This weekend: CALS experts weigh in on climate change, GMOs and the Science of Supper Clubs

Fish-Fry-2Food and agricultural scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) will have a big and tasty presence at this fall’s Wisconsin Science Festival. As part of the college’s year-long celebration of its 125th anniversary, CALS faculty will serve up the “main course” at the festival’s Science of Supper Clubs event and participate in panel discussions on climate change and genetically engineered crops.

The Science of Supper Clubs is a “three course” event designed to explore Wisconsin’s supper club tradition through a scientific lens. The appetizer will be a SoundWaves lecture and concert. The main course is a science fair-style presentation of supper club foods—cheese, meat, potatoes, ice cream and relish-tray vegetables—by CALS faculty. Dessert will be a roundtable discussion with noted Wisconsin food authors.

Science of Supper Clubs runs from 5–8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17 in the UW-Madison’s Discovery Building. The events are free and open to the public. Tickets for a supper club-inspired tasting plate prepared by Steenbock’s on Orchard are available for advanced purchase at

The Wisconsin Science Festival (WSF), which runs Oct. 16 – 19, is the university’s marquee science outreach event. It brings learners of all ages to the UW-Madison campus and other venues around the state to learn about science and art through interactive exhibits, hands-on workshops, lectures, demonstrations and conversations with leading researchers and creative thinkers.

“During this anniversary year, we thought it would be appropriate to celebrate scientific discoveries related to the iconic Wisconsin foods that make up a traditional supper club menu. It’s a fun way to pair food with a side of science,” says CALS Dean Kate VandenBosch. “Festival panels on genetically engineered crops and climate change are also terrific ways for our scientists to dialog with festival-goers on important current issues.”

Those panel discussions are “Climate Change: Many Lines of Evidence, One Conclusion,” set for 12–1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18, and “Genetically Engineered Crops (GMOs): Do They Have a Role in Sustainability?” from 1:30–3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 19. Both panels will be held in the Discovery Building. VandenBosch will moderate the GMO panel.

For more information visit; or contact Heidi Zoerb at or (608) 262-4849.