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Clare Bond

When?
Thursday, November 24 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Clare Bond

What's the talk about?

“Fracking” the hydraulic fracturing of rock by injecting fluid at high pressure into the Earth’s crust is a controversial technology. Fuelled by sensational media reporting; such as FracLands and poor environmental management and regulation in the USA “fracking” has become one of todays environmental issues.

Facts around fracking appear to be poorly understood and/or communicated and misinformation is abound. But is to Frack or not really the question? Scotland currently has a morataurim on “fracking” and a government with a no nuclear policy; so where is our increasing demand for energy going to come from?

Clare is a structural geologist with broad interests from CO2 storage to using virtual outcrops to understand the sub-surface. Clare was the lead author on a life cycle analysis of green house gas for unconventional gas development in Scotland for ClimateXChange, and represented the UK at a  joint UK/US workshop on shale gas exploration in Washington DC in November 2015, to share scientific learnings.

 

Dr Douglas Martin

When?
Thursday, October 27 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Dr Douglas Martin

What's the talk about?

We all share knowledge of the cultural stereotypes associated with social groups (e.g., Scottish people are miserly, scientists are geeky, men like the colour blue) – but what are the origins of these stereotypes? We have examined the possibility that stereotypes form spontaneously as information is repeatedly passed from person to person, via a process of cumulative cultural evolution. I will describe some lab-based experiments that attempt to establish how stereotypes form, how they naturally evolve and how they might be manipulated.

Our speaker Dr Douglas Martin (University of Aberdeen) leads the Person Perception Lab together with Dr Sheila Cunningham at the University of Abertay. The purpose of the Person Perception Lab is to explore social cognition across the lifespan. They are interested in examining how the brain extracts, processes and applies information about people (including the self), and in exploring developmental changes in these systems.

Robin Tudge

When?
Thursday, May 26 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Holburn Bar
225 Holburn Street
Aberdeen
AB10 6BL

Who?
Robin Tudge

What's the talk about?

Robin Tudge is a writer based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who has lived and worked in Chicago, Moscow, Hanoi, Beijing and Pyongyang, and among other tomes wrote the pioneering Bradt Guide to North Korea, now in its third edition. He has visited North Korea several times since 2001 and led tours there in 2013 and 2015 for the leading tour company, Koryo Tours. He is to present an illustrated talk on travelling to that impoverished, surprising country, so show what can really be seen beyond the Potemkin illusion.
 
This event has a small charge £5/£3 on the door.
 

It is also part of the University of Aberdeen May Festival. You can check out the full programme of activities here http://www.abdn.ac.uk/mayfestival/ 

Dr. David Lusseau

When?
Thursday, April 28 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Dr. David Lusseau

What's the talk about?

For as long as we can collectively remember we have been trying to understand our place in the universe. We have used a range of approaches to do that and much of our modern scientific endeavours have been motivated by this question. In this talk I will take a comparative approach to understand what biology can tell us about our species. Are we the most intelligent species on this planet? Is our deep history special? What is our place in nature? I will show how these questions are crucial as we embark on our next great adventure and try to find out whether there are more like us in the Universe.

David Lusseau is Reader in biological sciences at the University of Aberdeen. He works at the intersection of life, formal, and social sciences to understand how individuals make decisions when uncertain and what the consequences of those decisions are for their health, social life, and demographic contributions.

 

 

Stevyn Colgan

When?
Thursday, March 17 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Holburn Bar
225 Holburn Street
Aberdeen
AB10 6BL

Who?
Stevyn Colgan

What's the talk about?

Stevyn Colgan has been involved with aliens for three decades. He’s held Jabba the Hutt’s face, helped sculpt creatures for Bruce Willis to shoot at, and had a script accepted for Doctor Who in the 1980s. In this entertaining talk, you’ll hear about feuding gangs of scientists, film directors with less imagination than children, and the perils of concrete poo.

