Chai & Why?

first Sunday of every month at 11:00
at the Prithvi Theatre (Juhu) premises


Poster for March 1 Chai and Why

"Chai and Why?" is jointly organised by TIFR and Prithvi Theatre, Juhu. It is a monthly forum to enable informal discussions of interesting scientific issues outside a traditional academic setting. Building on the format of the popular "Cafe Scientifique" in Europe and "Science Cafe" in the US, "Chai and Why?" aims to engage people who are interested in science but generally never have the opportunity to discuss their views with, and ask questions of, someone "in the know". "Chai and Why?" aims to be informal and accessible - much more so than a public lecture. With a casual meeting place, plain language, and inclusive conversation we want to create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for people with no science background, so that anyone can participate.

"Chai and Why?" aims to cover a wide range of issues relating to science and technology, in particular topics that affect our world today - global warming, nanotechnology, space exploration, stem cells etc. We welcome suggestions from the audience about topics that they would like to be discussed.

Format? "Chai and Why?" will start with a very short introductory talk from the speaker, who is usually a scientist. After this there is usually a short break to allow discussions, chai (of course) and conversations to start. This is followed by an hour or so of questions and answers and general discussion. Anyone can ask a question, and we positively welcome those which begin "This might be a stupid question, but ..." These questions are invariably not stupid and often rather insightful.

Where and When? "Chai and Why?" will be held on the first Sunday of every month at 11:00 am at the Prithvi Theatre (Juhu) premises. There is no Registration and no entry fee for "Chai and Why?". Just turn up, and do bring your questions along!

"Chai and Why?" kicks off on Sunday January 4th 2009, (co-incidentally the birthday of Isaac Newton!) with a topic to make a bright beginning for the New Year. Dr. Arnab Bhattacharya from TIFR will discuss the bright world of laser light. When lasers were invented in 1960, they were called "a solution looking for a problem". However, since then, they are all around us, finding utility in thousands of applications in everyday life, including consumer electronics, information technology, science, medicine, industry, law enforcement, entertainment, and the military. From eye surgery to shooting down missiles or even spaceships in movies, the intense beam of a laser has captivated society. Come and discover the science and the science fiction!