Monday, December 11, 2017
Rethinking Ink: Lasers, Tattoo Removal, and Second Chances
Joseph Klett, Chemical Heritage Foundation

There was a time when tattoos were taboo, and you thought long and hard before getting one. Today 20 percent of American adults are inked. Tattoos just don’t carry the stigma they once did—unless it’s a particular kind of tattoo, in a particular place on the body. Fortunately, as our penchant for getting tattoos has grown, so has our ability to get rid of them. In the 1960s, researchers started experimenting with lasers to remove tattoos, and since then the technology has dramatically improved. Now we can erase our past, whether it’s a sailor’s drunken decision from overseas or a gang insignia that prevents its owner from getting a job—and could even get him killed. Sociologist and CHF Beckman Legacy Project research fellow Joseph Klett traces the modern history of tattoo removal through the stories of his father—a retired sailor—and ex-gang members in California.

Monday, November 13, 2017
Gone Fishing… for Bugs! How Swann Fountain Helps us Understand Urban Insects
Isa Betancourt, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

The urban environment presents unique challenges for insect collecting. The concrete, manicured landscapes, and constant flow of people create obstacles for setting up traditional insect traps. One fine day in 2013, when lunching in Logan Square, Curatorial Assistant of Entomology at the the Academy of Natural Sciences, Isa Betancourt, noticed insects floating around the waters of the fountain. From that day, the Swann Fountain Insect Project took off! It utilizes the Philly fountain fixture as the insect trap. During this evening of Science on Tap, become acquainted with your urban insect neighbors and hear tales unique to urban fountain field work.

Monday, October 9, 2017
Arts on Tap: How Science and Art Together Will Save the World
Christina Catanese, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

How can art not just look good, but dogood? How can science not just help us know, but help us act, and feel? Though often thought of as separate or disconnected disciplines, art and science share common values and methodologies; driven by curiosity, cross-disciplinary efforts between the arts and sciences can produce unexpected solutions to pressing ecological challenges, as well as engage audiences with scientific information in more accessible and compelling ways. Director of Environmental Art Christina Catanese will explore how art can impact on attitudes around environmental topics, and how art-science partnerships can address ecological challenges directly. She will discuss the field of environmental art, the environmental art exhibition program at the Schuylkill Center, and, being a modern dancer and hydrologist herself, her own choreography exploring river systems and pathways.

Monday, September 11, 2017
Ancient Architects: The 5,000-Year Lead Up To America’s First City
Megan Kassabaum, Penn Museum

Larger than the city of London at the time, the ancient city of Cahokia thrived in what is now rural Illinois from AD 1050 – 1300. In addition to creating beautiful artifacts and participating in elaborate rituals, the 20,000 people who inhabited this city constructed massive earthen mounds. While the mounds at Cahokia are some of the largest and most elaborate examples of pre-Columbian monumental architecture in the United States, the practice of mound building has a 5,000 year history. This talk investigates the origins of America’s first city by considering these precursors.

Monday, August 14, 2017
Science on Tap Un-Tapped: Science Quizzo!
With special guest Broken Goblet Brewing

Join Science on Tap for the return of our beloved science Quizzo – this time at the American Philosophical Society’s Philosophical Hall in August! Lead your team to victory over questions covering science history, natural sciences, anatomy, science in pop culture, and more. Our special emcee and quizmaster is Mike LaCouture, cofounder and co-owner of Broken Goblet Brewing, who graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia with a bachelor’s degree in science and then pursued a master’s degree in advanced biology at his alma mater. Expect two rounds of question-and-answer trivia, a music round, and a wild and wacky photo identification round. Enjoy pub snacks and a delicious beer tasting from our friends at Broken Goblet Brewing. Prizes will be awarded for the first- and second-place teams.

