PKAL's Café Scientifique (An Adaptation)

For many years, in many countries and in cities and towns across America and across the world, regular conversations about science have been sponsored under the umbrella concept of "Café Scientifique," which provides a non-academic place (in which food and beverages are available) to discuss contemporary scientific and technological issues.

PKAL is adapting the concept to inaugurate a monthly series of PKAL Café SQ Conversations. They will be both virtual and actual.

The goal is to spark and sustain local conversations about matter of import to colleagues with responsibility for developing leaders— students as well as faculty in STEM fields. This initiative grew out of discussions at PKAL meetings during 2007 about the importance of taking time to talk as a key dimension of leadership development. A further catalyst for the conversations was a felt need for opportunities for conversations that cut across boundaries of career stages, disciplines, and academic spheres of responsibility. Thus, although F21 members have a special invitation to become the on-campus liaison, the invitation is open to senior faculty, administrative colleagues across the campus.

We also invite reports about the Café Scientifique activities already underway across the country, and will post them as they are received. As you will note from reviewing the link above, one push for these conversations was to engage the public in discussions about issues relating to science and technology— to get these discussions out of the lab and into the community.

Upcoming Conversations

May 7, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. EDT

A conversation with Susan Sciame-Giesecke, Dean, School of Arts and Sciences–Indiana University Kokomo

    Topic: Defining faculty leadership: developing leaders within the ranks as teachers, scholars, and campus citizens

    Moderator: Katerina Thompson, Director of Undergraduate Research & Internship Programs— University of Maryland College Park [PKAL F21]

Conversation Archive

January 29, 2008 at 1:30 p.m. EST

A conversation with James Gentile, President— Research Corporation

    Moderator: Jeffrey N. Dahlseid, Associate Professor of Biology— Gustavus Adolphus College (former Rotating Program Officer–Research Corporation. [PKAL F21])

Audio Recording of Call (wav)

February 25, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. EST

A conversation with Paul Erdahl, Vice President, Executive & Leadership Development— The Medtronic Corporation

    Topic: Exploring the strategy for developing leadership talent and considering the impact of the return on investment in leadership development
    Moderators: Mary M. Walczak, Associate Professor & Chair of Chemistry [PKAL F21], and David Van Wylen, Associate Dean for Natural Sciences & Mathematics and Professor of Biology— St. Olaf College

Audio Recording of Call (wav)

Developing Leadership Talent: A Conversation with Paul Erdahl

April 21, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. EDT

A conversation with George "Barney" Forsythe, President— Westminster College and Marlene Moore, Powers Distinguished Professor of Biology— University of Portland

    Topic: The power and potential of mentors and mentoring as a tool for leadership development
    Moderator: PKAL colleagues at Western State College of Colorado


NOTE: This spring series of PKAL Café SQ Conversations is a pilot effort, to determine interest within the community and to explore the most effective means to bring critical issues to the attention of campus leaders in the most effective and efficient way. Your ideas are valued.