What we're about

If you are excited by science - but not necessarily a science professional - and you live in the Atlanta area, then the Atlanta Science Tavern is the meetup for you.

Our program is centered on a fourth Saturday of the month meeting at Manuel's Tavern, which features a speaker - typically a scientist from a nearby university or research center - who presents his or her work to a smart general audience of science enthusiasts. We also host occasional presentations as part of our ongoing Young Researchers Series, which features talks by graduate students and postdocs.

In addition, we organize social outings and field trips that provide opportunities for our members to experience science as it expresses itself in the community at large. Public lectures at local universities, most prominently the Georgia Tech College of Sciences, are a mainstay of our meetup calendar.

See you at the Tavern!

Upcoming events (3)

Discovering the genetic diversity of threatened mountain bog pitcher plants

Atlanta Botanical Garden Mershon Hall

- This event is a production of the Atlanta Botanical Garden as part of their Science Cafe series. - Although the cafe itself is free, regular charges for Garden admission apply. - Seating is on a first-come basis; RSVPs are not required to attend. - Come early or stay late to enjoy the Botanical Garden's seasonal Thursday Cocktails in the Garden. Jen Rhode Ward, Professor of Biology University of North Carolina, Asheville Western North Carolina is home to several species of pitcher plants, a charismatic and carnivorous group. Members of this group are threatened by habitat destruction, including filling wetlands for development, and by collection. The amount of genetic diversity remaining in these small and isolated populations in unknown, and reintroduction efforts could inadvertently allow cross-species hybridization. This Science Cafe will discuss the demography and genetic structure of mountain bog pitcher plants, and explore ongoing questions. About the speaker Jen Ward completed her B.A. in biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Ph.D. in Biology / Biological Oceanography from the College of William and Mary. After postdoctoral research in terrestrial plant ecology and genetics at Portland State University, she started at UNC Asheville in Fall 2007. Jen's research combines molecular, field, and statistical methods to examine several interrelated aspects of plant population biology, and she has published projects focused on plant hybridization, invasive plant species, American ginseng, the ecology of a threatened rose, and pedagogical techniques. Grants from the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Survey, and National Science Foundation support her current work. Ongoing projects in Jen's lab include examining the floral ecology and genetics of Virginia spiraea, exploring gene flow and hybridization in pitcher plants, determining relationships between medicinal properties and genotypes of American ginseng, studying the effects of climate shifts on phenology of Southern Appalachian flora, developing genetic markers for threatened plants in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and investigating shifts in food production and consumption in rural Cuba.

"American Eden" - an author talk by Pulitzer Prize finalist Victoria Johnson

Atlanta Botanical Garden Day Hall

- This event is a production of the Atlanta Botanical Garden as part of their Science Cafe series. - Although the cafe itself is free, regular charges for Garden admission apply. - Seating is on a first-come basis; RSVPs are not required to attend. - Come early or stay late to enjoy the Botanical Garden's seasonal Thursday Cocktails in the Garden. - Copies of the featured book will be available for purchase following the talk. "American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic" by Victoria Johnson Victoria Johnson, Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning Hunter College, City University of New York This illustrated lecture by historian Victoria Johnson features her new book, American Eden, which both the Wall Street Journal and Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton) have called “captivating.” American Eden was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award in Nonfiction, the 2018 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography, and the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History. It was also a New York Times Notable Book of 2018. When Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr met on a dueling ground in July 1804, they chose the same attending physician: David Hosack. Family doctor and friend to both men, Hosack is today a shadowy figure at the edge of a famous duel, the great achievements of his life forgotten. But in 1801, on twenty acres of Manhattan farmland, Hosack founded the first public botanical garden in the new nation, amassing a spectacular collection of medicinal, agricultural, and ornamental plants. Hosack used his pioneering institution to train the next generation of American doctors and naturalists and to conduct some of the first systematic pharmacological research in the United States. Today, his former garden is the site of Rockefeller Center.

Lessons from Biology & How Swarm Robots Can Help With Environmental Monitoring

Atlanta Botanical Garden Mershon Hall

- This event is a production of the Atlanta Botanical Garden as part of their Science Cafe series. - Although the cafe itself is free, regular charges for Garden admission apply. - Seating is on a first-come basis; RSVPs are not required to attend. - Come early or stay late to enjoy the Botanical Garden's seasonal Thursday Cocktails in the Garden. Magnus Egerstedt, Professor and School Chair School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines Georgia Institute of Technology Nature is filled with relatively simple organisms that can come together to solve complex tasks. The area of swarm robotics is trying to mimic this idea by making large teams of robots coordinate their activities in order to produce elegant and effective behaviors. By drawing inspiration from social insects, flocking birds, or schooling fish, this talk will describe the foundations of swarm robotics, i.e., the basic principles that allow robots to form shapes, cover areas, or move in formation. One application domain where teams of robots have already proven useful is environmental monitoring, and this talk will describe how teams of robots can be used to in this context to help with conservation tasks. About the speaker Dr. Magnus Egerstedt is the Steve W. Chaddick School Chair and Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He previously served as the Executive Director for the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at Georgia Tech, overseeing one of the largest robotics institutes in the nation. He received the M.S. degree in Engineering Physics and the Ph.D. degree in Applied Mathematics from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, the B.A. degree in Philosophy from Stockholm University, and was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Harvard University. Dr. Egerstedt conducts research in the areas of swarm robotics, with particular focus on distributed machine learning, decision making, and coordinated controls.

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