Tag Archives: event

Dr Ruth Siddall – Pigments of our imagination

On Wednesday 5th October we’re delighted to have Dr Ruth Siddall of UCL talking about the colourful topic of pigments.

Ruth is a co-author of The Pigment Compendium and works on the characterisation, synthesis and history of use of pigments, particularly in Roman period painting.

Photomicrograph of the pigment Indian Yellow in cross-polarised light

Photomicrograph of the pigment Indian Yellow in cross-polarised light

Pigments are the materials which give colour to paints. We’ve all heard about yellow ochre and ultramarine, but there are many weird and, to be honest, totally unacceptable materials used out there for pigments. Artists and painters have been incredibly resourceful in finding and creating new colours over the last 40,000 years of experimentation, and new pigments such as Vanta Black and YinMin Blue are still being introduced today. Pigments can be derived from minerals and also dyes extracted from plants and animals, but a number of more unexpected sources of pigments have been used. If it’s coloured, someone has painted with it.

This talk will explore the analytical techniques used to identify pigments in paintings and the stories behind paints such as Indian Yellow, Emerald Green, Turacine and Mummy Brown.

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

Dr Henry Nicholls – From Narcolepsy to Insomnia

At PubSci on Wednesday 4th May (aka Star Wars Day) we’re delighted to welcome journalist, author and full-time narcoleptic Henry Nicholls, who will reveal what it’s like to live with narcolepsy, a rare and much misunderstood neurological disorder.

Most people who’ve heard of it know it’s a sleep disorder that involves pathological levels of sleep. What few people realise is that its onset is triggered by the flu (or similar infection) and that it often involves a host of other fabulous symptoms, including collapsing fits during moments of high emotion, sleep paralysis, terrifying hallucinations and – paradoxically – insomnia. On account of the amphetamines that Henry takes, he is unlikely to doze off during the talk, but video clips of fainting dogs and excerpts from his forthcoming book will pave the way for a lively discussion of the true value of sleep.

henrynew

Henry Nicholls

Henry is a science journalist, author, broadcaster and narcoleptic. He is the author of three books: Lonesome George, The Way of the Panda and The Galapagos. His latest literary adventure, provisionally entitled “ZZZ” and due to be published next year, will examine the funny, puzzling, troubling lives of those with pathological patterns of sleep.

Join us from 6pm for a 7pm start 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!

Gail Austen – Citizen Science: What Makes An Expert?

On Wednesday 2nd March we’re pleased to have Gail Austen speaking about the important and evolving  role of citizen science.

Gail is studying towards a PhD in Biodiversity Management at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent. She has an MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity from Imperial College, having been swayed by the course being hosted at the Natural History Museum, where she also volunteered. Prior to this (overlooking a stint in finance), she worked for a Local Records Centre and become involved in local conversation, including spending the last six years as Chair of the Kent Reptile & Amphibian Group (KRAG). Gail has a passion for UK wildlife and is an advocate of amateur naturalists and citizen science.

Gail_Austen-Price

It is generally accepted that there has been a decline in field biology skills, with some drawing a parallel between the ability to identify flora and fauna with ‘traditional country skills’. There are a number of specialists concerned with the naming and cataloguing of live, dead, extant and extinct specimens, both as part of their job and in a recreational capacity. However, there have been questions raised over the accuracy of the data collected in a ‘non-scientific’ manner, but in order to answer questions about the natural world, the reliance on citizen science and volunteer collected data is increasing.  Using established methods used in face recognition studies in psychology, my research investigates accuracy in visual species identification, what makes an expert, and whether we can improve these skill sets as a legacy for generations to come.

Join us from 6pm for a 7pm start 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!

PUBSCI NEWS

New venue for monthly PubSci

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 new venue for PubSci is the Albert Arms, which is a traditional boozer (with some proper beers) located in Southwark, just a short walk from Elephant & Castle tube.

The Albert Arms. Photo by Ewan-M

Starting with a BANG!

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).

We hope you like the new venue!

January PubSci: Pub Quiz

Science Pub Quiz

Happy New Year from PubSci! We will be starting 2013 with another sciencey pub quiz on Tuesday 15th January.

Darwin-pub-quiz

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!

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

August PubSci: Pub Quiz

Science Pub Quiz

On Tuesday 28th August we will be making the most of the new expanded floor space Upstairs at the Brixton Ritzy by holding a science pub quiz. Ten rounds of questions intended to put your general scientific knowledge to the test.

You won’t need to be Einstein to have some fun and maybe win some prizes, so why not join us for a fun evening of fun science facts and a light smattering of science fiction?

We suggest you try to arrive by 7pm to get food and drink ready for a 7:30pm start. Don’t worry if you don’t have a team to bring, there’s a friendly crowd and there will be other people happy to join forces. We look forward to seeing you on the night!

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?

CineSci6: Memento

Next CineSci6 screening: Memento 12 February, 2:30pm

The world doesn’t just disappear when you close your eyes. But for Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) it does. After witnessing the violent death of his wife, he is hell-bent on revenge, but the event has triggered short-term memory loss.

To get by, Shelby has to take Polaroid pictures and copious notes, even having memos tattooed on his body as reminders.

Christopher Nolan’s highly acclaimed and inventive thriller subverts movie narrative convention, as we follow Shelby trying to unravel the mystery surrounding his wife’s death, the last clear memory he has.

The film was inspired partly by case study of patient H. M., who developed severe anterograde amnesia after surgery to control his epileptic seizures. Many experts say that Memento has one of the most realistic and accurate depictions of anterograde amnesia in films.

Memento (film)

These issues will be discussed after the screening by Hugo Spiers, who researches spatial cognition, memory and goal-directed behaviour at UCL, and Mo Costandi, blogger at Neurophilosophy, which appears on the Guardian Science blogs.

Make sure you come along, it’s the last CineSci6 for now, but we’ll have news of future screenings so keep checking the blog. For previous screening Q&As, you can listen to the podcasts brought to you by the Pod Delusion.

For tickets, visit the Clapham PictureHouse website.

Post written by Simon Frantz, posted by PaoloV

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!