Stevyn Colgan is an author, artist, songwriter, speaker and oddly-spelled Cornishman. He is one of the ‘Elves’ that research and write the popular BBC TV series ‘QI’ and co-writes its sister show, ‘The Museum of Curiosity’, for BBC Radio 4.

This event is suitable for those aged over 18.

Why not join us for the 'Speed Science' event taking place before the Skeptics in the Pub? This event is free and you can get tickets here.

This talk is part of the British Science Week programme of events taking place in Aberdeen. To see the full programme visit our website.

Book your ticket (£3-£5) on Eventbrite.

 Dr Nir Oren and Professor John McCall

When?
Thursday, February 11 2016 at 7:00PM

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Where?

179 Constitution Street
AB24 5TU Aberdeen
United Kingdom
AB24 5TU

Who?
Dr Nir Oren and Professor John McCall

What's the talk about?

Welcome to Future Debates, a series of events supported by the British Science Association.

These events are part of our work to make science a fundamental part of British society and culture. We want to empower many more people – not just scientists – to constructively engage in debates over the applications and implications of science in their lives, their local economy and the UK’s future.

Could you fall in love with a robot?

Join us for a thought-provoking evening of debate focusing on our future as humans alongside artificial intelligence. What is it that separates us from a computer program or android? Is it our emotions and creativity? Could computers take over where human flaws lead to poor decisions?

You might not believe what computers can already do. From acting as journalists to providing care. Come along to join our debate. Could you:

  • fall in love with an android?
  • rely on a robot do your job?
  • trust a computer to make big decisions on your behalf? Would you vote for an unbiased computer over a politician?

The evening will be guided by researchers looking at these ideas including Dr Nir Oren, University of Aberdeen and Professor John McCall, Robert Gordon University.

This event is brought to you by the Aberdeen Branch of the British Science Association.

Book your free ticket on Eventbrite.

 

Professors Paul Birch and Ian Toth

When?
Thursday, January 28 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Professors Paul Birch and Ian Toth

What's the talk about?

The use of GM crops continues to be a topic of hot debate and last year a new EU ruling enabled individual countries within the Union to opt out of growing GM crops that have been authorised for use.

The Scottish Government have used these new EU rules to opt out of growing the currently available GM crops on the premise that growing them in Scotland could undermine Scottish food which is "internationally valued" for being produced "under clean, green and natural conditions".

But after over 20 years of successful commercial use around the world, what is holding Europe back from growing GM crops? What are their benefits and is there social and/or scientific evidence in favour or against their use? Indeed, what is a GM crop and what have scientific advances done to change the way such crops are produced?

Join Professors Paul Birch, from Dundee University, and Ian Toth from The James Hutton Institute to explore these questions and for a lively discussion on the pros and cons of GM crops.

Just how reliable can our memory for events be?

Dr Sarah Henderson

When?
Thursday, December 10 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Dr Sarah Henderson

What's the talk about?

We know how important eyewitnesses can be in the legal system; having someone who directly witnessed an event and can give first hand knowledge of exactly what happened is invaluable at all stages of an investigation. However a key question that sometimes gets overlooked is just how reliable is memory?

Witnesses can be genuine, confident but still inaccurate. Issues such as stress, questioning styles, the passage of time, and the influence of other sources can contaminate our memories. In this talk we’ll see how easily memories can be distorted, and the implications of this.

Sarah Henderson is a Senior Lecturer of Psychology in the School of Applied Social Studies at The Robert Gordon University. Her research interests include the effects oftress and questioning styles on memory, along with other aspects of forensic psychology.

Paul Ferrier

When?
Thursday, October 22 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Paul Ferrier

What's the talk about?

“As if this great outburst of anger has purged all my ills, killed all my hopes, I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the word.” (Camus, A. The Outsider)

In this talk, I intend to cover three main themes: defining absurdity, responding to absurdity and living with absurdity. I will consider the views of many great thinkers from the 19th and 20th centuries including: Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Søren Kierkegaard, Leo Tolstoy and Sigmund Freud. 

