Science Café to be held at Frank and Joe’s Coffee House

The College of Science and Mathematics will be kicking off the beginning of a series of science cafés at Frank and Joe’s Coffee House from 3 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14.

“It is a series of science conversations between MSU faculty and the broader community,” Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics Margaret Brown Marsden said. “We hope to tap into that interest that is out there in the community.”

During the first science café, participants will be learning about rocks.  There will be an interactive discussion and participants will get to take home a rock, with the department also purchasing each person a drink of their choice along with giving out a specially-designed T-shirt for attendance.

“We are funding it through my office,” Marsden said. “I see this as a good investment to help people become aware of the science department and what we have to offer.”

Since Frank and Joe’s Coffee House opened in 2016, it has become known for its frequent wine-tastings and live music nights. Due to offering free Wi-Fi and being open late, it has built a following with college students.

“We definitely welcome everyone, but we do offer many more things to college students because we get so many during the school year,” A’Z Johnston, Frank and Joe’s manager, said. “We provide many discounts for college students, like study rooms at discounted rates or discounts on drinks from 9 to 10 p.m.”

With 35 people marked as going and 127 marked as interested on Facebook, there looks to be an interest in the event.

“It seems interesting because I used to have a rock collection growing up, which is something I think a lot of people had, so the fact that you get a rock and free coffee is really cool,” Courtney Kohl, history sophomore, said.

Marsden said this will hopefully be something done monthly with different topics discussed each time.

“The goal is to try and build that interest in science as well as find out what people are interested in,” Marsden said. “Just in the same way we hope to inform others, we hope to hear what people want to hear about.”


  • Introduction – Margaret Brown Marsden

Discussion topics:

  • “Quantum effects in molecular materials” by Randall Hallford
  • “Algorithms: recipes for science” by Jeffery Hood
  • “Hot rocks: origin stories written in volcanic minerals” by Jonathan Price