dialogue to get a conversation going, Molnar said.
“It’s very informal,” she said. “People order drinks; it’s a different atmosphere that is meant to involve people.”
Science Pub is always held at a restaurant, and attendees are free to order food or drinks if they wish. While the actual event is free of charge, patrons are responsible for their own food or drink orders.
Molnar said that she asked patrons last year what topics they were interested in, and two of the top suggestions were physics and brain science. At this Sunday’s event, Professor Wolfson will be discussing everything from physics in the kitchen to string theory and the latest developments in physics.
Next month, on Feb. 2, Dr. Julie Poulio will give insight to “Your Brain at Work” for those wishing to learn more about the science of the human brain. This event takes place at Three Tomatoes Trattoria in Rutland.
Science Pub is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Castleton Free Library and the Rutland Free Library. For more information, visit www.castletonfreelibrary.org/friends or call them at 802-468-5574. The Rutland Free Library can be reached at www.rutlandfree.org or 802-773-1860.