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 learning about the 5×4 card, fleas and the lessons the NHS could take from one of the FBIs most wanted?

Address: The Backyard Comedy Club, 231 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 0EL / also online

Details: Wednesday, 21 February, 2024. Doors open at 7:15pm, 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.

Be there and be square. Tickets available here

The Human-flea Journey

Description: Ahhhh, fleas. Tiny, blood-sucking hitch-hikers that have been with us and our pets through history. They are recognised for their involvement in the 14th-century plague and serving as instruments of war, all while having had the spotlight in their own circuses. The intimate relationship between humans and fleas across time will be explored, featuring fun examples from books, artworks, films, and video games. 

About the speaker: Gaia is a PhD student at the University of Reading, where her project aims to uncover treasures held by itchy parasites preserved within archaeological finds. She is a fan of everything with 6 or more legs, and will infest you with her passion for the most-hated heroes of our ecosystems. 

Twitter: @ThatItchyGirl 

Card Indexes: how a 5×4 card won the Second World War 

The card index has been all but forgotten. Once almost every business and certainly every library would have had banks of card indexes, holding millions of individual cards, allowing clerks to quickly find clients’ details and check book catalogues. They were easy to use, but they took up a huge amount of space and once a card was misfiled then it was impossible to find again. But by the 1970s computers could process data in a matter of seconds and link individual pieces of information together in a way that no card index could do. These indexes were at their most important in the two world wars, when it was important to keep a track men and women in the armed services, and so much besides. Without the cards neither war could have been fought. Huge card indexes were constructed involving literally millions of cards. They were vital in the Second World War when everybody from MI5 via concentration camp commandants to war crimes investigators used them. The talk will look at how and why they were used, and why they should be important to historians today. 

About the speaker: Simon Fowler is a former archivist and professional researcher who specialised in the history of the two world wars and central government. He is preparing to do a PhD, but that is a talk for another Nerd Night.  

‘How can the NHS learn from one of the FBIs most wanted?’

Population Health Management PHM, an analytical and structured approach to better understanding your population, is seen as key to the NHS meeting the ‘Triple Aim’ better patient outcomes, better patient experience and at the best possible value’. But William Sutton A.K.A. Slick Willy, one the FBI’s first ever ‘most wanted’, has a lesson we need to learn!

About the speaker: Andi is a health economist and the Director of the Health Economics Unit. Andi is a Senior Advisor on PHM for NHS England and the World Bank Group CEE. He lectures about and researches PHM for his PhD at Imperial College London. He is also President of the Association of Professional Healthcare Analysts and is registered as a Leading Practitioner in Healthcare Analytics. Andi is also Vice Chair of the Institute for Healthcare Costing for Value at the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Most importantly he plays rhythm guitar quite badly in a work band called the HEUristics and has a gig soon you should come along.

All proceeds after costs 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 See some of our past speakers on our YouTube channel