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Clarkson University Sets Science Cafes for Fall in Potsdam & Canton

Local university professors will once again take to the stage starting Tuesday, Sept. 15, for the "Science Café."

Science CafeScience 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 Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m. in a new location, the St. Lawrence Valley Roasters & Jernabi Coffeehouse, 11 Maple St. in Potsdam, N.Y.

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

How Immune Cells Collaborate to Protect Us
Sept. 15: Canton
Sept. 16: Potsdam

How does a vaccine work? How are bacteria and viruses destroyed in our bodies? Why does the body sometimes attack its own tissues? Join St. Lawrence University Assistant Professor of Biology Kari Heckman as she introduces the cells of the immune system and explains how they work together to protect our bodies from disease without damaging our own tissues.

Big Data: Big Promise, Big Problems
Sept. 29: Canton
Sept. 30: Potsdam

The data that we record daily about ourselves through our cell phones, credit card purchases, emails, social media postings, etc., helps us connect with each other and improve our life quality. But we do not own nor control most of this data. Join Clarkson University Associate Professor of Computer Science Jeanna Matthews as she discusses the good and the bad in this powerful information technology, including a number of cases -- some inspiring, some terrifying -- and what we can do as citizens to obtain the promise of big data while mitigating some of the worst problems.

From Red Blood Cells to New Bio-Devices
Oct. 20: Canton
Oct. 21: Potsdam

Red blood cells zip through micron-wide capillaries almost friction-free, surviving hundreds of thousands of passages during their nearly 120-days lifespan. Join Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering Parisa Mirbod as she describes ongoing efforts to design new porous bio-devices -- a boon for such practical applications as underground oil recovery and biomedical slow drug delivery -- that are inspired by the amazing properties of the humble capillaries.

Development and Function of the Digestive System
Nov. 3: Canton
Nov. 4: Potsdam

Most people only think of what goes in and comes out of the digestive system and are not familiar with what happens in between. The digestive tract is one of our largest immune organs, and it has its own neural system, earning it the nickname, "the second brain." Join Clarkson University Associate Professor of Biology Ken Wallace as he explains the organization and function of organs in the digestive tract as it develops from a simple tube during embryogenesis.

Air Pollution in a Changing World
Nov. 17: Canton
Nov. 18: Potsdam

How do we define the quality of our air? How much of our air quality is dependent on what we do locally versus regionally or even globally. With the global migration of industrial activity, development of new emission control technologies, and changes in global climate, what can we expect for air quality changes in our neighborhood and around the globe? Join Clarkson University Professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Suresh Dhaniyala as he describes the current air quality standards and the evolution of U.S. air quality over the last several decades and changes in global air quality currently underway.

Find out more about Clarkson's Science Cafe at .

Email 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.

[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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