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Clarkson University Sets Science Cafes for Fall in Potsdam & Canton

Local scientists and university professors will again take to the stage starting Tuesday, September 16, for the "Science Cafe."

Robert G. EwyScience Cafes bring together local university and college professors and townspeople in a relaxed, informal setting, such as coffeehouses and pubs. The speaker makes a short presentation about a topic in his or her field, and then opens up the floor to discussion.

All Canton Science Cafes will take place Tuesdays at 7:15 p.m. in the Park View Common Room, above the Blackbird Café, 107 Main St. in Canton, N.Y.

All Potsdam Science Cafes will take place Wednesday evenings at 7:15 p.m. in the Potsdam Civic Center Community Room, 2 Park St. in Potsdam, N.Y.

Here's a rundown of this fall's topics and speakers:

Renewable Energy: Teaching an Old Log New Tricks
September 16: Canton
September 17: Potsdam
The search is on for clean and renewable energy sources around the world. While much of our country’s energy policy is based on finding a few large reliable energy sources, we might be better served by taking an evolutionary approach to securing energy. At its core, evolution is based on adaptations to local, not global, conditions. Rather than looking to centralized energy production, is it possible to sustainably produce energy in a more decentralized fashion? Join SUNY Potsdam Assistant Professor of Biology Robert G. Ewy as he discusses efforts in the North Country to develop locally grown biofuels.

Creativity: Generate New Ideas and Solve Problems Creatively!
October 7: Canton
October 8: Potsdam
Today, there is concern about the sustainability of our global society. In order to adapt and survive, it is necessary for us to become creative problem solvers. Join Dana M. Barry of Clarkson University's Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP) as she discusses creativity and her international program to promote creative thinking. She won a national award from the American Chemical Society in 2004. Come participate in some exciting mental exercises and activities to help develop your creative-thinking skills!

What Do You Know When You Know a Language?
October 21: Canton
October 22: Potsdam
Our use of language is ubiquitous (such as when one reads about the Science Café). But what is language in the first place? What can insights from linguistics teach us about not only the nature of language, but the nature of our minds? Join St. Lawrence University Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy Jeffrey Maynes as he discusses recent work in linguistics and the philosophy of language to explore how best to interpret and understand our linguistic knowledge and abilities.

Autism: The Need for Early Identification and Treatment
November 4: Canton
November 5: Potsdam
Autism prevalence is on the rise, with current CDC statistics indicating that one in 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder. What is causing this increase and what needs to be done? Early identification and treatment with behavioral interventions has been known to produce more functional outcomes in people with autism. Join Clarkson University Research Assistant Professor Alisa G. Woods of Clarkson's Laboratory for Proteomics and Biochemistry and the SUNY Plattsburgh Center for Neurobehavioral Health as she discusses current research into causes and why it is important to initiate behavioral treatments early and intensively, and as she shares insights from her research into the connections between biochemistry and behavior in autism and other neurobehavioral and psychiatric conditions.

Visualizing Nanoscopic Worlds
November 18: Canton
November 19: Potsdam
Optical microscopy has long provided a window into the microscopic world, but there is always a demand to see more, especially in living cells where basic physical processes are regulated by proteins that live highly dynamic and interactive lives. Join Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Physics Jan Scrimgeour as he explains how microscopes can achieve this feat by cleverly breaking the conventional rules of optics, and as he delves into the history of optical microscopy, its limits and the insights that produced a recent revolution.

Find out more about Clarkson's Science Cafe at .

E-mail Daniel ben-Avraham at with any comments, questions or suggestions for future Science Cafe topics.

Find out more about Science Cafes in general at .

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: " Renewable Energy: Teaching an Old Log New Tricks" will be discussed by SUNY Potsdam Assistant Professor of Biology Robert G. Ewy at the next Science Café on Tuesday, September 16, at 7:15 p.m. in the Park View Common Room, above the Blackbird Cafe, 107 Main St. in Canton, and on Wednesday, September 17, at 7:15 p.m. in the Potsdam Civic Center Community Room in Potsdam, N.Y.

[A photograph for media use is available at]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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