Nerd Nite London- January 20th 2016

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 January 20th

Tickets: Early nerd tickets £6, general admission £7.50. Tickets available here: https://www.designmynight.com/london/whats-on/date-night/nerd-nite-january-2016

Doors open 7pm

New year, new knowledge: Come join us for the first Nerd Nite of the year –you’ll learn about the sociological significance of a German pedestrian crossing symbol,the role of volcanoes in human evolution,and the amazing [/terrifying?] implications of developing robots as care workers. All at the Museum of Childhood- with beer.

Pedestrian Crossing Signals Used in the German Democratic Republic (Gdr): 1961 -1990

Designed by a traffic psychologist in East Germany, the Ampelmännchen have moved from pedestrian crossings to symbols of East German identity, and have now become a global brand. Does the popularity of this little hat-wearing figure illustrate capitalism’s ability to co-opt everything it encounters, or does his success over his western counterpart demonstrate the resilience of the human spirit?

James Ward is the author of Adventures In Stationery: A Journey Through Your Pencil Case and the founder of the Boring Conference, a one-day celebration of the mundane, the ordinary, the obvious and the overlooked

Our robot friends

This presentation will cover the very real and very current endeavours to get robotic personal assistants into our homes, especially where people needing care have few alternative options. Can robots care with compassion and what does this mean for dignity? Will robots steal our jobs? Once robots begin to take on humanoid forms, what will that do to our sense of individuality, or adequacy? This presentation may or may not revisit the issue of sex with robots, and will try not to scare you with predictions about the Singularity.

Jobeda Ali is the founder and CEO of Three Sisters Care, which provides home care services to your grandparents so you can do something more nerdy instead. Three Sisters Care has over 100 human care staff and is building robots to supplement its workforce. Jobeda may also be known to you as the founder of London Geek Chic, a Meetup.com group for science lovers. In her spare time she is an astronomer, comedian, sci fi writer and a some time steampunk samurai.

A handful of really bad days – a history of the human species in four volcanic eruptions

The occasional, episodic volcanic eruption has always provided Planet Earth with a way to release its inner heat. During humanity’s ≈200,000 year residency on its surface, we’ve had some close encounters with some hot rocks.

By telling the geological and archaeological stories of a handful of carefully chosen eruptions I’ll take you from an explosive event that made life difficult for our Palaeolithic hunter-gathering ancestors, through some of the darkest days of Crete’s Bronze Age Minoan civilisation, a brief hello to how Iceland contributed to the French Revolution, and winding up in 1980s USA when Mt St Helens reminded us it was there.

Simon is a PhD candidate at Birkbeck, University of London where his research is focused on volcanism in the Canary Islands, and previous to this he worked for 8 years at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology. While he really likes both excavating artefacts in arid, dusty countries, and analysing the end-products of magmatic events, he finds it much, much more fun when he gets a chance to combine the two.

All proceeds from Nerd Nite go to charity. This month’s charity is Mind. More information about Nerd Nite London can be found by following us on Twitter @nerdnitelondon, liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NerdNiteLondon or visiting www.london.nerdnite.com

 

November 18th- Brains!

November 18th: Nerd Nite London- Brains!

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, Paper Dress Vintage, 352a Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1HR

Details: Wednesday November 18th Tickets £7.50. Early nerd tickets £6 (limited availability). Tickets available here: https://billetto.co.uk/en/events/november-18th-nerd-nite-london-brains

Doors open 7pm

Forget how much your brain knows, how much do you actually know about your brain? In three informative and entertaining presentations we’ll learn about how the secret messengers of your body can control your brain, how your brain lies to you, how neuroscience has shaped our understanding of art, and how art has shaped neuroscience. Nerds, brains, beer. It’s going to be a great nerd nite.

