“CSAR exists to encourage an appreciation of the application of research through lectures, visits and student awards. We make time around these for conversation and interaction, providing excellent opportunities to meet people, make new friends, expand horizons, and network.”
I have been to some great events with the CSAR. The events are normally charged at around £3 (Yes, three quid) each. Whilst on the one hand these are run by professional scientists, they are targeted at anyone interested in science, or engineering.
They tend to be held at Churchill College in Cambridge, and you often get a chance to meet and talk with the speaker afterwards in the bar. My favourite so far was with Professor Caroline Wilkinson, the archeological facial reconstruction expert. But there have been many others.