Tag Archives: Pubsci

Jane Hallam – Fishtopia! An irreverent celebration of fish diversity

On Wednesday 5th July we have something fishy going on at PubSci.

Fish are great, and Jane Hallam loves fish. An aquarist with over fifteen years of experience in public aquaria, zoos, and billionaires’ private tanks, she’s here to talk about some of her favourite fish – the ugly, the misunderstood, the weird and the fabulous. From the mating rituals of deep-sea anglerfish to record-breaking sharks, there will be something for anyone with a passing interest in our watery friends.

Jane Hallam

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!

 

Fireproofing an iconic building

On Wednesday 5th April we are delighted to welcome Dr Fiona Nairn Scott who will be talking about fireproofing an iconic building. Fiona has a background in Materials Engineering and is now a Principal Consultant with a major Built Asset consultancy firm, with experience in the automotive, aerospace and rail industries, in both the UK and overseas.

An iconic building. Photo by Mike Gimelfarb, 2008

An iconic building. Photo by Mike Gimelfarb, 2008

Fiona’s last project was part of a major refurbishment of an iconic building with national significance. She will discuss issues around maintaining and retaining historic features, while at the same time making the building fit for the 21st Century’s needs – which is no small undertaking!

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!

 

Robson & Viscardi – Dead or alive?

On Wednesday 2nd November we will have a talk by the founders of PubSci, James Robson and Paolo Viscardi. Both work with animals, but James curates live collections, while Paolo curates dead ones: so which collections are the most interesting – dead or alive?

James Robson is the new Curator of the Sea Life London Aquarium, bringing experience of working with a huge range of live animals from all over the world to London. While he’s busy ensuring the health and welfare of his aquatic charges, he’s also undertaking a PhD on jellyfish. He will be explaining why he thinks live collections are so awesome.

Sarlac Jellyfish by James Robson

Sarlac Jellyfish by James Robson

Paolo Viscardi is currently the Curator of the Grant Museum of Zoology, but is about to depart for the Emerald Isle to become the Curator of Zoology at Dublin’s Dead Zoo. He’ll be arguing why he thinks dead collections are even more awesome than the living ones.

Dublin's Dead Zoo by Paolo Viscardi

Dublin’s Dead Zoo by Paolo Viscardi

This will be the last London PubSci hosted by the original organisers, but a team of enthusiastic regulars are planning to keep things running in 2017 and an end-of-year quiz is ready for December, so fear not!

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 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 Steven Le Comber – Maths, murder and malaria

On Wednesday 7th September we’re delighted to welcome Dr Steven Le Comber from Queen Mary, University of London. Steve’s research covers a wide range of subjects within evolutionary biology, including mathematical and computer models of molecular evolution.

Much of this work focuses on the mathematics of spatial patterns, and in his talk he will explain how he has pioneered the introduction of geographic profiling – a statistical technique originally developed in criminology to prioritise the investigation of serial murders – to biology, for example, trying to find the breeding sites for mosquitoes that spread malaria.

SteveLeComber

In a talk spanning mathematics, Jack the Ripper, great white sharks and the Gestapo, Steve will explain how he used geographic profiling to investigate the identity of the artist Banksy and how he reanalysed a Gestapo case from the 1940s that formed the basis of a famous novel.

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!

Dave Hone – Tyrannosaurs: Fact vs Fiction

On Wednesday 6th July we’re pleased to welcome back palaeontologist, lecturer and writer Dr David Hone, who will be sifting the facts from the fiction about everyone’s favourite dinosaur – Tyrannosaurus.

Dave1

Dave with Tyrannosaurus in Tokyo

Dave is a lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, writer for the Guardian and author of the recently published Tyrannosaur ChroniclesHe’s worked on dinosaurs and pterosaurs all over the world and is a great proponent of scientists engaging the public with their work – especially when it comes to how we know what we we know and how that changes with new evidence.

So unleash that 7 year old inside and revel in the terrified joy that only a gigantic, prehistoric, meat-eating monster can bring and 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!

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!