The University of Southampton
Public Engagement with Research

Researchers' Cafe

Researchers' Café
Researchers' Café

Listen, sip, discuss.

The Researchers' Café enables researchers to meet each other and other staff, students and the public and discuss their research in an informal space.



The next Researchers’ Café is on Friday 25 November and has the theme of ‘hope and fear’. It will take place at Mettricks Old Town (117 High Street) as part of the Human Worlds festival. The Facebook event is here.


The Rationality of Hope and Fear, with Dr Brian McElwee, Philosophy

• Are emotions like hope and fear rational?

• Is it rational to worry if worrying won’t do any good? Is it rational to hope if all that does is make us feel better?

• Can evidence about the evolutionary function of emotions guide us in thinking about when emotions are rational? 

• Can thinking about the rationality of beliefs help us to think about the rationality of emotions?


Representations of Male Rape in Family Film, with Isaac Gustafsson Wood, Film Studies

• How has male rape been represented on film?

• How do films aimed at a family audience represent male rape in a comedic way?

• How does comedy impact on rape representations? 

• In the context of our ‘hopes and fears’ theme, what do these representations symbolise?


Dreaming of the Future on the Final Frontier, with Tom Ellis, History

• Does Humanity’s destiny lie in outer space?

• What do visions of the future tell us about the societies they come from?

• Why do nations spend vast sums of money on space exploration?

• What does the Space Race tell us about the Cold War? 


The popular Researchers’ Café has events once or twice per month. Always free to attend and no need to register, although people can join the events listed on the Facebook group here.

This 2 minute film provides an overview of the Researchers' Café:

What are the aims of the Researchers' Café?

For Researchers who have volunteered to lead a discussion, you will get to practice explaining your research and may gain new insights and ideas. You will also receive a free Researchers' Café t-shirt!

For those attending (whether a researcher or not), this is an informal way to meet other researchers. Come along for a fun evening, learn and stretch your grey matter!

How does the Researchers' Café work?

After time to grab a drink everyone will join one of the researchers who have prepared to talk about their subject area - there will usually be 3 presenting researchers at each event. On each table will be bullet point 'conversation starters' to prompt discussion or questions. Attendees are free to drop-in, switch tables or leave at any time.

Project Lead: Dr Tony Curran, Public Engagement with Research unit,

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