Your guide to talks & events with a skeptical twist at the BSF


Tuesday, September 4 2012 at 9:00AM

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What's the talk about?

This year Aberdeen hosts the British Science Festival for the first time since 1963!

There is a huge volume of awesome talks and events taking place on 4th - 9th September all over the city and here is Aberdeen Skeptics in the Pub's guide to the events we don't think you should miss.

The Quantum Universe - Brian Cox
Just what is quantum physics? How does it help us understand the world? Where does it leave Newton and Einstein? And why can we be sure that the theory is good? The bizarre behaviour of the atoms and energy that make up the universe has led to some very woolly pronouncements on the nature of all interconnectedness. Join Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw to talk about the real science, and the profound theory that allows for concrete, yet astonishing predictions about the world.
Thurs 6th Sep, 18.15-1915 £10.00
Arts Lecture Theatre, University of Aberdeen

Sweet Dreams - Richard Wiseman
Join psychologist Richard Wiseman as he delves deep into the science of sleep and dreaming. Why do you dream? Is it possible to control your dreams? Do your dreams predict the future? How do you get the perfect night’s sleep? Richard reveals what happens when your brain goes to sleep, and the new technology that claims to be able to create your perfect dream.
Sat 8th Sep, 20.00-21.00 £10.00
Arts Lecture Theatre, University of Aberdeen

Food Addiction: Fact or Fiction
There are many complex factors which lead to people being overweight or obese, but the basic question is why do some people eat too much? Are they addicted to food? Join our international panel of psychiatrists and scientists to explore whether eating food can be so rewarding that it leads to a state of addiction similar to that seen with alcohol and drugs. 
Wed 5th Sep 10.00-12.00 FREE
Meston Building, Lecture Theatre 1, University of Aberdeen

The Ethics and Technology of Seeing Through Clothes (Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award Lecture) 

This exploration of vision will tell you what other animals see that we can’t. What is the truth and that is the hype with x-ray vision? How well can machines really see through clothes? What sort of images do they take and how are they used? What does this mean for society? 
Wed 5th Sep 12.00-13.00 FREE
King’s College Conference Centre, Auditorium, University of Aberdeen
Why Do Some People Become Psychopaths? (Joseph Lister Award Lecture) 
Psychopaths have callous and unemotional personality traits, and often engage in criminal and antisocial activities. What makes these people stand out is their lack of empathy and emotion about their antisocial behaviour. We can see similar traits in children who are at risk of developing  psychopathy. This talk reviews antisocial behaviour in children, in terms of genetics, brain structure, and behavioural development. 
Thurs 6th Sep 12.00-13.00 FREE
King’s College Conference Centre, Auditorium, University of Aberdeen
Can You Be Religious and Scientific (without going crazy)?
The argument about the compatibility of myth (or religion) with science is not new, it goes back to ancient Greece. The rise of science as the modern way of explaining events in the world has simply raised the issue even more intensely. Our panel of speakers will debate their views on the issue. 
Sat 8th Sep 15.30-17.30 FREE
Fraser Noble Building, Lecture Theatre 2, University of Aberdeen
Showing Mercy or a Licence to Kill? Assisted Suicide 
Get involved in a spirited discussion about this controversial topic. We will begin by asking you to  vote and share your opinion, then you’ll hear from the speakers for both sides, including Peter Kiehlmann, Aberdeen GP who recently worked on the Scottish National Action Plan for Palliative Care. You’ll then vote again and see if hearing the arguments has caused you to change your views. 
Sun 9th Sep 10.00-12.00 FREE
Suttie Centre Lecture Theatre, Foresterhill Health Campus, University of Aberdeen
Looking for Leviathans: What does science tell us about the hunt for sea monsters?
Join in talks and demonstrations with Dr Charles Paxton to explore what the possibilities are of unknown animals being discovered in the world's rivers, lakes and seas. What does psychology, ecology and statistics tell us about the reality of people reporting monsters?
Sun 9th Sept 13:00-14:00 FREE
Fraser Noble Building, Lecture Theatre 2, University of Aberdeen 
Festival of the Spoken Nerd 
Before they embark on their first national tour, stand-up mathematician Matt Parker, geek songstress Helen Arney and experiments guy Steve Mould return to the British Science Festival to present Festival of the Spoken Nerd, a variety hour for the fearlessly inquisitive. Join three of the UK’s best (and nerdiest) performers for a celebration of comedy, science, music, maths, interactive experiments and maybe some things that go bang. 
Tue 4th Sep 20.00-23.00 £5
The Spiegeltent, King’s Lawn, University of Aberdeen
Brain of Aberdeen (Aberdeen Skeptics in the Pub’s Pub Quiz)
Do you have the biggest brain in Aberdeen? Could your team be crowned Aberdeen Skeptics in the Pub quiz champions 2012? Join Alok Jha (The Guardian) as we test your general knowledge, with just a hint of science –you don’t need to be Stephen Hawking to win. 
Thurs 6th Sep 20.00-22.00 FREE
The Illicit Still, Broad Street, Aberdeen
What’s the Point? 
Scientists aren’t known for being concise. So what will happen when host Timandra Harkness takes scientists, adds a mathematician, and catalyses with games rewarding ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’? Featuring Matt Parker (as heard on Radio 4’s Infinite Monkey Cage), Greg Foot (presenter, BBC3’s Secrets of Everything), Lucie Green (Infinite Monkey Cage/Stargazing Live/Sky at Night), Steve Mould (scientist for Blue Peter), Tom Whyntie, Andrew Pontzen, Andrea Sella and many more. We predict a couple of hours of action-packed, explosive science silliness. 
Sat 8th Sep 20.00-22.00
The Spiegeltent, King’s Lawn, University of Aberdeen

Tickets will be available from 30th June and can be booked online at the British Science Festival website, at Aberdeen Box Office and during the festival.

Visit the British Science Festival website for more information.