Tag Archives: cafe sci

Katrina van Grouw – A Very Fine Swan Indeed: Art, Science & The Unfeathered Bird

On Wednesday 1st June we’re very pleased to have Katrina van Grouw speaking at PubSci.

KvG-Katrina van Grouw low res

Katrina inhabits that no-man’s land, slap bang between art and science. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, her formal education was in Printmaking and Natural History Illustration, but she’s also a dedicated ornithologist, a former Natural History Museum curator, a qualified bird ringer, and an experienced preparator of natural history specimens.

KvG-book cover

The book, The Unfeathered Bird, is a magnum opus twenty five years in the
making, and was originally intended as a manual for bird artists. It was only much later that it blossomed into something far more ambitious. A world away from textbooks and diagrams, this is a work equally intended for scientists and artists, indeed anyone with an appreciation of birds or an interest in their adaptations and behaviour. It includes no fewer than 385 illustrations of 200 species, all made from actual specimens, many of which are shown in lifelike positions. Virtually all the complete skeletons were prepared and reconstructed at home from specimens donated from zoos, wildlife hospitals and conservation charities.

KvG-budgie skeletonKvG-great hornbill skeleton small

Join Katrina as she explains her aims and inspirations, shares her insights about birds beneath their feathers, and relates how her home was turned upside down as more and more specimens joined the queue.

Doors open at 6pm for a 7pm start upstairs at the Old King’s Head, near London Bridge station. As usual, the event is free, but we will have a whip-round to cover costs – we hope to see you there!

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November PubSci: Museums and Science

Why museum collections are vital to life on Earth

On Tuesday 20th November we will have museum curator and regular PubSci host Paolo Viscardi talking about museum collections and their value to science, society and species survival.

Continue reading

Ada Lovelace PubSci Special

Celebrating Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths)

On Tuesday 16th October we will have a PubSci special celebrating women in STEM hosted by Dr Rebekah Higgitt.

Ada Lovelace Day is about sharing stories of women in STEM subjects who have been inspirational. Ada was born in 1815 and became a mathematician, writer and arguably the world’s first computer programmer over 100 years before the first electronic computer was invented. Talk about being ahead of her time!

We will celebrate by having a variety of women at different stages of their STEM careers talking about what they do, their experiences as a female in STEM and the female figures that have inspired them. Then the floor will open for the usual exchange of ideas and quaffing of appropriately alcoholic beverages until time is called at the bar.

Join us at the Brixton Ritzy Upstairs Bar from 18:45ish for food, drink and a chat, ready for an 19:30 start.

Oh yes, and as always entry is free!

July PubSci: Terrible Table Manners

The Feeding Habits of Carnivorous Dinosaurs

On Tuesday 17th July Tuesday 24th July we will be finding out more about dinosaur behaviour with Dr. David Hone.

Understanding the diet and feeding habits of long extinct species is a challenge, but it can provide an insight into predator-prey relationships, ecosystem structure and animal behaviour in past environments.

Majungatholus atopus feeding. Artwork by Demetrios M. Vital

Majungatholus atopus feeding. Artwork by Demetrios M. Vital

Dave  is the founder of Ask A Biologist, he runs an excellent blog and he is one of the latest additions to the Guardian’s science blogging stable. He is also an active vertebrate palaeontologist involved in some really interesting research on dinosaurs, pterosaurs and birds. That means he isn’t just reporting on this topic – you’ll be hearing about the research, results and the fossils from the source.

Why not join him for an insight into the science used to explore the feeding habits of the mighty meat-eating dinosaurs – you may never see T. rex and Velociraptor in quite the same way again!

The talk will start around 7:45pm, but the venue (Upstairs at the Ritzy) will be open from 6pm for those who want food, a drink and a bit of geeky chat. Hope to see you there!

Oh yes, and it’s FREE!

March PubSci: 1000 Years of Cultural Amnesia

On Tuesday 6th March at 7:30pm Upstairs at the Brixton Ritzy we will be exploring science in the context of Arabic with Dr Anne-Maria Brennan.

Anne-Maria is a Principal Lecturer in Bioscience and Forensic Biology at London South Bank University. One of her many activities (besides music and co-writing the definitive entry textbook on Ecology) has been to organise, chair and present at conferences for the British Science Association on the Muslim contribution to science.

Islamic heritage in the sciences is a fascinating area that has sometimes been the subject of a form of cultural amnesia – why not join us to find out more about the causes, consequences and cures?

February PubSci: Darwin Day

On Tuesday 7th February we will be celebrating Darwin Day Upstairs at the Brixton Ritzy.

Paolo Viscardi will lead the celebrations with a talk on Darwin’s life, his evolutionary ideas and their lasting legacy. Then we can get down to the serious business of discussion about some of the issues raised over a beer.

Join us from 6pm if you want to get food, drink and conversation. The more formal bit won’t start until 7:30pm and the talk will probably kick off at 8pm. Oh, and as always, PubSci is free!

We hope you can make it!

November PubSci – FIRE!

Fire Science

At 7:30pm on Tuesday 1st November 2011 (just a few days before Bonfire Night), we will be exploring the science of FIRE with Fire & Explosion scientist Claire Benson ‘Burner’.

FIRE

This is your chance to find out about how and why forensic scientists undertake fire investigation, with details about everything from charring to explosive combustion.

Here’s a taster:

All of this excitement is free and can be had over a pint of beer, or perhaps some flaming sambucas if you really want to get into the mood.

Usual venue upstairs at the Brixton Rizty – hope to see you there!

(N.B. This video contains some of the greatest dance moves ever seen)