This is your brain on art

What can a famous piece of music reveal about the diseased brain? What can a painting by Ingres tell us about how our brains perceive beauty? And how did a surrealist painting influence a Nobel-prize winning breakthrough? Join me as I explore the impact that our understanding of the brain has had on the way in which we perceive art, and perhaps more curiously, the influence that art has had on the emerging science of the brain.

Iain Mackie studied Neuroscience before entering the pharmaceutical industry to study the molecular pathology of neurodegenerative diseases. Swapping test-tubes for teenagers, he headed north to embark on initial teacher training at a comprehensive school in a former mining town (the former alma mater of Paul & Barry Chuckle). He is currently STEM & Bioscience Coordinator at a school in East London, where his workplace duties also include making sure the staffroom is suitably supplied with ketchup and moaning about the heating.

How your body controls your brain

Vikki will explore the secret messengers of the body that talk to your brain and manipulate how you feel. You’ll find out why cancer drugs are helping us understand depression, why it might not be your fault if you’re fat, and how you can help prevent social deprivation damaging a child’s health forever. Oh and she’ll also smash some eggs.

Vikki is a sport scientist who doesn’t know much about sport anymore. Instead her interests occupy the middle point of an obscure Venn diagram of psychology, immunology, exercise, and social justice. She spends most of her time either supporting students to link their academic knowledge to real world problems or procrastinating on Buzzfeed

How our brains lie to us

Julia will take us on a trip through the various ways in which our brains deceive us into believing that we can reliably form memories – particularly memories of our life experiences. In a turbulent overview of the rich world of the science of our personal past, she will discuss the neurological, perpetual, and social aspects of memory illusions. By the end of it she’ll have you questioning all your memories, and wondering whether you may not be who you think you are.

Julia Shaw is a memory scientist at London South Bank University who loves to dispel misconceptions and challenge notions of reality. In her ethically-borderline research she convinces people that they committed crimes that never actually happened. When she’s not hacking into peoples’ memories, she is ineffectively Tweeting, or pouring her heart into her upcoming popular science book “The Memory Illusion”, due to appear internationally in 2016 with Penguin Random House.

All proceeds from Nerd Nite go to charity. This month’s charity is MOAS- Migrant Offshore Aid Station. More information about Nerd Nite London can be found by following us on Twitter @nerdnitelondon, liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NerdNiteLondon or visiting www.london.nerdnite.com

 

October 21st- Nerd Nite London’s Halloween in Hackney

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, the Attic, Hackney Picture House, 270 Mare St, London E8 1HE

Details: Wednesday October 21st Tickets £7.50. Early nerd tickets £6 (limited availability). Tickets available here: https://www.picturehouses.com/cinema/Hackney_Picturehouse/film/nerd-night-london

Doors open 7pm

We’ve always thought that the attic is the spookiest part of a building. Come join us to test that theory with a Halloween special at Hackney Picture House. Our speakers will cover the psychology of ghosts and hauntings, the zombie stars of the silver screen, and the history of the occult in London. All proceeds go to charity.

The psychology of ghosts and hauntings

Opinion polls repeatedly show relatively high levels of belief in ghosts even in modern Western societies. Furthermore, a sizeable minority of the population claim to have personally encountered a ghost. This talk will consider a number of factors that may lead people to claim that they have experienced a ghost even though they may not in fact have done so. Topics covered will include hoaxes, sincere misinterpretation of natural phenomena, hallucinatory experiences and pareidolia (seeing things that are not there), and the fallibility of eyewitness testimony.

Chris French is a professor of psychology and head of the anomalistic psychology research unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. What is anomalistic psychology? It is essentially the psychology of weird stuff – everything from alien abductions to zombies – but starting from the working hypothesis that such claims can best be explained in psychological, rather than parapsychological, terms.

 

Zombie stars of the silver screen

The zombie apocalypse – that vision of sluggishly moving grey swarms, cut through with veins of impossible colour and gore – has entertained movie audiences for decades, capturing imagination while chomping on brains. I will talk about the zombie in horror film, picking out shifts and variations on the theme, particularly since Romero. From biker zombies, to chatty zombies, to hopping body-parts… the ‘zombie spectrum’ has featured some lively dead.

