Education Café® Series


Zoom Café 5: Monday 20 September 2021, 5:30 – 7:00

In conversation with Dr Adam Smith (Chief Scientific Officer, Nobel Foundation)

Receiving a Nobel Prize brings prestige and a nice cheque, but it also conveys a responsibility to support a number of worthy endeavours – both academic and educational. Important among these is the setting of aspirations for young people, and inspiring them in their studies. 

Adam Smith works with the Nobel Laureates, interacting especially with young people and their teachers in a worldwide programme of lectures, dialogues and digital content about the great challenges of our time. Activities related to the legacy of Alfred Nobel and also to the achievements of the Nobel Laureates are designed to inspire and encourage today’s young learners.

Join us to find out how Nobel Prizes decisions are made and to consider questions like:

  • What does the Nobel Prize outreach programme consist of, and how does it work?
  • How are the goals of the outreach programme determined?
  • What are the successes and the challenges of the programme?
  • How do you evaluate the impact of a programme with a long-term goal of inspiring young people?

This free online Education Café® will be in the Society’s usual three parts:

5:30 – A live interview with Dr Adam Smith (Nobel Prize Outreach)

6:00 – Breakout rooms for small group discussion of the issues raised

6:30 – Open discussion and questions to the speaker

7:00 – Close

Dr Adam Smith is Chief Scientific Officer at Nobel Prize Outreach. After Fellowships in molecular biology, neuroscience and physiology in Oxford, Harvard and Heidelberg he pursued research in developmental neuroscience at Oxford University before moving into science publishing, working with Nature Publishing Group as a Chief Editor and Publisher, and then as Journals Publishing Director at Informa Healthcare. 

His role at Nobel Prize Outreach includes directing the Nobel Prize Inspiration Initiative, an educational programme that takes Nobel Laureates to meet and inspire the next generation of scientists around the world, curating the content of the global science & society meeting series, the Nobel Prize Dialogue, and hosting the ongoing Nobel Prize Conversations series of podcasts.

COMPLETED EVENTS – with links to resources

Zoom Café 4: Monday 21June

Rethinking Neurodiversity – moving from Labels to People with Prof. Amanda Kirby (University of South Wales). Click here for resources from this event.

Zoom Café 3: Monday 17 May 2021

In conversation with Robin Balbernie (Infant Mental Health Specialist)
The First 1001 Days – Right from the start. Click here for resources from this event.

Zoom Café 2: held on Monday 22 February 2021

In conversation with Professor Bill Lucas – University of Winchester
Rethinking Assessment – recognising all the strengths of a young person

Zoom Café 1: held on Monday 2 November 2020
Online presentation of “Resilience” – an award-winning film about Adverse Childhood Experiences, followed by Q&A with an expert panel.  More details.

In normal times …

STE Education Cafés® at The Pantry, Cornerstone, 5:30-7:00

An Education Café® is a discussion held in informal surroundings, and generally consists of three parts:

  • an introduction by an expert on a topic of current educational interest (15-20 min)
  • small group discussion around the café tables (~ 40 min)
  • open discussion with the speaker on the issues raised (~ 30 min)

Hot and cold drinks are available for purchase, but there is no charge for attendance.

The event originally planned for Monday 4 May 2020 is postponed until face-to-face Cafés become feasible again: The Spectrum of Education and Learning from Within (Jill Baird – Art therapist)

Education Conference 2019

Entitled, “A dawn of a new education world in Wales – what does it mean?”, it was opened by the Education Minister for Wales, Kirsty Williams, supported by the Police & Crime Commissioner for S. Wales, Alun Michael and the Chair of the RSA Advisory Committee for Wales, Professor Jane Davidson, a former Education Minister.  Full details here

Education Cafés® 2019-20

Café 1

Recognising ‘skills for life’: The importance of non-formal learning  – a discussion led by Prof Manuel Souto-Otero, Cardiff University.

Notes of this Café discussion are available here.

Café 2

“Education in Wales: Fit for the Future?”  – a discussion led by Prof Calvin Jones, Cardiff Business School.

In Summer 2019, Professor Calvin Jones of Cardiff Business School, and Sophie Howe, Wales’ Commissioner for Future Generations, outlined a vision of an inclusive, futureproofed and bespoke educational approach for schoolchildren in Wales. Their Report, Fit for the Future, also outlines the changes necessary to make this vision a reality, and to make the new curriculum a success.

Café 3

Inequality in the Education of Boys – a discussion led by Alan Evans OBE, Educational Consultant, Cardiff

The underachievement of boys in relation to academic performance has proved to be a chronic and not self-correcting feature of education in England and Wales over many decades.  If, for instance, in September 2018, the percentage of males entering higher education in E&W had been the same as the percentage of females, there would have been 38,000 additional male entrants.  This underachievement also affects the access of males to the labour market, and their contribution to society in general.  Alan Evans has monitored this issue for the past 20 years, and made representations to governments about it.  Sadly, the problem is generally ignored.