I’ve never had the good fortune of visiting our very own Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, despite the fact that I live but a few minutes away. Heck, I’m so close I could walk there on a nice day. Well, I guess I could on a not-so-nice day, too (details…). But regardless, zoos hold a warm spot in just about everyone’s heart, and for good reason. Few places capture the imagination of a childhood spirit or the real diversity of our enormous planet better than the zoo!
But zoos can pick up a bad rep. For example, just the other day, I asked someone how the Nashville Zoo was, to which they replied: “well, it doesn’t look like an animal penitentiary anymore.” Progress, right? Unfortunately, zoos are chronically underfunded, which can make it really difficult to fulfill their mission. They have to develop a careful balance between preservation, education and entertainment, over which they often draw criticism from every side of the issue.
It’s an important and enlightening conversation to have, and that’s exactly what this month’s Science Café at Fido will undertake! Hosted in Nashville by the Adventure Science Center, Science Café’s are a national initiative from Nova Science and Sigma Xi, promoting informal discussions on current issues in science. They are NOT lectures, and are an opportunity to share opinions, ideas and thoughts with other science lovers and some experts, too! From the Adventure Science Center’s website:
Join Karen Rice, lead mammal keeper, and Connie Philips, head curator, of the Nashville Zoo as we explore the role zoos play in preserving species and what is the proper balance between education and entertainment.
This month’s Science Café will meet at Fido on 21st, and the discussion will begin at 7pm, see yah there!