Krista Bonello is an Assistant Lecturer in the School of Arts at the University of Kent. She has been a dedicated horror fan for as long as she can remember, and writes horror film reviews for various publications.

Magic in London

Dusty old London has had magic weaved into it from its mythical beginnings to the present day. Join me for a brief gazetteer of occult London including magical stones, a witch and her squirrel, wizards vs. an undead baker, weird scenes at the séance and neo-pagan spells on the London Underground. I will attempt to unwed history from the mythology.

Scott is the author of London Urban Legends: The Corpse on the Tube and writes irregularly on ephemeral London for Londonist. He’s the co-organiser and host of the London Fortean Society. He spends way too much time thinking about the Hackney Bear and the Peckham Ghost.

All proceeds from Nerd Nite go to charity. This month’s charity is Cake for Kids in Hackney. More information about Nerd Nite London can be found by following us on Twitter @nerdnitelondon, liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NerdNiteLondon or visiting www.london.nerdnite.com

Sept 23rd: Nerd Nite London’s Knowledge Necessities: Fact up Your Life

September 23rd: Nerd Nite London’s Knowledge Necessities

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, Epic, 13 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, London, N16 8BH

Details: Wednesday September 23rd Tickets £7.50. Early nerd tickets £6 (limited availability).

Doors open 7pm.  Tickets available here

We’re back from our summer break and to help you nurture that back to school spirit we’ve prepared a line up that covers everything you need to know: How to be happy, how to bend people to your will, and how to avoid a hangover. Join us at our new venue as we give you all the facts for a happier, more influential, less hungover life.

Laura Kudrna: Hacking happiness

A lot of suggestions about how to be happier involve changing how we think – adopt a happier mindset, think happy thoughts etc. But it’s quite hard to change the way we think. Instead, we should change what we do. I’ll discuss how to discover what you do that makes you happy and to design your life to get more happiness from it.

Laura is a postdoctoral candidate in Social Policy at the London School of Economics. She was ‘researcher extraordinaire’ on Happiness by Design, Professor Paul Dolan’s recent bestselling novel. Her research centres around the relationship of absolute and relative socio-economic status with subjective wellbeing but anything happiness related is right up her alley.

Christian Jarrett: How to use psychology to get people to do what you want

It can be very frustrating when people fail to obey. Thankfully there are thousands of studies on the psychology of influence. Forget simple bribery or seduction, I will tell you about some more intriguing, evidence-backed methods for bending people to your will, including why you should start off by apologising for the rain.

Christian (http://www.psychologywriter.org.uk) is editor and creator of the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest blog (http://digest.bps.org.uk). He also writes about brain science for New York magazine and productivity for 99U.com. He’s the author of The Rough Guide to Psychology and his latest book is Great Myths of the Brain.

Richard Stephens: Hangovers and how to avoid them

In my twenty minutes I’ll be looking at the science of hangovers. I’ll be answering no, no, no, and yes to the questions – does everybody get hangovers? Do hangovers get worse as we get older? Do women get worse hangovers than men? And are some drinks worse than others? I know you want to know how you can avoid hangovers so I’ll offer some top tips to help with that. But I’ll leave you with a question to ponder – would you really want never to have a hangover?

Richard Stephens is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Keele University and a founder member of the international Alcohol Hangover Research Group. Despite having written 11 peer review publications on alcohol hangover he maintains a deep affection for real ale. You might have seen Richard on The One Show over the summer promoting his recent popular science book “Black Sheep The Hidden Benefits of Being Bad”. He’ll have copies with him if you’d like to get one.

All proceeds from Nerd Nite go to charity. This month’s charity is Detention Action. More information about Nerd Nite London can be found by following us on Twitter @nerdnitelondon, liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NerdNiteLondon or visiting www.london.nerdnite.com

July 15th- fashion themed goodbye to Paper Dress (plus late night disco party)

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Nerd Nite London- July 15th A fashion-themed goodbye to the Paper Dress Vintage, with Late Night Disco Party!

