GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The saying “a dog is man’s best friend” can been traced to the early 1800s, but today the relationship is a reciprocal one in some cultures.

“Why Our Dogs Love Us So” is the topic of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s next “Science Café,” beginning at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Saboré restaurant, 13005 SW First Road, Suite 129 in Town of Tioga.

Clive D. L. Wynne, professor with the University of Florida department of psychology, will discuss the history of dogs, why they are sensitive to people’s actions and how dogs live in different cultures.

“People are not normally surprised to be told that dogs are sensitive to things people do,” Wynne said. “But people are surprised to learn that dogs don’t live the same way we are used to them living. Most dogs in other parts of the world don’t live the kinds of lives our dogs do.”

A limited menu is offered for participants, and attendees may place dinner orders any time after 6 p.m.

This is the second year of the program in which community members and guest speakers gather at local establishments to discuss contemporary science issues over food.

“Having it in an informal setting as opposed to a lecture hall makes it a social occasion,” said Betty Dunckel, director of the Florida Museum’s Center for Science Learning. “We really want to offer a variety of topics for participants to explore and discuss.”

Two additional programs are scheduled for the spring series. At the March 12 event, Florida Museum distinguished research curator of historical archaeology Kathleen Deagan will talk about the world of Ponce de Leon in the Spanish Caribbean at Chef Brothers Custom Catering. At the last spring program April 8 at Saboré, Jonathan Bloch, Florida Museum associate curator of vertebrate paleontology, will talk about the science behind the discovery of “Titanoboa,” the world’s largest snake.

To help plan for these free programs, please RSVP at least one week in advance of the café date with your name and the number attending by emailing or calling Amanda Harvey, 352-273-2062.

Writer: Kate Schofield,
Media Contact: Paul Ramey,, 352-273-2054
Source: Betty Dunckel,, 352-273-2088