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PubSci SciPubQuiz

Science (Quiz) in the Pub

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:

  • Chemistry
  • Scientists
  • Geology
  • Astronomy/Space
  • Physics
  • Biology

See you on Tuesday 6th December from 7:30, upstairs at the Brixton Ritzy!

Moon

Next CineSci6 screening:

Moon – Sunday 13 November, 14:30

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.

You won’t be alone.

 

Post written by Simon Frantz, posted by PaoloV

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)

Forbidden Planet

Next CineSci6 screening:

Forbidden Planet 16 October, 2:30pm

For the next in our series of CineSci6 films, we’re inviting you to fasten your seat belts, put your space helmets on, and hang on tight, because we’ll be taking a trip through outer space to visit the Forbidden Planet.

This classic 1950s sci-fi, loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, tells the tale of a spaceship landing on a remote planet, populated only by Dr Morbius, his daughter and their robot Robby. The lone survivors of an earlier expedition, the doctor and his daughter say they have pieced together the secrets of the planet’s vanished race. So who, or what, is the invisible monster that begins to attack the human inhabitants with a vengeance?

A cult classic with groundbreaking special effects for its time, and one of sci-fi’s most loved robot characters, what better way could there be of spending a grey, autumnal Sunday afternoon?

After the screening there will be a Q&A with Oliver Morton, Energy and Environment Editor at The Economist, and author of “Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet“, a study of photosynthesis, its meanings and its implications, and “Mapping Mars: Science, Imagination and the Birth of a World“. The topic of conversation will be what makes a classic sci-fi film/story, beginning with the “Forbidden Planet” before broadening out to other films.

So come along, and enjoy a sci-fi classic and lively discussion over a few drinks.  The screening begins at 2:30pm, see the Clapham PictureHouse site for more details.

Post written by Simon Frantz, posted by PaoloV

October PubSci: Ig Nobel Prizes

Ig Nobel Prizes

On 29th September 2011 a very exciting event will be taking place – the 21st Ig Nobel Prize ceremony.

For those who aren’t aware of the Ig Nobel Prizes, they celebrate the best of research that makes people LAUGH and then THINK.

Past winners have carried out research on swearing as a response to pain, the microbiological laboratory hazard of bearded men and fellatio in fruitbats.

We don’t know who the winners for this year will be yet, but at 7:30pm Tuesday 4th October, Upstairs at the Ritzy in Brixton, be prepared to discuss and debate the finer points of the kind of science that brought us levitating frogs and homosexual necrophiliac mallards (which we have discussed before).

And of course, we will be running another live experiment. Hope to see you there!

Sex, beer and science

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).

See you on Tuesday!

Join us for the July PubSci

The June PubSci was a somewhat chaotic event as we tried an open-mic night. An edited podcast of the evening is available to hear at the Pod Delusion.

Our experiment for the evening was a simple reaction experiment that was meant to test the hypothesis that people’s reactions (measured by catching a ruler) would improve after one drink and then get progressively worse as they consumed more alcohol. Unfortunately the nature of the experiment made it difficult to keep track of exactly what was going on at times.

One factor that we failed to consider was the rate at which alcohol is metabolised (one unit per hour on average) so give the rate of alcohol consumption I’m not sure that many of our experimental subjects had actually increased their blood alcohol substantially over the course of the evening (sensible drinkers – who’d have thunk it?).

As a result, the averaged data from the evening looked like this (34 started the experiment of which 3 did not drink alcohol and 11 only had one drink, so were not included in the analysis, results are based on 20 drinkers – 9 female, 11 male) :

Not exactly unequivocal results, but at least they don’t contradict the experimental hypothesis.

Experiment aside, the open-mic format proved to be good fun and rather entertaining, but for July we plan to have a more structured evening hosted by our Designated Scientist Lizzie Crouch.

Lizzie is a self-confessed science geek who has spent 3 years working as a science researcher in factual television and is now studying Science Communication at Imperial College. She’s back from the Cheltenham Science Festival with a great booze-related experiment to get ideas (& the beers) flowing.

We’ll be starting at 7:30pm on Tuesday 5th July at the usual venue, Upstairs at the Ritzy. Come and join us for a free and informal evening of scientific thinking and peer-reviewed drinking.

Results and open-mic night

Science in the Pub – it’s your round

Jenny Rohn doing science in the pubThe PubSci on 7th June 2011 Upstairs at the Ritzy in Brixton will kick off with Jenny Rohn reporting back on the results of last month’s wine-related experiment, before we open the floor for our first open-mic session.

So if you have a science related bee in your bonnet that you want to set free, anecdotes from the lab or from life, or if you just want to share something you think is interesting – this will be the perfect opportunity.

Of course we will be conducting another experiment during the evening and there will be a friendly and informal atmosphere for those who just want to sit back and soak up the geekiness of it all.

The event will kick off at 7:30pm this week, but you are welcome to join us from 6:30pm if you fancy a bite to eat from the Ritzy’s tasty menu.

Come and get your geek on!

The first Science in the Pub!

Brixton is not Outer Mongolia

The first PubSci kicks off tomorrow, so here’s some information on how to get the Ritzy in Brixton – it really isn’t hard, despite being ‘across the water’ for some of you:

Tube

The Ritzy is a 3 minute walk from Brixton underground, which is on the Victoria line. Turn left out of the station and continue south down Brixton Road (crossing Electric Avenue) and the Ritzy will be in front of you when you hit the big junction. It’s that easy.

Rail

There is also a train station served by trains from Victoria, about a minute’s walk from the tube station. To walk from here you’ll need to go right when you leave the station, walk to the top of Atlantic Road, which you should cross and and then follow Brixton road south, past the tube station and crossing Electric Avenue.  When you come to the big junction you’ll see the Ritzy.

Buses

There are also plenty of bus routes to Brixton, they can be found here in pdf format.

Further directions

If you do get lost, don’t panic – most people know where the Ritzy is and can point you in the right direction. Failing that, there will be several other science geeks heading the same way and many will have twitter, so just tweet using the hashtag #PubSci and ask for directions from a handy landmark (like a pub).

It really isn’t difficult to get to and from the venue, so hopefully we’ll see you tomorrow for a fun evening of science and socialising!

Science in the Pub

What is Science in the Pub?

If you are anything like us you’re interested in science and you’ll probably enjoy a sociable drink in a nice venue, with interesting people.

It’s a simple premise, so we’ve decided to run with it by hosting a free event at the Brixton Ritzy starting 3rd May at 8pm.

The idea is to offer an opportunity for the rich scientific activity going on in London to have an informal forum, without the broader agendas that are usually associated with Skeptics in the Pub and with a slightly less general public focus than Cafe Scientifique.

Don’t get us wrong, the public are very welcome, but the idea is to create a venue where you can get your geek on without fear of excluding the audience – so any non-scientists in attendance will mostly be science geeks wanting to find out what’s happening in science straight from the source.

Format for the evening

For our first event we have the author and cell biologist Jenny Rohn who has stepped up to the task of kick-starting PubSci. Plans include an experiment involving alcohol and Jenny will introduce a topic to get conversation started.

We may also try an open mic format for some of the evening, so if you have something you want to talk about, or ideas you want to bounce off other scientists, you’ll be in the right place.

We’ll be using the Twitter hashtag #PubSci and we’ll update this blog to keep everyone informed about what’s going on as plans become firmer. Remember to spread the word and come along – this is new and you have the opportunity to shape it and make it work. If all goes well we will keep it as a regular fixture.

We hope to see you there for a drink and a chat!