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, Paper Dress Vintage, 114-116 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3AH

Details: Wednesday July 15th Tickets £7.50. Early nerd tickets £6 (limited availability). Tickets available here

Spy fashion from the 1940s, a history of underwear, and hair-styles through the 20th century.  Nerd Nite London is bidding a sad farewell to the Paper Dress Vintage with a fashion spectacular, a guest MC and a late night disco party with our very own DJ . Come join us, learn, drink and bid farewell to a great venue.

Dressed to Disappear: 1940s Spy Fashion in Europe

Why did spies need fashion in WWII? Concentrating on the Special Operations Executive, I’ll discuss the relationship between fashionable clothing and espionage. Examples will include how shoes could get you killed, and how Countess Mountbatten got her knickers!

Emma has a degree in Fashion History and Theory from Central Saint Martins. She loves people’s old clothes, and wants to spend her life in a museum taking care of collections of them.

Hairstyles in the 20th century: a reflection of social change and technology.

When and why did King Camp Gillette invent his razor? Why did Edwardian, corseted women cut most of their hair off in the 1920’s? Who invented the perm? What caused many British barbershops to close during the 1970’s and 80s?

Huge changes during the 20th century were reflected in the distinctive, changing hairstyles worn by men and women in Europe over the time period. This talk will reflect on how world events and technology caused people to accept or reject ideas of who they should be, and how this was displayed through hair.

Candice is a professional barber and hairstylist. She spends her days cutting and styling hair, shaving and swapping stories and secret histories with her diverse London clients.

The (not totally comprehensive) history of (some) underwear

For centuries, fashion has been used to alter the appearance our proportions. Through a bewildering array of pads, scaffolds, bindings, or props we’ve wanted to make our parts look bigger or smaller, as dictated by the times. In this talk we’ll explore some fashion history, and our inability to be content with our “natural” selves.

Laura Rubin is a California-based technologist, historian and reenactor with an obsessive love of costume history. Laura combines studies in textiles, social history, art history, cultural anthropology, archaeology, and traditional archival study in pursuit of experimental archaeology projects.

And then…
Dancing til midnight with the block-rocking, hip-shaking tunes of DJ Prolix

All proceeds from Nerd Nite go to charity. This month’s charity is the Duchenne Children’s Trust. More information about Nerd Nite London can be found by following us on Twitter @nerdnitelondon, liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NerdNiteLondon or visiting www.london.nerdnite.com

June 17th- Robot sex, computer heroes and the gender binary

June 17th: Robot sex, computer heroes and the gender binary

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, Paper Dress Vintage, 114-116 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3AH

Details: Wednesday June 17th Tickets £6. Early nerd tickets £5 (limited availability). Tickets available here

In the future will boys be wearing pink while having sex with robots? Why does Alan Turing get all the Bletchley Park glory? Come join us for a sensational celebration of all things nerdy at Nerd Nite London

Be there and be square.

The Gender Binary – and why it’s bullshit

As a society, we’ve been fixated on the concepts of “boy” and “girl” for a long time – so long that we’ve come to accept the gender binary and all it entails as an unquestionable truth.

Did you know that pink was once considered the boy’s colour? Did you know that heels were actually menswear, designed for riding horses? In this talk I will explore what “gender” and “sex” actually consist of and expose the reality of the falsehood that is the gender binary.

Lola is an agender identified LGBT activist, working in various capacities for a better world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people since the ripe age of 12. As an intersex person, Lola takes a great interest in breaking down the barriers that the gender binary creates.

Unsung Heroes of Bletchley Park

The most important battle in any war is one of information and communication; people who need to keep secrets vs people desperate to break them. There’s no sensational action sequences and often even the people involved aren’t allowed to tell their stories for years afterwards, but these stories should not be ignored. This quick run-through of British wartime codebreaking efforts will cover how some people you’ve never heard of helped shape the modern world.

