After nearly two years of PubSci in the Upstairs bar at the Ritzy in Brixton, we have decided to move on. The Ritzy was a great place to run the events thanks to the helpful staff, but noise from the downstairs bar was an ongoing issue and we are moving on in search of slightly quieter pastures (we were also keen to find a venue with more ales than lagers).
The first event at the Albert will be Claire Benson telling the stories of fire and explosions from the 19th century that captured imaginations, changed the face of the planet and the very way we see the cosmos.
So, if you want to know how spontaneous combustion led to the London Fire Brigade creation, how explosives actually saved many lives, and how the development of 1 small piece of laboratory equipment lead to us understanding the very makeup and expansion of the universe, then join us at 6:30pm on Monday 14th January (yes, the day before the pub quiz – our last event in Brixton).
Happy New Year from PubSci! We will be starting 2013 with another sciencey pub quiz on Tuesday 15th January.
Doors of the Upstairs Bar of the Brixton Ritzy will open at 7:30pm for an 8pm start, so bring your brains and gather your team members (max of 5 per team) for a mixed bag of science, pseudoscience and sci-fi questions.
We will be asking for £2 per person to go into the prize pot, so be prepared and spread the word – the more people that come, the bigger the the prize!
John will be talking mainly about symmetry, touching on singularities and string theory (and why it’s probably wrong) along with all sorts of exciting concepts that we’ve heard about thanks to the enthusiastic outpourings of Prof. Brian Cox.
In short, it’ll be an evening of really complicated science made really interesting and understandable. Plus beer.
Next CineSci6 screening: Robocop Sunday 8 January, 2:30pm
Date: Sometime in the future. All Detroit has a cancer, and the cancer is crime. A policeman killed in the line of battle becomes resurrected as a half-human, half-robot supercop. The indestructible law enforcer successfully wipes crime from the mean streets of Detroit, but his human side is tortured by his past, and he wants revenge on the criminals who killed him. The question is how important will be the glitch programmed into RoboCop by the security company that created him.
Bold, funny and violent, director Paul Verhoeven’s first US feature film is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but it mixes all-out destruction with an intelligent plot. After the screening we’ll be discussing scientific/moral issues surrounding future robotics technologies with Dr Peter Bentley from the Department of Computer Science, University College London, and a contributing editor to Wired UK.
So what better way to enter into 2012 than with this ’80s classic followed by drinks and discussion afterwards? We’ll even give you more than 20 seconds to comply.
For December’s Science In The Pub there will be a science-themed pub quiz hosted by Kash Farooq and James Longstaff. The usual PubSci hosts Paolo and James get a night off – as they will be taking part in the quiz.
And, thanks to our good friends at the British Science Association, there will be some appropriately geeky/sciencey prizes that we will dish out as we see fit!
We suggest that you form teams of 3 or 4 people. Don’t worry if you don’t have have enough people – just turn up. We’re a friendly bunch and we’re sure we can get everyone into a team.
It might also be a good idea to “mix disciplines” when forming a team – each round will have questions from various areas of science. We’ve been busy thinking up questions for a few weeks now and have come up with a fairly wide variety.
To give you a clue of the sort of questions to expect, here are the categories we came up when we were thinking up questions:
A lone worker on a lunar mining base begins to have very odd experiences just as he’s about to return home to Earth. For almost 3 years Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) has been mining Earth’s primary source of energy, Helium-3, for Lunar Industries. But when a routine extraction goes horribly wrong, it becomes increasingly clear that his contract isn’t the only thing that is about to expire.
Duncan Jones’ stunning debut harks back to classic psychological sci-fi films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Dark Star, not just in terms of the way it looks, but also in the way it forces us to explore issues of loneliness, isolation and our place in the vast cosmic canvas.
After the screening there will be a Q&A with Lewis Dartnell, from the Centre for Planetary Sciences Earth Sciences at University College London, and author of Life in the Universe: A Beginner’s Guide. Lewis will discuss this modern cult classic film, as well as the wider opportunities and concerns of human space exploration and lunar science. So, come join us on Sunday afternoon for a scientific journey into space.
On Tuesday 2nd August Upstairs at the Brixton Ritzy (starting at 7:30pm although you can come earlier if you like) we’re going to give you a glimpse into the seedier side of sex in nature, with PubSci founder James Robson providing an entertaining talk on the subject.
Then we plan to open the floor to discussion about the role of observation in science, using an Ig Nobel-winning paper (pdf) on homosexual necrophilia in Mallards to get the conversation started.
Ducks are dirty rapists
As usual there will also be an experiment, this one is topical and will involve beer.
Sex, beer and science – what’s not to love? Unless of course you’re Brian Foy and his wife, who experienced the phenomenon of a normally vector-borne virus being transmitted sexually after some fieldwork… at least they got a paper out of it (pdf).