Monday, July 10, 2017
Digital Gaming and Science Education: An Innovative Partnership in a Digital Era
Carla Brown, Drexel University College of Medicine

Mobile games or ‘apps’ are a permanent fixture within the daily lives of digital natives. However, they also provide a promising medium for learning of complex content such as concepts in biomedical sciences. Carla Brown, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Drexel University College of Medicine is researching the use of digital games for science education. After completing her PhD in microbiology at University of Glasgow, Dr. Brown began investigating the use of mobile games for educating students on antibiotic resistance. This work inspired her to launch science game company Game Dr. and, to date, she has designed 5 educational games that cover different concepts in microbiology. In this exciting and enlightening talk, Dr. Brown will discuss the potential for digital games in science education, explore the creative partnerships required for this process and touch upon her current research at Drexel University.

Monday, June 12, 2017
Lagers with the Ladies
Penn Graduate Women in Science & Engineering (PGWISE)

Penn Graduate Women in Science and Engineering is excited to partner with Science on Tap to help showcase awesome science being done by women around the city. Our three different presenters: Dr. Montserrat Anguera, Julia Kahn, and Meredith Rebar, have varied interests but share a mutual love of biology and chemistry. Montserrat is an Associate Professor at Penn and her talk: “Why Sex Matters: How the X-chromosome Influences Disease Susceptibility” focuses on how sex can influence the outcome of disease. Julia is a senior graduate student at Penn and she will be discussing the effects of epilepsy on the brain in her talk: “How epilepsy can put you in a fog.” Our last speaker is Meredith Rebar who is going to give a short primer on the science of craft brewing in her talk: “It’s Bigger on the Inside: How Your Beer Actually Goes from Grain to Glass.”

Monday, May 8, 2017
Botanical Time Travel: Viewing the Past with Modern Techniques and Historic Plant Collections
Jordan Teisher, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Herbaria – library-like collections of pressed and dried plants – have informed studies of plant diversity for hundreds of years. These collections still serve many of the same purposes for which they were originally established, including identification, new species discovery, and biodiversity surveys. However, new techniques in molecular biology, stable isotope chemistry, and “big data” computation have made use of herbarium specimens in ways their collectors could never have anticipated. Learn about the rapidly expanding roles played by plant collections in ecology, environmental science, and biodiversity studies.

Monday, April 24, 2017
Science on Tap Un-Tapped: Scientific Malarkey! (Science Festival Event)
Various Speakers

This special PSF Science on Tap explored debunked theories that were once accepted as reality in the scientific world. In flash talks, five speakers dove into beliefs that clouded scientific reasoning throughout history, from physiognomy to bloodletting to theories of evolution. Between flash talks, the audience rated the most outrageous stories and shared “modern malarkeys” that they believed as children.

Monday, March 13, 2017
The Basalt of the Earth (And Mars)
Steven Chemtob, Temple University

It could be a while before humans get to Mars to study the planet’s formation. Fortunately, there are places here on Earth with similar geological environments where scientists can learn about the Martian planet. One such destination is the Big Island of Hawaii—that’s where Temple University professor Steven Chemtob studies basaltic rock, lava flows, and other geologic phenomena that hold important clues about Mars’ mysteries.

Monday, February 13, 2017
Love Birds: Mating Rituals of Birds
Rhyan Grech and Jeremy Taitano, Audubon Pennsylvania

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Audubon Pennsylvania staff will be discussing the weird, creative and adorable mating rituals of bird species from around the world! From air to land to sea, these physical traits and behaviors will put to shame our most romantic gestures.

Monday, January 9, 2017
Imperfecta: We Really Are All Abnormal
Beth Lander, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Did you know that physicians used the word “monster” as an officially defined medical term well into the 20th century? What made a person a “monster?”  How did people throughout history respond to the idea of the “monstrous?”  Join Beth Lander, Librarian of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, in an exploration of what made us medically monstrous, and how the Library and the Mütter Museum will explore that idea in a new exhibit, Imperfecta, set to open in March 2017.