Science talks in London

Jan
24
Thu
I’m A Joke And So Are You
Jan 24 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
I’m A Joke And So Are You @ Conway Hall

Comic Robin Ince uses the life of the stand-up as a way of exploring some of the biggest questions we all face. Where does anxiety come from? How do we overcome imposter syndrome? What is the key to creativity? How can we deal with grief?

What better way to understand ourselves than through the eyes of comedians – those who professionally examine our quirks on stage daily? In this touching and witty book, I’m a Joke and So Are You: A Comedian’s Take on What Makes Us Human, award-winning presenter and comic Robin Ince uses the life of the stand-up as a way of exploring some of the biggest questions we all face. Where does anxiety come from? How do we overcome imposter syndrome? What is the key to creativity? How can we deal with grief?

Informed by personal insights from Robin as well as interviews with some of the world’s top comedians, neuroscientists and psychologists, this is a hilarious and often moving primer to the mind. But it is also a powerful call to embrace the full breadth of our inner experience – no matter how strange we worry it may be!

Robin Ince is co-presenter of the award-winning BBC Radio 4 show, The Infinite Monkey Cage. He has won the Time Out Outstanding Achievement in Comedy, was nominated for a British Comedy Award for Best Live show and has won three Chortle Awards. He has toured his stand up across the world from Oslo to LA to Sydney, both solo and with his radio double act partner, Professor Brian Cox. He is the radio critic for the Big Issue and appears regularly on both television and radio. He has two top-ten iTunes podcast series to his name.

Jan
29
Tue
Looking Forward: The Next Ten Years
Jan 29 @ 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

 

What key aspects of our lives are predicted to shift radically over the next ten years?

As Bloomsbury celebrates ten years of outstanding publishing as Bloomsbury Academic, we’ve invited some of our most fascinating authors to fill us in on the opportunities, challenges and biggest changes coming to our lives in the next ten years.

Come along as our experts present their most ground-breaking ideas in the Humanities and Social Sciences in a series of short talks, and group discussion, to tell us what lies ahead. Their collective years of research and writing means we’ll all benefit from their educated insights into the future of our world.

Covering sustainability, terrorism, geopolitics, gender, religion, education and philosophy – what are the key issues and how can we prepare for the changes and challenges that lie ahead? Come with us as we aim beyond the regular predictions and leave you thinking differently about our shared future.

Event Speakers:

  • Rachel Reeves MP
  • Kerry Brown
  • Julia Ebner
  • Dr. Leslie Davis Burns
  • James G. Crossley
  • Constantine Sandis
  • Viv Ellis

Our speakers will each deliver a short talk and then take part in a live Q&A panel, hosted by Jamie Bartlett, author of Radicals and The People vs. Tech, tech blogger and Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media for cross-party think-tank Demos in conjunction with The University of Sussex.

We hope to see you there. Take advantage of places for just £8.00 if you book your place before Friday, November 30th

Feb
26
Tue
Dreaming and memory consolidation (w/ Prof. Mark Blagrove @Mark_Blagrove)
Feb 26 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

There is considerable research on how REM sleep and Slow Wave Sleep are related to memory consolidation. These consolidation processes prioritize emotional and salient memories. Dreaming also incorporates emotional memories from waking life, and so it has been proposed that dreaming reflects functional neural processes during sleep. Arguments in favor and against this possibility will be explored. That dreams refer to waking life experiences in an associative or metaphorical manner has been seen to be a result of processes of linking new memories to established memories, guided by emotions common to each. That we are embodied in the dream, in a simulation of the waking world, may be required for full processing of emotions, or may have another, practice-based virtual reality function. Separate from the debate on dream function is the debate on whether the consideration of dreams by the dreamer, when awake, can elicit insight. This possibility is supported by the finding that dreams preferentially incorporate emotional experiences and refer to them metaphorically. Designs for testing this against the null hypothesis, that dreams do not tell us anything new, will be discussed.

NB: Preceding his talk (from 5 pm to 6 pm in Room 219A of the Richard Hoggart Building), Mark Blagrove will run an experiential Ullman dream appreciation group with artwork produced so as to revisit the dream. Note that, although there is no need to book, places on this workshop are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Professor Mark Blagrove researches the memory consolidation functions of sleep, the relationship of dreaming to memory consolidation and to waking life events and concerns, and the effects on the dreamer and on listeners of considering and discussing dream content.

