South Texas Science Café Connects University Scientists, Students to Discuss Scientific Matters

October 07, 2014

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Members of the South Texas Chapter of Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi held their first South Texas Science Café on Thursday, Oct. 2, in the Island Hall Gym. This event was hosted by the Title V-STEM Outreach, Access, and Retention (SOAR) Program.

Students and the public had the opportunity to talk with scientists of various expertise for informal chats to discuss opinions on current scientific matters, or any other desired topic ranging from Ebola to environmental systems. Coffee and snacks were also provided.

“We want to establish public awareness of what is going on in the community with this event,” said Dr. Xavier Gonzales, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences, and President of Sigma Xi. “As scientists here in the Coastal Bend, our primary focus is to improve the well-being of all those in the community. In order to do this, we need to get feedback from the community as to what they know and think of our proposals.”

The list of participating scientists and their specialty areas included: Dr. Philippe Tissot, environmental system modeling; Dr. Greg Buck, microbiology/virology; Dr. Xavier Gonzales, stress effect on disease; Dr. Kirk Cammarata, seagrass stress/environmental impact; Dr. Riccardo Mozzachiodi, basis of learning and memory; Dr. Cherie McCollough, science education/avian ecology; and Dr. Ruby Mehrubeoglu, hyperspectral analysis.

The local community was also encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to a part of what Sigma XI Scientific Research Society envisions as the start of future “Science Cafes” that will be held at local coffee shops or breweries in the future.