Nerd Nite Brighton #13: 21/8/14 – Hypnosis, Tasty Computers and Tiny Doctors

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news in the last few weeks then you’ll have seen how the world is a pretty depressing place right now.

We can’t fix the world but our three great speakers this month will be reminding us that, whilst we do terrible thinngs to each other, humans are capable of some amazing feats and achievements.

Innerspace: Miniaturisation in medicine – Dr James Cockburn

James qualified in medicine from Imperial College, London in 2000 before undertaking general medical training at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals. He completed postgraduate research in vascular biology at King’s College London before specialising as cardiologist. He is currently Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Sussex County Hospital here in Brighton fixing broken hearts.

Medical technology has advanced at an incredible pace with diagnostic tools and treatments existing today that would have been hailed as science-fiction in the past. James will tell us about how miniaturisation has been key to these advances using his specialty of interventional cardiology as an example.

The science of hypnosis: Myths and facts – Prof Zoltan Dienes

Hypnosis is a valuable clinical tool, but much information on TV, the net, in print, and indeed sometimes taught in non-academic hypnosis classes is misleading. This is unfortunate because while there are still many things we do not know about hypnosis and there are still unresolved controversies, there is clear evidence settling some common questions about the nature of hypnosis. In his talk Zoltan will debunk some myths and indicate what we do know and what we don’t.

Zoltan is Professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex. He has published over 100 scientific papers on the nature of unconscious processes, and written two books, one on unconscious (implicit) learning and the other on the philosophy of science and statistics. He runs a hypnosis lab at the University, where anyone can be screened for their hypnotisability.

Integrating Taste into Interactive Technologies: Science or Science-Fiction? – Dr Marianna Obrist

Despite the fact that interactive technologies have permeated our environment and have become an essential part of our everyday life, the way we interact with them is still limited. Interactive systems stimulate dominantly our senses of vision and hearing, partly our sense of touch (e.g., vibration in mobile phones), while our senses of taste and smell are widely neglected and under-exploited in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research. In this talk, Marianna Obrist will talk about her research on multi-sensory experiences for interactive technologies with a special focus on the integration of taste into future interactive technologies.

Marianna Obrist is a Lecturer in Interaction Design at the University of Sussex at the School of Engineering and Informatics. She joined Sussex after spending two years as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Culture Lab of the School of Computing Science in Newcastle University. Before that Marianna was an Assistant Professor for Human-Computer Interaction and Usability at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Salzburg, Austria. The focal point of her research is to create a rich and systematic understanding on users experiences with interactive technologies. Recently she investigates the design spectrum for touch, taste, and smell experiences for interactive technologies. More details are available here: and

We wouldn’t forget the cake and the quizzes and the music of course.

Tickets on sale here

£4 Regular Nerds, £3 NUS/65+ Nerds

Upstairs at the Caroline Of Brunswick – Doors at 7.30pm

See you on the 21st!


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