There are many other ways to delve into the world of science while enjoying a burger and a cold beer, though they’re not as hands-on as Science Night. Here are some of our favorites.
Unquestionably the hippest science party in town, the long-running Nerd Nite series is based around three witty and never-dry Power Point presentations created by self-described nerds. You might hear a local graduate student discuss his or her work on how a brain reacts to scary images or local author and NPR contributor Stefan Fatsis talking about the methods of champion Scrabble players. Between talks, rock bands take the stage and drinks flow at the bar. Want to give a presentation about your favorite subject? Speak to one of the hosts. How very D.C.: Be warned that this nerd-tastic event does sell out.
Next event: On April 13, the topics will be the most effective uses of money in politics, how the public’s lack of understanding of science leads to outcries against scientific breakthroughs and explaining why it’s so hard to predict the weather.
The second Saturday of the month at DC9, 1940 Ninth St. NW. 202-483-9000. dc.nerdnite.com. $10.
Koshland Science Museum
The Koshland Science Museum’s displays are heavy on interactive materials, and the same goes for its after-hours events. Depending on the month, you may participate in a question-and-answer session about microbes and superbugs with researchers from the National Institutes of Health or join a team to answer science trivia questions during a quiz night. Either way, snacks and drinks (wine, beer and soda) are usually included. Be sure to buy a ticket in advance, as these popular events tend to sell out.
Next event: On April 25, May Berenbaum, the head of the department of entomology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, discusses the ecology of bees, their declining populations and the Beespotter program, in which non-scientists collect and share bee data.
Monthly at the Koshland Science Museum, 525 E St. NW. 202-334-1201. www.koshland-dc.org. $10; $7 students. The day of events varies, but most are held from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Organized by the nonprofit group Ballston Science and Technology Alliance, Cafe Scientifique began in April 2006 as a way to discuss science in everyday English instead of jargon. (Sample discussion topics: “Are You a Cyborg?” and “Neuroweapons: Winning Minds and Hearts Through Drugs, Bugs & Slugs.”) Each event begins with a happy hour at the Front Page — Tuesday is half-price burger night — followed by an hour-long talk and a question-and-answer session.
Next event: On May 7, James L. Green, the director of NASA’s planetary science division, will discuss the latest discoveries by Mars rover Opportunity.
The first Tuesday of the month at the Front Page and the adjacent atrium of the National Science Foundation. 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. 703-228-0861. www.arlingtonvirginiausa.com/bsta. Happy hour begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the presentation at
D.C. Science Cafe
Speakers in this occasional series, run eight times a year by the D.C. Science Writers Association, cover a wide range of topics, from ecology to quantum mechanics.
Next event: On April 23, George Washington University neuroscientist Sarah Shomstein presents a talk titled “Pay Attention! A Neuroscientist Ponders What It Takes To Stay On Task.” The event runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
At Busboys and Poets, 1025 Fifth St. NW. 202-789-2227. www.dcswa.org. Free.