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Café Scientifique

Join us for an evening discussion event at the museum and online. Everyone’s welcome to help us explore the latest ideas in science and technology.

Next event

The next event will take place on Thursday 16 December 2021 from 18.30. This will be a ‘hybrid’ event, taking place both at the museum and online—the talk will be given live in the Café and will also be broadcast on Zoom. When you book free tickets, you will be able to choose which version of the event you would like to attend.

Stories from the tooth fairy

Dr Julia Beaumont

‘You are what you eat’ is actually true: when your body is building new teeth and bones, the proteins in your food are used to make the collagen scaffold that the hard tissue is built upon. Your teeth retain the information about the diet you ate as a child and adolescent. This means that we can sample the teeth in the direction of growth and reconstruct a dietary history for you using the elements of carbon and nitrogen from the protein.

This novel technique, developed in Bradford, has allowed us to identify people in past populations whose diet has changed, for example to see the effects on children who died during the 19th-century Great Irish Famine. The newest application of this technique has been to modern children in Bradford who have donated their milk teeth—with the potential to reveal the impacts of maternal diet, smoking, premature birth and birthweight.

Julia Beaumont practised as a dentist and orthodontist in Lancashire for 30 years before studying Archaeological Sciences at the University of Bradford. She was a lecturer in Biological Anthropology at Bradford for five years and is still working as a Research Fellow on populations from the medieval pandemic, the Black Death, and children from modern Bradford. In her spare time she helps to entertain her growing crop of grandchildren.

What you need to know

  • This event is free, but booking is required
  • Donations are welcome! You can donate online 
  • Café Scientifique is suitable for all ages and abilities, but some events may have adult themes or content

Information for online attendees

Image gallery

Future events

What is Café Scientifique?

Café Scientifique is a friendly and collaborative exploration of the latest breakthroughs in science. You’ll hear about, discuss and debate some of the most recent advances and discoveries in science and healthcare, and their importance to society.

Each event has a theme—they’ve included everything from the latest in physics to the science of music, from nanotechnology to biology.

Café Scientifique is a great way to meet new people and exercise your mind. Discuss the discoveries you’ve seen in the headlines, or learn something completely new.

Keep up to date—follow Café Scientifique on Facebook and Twitter.

Part of the Science Museum Group