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. This month we’ll be discovering a lost language, examining French climate action and learning the origins of zombies
Address: The Backyard Comedy Club, 231 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 0EL / also online
Details: Wednesday, 18 October, 2023. Doors open at 7pm, event starts at 7.30pm.
The online stream will go live at 7:15pm, with the speakers starting at 7.30pm and will be available for around 24 hours.
Tickets available here
Be there and be square.
John Dee’s Enochian Language
In the 16th Century, an unfamiliar writing system and an otherwise unknown language were ‘channelled’ by Edward Kelley, a ‘scryer’ and an associate of the mystic John Dee. Dee named the language ‘Enochian’ and regarded it as of angelic origin. In the late 20th Century the Australian skeptical linguist Don Laycock and his associate Stephen Skinner analysed the material and concluded that Enochian was indeed a language, albeit a rather strange one; but they were unable to suggest a natural source for it. The mystery remains!
Mark Newbrook took a BA in Classics at Oxford and an MA and a PhD in Linguistics at Reading University. From 1982 to 2003 he was a lecturer and researcher in Linguistics in Singapore, Hong Kong, Perth and Melbourne. His main current research interest is in ‘skeptical linguistics’, the critical study of non-mainstream claims about language. He authored Strange Linguistics 2013, the first ever book-length critical survey work in this area.
Citizen assemblies and the case of the French citizen assembly for climate
Citizen assemblies have recently emerged as a new promising way towards more bottom-up democracies. After introducing the concept and its brief history, I’ll focus on the example of the French citizen assembly for climate that was held in 2020-2021 and will try to draw a few lessons to understand how this new tool could best fit in the political toolbox of democracies.
Emmanuel was an advisor for the French Minister of Housing from 2019 to 2021, closely working on the Climate Law that followed the French citizen assembly for climate. While he is now working as a plant manager in the waste treatment industry, Emmanuel is a bit of a climate nerd and has kept a vivid interest in ecological transition, politics and political philosophy.
The Living Dread – Zombies in their Natural Habitat
Like so many other horror-entertainment tropes, zombies have their origins in authentic folklore. Just in case you thought they only live in shopping malls or want your brain in a sandwich, here is a talk to flesh 😁 the subject out beyond the movie themes.
Deborah Hyde was editor of The Skeptic magazine for ten years and is an elected fellow of The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. She doesn’t believe in any of this stuff but still can’t stop talking about it. She can be found online at @jourdemayne or www.deborahhyde.com
All proceeds from Nerd Nite London go to charity. this year we are partnering with The Shine Trust to help foster a new generation of nerds.
More information about Nerd Nite London can be found by following us on X/Twitter @nerdnitelondon, liking us on Facebook at nerdnitelondon or visiting london.nerdnite.com. See some of our past speakers on our YouTube channel.