Absurdity, when in the context of existentialism, refers to the seemingly incongruent relationship between mankind and the passive universe. It is a habit of human beings to turn to something in their time of need – more often than not this something is of a divine nature. What is returned, however, is nothingness. This is the absurd – conscious human beings who turn to deities or otherwise for support are given nothing in return. As Camus puts it: “The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.” Human existence, then, is meaningless. Without a celestial artificer to plan our destinies, there is no objective meaning to life. Camus is particularly critical of religious existentialists, declaring that they “Deify what crushes them.” This is a view shared by Sigmund Freud and of many people in the 21st century. Religious belief, then, is a method of coping with and explaining the uncaring world. 

So, in the knowledge that life is absurd, what is the best way to respond to absurdity? There are several ways posited by those who concern themselves with the absurd. We will discuss a number of these responses such as: suicide, ignorance, religiosity, irony and rebellion. These are all perfectly legitimate ways to respond to the absurd, but which way is truly best? 

Even if we take an appropriate response to the absurd, we are still faced with the problem of life being apparently meaningless. But is this the case? Is life really meaningless in the face of absurdity? 

About the Speaker

I am a 4th year student of Philosophy and Religious Studies with a particular interest in existentialism. In particular, my interests lie within how human beings deal with absurdity, boredom, death and suffering. As well as my interests in existentialism, I am particularly interested in Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion, Psychology of Religion and the role that Myth plays in explaining the human condition. I would label myself as an absurdist – I believe that life is absurd and that it is objectively meaningless: I do not, however, believe that life is meaningless on the level of the human mind. I am also a keen cider drinker!

When?
Thursday, September 17 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?

What's the talk about?

 It's going to be like the last day of school... but even better

We like to pull the facts from the fiction but for this event the tables are turned and we want to test you, the audience. At this games night and quiz special we will test your knowledge in our triva quiz and then invite you all to bring along your favourite board game for some informal socialising. 

The more unusual the game the better!

This event is part of the TechFest science festival

 

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Ash Pryce

When?
Thursday, June 25 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

 Hydesville. New York. 1848. The young Fox sisters begin communicating with the spirit of a murdered beggar and spiritualism is born.

This interactive look at a history of talking to the dead will feature an array of magical treats including levitating tables, ectoplasm manifestation and spirit communication.

Part magic show, part comedy, part rational inquiry this fun show has regularly packed venues at the Edinburgh fringe.

Ouija Boards
Spirit Slates
Spirit Communication
Stopped Pulses
Spewing ectoplasm
And more...

"Ash Pryce is a naturally funny guy and won't allow his audience to be bored" "Very entertaining" - edfringereview

"Go see" - Edinburgh Skeptics

About Ash

Ash Pryce is a performer and director based in Scotland.  He has written and staged several skeptically themed shows looking at myths & legends, ghosts, psychics and mediumship as well as producing full plays ranging from Faustus to more contemporary original shows in Edinburgh.  He is the founder of Edinburgh Skeptics, the newly started History in the Pub Edinburgh, and runs what is believed to be the worlds first skeptical ghost tour every Fringe.  He lives just outside of Edinburgh with his three Degus, one of which holds a grudge against him.

Dr Lewis Dartnell

When?
Thursday, May 28 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Dr Lewis Dartnell

What's the talk about?

Maybe it was an asteroid impact, a nuclear war, or a viral pandemic. Whatever the cause, the world as we know it is over and humanity must start again. What would you need to know to not only survive in the immediate aftermath, but avert another Dark Ages and accelerate the rebooting of civilisation from scratch? The Knowledge is a grand thought experiment on the behind-the-scenes fundamentals of how our world works, and what drove the progression of civilisation over the centuries.

Dr Lewis Dartnell is a research fellow at the University of Leicester, working in the field of astrobiology and the search for life beyond Earth. He has written three books: Life in the Universe: A Beginner's Guide, My Tourist Guide to the Solar System and The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch.