Science Café mixes science with art on April 12

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The Division of Polymer Chemistry and the Division of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering (POLY/PMSE) chapter of American Chemical Society will show the links between polymer science and art at 5:30 p.m. at the 3D Art Building on April 12.

April Fogel, president of the Southern Miss POLY/PMSE, said that the chapter tries to host, perform, and provide opportunities for grad students to participate in events that encourage professional and scientific development.

“As a club, we try to have a balance of professional events that are internal, as well as activities that outreach to the public,” Fogel said. “The purpose of a science café is to engage the public in a scientific discussion on a pertinent scientific topic.”

“We want to bring polymer scientists and artists together and show them that these two fields can merge together and create a beautiful thing,” Vice president of the POLY/PMSE Cassandra Reese said.

“The science café is a good way to show the interdisciplinary sections of science itself. I know a lot of are scared when they hear the word science or subject of science, but they don’t understand that they interact with science everyday,” Jessica Davison, secretary of the POLY/PMSE said.

Fogel said that there is usually an expert on the area at hand. Professor at Louisiana State University John Pojman will be opening the discussion with a demonstration of a special clay he created.

“I got the idea to for this science café using Dr. Pojman because he gave a seminar last semester,” Fogel said. “He is a very quirky guy, but he has a lot of character. His research is really interesting because it has applications that he didn’t intend on.”

Reese explained that the departments seminars are more technical and that Pojman utilizes a hands-on approach to make lectures more engaging.

“A lot of people—especially at the university—are judgmental of polymer science. I feel like I get a bad vibe when I tell someone I am in polymer science.” Reese said, “[The café] is a way to portray polymer science to the general audience which I think is the most important thing”