Quack Chats to land in downtown Eugene starting Sept. 27

Physicist Richard Taylor talks

Crisp air, vibrant leaves, and pumpkin spice everything: It’s hard to beat fall in Oregon. To celebrate the season of change and the beginning of a new academic year, the UO is kicking off a freshly harvested lineup of Quack Chats and Run with a Researcher with new researchers and a brand-new location.

Quack Chats pub talks are moving to the heart of downtown Eugene. Starting Wednesday, Sept. 27, the twice-monthly pub talks will be held at the Ax Billy Grill at the Downtown Athletic Club.

“We rolled out our first year of Quack Chats in the Erb Memorial Union and saw our attendance grow and pull in people to campus," said Kyle Henley, vice president for university communications. “This year we want to take our pub talks into a community setting to make it easier for people to attend and get to know our world-class faculty."

The Downtown Athletic Club, located at 10th Avenue and Willamette Street, will allow for easy and close parking options with nearby after-business-hours street parking and validated parking at the Overpark city garage between the club and Oak Street.

Quack Chats was launched by University Communications in fall 2016 with events at Falling Sky Pizzeria, covering such topics as evolution, the psychology of giving, obesity, bullying, designing fractal-based retinal implants, hip-hop and the musical Hamilton, and the solar eclipse.

“We thank Falling Sky for working with us in our launch of Quack Chats last fall,” Henley said. “It was always our intention to have a venue for these talks at a location easily accessible by the general public. The Downtown Athletic Club puts us in the heart of downtown but still easily reached by the campus community.”

Rather than a delivering a traditional lecture, Quack Chats speakers provide an overview of their research, often tying their work to current events, and readily take questions from the audience as the hour-long events unfold.

The new school year’s opening Quack Chats pub talk at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 will feature Jessica Cronce, a professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services in the College of Education. Her research focuses on risky behaviors, including substance abuse, and the development of science-based prevention programs. Her talk, “What You Say Matters: Parents’ Role in Reducing Risks Associated with Substance Abuse by Their College Students,” will focus on effective communication strategies that parents can use with their children.

The Ax Billy Grill is open to the public. Club membership is not required. Guests enter through the main doors at 10th and Willamette, where they will be met at the reception desk and directed to the grill's third-floor location. The pub talks will be held in the sports bar unless otherwise noted.

The grill features Pacific Northwest cuisine and a wide selection of beers and other refreshments.

Quack Chats also encompasses opportunities for the general public and university community to Run with a Researcher, usually held at 9 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Participants meet up at the “O” desk on the lower floor of the Erb Memorial Union, where they are paired up with a UO researcher for either a 3.1-mile walk or 4.5-mile run.

In October, however, there will be two events: Oct. 7 and Oct. 28. The Oct. 28 event coincides with homecoming and the UO Innovation Summit.