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The relaxing way to hear and chat about science in Oxford

The Cafe Scientifique is a successful UK community the idea for which was originally imported from France. The Oxford Cafe was the fourth to be started and there are now dozens of Cafes Scientifiques across the British Isles, while the concept is also now spreading widely overseas. The point of the Cafe is to provide a public forum in which scientific ideas can be discussed informally involving scientists and non-scientists alike, aiming to inform, to entertain, and to provoke debate.

Having restarted in-person evenings in a new venue from December 2022, the Oxford Cafe Sci meets on the second Tuesday of each month except August. All are welcome and no scientific background is required. Visit the FAQ page for more information if you have never been to a Cafe event before.

The links on the left of this page give more details.


See the Cafe audio page for streaming audio files of many of the older Cafe talks. These are usually the introductory talks, although several recent discussions have been recorded too. Some talks have associated image or presentation files linked.
There is a private YouTube channel of Oxford Cafe Sci talks from the pandemic period. The links for its playlists are only given to members of the mailing list (see below) and users are asked not to spread them publicly. A few videos go into the public YouTube playlist.

Tuesday 10th October 2023 - Dr Robin Wilson

Monitoring the environment from space

Hundreds of satellites orbit the Earth every day, collecting data that is used for monitoring almost all aspects of the environment. This talk will introduce to you the world of satellite imaging, take you beyond the 'pretty pictures' to the scientific data behind them, and show you how the data can be applied to monitor plant growth, air pollution and more.

Robin Wilson is a freelance geospatial software engineer and data scientist. He gained his PhD in remote sensing (satellite imaging) from the University of Southampton, winning the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society PhD prize. He now works for organisations ranging from small non-profits to multinational companies, helping them solve their geospatial problems, as well as giving talks to groups including members of the public, university students and software engineers.


  • Tuesday 14th November 2023 - Dr Angharad De Cates and Dr Susannah Murphy - "From lows to highs: the trials and triumphs developing new treatments for depression"
  • Tuesday 12th December 2023 - Dr Stephen Sandler - "The effect of female hormones on the rest of the body"
  • Tuesday 9th January 2024 - Dr Guida Ruas - "Breakthroughs in Alzheimer's treatment - a path to hope and progress"
  • Tuesday 13th February 2024 - speaker to be announced
  • Tuesday 12th March 2024 - speaker to be announced
  • Tuesday 9th April 2024 - speaker to be announced
  • Tuesday 7th May 2024 (note unusual date) - Professor John Sutton - experimental psychology and cognition
  • Tuesday 11th June 2024 - Professor Dan Remenyi - "Navigating bias in AI-chatbots"
  • Tuesday 9th July 2024 - speaker to be announced

    Click on "Details" on the left-hand menu for a full list of upcoming Cafes.

    IN PERSON DOORS OPEN 6:45pm, ZOOM STARTS 7pm, TALK STARTS 7:15pm, EVENING FINISHES 8:45pm. There is a bench outside the common room on the top floor where early arrivals can sit before the doors open.

    If you are not already on our mailing list for updates, please see the foot of this page for how to subscribe. Zoom links and passcodes will only be issued via the mailing list, at 2pm on the day of each talk.


    The Cafe is being hosted by the Department of Pharmacology, off Mansfield Road (north end). This is in the centre of Oxford but does not have direct public transport to it. Please see the Pharmacology information page for full details of facilities and directions. There is disabled access to all parts of the building including the top-floor common room used by the Cafe.

    Doors open at 6:45pm, with the talk starting at 7:15pm. The evening will end at 8:45pm latest, as we must leave the building by 9pm or earlier. There is a bench outside the common room on the top floor where early arrivals can sit before the doors open. Full venue information below.

    We have been running a hybrid Cafe since restarting post-Covid. Zoom attendees must join the mailing list on or before 2pm on the event date and will see the specific link for the night given out in an email sent at 2pm that day. If something happens to interrupt the connection then we will focus on the in-person event. Please do not give the Zoom link out to random people who might misuse it, and please do not ever publish it. The online 'doors' open at 7pm and everyone on the call will remain muted throughout, but may submit questions via the Zoom chat function.


    The assistance of Pharmacology and particularly Carolyn Thackrah, for offering the Cafe a venue post-pandemic, is much appreciated.

    Online donations
    Those who wish to donate to the Cafe online may do so via https://paypal.me/CafeSci on Paypal.

    Donations cover the refreshments, speaker expenses including taking them for dinner as a thank you (they are not paid), costs such as technology and equipment, the Zoom Pro subscription and occasional photocopying. There is absolutely no obligation whatsoever to donate but all gifts are greatly appreciated. Our thanks to the many who have already donated this academic year.

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    Mailing list - The OxCafeSci mailing list sends out announcements about speakers and events. It allows automatic joining. To auto-subscribe to the Cafe mailing list please send an email from the address you want to use, to cafesci-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk. To auto-unsubscribe, please email to cafesci-unsubscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk. To add or remove other addresses instead of your own please email the organiser.

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