Nerd Nite Brighton #12: 19/6/14 – Hacking, Neutrinos, SPIDERS!


The sun is blazing, the temperature is rising. Brighton buzzes with people from wide and far visiting for a bit of coastal excitement.

Well thank God for us. Get away from the heaving crowds of annoying, raucous sun worshippers and come down for another night of nerdery.

This month:

1. Keeping the peace in a social-spider colony – Professor Jonathan Bacon

Jonathan is Professor of Neuroscience in the School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, UK. His first degree was at Cambridge and after a year teaching in Jamaica he took an MSc and a PhD at Manchester. He joined the University of Sussex in 1984, where he was awarded the 1987 President’s Medal of the Society for Experimental Biology, and was the Dean of Life Sciences from 2002-2009. His research interests include the behaviour, development and evolution of insects as well as the foraging behaviour of Pharaoh’s ants and honey bees.

In his Voyage of the Beagle, Darwin records his surprise at seeing the social spider Parawixia bistriata in Argentina in 1832 living so amicably in close proximity with conspecifics. Jonathan will explain tonight how, almost two centuries later, the application of game theory to behavioural observations has revealed these spiders’ behavioural strategies that keep the peace, and prevent these dangerous well-armed carnivores from getting into costly confrontations with their neighbours.

2. Neutrinos: The Deep Secrets of Nature’s Ghosts – Dr Lisa Falk

Lisa is a Senior Lecturer in Elementary Particle Physics at the University of Sussex. She gained her MSc and PhD in Sweden including a fellowship at CERN before taking a lectureship at Sussex. At Nerd Nite she will share her passion for the neutrino, a weird particle that can zip through the entire Earth, and even across our galaxy, without leaving a trace. It flip-flops from one type to another in flight, and may hold the key to why the Universe contains matter but no antimatter. Catching and studying this tiniest of particles requires experimental apparatus the size of Olympic swimming pools, typically built in old mines and other exotic locations deep underground. How many neutrinos do you think you will get to know in your lifetime?

3. Ethical Hacking – Marios Kyriacou

Marios has been an information security consultant for over 10 years specialising in ethical hacking. He works for a large information security organisation where he heads the ethical hacking practice. Marios performs infrastructure and website hacking, and social engineering (the art of extracting information from people).
In his talk Marios will explain hacking and what’s actually involved in this – is it really the way it’s done in the movies? He’ll tell tales of his exploits (no pun intended) in hacking organisations. He’ll also talk about the approaches organisations are taking to secure your information. There may even be time for a quick hacking demo.


Cake and quizzes and rock and roll as usual! You know the drill…

And if all of that is not enough, Dr Jane Hume returns as special guest host!

Tickets from here

Doors at 7.30pm, start at 8pm.

Upstairs at the Caroline Of Brunswick, 39 Ditchling Road, Brighton BN1 4SB

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