Alzheimer's and Aging Science Cafe Recap

From: Justin S.
Sent on: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 12:45 PM

Thanks to those who attended last week's science cafe with George Perry on aging and dementia treatments and made it a success. I have posted a recap on the event below for those who could not attend.

Here is a link to the short NOVA scienceNow video (12 minutes) I was hoping to show you prior to discussion.

Of Mice and Memory:

Look forward to an upcoming science social where we can kick back, relax, and wonder.

Have a good week!

Here is my review of the May 26 Science Cafe on "Recovering Lost Memories: Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Research" with George Perry. Of the 29 attendees, at least 6 (Larry, George Perry, PA, Terry Smith, you, and I) were Sigma Xi members. The schedule went as follows:

7:20 pm - Introduction of our guest, and George began an introduction of AD research
7:40 pm - Moderator opened the floor up for discussion
8:20 pm - Present Sigma Xi plaque as gift, gave away 6 Science Cafe hats courtesy of WGBH and NOVA ScienceNow, and break for mixing

Most attendees stayed another hour to talk and hang out. It turned out to be a great networking opportunity and a lot of fun.

We had planned to use the conference room TV to show a video clip of NOVA ScienceNow to stimulate discussion, but Lion & Rose had some technical difficulties with their equipment. Still, I think it is a great spot for <30 people. I am looking into having future cafes at Radius Cafe as well.

For an idea of how the conversation flowed, after George's introduction, questions from the group addressed possible immunological causes of AD, whether brain waves are a factor in the disease, do vitamin E supplements slow aging, and the future of potential treatments. The group consisted of family members of AD patients, undergraduate and graduate students in immunology, neuroscience, etc., software developers, mathematicians, health care professionals, biotech business developers, and others not professionally affiliated with sciences or research. Feedback about the speaker was overwhelmingly positive, with comments that Dr. Perry presented the information at a sufficient depth to maintain interest and to stimulate thoughtful discussion. Overall, this event was a success.

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