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28 September 2008
Café Scientifique comes to Inverness
Café Scientifique is coming to Inverness. And for the opening session, the question will be: Is there a place in space for Scotland? 

Café Scientifique has been spreading around the world, with its enjoyable format of lively discussion in congenial situations – just like the original philosophical riverside cafes in Paris where ideas sparkled over tea and coffee and cakes.
 
Now it is being established in the Inverness area. The venue for the first Inverness Café Scientifique is Borders Bookshop, at the Retail Park, on the morning of Saturday 4 October.

The theme of Scotland in space comes from the news that Scotland has the potential to be a centre of space tourism. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic company are currently working on plans to take paying passengers for flights in space, using New Mexico. They have said that if they succeed, Lossiemouth could be a future European base, with commercial flights taking place sometime in the coming decade.

‘The potential for Scotland is immense,’ says Maarten de Vries of the Highlands Astronomical Society and the Spaceport Scotland support group. ‘A Scottish spaceport would be a tourist attraction with world interest. There would be spin-offs for economic development and for education.

‘We need to think ahead now and realise what such a development could bring – and then work out how to make sure that it will happen.’

Mr de Vries will provide the Café Scientifique event with an opening 30-minute presentation. Then after further tea and coffee, the subject will be open for discussion.

Café Scientifique takes place on Saturday 4 October at 11 am. Those coming a little beforehand will be able to make sure of a seat and an opportunity to get themselves tea or coffee and cakes at the start.

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