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New community forum to discuss STDs

Cafe Scientifique open to 'stupid questions'


Is Whistler the STD capital of Canada?

And if not, then who is? Banff?

Those are some of the questions that local doctor Marisa Collins plans to tackle during her inaugural "Café Scientifique" forum at Gone Village Eatery next week.

"I am going to talk about how you go about measuring that, and there is more than one answer to that question," said Collins about the May 19 th event.

"After that, it is really meant to go wherever the audience wants to take it. It is like the kind of conversation I often have in the clinic with someone who has lots of questions. I am just taking it to a more public venue."

The forum will start at 7 p.m. with an informal 20 meeting talk from Collins about how academics research sexually transmitted diseases and infections.

From there, it will open up to a general discussion.

The free event is designed to bring scientific topics to the community in a relaxed, non-intimidating way.

As Collin's writes on the forum's official site,, anyone is invited to ask questions, but the organizers particularly welcome questions that begin with, "This may be a stupid question, but..."

"Café Scientifique are community forums that are much more relaxed," explained Collins. "They are meant to be more of a discussion."

Currently, Collins works as a physician at Whistler's SAFE Clinic as well as a clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia. She is also researching Chlamydia screening and working with researcher Jennifer Matthews on a study examining what kind of risk behaviours young adults are exposed to during their time in Whistler.

The forum is made possible through a small grant Collins received from the Vancouver Foundation. She hopes to continue holding similar Café Scientifiques on a monthly basis with different experts making presentations to the community.

For more information about the forum, visit