TWU's Café Scientifique

Dr. Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham chats with guests at the second Cafe Scientifique.

Since January, TWU’s Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham, Ph.D., Allyson Jule, Ph.D., and UBC’s Professor Emerita, Joan Anderson, Ph.D. have collaborated on a series of cafés aimed at fostering meaningful conversation about access to healthcare between Aboriginal peoples and Euro-Canadians. “This is a space where people from the local communities engage in conversation with each other and with academics from local universities,” says Reimer-Kirkham.

The third and final Café Scientifique will be held from 7:00 to 9:00pm on Thursday, May 6, 2010, at the Grand Taj Banquet Hall at 8388 128 Street in Surrey. Keynote speakers include Anderson; Jas Cheema, Surrey Memorial Hospital’s Diversity Services Coordinator; John Oliffe, Ph.D., Associate Professor at UBC’s School of Nursing; and Sharon Koehn, Ph.D., of the Centre for Healthy Aging at Providence Health Care. Speakers will present research conducted with the Indo-Canadian community. 

The intent of the Cafés is to engage a broader audience and to include people who might not normally have an opportunity to interact with health and social scientists in an informal café atmosphere to discuss their views. “The idea is be creative about conversations on access to healthcare,” Reimer-Kirkham says. “We can learn much from speaking with each other.” At the first Café in January, attendees emphasized that voices to include in the conversation are those of decision-makers, and the upcoming Café will include representatives from Fraser Health Authority and elected politicians.

In conducting research on health and healthcare access, Anderson and Reimer-Kirkham found that although people have different histories, similar issues cut across diverse communities. Yet, people from Aboriginal communities and people who have immigrated to Canada rarely have the opportunity to come together in conversation to learn from one another, and to identify common issues and solutions. “These Cafés bring together voices that don’t usually connect,” says Reimer-Kirkham. 

Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the three Cafés Scientifique events have focused on access to healthcare from a gendered perspective.


Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is a provincially chartered, independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university, enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include nursing, counseling psychology, marriage and family therapy, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.


Last Updated: 2010-04-28
Author: Wendy Lees