SFU Science in the community

We proudly host free science programs and workshops for teachers, schools, clubs and home schoolers throughout Metro Vancouver. Through the educational Science in Action program, special events such as Science Spooktacular and Science Rendezvous, talks like Cafe Scientifique and star gazing events at the Trottier Observatory, we serve thousands of our community members.

Engaging with the public is a cornerstone of SFU's mandate and our offerings grow yearly to meet demand. Feel free to browse our programs and nurture your inner scientist!

SFU Café Scientifique

Join us for an informal evening of "Talks with Docs!"

Café Scientifique is a series of informal discussions connecting research to important issues of interest to the community.  Enjoy light snacks and refreshments while engaging with cutting-edge, award-winning researchers from Simon Fraser University's (SFU) Faculty of Science.

All events are held at Boston Pizza (private room) 1045 Columbia St., New Westminster
(2 blks from the New West Skytrain station)

Doors open at 6:30pm, discussion and talk will run from 7:00-8:30pm.

Refreshments are available for purchase. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Reserve your free seat by emailing: cafe_scientifique@sfu.ca
**Note that there is no accent above the "e" in this address.


Sign up:

science_outreach@sfu.ca to be added to the SFU Cafe Scientifique mailing list where you will receive automatic updates.


In our series, speakers will discuss their health or popular-science related topic, without the use of audio visual materials or handouts, for approximately 30 minutes.  A discussion with the audience will ensue for about 45 minutes while participants enjoy appetizers and beverages.  

Spinal cord injury: getting to the heart of the matter - January 27, 2017

In addition to loss of movement and sensation, many individuals with spinal cord injury have damage to nerves that control involuntary activities, leading to abnormal control of many organs in the body, such as the heart and blood vessels. This causes profound abnormalities in the control of blood pressure, heart rhythm, and blood flow around the body. This can lead to cardiovascular disease, impairs quality of life, and shortens life expectancy. These disorders are often neglected by the clinical community, who focus on loss of mobility, but they can be devastating to the individual and their families. We will explore these lesser known consequences of spinal cord injury, their impact on quality of life, and some strategies to improve function. Implications for other populations with neurological diseases affecting these nerves will also be considered.

Dr. Victoria Claydon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology at SFU. She received her PhD from the University of Leeds, England. Victoria is a Clinical Physiologist and Associate Member of the International Collaboration On Repair Discoveries (ICORD), an international spinal cord injury research group based in Vancouver. She received a prestigious Heart and Stroke Foundation New Investigator Award (2009-2016) to support her spinal cord research program.

SciComm vs. Fake News - February 24, 2017

We’ve entered an era where “Fake News” sites can steer the course of elections, politicians proclaim that climate science is a hoax, and celebrities argue that vaccines cause autism. Within the sphere of public discourse, facts have been devalued and the word “expert” is hurled as an epithet. In this context, how can scientists and science communicators best contribute to the public understanding of issues related to health, technology and the environment? The challenges posed by a post-factual society require new strategies and a fundamental shift in the mindset of science communicators. In this Café Scientifique, we will address the deficiencies in common approaches to scientific communication and discuss new ways forward.

Dr. Vance Williams joined the Department of Chemistry at Simon Fraser University in 2000. He received his Ph.D. at Queen’s University in 1997, and then went on to do a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT. He is an active science advocate, who has worked extensively to increase the public understanding of chemistry and science, especially as they relate to environmental issues.

"The Future of Ice" - March 31, 2017

Glaciers shape the world we live in and are iconic elements of the Canadian landscape. They have been important players in the geologic past, at times overtaking the planet during periods of “Snowball Earth”. Our present-day glaciers and ice sheets are enormous frozen reservoirs of fresh water, harbouring the equivalent of 70m of global sea level rise. In this Café we will explore how glaciers work, how and why they are changing and the global and local implications of this change.

Dr. Gwenn Flowers is an Associate Professor in the SFU Department of Earth Sciences and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Iceland. As a Canada Research Chair at SFU from 2005−2014 she established a research program dedicated to the geophysical study of glaciers, their dynamics and their importance in the global climate system. She currently leads a field-based program in the St. Elias Mountains of Yukon, Canada, examining the interplay of climate and ice dynamics.