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Cafe Scientifique

cafe scientifique

You are cordially invited to come and chat with a scientist about an interesting and/or controversial science topic.  Patterned after the International Cafe Scientifique, the Science Department has initiated an outreach program to promote public interest in science.
Our goal is simply to have regularly scheduled sessions for informal discussions of scientific topics.

Schuler Books & Music
Meridian Mall, Okemos
Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 7:00pm

The Biology of Mental Illness: Genes, Brains, and Behavior

This talk by Dr. Mark Reimers will survey some of our attempts to understand the causes of mental illness, and summarize the current state-of-art. Freud told us that mental illness came from from early childhood trauma or deprivation. After the discovery of effective anti-depressant drugs, and after the revolution in genetics in the 1980's the pendulum of opinion swung to the idea that the underlying causes were 'biochemical imbalances' and 'bad genes'. However several decades of investigation have turned up only a few rare bad genes that contribute to mental illness in a few cases. Now researchers are trying to synthesize these older perspectives and asking again about the effects of early experience, and in particular how different genes might make people more or less reactive and how experience might affect how genes are expressed.

Schuler Books & Music
Meridian Mall, Okemos
Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 7:00pm

A Crash Course in Auditory Neuroscience

Psychiatric neurosurgery has resurfaced over the past two decades for the treatment of severe mental health disorders, with improved precision and safety over older interventions alongside the development of novel ones. Little is known, however, about current public opinions, expectations, hopes, and concerns over this evolution in neurotechnology, particularly given the controversial history of psychosurgery. This presentation by Dr. Laura Cabrera will highlight the role of neuroethics in examining and addressing public perceptions and values around psychiatric neurosurgery.

Previous Cafe Scientifique Topics

Please join us.  If you have any questions, please contact Alan O'Keefe by phone at (517) 483-1110 or e-mail at

Science at Lansing Community College

Science Department
Arts & Sciences Building, Room 3203
Phone: (517) 483-1092
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