UINR’s Intergovernmental Relations and Partnership Advisor Laurie Suitor was a presenter at Café Scientifique on the topic “Will Technology Make Our Water Resources Unlimited?”

The panel discussion took place June 11 at the Just Us! Café, 5896 Spring Garden Road  in Halifax.

Laurie joined a small panel of experts who presented, discussed and conversed with the audience around a single question that has a Nova Scotian focus.

The Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History partnered with the Canadian Museum of Nature and other museums across the country who hosted similar events. The same question was addressed at each of the events across the country, but the panelists attempted to respond to it in their own province’s context.

Directly following the event there was an online forum where the public could contribute their thoughts and opinions on the issue and concerns over water in Canada, and particularly Nova Scotia.

The Canadian Museum of Nature’s national Café Scientifique Water series offers Canadians the chance to immerse themselves in discussion about timely and relevant concerns relating to our greatest natural resource – Water. During Rivers to Oceans Week, June 8 to 12, 2009, Café Scientifique gatherings will take place at different sites across the country.  These relaxed, thought-provoking sessions – often held in a pub or restaurant- will be followed by an online forum to connect thoughts and opinions from interested Canadians coast to coast.

This programme is presented in partnership with the Alliance of Museums of Natural History of Canada (www.naturalhistorymuseums.ca).

Café Scientifique is a branch off of a grass roots academic movement called Café Philosophique. In 1992, a French philosopher named Marc Sautet began public discussions on philosophy in a small café called the Café des Phares in Paris. These discussions became a weekly event, where people from all backgrounds would gather to discuss a big question in the field of philosophy. The discussions opened the world of academia to the general public, and provided the provided the philosophers with new perspectives on the questions presented.

The world of science equally benefits from discussion between those in the realm of research and those from other backgrounds. In 1998, in Leeds UK, the idea of Café Scientifique was born. The objective of a Café Scientifique is to take big questions in science, ones for which there is active debate and no generally agreed upon answer, and discuss them in a comfortable, public location, providing access for everyone to have their say.