Robert is a mobile application programmer who loves cryptography, both modern and historic. When not reading your most secret messages, he enjoys museums, games and Benedict Cumberbatch.

 

Sex machina – the how, the why and the what-if

Robots are getting ever more realistic and it won’t be long before we can make them look as human as, well, humans. They may also start to think and even feel like us. You would think that with such sophisticated machines we would probably want to do noble and sciency things like explore the surface of Mars, but past experience suggests we will probably mainly use them for sex. This talk will explore the implications of sex with machines that may have emotions, touching on philosophy of mind, ethics and social neuroscience along the way.

Bio: Kate is Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at University College London. She researches rat navigation, which makes her the perfect person to expound on sex with machines.

 

All proceeds from Nerd Nite go to charity. This month’s charity is Solar Aid. More information about Nerd Nite London can be found by following us on Twitter @nerdnitelondon, liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NerdNiteLondon or visiting www.london.nerdnite.com

May 20th: Beer, beheadings and photons- tickets on sale now

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, Paper Dress Vintage, 114-116 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3AH

Details: Wednesday May 20th Tickets £6. Early nerd tickets £5 (limited availability). Tickets on sale here.

Did you known that no other month begins or ends on the same day of the week as May in any year? Neither did we. Come join us to expand your brain with even more sun-soaked knowledge: eighteenth century research into the secrets of the voice, how music can change the flavour of beer, and Einstein’s Nobel Prize winning theories of light.

Be there and be square.

“The science of voice since the French Revolution, Or: How to speak without a head”

Before the age of mass communication, making yourself heard was all about the ability to speak in public. But who should be allowed to do so, and how? After the French Revolution, political activists engaged with cutting-edge medical and scientific research to uncover the secrets of the human voice.

Anna Maerker is a historian of medicine and science at King’s College London. She enjoys visiting collections of pickled organs and artificial bodies around the world.

“Why do guitars taste like hops?”

Beer blogger and ale expert Pete Brown returns to present an exploration of how our senses overlap and influence each other. Using beer and music, his presentation will provide new insight into how we perceive both flavour and sound, and how one can and does influence and even change the other.

Pete Brown specialises in making people thirsty. He is the author of five-and-a-half books as well as the annual Cask Report, and numerous articles in the drinks trade press and consumer press. He appears regularly on TV and radio, and was named Beer Writer of the Year in 2009 and 2012. Pete previously spoke at Nerd Nite about how beer is the root cause of everything good in civilisation.

“Photon Facts”

Comedy duo Punk Science will be coming to Nerd Nite London armed with some fun facts about photons. Illuminating you on some of the objects from the Museum’s collection revolving around light. Sam and John will endeavour to explain Einstein’s theory about the photo electric effect (it’s what he won the Nobel Prize for). It may well be enlightening.

Punk Science are the resident comedy team of the Science Museum. Jon Milton and Sam Furniss have both been part of the stand-up comedy circuit and have lots of experience performing interactive Science shows at the Science Museum. Combining these two things to interest and entertain adults – why should children get all the fun?

All proceeds from Nerd Nite go to charity. This month’s charity is the Disasters Emergency Committee for Nepal. More information about Nerd Nite London can be found by following us on Twitter @nerdnitelondon, liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NerdNiteLondon or visiting www.london.nerdnite.com

Next Nerd Nite- April 15th

Nerd Nite April- Microbes, skeletons and the changing face of East London

Worried that you’re an April Fool? Nerd Nite London is here to fix that for you- with presentations on how microbes make us fat, the battle between archaeologists and engineers in the race to build Crossrail, and a tour of East London through the eyes of 19th century social reformer Charles Booth

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, Paper Dress Vintage, 114-116 Curtain Rd, London, EC2A 3AH

Details: Wednesday 15th April 2015, Doors at 8 pm, Tickets £6. Early nerd tickets £5 (limited availability). Tickets available here: https://billetto.co.uk/events/nerd-nite-april-microbes-skeletons-and-the-changing-face-of-east-london

The Diet Myth and why microbes make you fat

We are all living longer but becoming fatter and less healthy. Much of this is due to our recent changes diet and lifestyle. We have been misled by many common myths and pseudo-science especially surrounding faddish diets. What is less well known is that underlying this are massive changes to the trillions of microbes that live in our guts. Bonding with our microbes could be the solution to our current ills.