Recent publications:

  • Comparing personal insight gains due to consideration of a recent dream and consideration of a recent event using the Ullman and Schredl dream group methods. Frontiers in Psychology, 2015, 6, 831.
  • The dream-lag effect: Selective processing of personally significant events during Rapid Eye Movement sleep, but not during Slow Wave Sleep. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 2015, 122, 98-109.
  • Sleep-dependent memory consolidation is related to perceived value of learned material. Journal of Sleep Research, 2017, 26, 302 – 308.
  • Incorporation of recent waking-life experiences in dreams correlates with frontal theta activity in REM sleep. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2018, 13, 637-647.
  • Insight from the consideration of REM dreams, Non-REM dreams and daydreams. Psychology of Consciousness (APA) (in press)

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Mar
12
Tue
Tasting words, seeing music, and feeling the pain of others: What can synaesthesia tell us about the human mind? (w/ Prof. Michael Banissy @mbanissy)
Mar 12 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

What does the name Brian taste of? What colour is the number 3? These may sound like unusual questions, but for people with synaesthesia they are a very real way to experience the world. Synaesthesia refers to a blending of the senses that are normally experienced separately. In this talk, I will explain what synaesthesia is, how we think synaesthesia happens, and what synaesthesia can tell us about mechanisms of perception in us all.

Michael is a Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, where he is Co-Head of Department. He has contributed to several diverse research areas, including social perception, social cognition, creativity, synaesthesia, and brain stimulation. The breadth of his work is not only seen in scientific contributions, but also in his engagement to bring science to the public and industry (e.g. he is a Royal Society Short Industry Fellow). His work resulted in him being awarded the British Psychological Society Spearman Medal (2016), and the Bertelson Award (2017) for outstanding contributions to psychological research.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Mar
26
Tue
Lucid dreaming (w/ Dr Josie Malinowski)
Mar 26 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

“Lucid dreaming” is a form of dreaming in which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming, and may be able to control some aspects of the dream. This talk will discuss what lucid dreaming is, the best techniques for inducing lucidity in dreaming, and what can be done once inside a lucid dream.

Josie Malinowski is a oneirologist (dream researcher) and oneironaut (dream explorer) based at the University of East London. She teaches on the BSc (Hons) Psychology degree at UEL, including on the module “The Psychology of Sleep and Dreaming”. Her forthcoming book, “The Psychology of Dreaming,” will be published by Routledge in 2019.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

The Gendered Brain: The Neuroscience that Shatters the Myth of the Female Brain
Mar 26 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Gendered Brain: The Neuroscience that Shatters the Myth of the Female Brain @ Conway Hall

The new neuroscience that shatters the myth of the female brain. This is not feminist science – it’s just science

Reading maps or reading emotions? Barbie or Lego? We live in a gendered world where we are bombarded with messages about sex and gender. The twenty-first century world is one which seems determined to magnify ‘essential’ differences between men and women’s brains, from (or even before) the moment of birth. This comes via clothes, books, through schools, the workplace and the influence of social media.

Where do these supposed differences come from and how ‘essential’ are they?

Taking us back through centuries of sexism in science, The Gendered Brain shows how we arrived at the idea of an inferior, female brain and how cutting-edge breakthroughs in neuroscience can liberate us from this outdated understanding of what our brains can do. Gina Rippon shows us the reality behind much of the data that is used to justify the gender gap, and explains how major breakthroughs in neuroscience will help us dispel these stereotypes and ‘neurotrash’.

Gina Rippon is the author of The Gendered Brain: an accessible and polemic popular science book with huge repercussions for the gender debate, for education, for parenting and for how we identify ourselves. This is not feminist science – it is science.

Professor Gina Rippon is an international researcher in the field of cognitive neuroscience based at the Aston Brain Centre at Aston University in Birmingham. She is a highly experienced public speaker and a regular contributor to events such as the British Science FestivalNew Scientist Live and the Sceptics in the Pub series and, in 2015, was made an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association for her contributions to the public communication of science. She is also an advocate for initiatives to help overcome the under-representation of women in STEM subjects and belongs to WISE and ScienceGrrl, and is a member of the Speakers4Schools programme.

The Gendered Brain is her first book for a general reader. It will be available on the night from Newham Bookshop.

Apr
3
Wed
Making evil: the science of humanity’s dark side (w/ Dr. Julia Shaw @drjuliashaw)
Apr 3 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

What is it about “evil” that we find so compelling? From our obsession with serial killers to violence in pop culture, we seem inescapably drawn to the stories of monstrous acts and the people who commit them.

In her talk, Dr Julia Shaw uses a compelling mix of science, popular culture, and real-life examples to break down timely and important issues. How similar is your brain to a psychopath’s? How many people have murder fantasies? Can A.I. be evil? Do your sexual proclivities make you a bad person? Who becomes a terrorist?

This is a wide-ranging exploration into a fascinating, darkly compelling subject.

Talks are held on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted. We meet in the Star and Garter pub, 60 Old Woolwich Road, London SE10 9NY. The Star and Garter pub is close to many transport links and is approximately 7 minutes walk from Maze Hill Overground Station, or 10 minutes walk from the Cutty Sark DLR Station. Although the pub does not serve food, there are plenty of excellent restaurants in Greenwich, including several very nearby on Trafalgar Road. Attendance is free (unless otherwise stated) although a small donation to help cover expenses is appreciated. There is no need to book in advance (again, unless otherwise stated).

For further information, visit http://greenwich.skepticsinthepub.org/ or contact Prof Chris French (email: [email protected]).

NB: You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list (run by Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London) to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of speaker, etc.).

Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

May
1
Wed
Circular reasoning: The rise of flat earth belief (w/ Michael Marshall)
May 1 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

In 2013, when Michael Marshall first interviewed the Vice President of the Flat Earth society for his show Be Reasonable, people could scarcely believe that anyone could genuinely think the Earth was flat. Five years later, Flat Earth belief has gone mainstream, spawning thousands of hours of YouTube videos, gaining widespread international media coverage, and attracting countless followers. How did we get here?

In this talk, Marshall will talk through his experiences of the Flat Earth movement, take a look at the leaders and some of their reasoning, and report back from the weekend he spent at the UK’s first ever Flat Earth convention.

Michael Marshall is the Project Director of the Good Thinking Society and the Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. He regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast. His work has seen him organising international homeopathy protests, going undercover to expose psychics and quack medics, and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Statesman.

Talks are held on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted. We meet in the Star and Garter pub, 60 Old Woolwich Road, London SE10 9NY. The Star and Garter pub is close to many transport links and is approximately 7 minutes walk from Maze Hill Overground Station, or 10 minutes walk from the Cutty Sark DLR Station. Although the pub does not serve food, there are plenty of excellent restaurants in Greenwich, including several very nearby on Trafalgar Road. Attendance is free (unless otherwise stated) although a small donation to help cover expenses is appreciated. There is no need to book in advance (again, unless otherwise stated).

For further information, visit http://greenwich.skepticsinthepub.org/ or contact Prof Chris French (email: [email protected]).

NB: You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list (run by Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London) to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of speaker, etc.).

Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Jun
5
Wed
…Quack quack here: Pseudoscience in veterinary practice (w/ Dr. Danny Chambers @DannyVet)
Jun 5 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

You may be surprised to hear that the anti-vaccination movement is not restricted to human medicine – animal owners are increasingly turning their back on conventional medicine and seeking out unproven alternatives such as homeopathy or chiropractic – often at the detriment of their animal’s health. You might be even more surprised to learn about the myriad other forms of pseudoscience animals are subjected to, including the common practice of ‘horse psychics’. Danny Chambers will discuss the use of pseudoscience encountered in veterinary practice, and the implications this has on both animal and human health and wellbeing.

Danny grew up on a farm in Devon, graduated from Liverpool Vet School, and has written about and campaigned against the use of pseudoscience in veterinary practice for several years. He was described as the ‘veterinary Ben Goldacre’ at two different conferences recently.

Danny has a particular interest in the concept of ‘One Health’ – the recognition that human and animal health is interlinked, and as a result he has worked on veterinary projects that benefit both human and animal health in India, Iraq, Morocco and The Gambia.

He enjoys mountain biking (badly) and playing the guitar (badly).

Danny occasionally writes for New Scientist magazine.

Twitter – @DannyVet

Instagram – @danny_the_vet

 

Talks are held on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted. We meet in the Star and Garter pub, 60 Old Woolwich Road, London SE10 9NY. The Star and Garter pub is close to many transport links and is approximately 7 minutes walk from Maze Hill Overground Station, or 10 minutes walk from the Cutty Sark DLR Station. Although the pub does not serve food, there are plenty of excellent restaurants in Greenwich, including several very nearby on Trafalgar Road. Attendance is free (unless otherwise stated) although a small donation to help cover expenses is appreciated. There is no need to book in advance (again, unless otherwise stated).

For further information, visit http://greenwich.skepticsinthepub.org/ or contact Prof Chris French (email: [email protected]).

NB: You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list (run by Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London) to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of speaker, etc.).

Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Sep
4
Wed
Cancer cures – are we nearly there yet? (w/ Dr. Alice Howarth)
Sep 4 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

One in two of us will suffer with cancer in our lifetime and almost all of us have some experience of the disease. But do we really know what cancer is and how we can work towards a cure? Is a cure even possible? And how can we arm ourselves with the right information to help us prevent and treat cancer?

Alice is a researcher who works in the Institute of Translational Medicine at the University of Liverpool and has worked with both non-profit and for-profit organisations. In this talk she will discuss what cancer is, how it works and just how we are working towards understanding and curing the disease. She will talk about the complexities of research and some of the big success stories that relate directly to some of the many types of cancer. Only when we understand the difficulties we face can we discern between bogus cancer treatment claims and genuine scientific advancement in this field.

 

Talks are held on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted. We meet in the Star and Garter pub, 60 Old Woolwich Road, London SE10 9NY. The Star and Garter pub is close to many transport links and is approximately 7 minutes walk from Maze Hill Overground Station, or 10 minutes walk from the Cutty Sark DLR Station. Although the pub does not serve food, there are plenty of excellent restaurants in Greenwich, including several very nearby on Trafalgar Road. Attendance is free (unless otherwise stated) although a small donation to help cover expenses is appreciated. There is no need to book in advance (again, unless otherwise stated).

For further information, visit http://greenwich.skepticsinthepub.org/ or contact Prof Chris French (email: [email protected]).

NB: You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list (run by Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London) to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of speaker, etc.).

Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/