College of Science, Technology, and Health

Science Café in Portland: The evolution of thought since Silent Spring (Travis Wagner, October 25)

The University of Southern Maine and Cornerstones of Science announce the second in a series of Science Cafés to be held at Portland Public Library on the last Thursday of each month from 5:30-6:30 pm throughout the fall. The fall 2012 Science Cafés in the Atrium will center around the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, to explore how far we have come and what challenges remain, since its publication on September 27, 1962. Researchers from USM’s College of Science, Technology, & Health will lead the discussions based on the research underway that is seeking to better understand human-environment relationships in the fields of biology, chemistry and ecology. 

Upcoming discussions will be led by:

  • Travis Wagner, Environmental Science (Thursday, October 25) - Who should be accountable for waste & pollution? The evolution of thought since Silent Spring, and,
  • Lucille Benedict, Chemistry (Thursday, November 29) - Street Dust's dirty little secrets.

Local scientists will share the real stories behind their research in Maine and why it’s important to us today, and in the future.  The Science Café format is an informal approach to discussing and understanding scientific research and its relevance to people in their everyday lives.

The events will be held in Portland Public Library’s open, glass-walled atrium that faces Monument Square in Portland and will offer light refreshments in an informal, casual atmosphere. Students, young professionals and anyone interested in getting the inside look at what scientists are doing – and why – are invited to attend.  The events are free and open to the public.


Sponsoring organizations:

CSTH is a progressive unit of the University of Southern Maine that provides educational, research, and service opportunities relating to the application of science, technology, and health to the medical, industrial, educational, and business communities.  For more information, contact


Cornerstones of Science – bringing science to life in local libraries since 1999 - is the award-winning science literacy initiative based in Brunswick, Maine.  The mission of Cornerstones of Science is to connect people of all ages to science and technology through great books, programs and events at public libraries. For more information, contact


The library mission is to serve the Greater Portland Community by providing a diverse collection of books and other resources, with access to information resources worldwide. The library's services support the educational, informational, and recreational interests of all community members.  


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