Tim Spector is Professor of Genetics, Founder of TwinsUK and author. His main interest is what bit of biology makes us human, which are controlled by your genes and what is down to our environment- a topic he covered at Nerd Nite in 2014. His latest favourite field of research is on our microbes.

Under the streets of London

A face-off between two mortal enemies; archaeologists and engineers. This talk is about the discoveries made and challenges met by the archaeologists working on Crossrail, currently one of the biggest construction programmes in the world.

Marit is just starting out as a graduate archaeologist, currently working as assistant archaeologist on Crossrail. Originally from the Netherlands, she has a passion for London history and her pet hedgehog Chickpea.

Very Poor, Casual. Chronic Want:  East London through the eyes of Charles Booth
Victorian reformist Charles Booth was author of a series of ‘Poverty Maps’, covering nearly every street in Central London. The streets were assigned colours according to their socio-economic groupings and these groupings, along with their sometimes dubious descriptions of the residents’ habits and lives provide a fascinating snapshot of London at the turn of the 20th Century. In this presentation, we will learn about the history, geography and literature of Charles Booth’s London.

A Londoner for thirty years Sean Patterson trained as an actor at RADA and has an MA in London Studies from Queen Mary University. He is a qualified City of London, Westminster, and Clerkenwell and Islington guide. and runs the Charles Booth Walking Tour.

All proceeds from Nerd Nite go to charity. This month’s charity is the National Aids Trust. More information about Nerd Nite London can be found by following us on Twitter @nerdnitelondon, liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NerdNiteLondon or visiting www.london.nerdnite.com

Nerd Nite March- Aliens, pointless science and the tabloid trickster. Early nerd tickets on sale now

Nerd Nite March: Aliens, pointless science and the role of the tabloid in British life

Spring is in the air, and we’ve got some great knowledge seeds to plant in your fertile minds- tales of life in space, why pointless science isn’t actually that pointless, and why the papers we love to hate are an integral part of British culture.

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, Paper Dress Vintage, 114-116 Curtain Rd, London, EC2A 3AH

Details: Wednesday 18th March 2014, Doors at 8 pm, Tickets £6. Early nerd tickets £5 (limited availability). Tickets available here

Nerd #1: Hugh Mortimer- The hunt for life in space

The truth is out there, however it is very hard to find. On earth we find life all around us and in some of the most inhospitable places. Many of science’s great minds agree that we’re probably not alone in the universe.  But how will we find our alien friends in the great vastness of deep space?  In this presentation Hugh will describe our current efforts to identify life in space, and how we have begun to identify the most likely places to find it.

Hugh is a research scientist working at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory where he develops new technologies for planetary exploration, which essentially means that he plays around with cool stuff for a living. This is Hugh’s second time presenting at Nerd Nite- he previously spoke about science and Hollywood.

Nerd #2: James Alan Anslow- the Tabloid Trickster: Why Britain needs its redtops

You all know Trickster. S/he’s the wild card in the pack. The random that makes the rational bearable. The mischief maker. The word spinner. The boundary crosser. Humankind’s bawdy wink at gods ancient and modern. Think Hermes. Think Puck. Think Abby in NCIS. Think redtop newspapers. I shall explain why we need the tabloid Trickster.

James is a Ph.D candidate at the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex. He is completing his thesis: the tabloid Trickster, a post-Jungian evaluation of early 21st century popular British newspaper journalism. He was for decades a journalist and media educator, and still edits part-time at The Sun. He will, however, be fully-clothed.

Nerd #3: Dominque Morneau- Cows Have Best Friends (and other “pointless” facts to make you the most interesting person in the room)

When it comes to research funding, a project’s (perceived) impact is increasingly becoming one of the most important factors. Science for the sake of science is frequently overlooked for research that does something. This presentation is a celebration of so-called “pointless” research – from how dung beetles use astronomy for orientation to a physical analysis of popcorn, I will give you a ton of good stories to impress down at the pub.

Dominique works in science publishing after getting her PhD in biology from one of Canada’s worst universities. Reading the ins and outs of impactful research projects every day has taken her appreciation of “pointless” research to a whole new level. She has most definitely used some of these studies as an icebreaker, as well as the occasional pick-up line (with a slightly less-than-stellar success rate).

All proceeds from Nerd Nite go to charity. This month’s charity is the National Autistic Society. More information about Nerd Nite London can be found by following us on Twitter @nerdnitelondon, liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NerdNiteLondon or visiting www.london.nerdnite.com

Valentine’s Special…and Global Plasma Month- Early nerd tickets on sale now

Nerd Nite London -Feb 11th: vibrators, dating data and plasmas in space and on Earth

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, Paper Dress Vintage, 114-116 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3AH

Details: Wednesday February 11th, Tickets £6, Early nerd tickets £5 (limited availability)

Tickets available here

It’s that special time of year, where corporations and nerdy events alike try to cash in on romance. We love a good band wagon, so we thought we’d jump on with an in-depth exploration of masturbation and online dating. Also, it’s global plasma month, so along with other Nerd Nites in Atlanta, Honolulu and NYC we’re celebrating the wonder of plasma physics.

Be there and be square

Nerd #1: Sarah Jaffray – Sexual Healing: A brief cultural history of the vibrator

The history of sex is filled with urban legends, but no object has been more mythologised than the vibrator. Many people associate the origins of the vibrator with the 19th century ‘dis-ease’ hysteria, but few people can explain what hysteria actually was or how the two became historically entwined. Discover the turbulent history of hysteria, the real origins of the vibrator and what makes it special to the history of sex aids.

Sarah is a Visitor Experience Assistant at Wellcome Collection. She is an art historian focussed on modernism, fascinated by the cultural history of medicine and frequently distracted by the oddities of 19th century society. Coincidentally, the topic of hysteria relates to it all. Disclaimer: Sarah, herself, is not a hysteric.

Nerd #2: Jenny Macdonald – Dating, data and human nature

There are a lot of clichés about how humans interact through dating services – some say the data shows that women over the age of 23 are past it, that the gender stereotypes are confirmed by statistical analysis, and that the use of optimal scripts and buzzwords will obtain ‘guaranteed results with women.’ I’ll attempt to challenge some of that nonsense.

Jenny manages a popular online dating service and has managed, moderated, and molly-coddled a wide range of online communities since the dark days of dial-up internet. She enjoys challenging behaviour, kicking out clichés and checking the facts.

Nerd #3: Christopher Chen- Why You Should Love Plasma (part of Global Plasma Month)

Plasma is often referred to as the fourth state of matter and makes up the majority of the visible universe. This talk will describe how plasmas in space (the Sun, stars, aurora, galaxy clusters) and on Earth (typically made in laboratories) are both fascinating and important, including the potential hazards of space weather and the search for a long term solution to the world’s energy crisis. This talk is part of Global Plasma Month, in which plasma physics is being promoted through a series of talks at Nerd Nites worldwide.

Chris is a research fellow in the Department of Physics, Imperial College London. His research involves the analysis of spacecraft data to understand the behaviour of plasmas in space. Previously he has worked at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a member of the team designing a set of instruments for the upcoming NASA Solar Probe Plus mission. http://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/christopher.chen

This month’s charity is The Samaritans

Tickets available here