Forget rock stars — at Brooklyn’s Union Hall bar, the hip headliners are rocket scientists. Every first Wednesday of the month, the watering hole’s dimly lit basement hosts the Secret Science Club, a free meeting of minds that features top scientists talking about topics like natural history, chemistry, and climate change. Its founders, radio host Dorian Devins and authors Michael Crewdson and Margaret Mittelbach, first organized the club in September of 2006 as a way for the general public to learn about important scientific issues while also enjoying one seriously good time. “We’re now at a more critical time to get unfiltered science to people,” says Crewdson. “Global warming, stem cell research — it can certainly affect the future.”

The events start with music and a video montage, followed by a lecture from a notable scientist such as Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel or global warming guru William Schlesinger. Meanwhile, audience members can sip on aptly named libations like Amnesiac Punch and the Climate Cooler. The evening concludes with a question and answer segment, and sometimes live music. “It’s not impossible to understand,” says Mittelbach. “We’re trying to bring [science] down to a level where people can actually get into it and think it’s a fun thing and something they want to learn about.” 

Story by Sarah Parsons. This article originally appeared in Plenty in February 2008. This story was added to

Copyright Environ Press 2008

The Secret Science Club
The hip headliners are rocket scientists attending a free meeting of the minds to discuss natural history, chemistry and climate change.