Department of Chemistry

Fall Science Cafés held in Portland to recognize 50th anniversary of Silent Spring

The University of Southern Maine and Cornerstones of Science announce the first 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 p.m. throughout the fall. The fall Science Cafés in the Atrium will center around the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, to explain how far we have come and what challenges remain, since its publication on September 20, 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.  

Along with student facilitators from USM, the discussions will be led by:

  • Dave Champlin, Biology (Sep 27)
  • Travis Wagner, Environmental Science (Oct 25) and,
  • Lucille Benedict, Chemistry (Nov 29)

These 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 at the end of the school/work day 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.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Dean, USM College of Science, Technology, and Health, at 207-780-4149 or