We meet in Branford, CT, about once every 4-6 weeks and topics discussed range from physical sciences, to life sciences and social sciences.  A knowledge of the topic being discussed is not required, nor is there any membership requirement or age restriction.  Perhaps the only requirement is curiosity and a thirst for knowledge! Science and technology are integral to every aspect of life - history, geography, humanities, music - everything.

The fundamental reason for Tilde Café's existence is to demystify science and to make it more accessible to all.  

As of July 2014, the IRS has recognized Tilde Cafe as a 501(c)(3) organization. Gifts are deductible to the full extent allowed under IRS regulations.

A new view of the tree of life

Figure 1





Mathematics Awareness Month 
April 2015



NOVA Betahttp://nature.nps.gov/geology/nationalfossilday/overview.cfm

Now for a piece of excellent news for Tilde Cafe: as of January 23, 2009 you can find a link to us on the science cafes website maintained by WGBH Educational Foundation - WGBH is the public television station out of Boston, and produces NOVA among many other fantastic shows.  Tilde Cafe is the only listed science cafe in CT, and the only one between NYC and Boston! 





© 2009 Deepti Pradhan and Tilde Cafe

April 2, 2016

Addressing and arresting the burden of NCDs

The weather is being duplicitous here in Connecticut, so participating in the most recent cafe discussion led by Dr. Christine Ngaruiya was an excellent anchor in reality. This was perhaps the most interactive cafe afternoon, with Dr. Ngaruiya asking attendees to form groups and discuss ways to address the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases. And for the groups to do that, she first gave us a background on the defining criteria of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). These are diseases that are not passed from person to person; that are generally slow in progression; and that are often chronic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated that there are four major NCDs: cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes. Obesity, while not yet a major NCD is quickly gathering steam, and it is often the common denominator across the four major NCDs.
A quick check to see how many people attending the cafe knew of someone suffering from one or more of these diseases, was an eyeopener to understanding how pervasive the problem of NCDs has become.

The numbers are absolutely staggering: in 2012, 38 million of the 56 million deaths across the globe, or 68% of all deaths on this planet were due to NCDs. The four major NCDs accounted for 31.2 million of these deaths, i.e, 82% of all deaths on this planet were from the four major NCDs.

The burden of NCDs is disproportionately borne by low and middle income communities - 75% of NCD deaths occur in these communities. This makes access to healthcare, education, and early intervention perhaps the most effective ways to arrest the NCD epidemic. Armed with the data she gave us, Dr. Ngaruiya asked us to come up with ways that the problem could be addressed. After a spirited multi-group discussion we shared our solutions, and it turns out that they mirrored the WHO suggestions outlined for achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for NCDs.

This is a snapshot of the outcome from the group discussions:

Ignorance (of the scale of the epidemic of NCDs) was an NCD that was arrested for those who attended the cafe - thank you, Dr. Ngaruiya! To get the whole story on her NCD discussion, you can watch the video of the afternoon at https://www.youtube.com/user/tildecafe/featured 

With apologies to Charles Darwin: Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by [a concerted effort or] science.

The next cafe discussion will be on June 4. Until then, enjoy past cafe videos, and eat your pulses - they are one more solution to curbing NCDs. Spring should be here by then!

It is with deep sadness that we share the news that Paul Hudak who spoke at Tilde Cafe on April 5, 2014 passed away on April 29, 2015 after a long battle with leukemia. Despite his health, he was kind enough to make the trek to come to Branford and give us a peek into the exciting work he was doing on Music, Math and Computation. Our condolences go out to his family.

You can view his cafe talk here: