Penn Science and Lightbulb Cafe Lecture Series - 2018

Since 2005, the Penn Science Cafe has shined a spotlight on Penn research in the sciences. The Penn Lightbulb Cafe debuted in 2011 to illuminate research in social science, arts and humanities. The lectures, held on Tuesday evenings at World Cafe Live Upstairs, are free and open to the public. Each talk begins at 6 p.m. and is followed by an audience Q&A session. Cafe goers can come early for 5-6 p.m. happy hour specials. RSVP not required. Seating is limited. The two lecture series are presented by the School of Arts & Sciences in partnership with the Office of University. Communications. Dinner reservations are managed separately through World Cafe Live.

All events are held at: 

World Cafe Live Upstairs
3025 Walnut St.
6–7 p.m. 


Tuesday, Jun 12 – PENN SCIENCE CAFE

Projit Mukharji, associate professor of history and the sociology of science, School of Arts and Sciences
“Who Do You Think You Are? Modern Identities Between Genes and Rebirths, India c. 1950s-1980s”
What makes us who we are? Is it our genes? Or is it in fact our memories? Projit Bihari Mukharji will discuss how, in newly-independent India two new sciences, genetics and parapsychology, both tried to answer this question in their distinctive ways. At the time both the disciplines were themselves also struggling to define their identities. Even as the quests for disciplinary identities were interlaced with the quest to define human identities scientifically, their political resonances with identity politics and nation-building were too obvious to ignore. As scientists, their methods and their questions moved between these various levels; scientific questions about human identity also became questions about the identity of science itself.

And save these dates for fall 2018:

Tuesday, Sept. 11 – PENN LIGHTBULB CAFE

Tuesday, Sept. 25 – PENN SCIENCE CAFE


Tuesday, Oct. 23 – PENN SCIENCE CAFE

Tuesday, Nov. 13 – PENN LIGHTBULB CAFE

Tuesday, Dec. 4 – PENN SCIENCE CAFE