Translational Research: Science Café

Science Café has been used to foster informal interactions among scientists and community members.

The University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic are implementing Science Cafés in communities whose members' identities are rooted in distinct cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The overall goal of Science Café involves encouraging disseminating reliable information through open conversations and peer-to-peer learning. Science Café looks to improve health and science literacy levels in underrepresented communities by utilizing digital media while simultaneously increasing these communities’ access to, engagement with and participation in clinical research and translational science. After examining and comparing communication across diverse languages, the research team looks to improve communication strategies and spread information to further support clinical and translational science.  

In detail, Science Café aims to:

1. Learn through a retrospective pre and post repeated measures research design whether Science Cafés conducted for attendees from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds improves attendee health and scientific literacy

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2. Collect data on Science Café conversations that inform a grounded theory study that seeks to understand and to identify strategies for engaging diverse populations in translational research

3. Iteratively translate and disseminate information learned from the Science Cafés to a digital platform.

4. Assess engagement of diverse communities or special populations in the Science Café digital platform through the RE-AIM framework.

Bringing Science Café into the digital landscape is an effective way to circulate information as well as utilize visual communication strategies to further connect with various distinct cultural and linguistic groups. Moving forward, Science Café is looking to increase engagement and participation through social media platforms.