March 16th: Nerd Nite London- SCIENCE!!!

Nerd Nite London is a monthly event where three speakers give 18-21 minute fun-yet-informative talks across all disciplines, while the audience drinks along.

Address: Nerd Nite, Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA

Details: Wednesday March 16th

Tickets: Early nerd tickets £6, general admission £7.50. Tickets available here.

Doors open 6.30pm

As part of British Science Week, this month we’re sciencing the shit out of nerd nite. You’ll learn how your brain is able to tell you where you are (and how to get to the pub), what happens when you go fossil hunting in the Yemen, and why evolution is more awesome than you could possibly imagine.

How your brain knows where you are and what happens when it goes a bit wrong

Although you might think you have a terrible memory or sense of direction the truth is that even the most inept of us rarely get lost. We’re very good at keeping track of where we are relative to our surroundings: we recognise familiar places, can take shortcuts, and deal with unexpected obstacles. In fact so seamless is this ability that it seems trivial – after all when was the last time you got lost on the way to your own toilet or finding your way to work? This presentation will cover how the brain pulls off this trick. We’ll look at how memories for places and events are stored in the brain, what goes wrong when they get messed up, and most importantly how you can find your way to the pub (really).

Dr. Caswell Barry hails from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. He studies rats’ brains for a living, using this knowledge to pick apart the human mind and develop an understanding of what makes us tick.

No need for a creator: how the inherent creativity of the universe invokes awe and explains life on earth.

Around four billion years ago, somewhere on earth, a set of chemicals began to build patterns that recreated themselves. These simple patterns were the progenitors of life on earth, spreading across the planet and building layer upon layer of complexity into life on earth today. This presentation will include reasons to believe that such pattern building is an intrinsic property of our universe, and how from this perspective the spontaneous emergence of life might not just be possible, but inevitable. Using examples from personal research we’ll understand how awe-inspiring evolved living systems can become, and how resorting to a ‘creator myth’ can actually diminish our sense of awe in the universe.

Dr. Morgan Beeby leads a research lab at Imperial College, London, focusing on the evolution of the wide diversity found in the biology of bacteria. Prior to Imperial College he studied at Caltech, UCLA, and the University of Birmingham.

Archaeologists Without Borders: Fossil Hunting in the Yemen

Some parts of the world’s potential contribution to science and exploration is written-off due to instability, this is a story of how we need to fight for incredibly good science no matter where it takes us, this is the story of fossil hunting in the Yemen.

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Ella Al-Shamahi is a palaeoanthropologist specialising in Neanderthals and in fossil hunting in caves in unstable, hostile and disputed territories— she also just happens to be a stand-up comic.

All proceeds from Nerd Nite go to charity. This month’s charity is the Running Charity. More information about Nerd Nite London can be found by following us on Twitter @nerdnitelondon or liking us on Facebook

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