Science Café

The cafés were funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Science Cafés were events that facilitated the public to engage in conversations about scientific topics outside of the usual academic settings.

Science Cafés, also known as Café Scientifique, started in the UK in the 1990s and have now spread to over 30 countries around the world. Science Cafés offer a forum for debating issues of science and technology and aim to keep science accountable.

OUCRU started the Vietnamese Science Café movement (Café Khoa Học) in 2011 in partnership with the Youth Unions in local universities in Ho Chi Minh City Viet Nam to provide students with a forum for lively discussions about modern science and health-related issues. We aimed to encourage enquiry and debate for students whose traditional education system was generally more didactic.


Key Milestones / Activities

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Cafés were held at the University of Science, Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Agriculture and Forestry, and with the HCMC Young Scientist’s Club.

Topics ranged from “The role of ethics in medicine”, “Health animals, happy people”, “Mangroves and the environment”, and “The role of the media in the recent Hand Foot Mouth outbreak”. In 2014-15 we ran a series of Science Cafés with junior doctors atHospital for Tropical Diseases, HCMC.


Hue, Vietnam

OUCRU at HCMC led the first ever Science Café at Hue Medical University on 29th October 2016. The speaker was Dr. Pham Ngoc Thanh, and she presented the topic: Communication – Art or Skill?

There were 36 attendees. Most of them were newly graduated doctors from Hue Medical University who majored in Public Health.

“Good communication between doctors and patients is key for effective treatment. Improving listening skills is a challenge but interesting to discuss.”

Dr. Phạm Ngọc Thanh at the event



In this project, we convened Science Cafés with journalists, called ‘Journalism meets Science’. Our aim was to connect journalists working in print and news media with principles of science and research.

4 Science Café events took place between 2021 and 2022. 65 journalists attended the events.

Read more about this project Journalism meets Science here.



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