Upcoming events

Monday, April 14, 2014
6 p.m.
National Mechanics
22 South Third St.
Philadelphia 19106
Doors open at 5pm. Ages 21+ or with a chaperone 25 years or older.

Culturing Food: History, Health & Fermentation

Featuring  folklorist, freelance writer, and food blogger Adam D. Zolkover

What do The Epic of Gilgamesh, James Cook’s Voyage Toward the South Pole and Round the World, the dairies of Gruyères Switzerland, and our speaker’s home kitchen all have in common?  Fermentation!

Pickles! Photo by Adam D. Zolkover.

We can define fermentation as a biological process:  as the metabolization of sugars by yeasts, bacteria, and sometimes our own cells, into gases, acids, and alcohol.  For denizens of the microbial world, it’s a matter of eat, then excrete.  But for humans, fermentation is a cultural process.  Bread, beer, dairy, pickles, and preserved meats have all been key ingredients in the success of agricultural, sedentary, urban societies.  And they have all been essential to long voyages of exploration.
This talk explores the intermingling of science and history in the kitchen.  And it explores some of the practical aspects of fermentation for home cooks today.

 Adam D. Zolkover is a folklorist, freelance writer, and food blogger living in Philadelphia, PA.  He serves as editor of the Institute for Civility in Government’s online initiative – The Civility Blog – and teaches courses in folklore, literature, and popular culture at Philadelphia University, Temple University, and The University of Pennsylvania.  He has run workshops on fermentation and lacto-pickling for the Mount Airy Learning Tree.  And he is owner and proprietor of twice-cooked.com, where he writes about food culture, sustainable cooking, and the preparation and consumption of all manners of delicious fermented things.

April’s Science on Tap is hosted by the Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.


Monday, April 28, 2014
6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30)

Science Quizzo

Part of the Philadelphia Science Festival

Science on Tap presents its fourth annual Science Quizzo as part of the Philadelphia Science Festival. Teams square off to answer tidbits of science trivia in this all-out battle for top scientific prowess. Awesome prizes will be awarded to the top 3 teams!

Quizzo Emcee: Dan Ueda, physics teacher, head of Central High School’s Robotics team the Robolancers and Philadelphia Geek Awards‘s Geek of the Year 2013

Monday, May 12, 2014
6 p.m.

Some Questions to Ask Ben Franklin

Featuring  professor and APS Executive Officer Keith Thomson

Benjamin Franklin’s most famous experiment supposedly involved a kite and a key. But what was it for? Did he actually do it? In fact, could he have done it? Alternatively, why are some authors so keen to suggest it is all a fake?

Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky

Keith ThomsonKeith Thomson is Executive Officer of the American Philosophical Society and Professor Emeritus of natural history at the University of Oxford. He previously taught for many years at Yale and was President of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. He is the author of 12 books including The Young Charles Darwin (2009) and Jefferson’s Shadow: the Story of his Science (2012).

remaining dates for the 2013/2014 program year.

Check back for speaker and topic updates.

April 14, 2014 - hosted by the Mütter Museum
April 28, 2014 – Science on Tap Quizzo!
May 12, 2014 - hosted by the American Philosophical Society Museum
June 9, 2014 - hosted by the Wagner Free Institute of Science
July 14, 2014  - hosted by the Academy of Natural Sciences
August * HIATUS

Check out our past topics!