Nerd Nite Brighton #14: 18/9/14 – Animals at work, new money and lying economics


We’re back on September 19th for some more seaside nerdery. This month:

Economagic: the tricks of the economic illusionists – Dr Rob Levy

How do you saw a deficit in half? How do you pull a recovery out of a hat? How can you stick real steel swords into your own economy and still have it alive and kicking in time for the next election? UCL Economagician Rob Levy takes you behind the scenes at Number 11 Downing Street, revealing the secrets behind these amazing conjuring tricks and demystifies some of the phoney baloney around the UK’s magical new growth figures.

Rob Levy is an economist at UCL. He knows how to moonwalk, clap in triplets and solve mathematical equations. He is not machine; he is man. He will fight you; he will win.

The hidden power of social capital – Dr Mick Taylor

In an age of rapid data transfer, global finance and the insatiable demand for ever-increasing returns on capital, we often reduce our view of the world to one of numbers. If something can’t be measured or counted we often deem it unimportant. This has resulted in some of the most fundamental aspects of human society being ignored or underestimated, things such as shared identity, trust and reciprocity.

Social capital holds much untapped power. This talk explores how technology can be used to co-create and leverage social capital to enable individuals and enterprises to collaborate and build the thriving, resilient and sustainable economies and communities we need to face the uncertainty of tomorrow’s world.

Mick is a former teacher of mathematics with a PhD in mathematical epidemiology, studying how changes in social structures and human behaviour can lead to different outcomes in the event of a disease outbreak. Mick is fascinated by human systems, particular in monetary systems and how the design of our money supply impacts on all aspects of human life.

My manager and other animals – Mr Richard Robinson

Deep down, we’re just like animals. Some of us are selfish like apes. Some are chaotic like ants. . . And somehow the two clash and coalesce in ‘antagonistic harmony’. My Manager & Other Animals examines the evolutionary psychology of work, focusing on the office, workshop, corporation or government department, and the complex and fascinating evolutionary tactics that have developed to deal with working life.

Richard Robinson is a puppeteer and worked on television series like Spitting Image. Before his puppeteering career, he was a busker. In the mid-1990s, after years taking his children to the Science Museum and related educational events he found a new outlet as a science busker, visiting schools and festivals with science cabaret acts. He has written nearly twenty books on science. His SCIENCE MAGIC books were shortlisted for the Royal Society’s science book prize 2000. He is the curator of our very own Brighton Science Festival.


No cake this month. ONLY JOKING! and there’ll be music and quizzes too!

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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