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 August we’re joining the Barbican’s Into the Unknown sci-fi exhibition.
Address: Barbican Library, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS
Details: Wednesday 9th August.
Tickets: Early nerd tickets £6, general admission £7.50. Tickets available here
Doors open 7pm, event starts 7.30
Into the Unknown brings together artists, designers, filmmakers, SFX specialists, musicians and writers all testing the boundaries of reality through some of the most experimental works of all time. As part of this event, Nerd Nite has brought together three sci-fi enthusiasts to apply their knowledge of economics, psychology and molecular biology to their favourite sci fi universes. Be there, be square and be sci fi.
Under the bonnet, life on earth is driven by a myriad molecular machines that read and write information, process nutrients, and power growth, movement and our senses. These molecular machines have evolved over four billion years, but what if we could use them for our own purposes? And what if we could take them as inspiration to make our own, completely new molecular machines? Molecular probes could diagnose diseases, molecular saws or drills could perform nanosurgery, and fleets of molecular vessels could round-up pollutants from rivers, returning ‘home’ with a cargo of toxins for storage or breakdown. But will nanomachines be a benefit or a scourge for humanity? Eric Drexler famously coined the phrase ‘Grey goo’, evoking a landscape devastated by an inexorable tide of all-consuming nanobots. Could this happen? What are the technological, economic, and societal implications of nanomachines?
Dr Morgan Beeby is a lecturer in structural biology at Imperial College, London.
The Psychology of Dr Who
We know that the Doctor has two hearts but what is going on in his head? Can we really understand the Doctor’s moods and motivations? How does regeneration affect him? Why does he strive to save the human race? And what impact does traveling in time and space have on the Doctor’s long suffering companions? Find out the answers to these questions as Sarita Robinson explores both human and alien psychology.
Sarita Robinson is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire. She is also a Founding Fellow of the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. Sarita’s research methods include training in Helicopter Underwater Escape, Fire-Fighting and Coastal Survival.
The economics of sci-fi
How would a Star Trek economy could actually work? Are there any sci-fi economies that actually stand up to scrutiny? Is it likely that humans would colonise the space the way that Europeans colonised America?
By day Chris Jones is a programmer. By night, he is Batman. As well as this, Chris studied Economics at Lancaster University and LSE. This is his second nerd nite talk.
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 Twitter @nerdnitelondon or liking us on Facebook. For more information about the Shine Trust visit www.shinetrust.org.uk. More information about the Barbican’s Into the Unknown exhibition is available here