Science Cafe: Sundays of Science
Sundays of Science

Science Café

It’s chill time at the science centre and everyone is warmly invited

Science Cafe is serving up Sunday sessions of science!

Feed your appetite for new ideas with very cool research and warm drinks on a Sunday afternoon. In this series, TELUS Spark Science Centre brings the leading edge research into your everyday life. Mind-boggling advances straight from the labs of talented scientists, this series takes the fiction out of what sometimes sounds like science fiction. It’s chill time at the science centre and everyone is warmly invited. Meteor Hot Chocolate on tap! Monogram coffee and Alforno baked goods are also now available at Spark.

Science Cafe is presented in partnership with TELUS Spark Science Centre and the Mathison Centre for Mental Health.

The Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education is a reputable Centre of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary dedicated to advancing research and education on early identification, treatment and prevention of mental illness. The centre works closely with academic and community partners in Calgary, across the country and internationally to foster research and innovation to advance the mental health across the lifespan with particular focus on children, youth and emerging adults.


Dates: June 12th

Time: 2:00 pm-3:00 pm, 30 min talk followed by 30 min Q&A

Note: Feel free to enjoy Spark before and after the talk

Location: Inspiration Stage, Telus Spark Science Centre


  • $26 per person for each talk or included with Spark Membership
  • Register for all four talks and save 15%
  • Note: Includes general admission to Spark and pre-purchase or registration is required due to limited capacity.

Recommended Age: Talks are recommended for ages 18+ based on the content

The Sessions

Speakers Bios

    • Matthew Hill

      Matthew Hill is a Professor in the Departments of Cell Biology and Anatomy and Psychiatry at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary and the Deputy Director of the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and education. Dr. Hill’s research has demonstrated that the brain produces “endocannabinoids” (the brains own version of molecules like THC from cannabis) in response to stress to help us recover appropriately, and has found that chronic stress compromises how the “endocannabinoid” system functions, identifying this system as target for both the pathophysiology and treatment of stress-related mood and anxiety disorders. He has published over 150 scientific papers in the field, has sat as guest editor for several scientific journals and regularly consults for both industry and governmental agencies. Dr. Hill has regular engagement with the media and has been featured in the New York Times, Scientific American, Vice News, CBC News and Radio as well as in a documentary on cannabis produced by PBS/NOVA.

    • Frank MacMaster

      Frank MacMaster, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Dr. MacMaster is also the Scientific Director for the Provincial Addictions and Mental Health for Alberta Health Services. He uses brain imaging to better understand neurodevelopmental and mental disorders. His lab then uses that knowledge to develop new interventions to treat these disorders. Given the suffering caused by these disorders, there is an urgent need to develop effective interventions.

    • Paul Arnold

      Dr. Arnold, MD, PhD is the inaugural Director of The Mathison Centre for Mental Health & Education and the Alberta Innovates Translational Health Chair in Child and Youth Mental Health at the University of Calgary. He is a Professor with the Departments of Psychiatry and Medical Genetics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary and a child and adolescent psychiatrist practicing at Alberta Children’s Hospital. His research focuses on how genetic and environmental risk factors interact to influence the development of mental health disorders in children and youth, and using genetics to improve risk prediction and interventions.

    • Val Taylor

      Dr. Valerie Taylor, MD, PhD, FRCP is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Calgary. Her academic focus is on obesity, metabolic syndrome and mental health. She is interested in the overlap between obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mental illness, the impact of pharmacotherapy on weight and behavior, and the role of the microbiome. She currently has 2 novel clinical trials looking at modifying the gut microbiome to treat mood disorders. She has over 120 peer reviewed publications and funding from a variety of national and international funding agencies.

Science Cafe FAQs

    • Are there virtual sessions?

      At this time, Spark will be offering these sessions in person as they include admission to Spark.

    • What time does eash session start?

      Doors to the Inspiration Stage will open at 1:45 pm and each session starts at 2:00 pm. There will be a 30 min talk followed by 30 min of Q&A with the guest speaker. You are welcome to arrive early, enjoy Spark and pick-up a coffee in the Astronaut Ice Cream cafe!

    • Who can register?

      The talks are recommended for adults, ages 18+ based on the talk content. Those that are under 18 can attend with someone 18+, but it is recommended to take a look at the talk topics to determine if they would be of interest.

    • Do Spark Members get a discount on registration?

      Spark Members can attend for free with their membership, but must register in advance due to limited capacity in the Inspiration Stage!

This science centre is not just for kids!

Discover more sparkly science for adults aged 18 to 118!

For Adults