Nerd Nite Brighton 19: Talking dogs, space questions, robot lovers

NNB18 poster

It’s that time again!

Our fabulous talks this month:

1. Astroquizzical: unusual questions for an astrophysicist – Dr Jillian Scudder

Astroquizzical began 3 years ago as an open forum for people to anonymously submit their questions about the Universe, and receive a reasonably complete, clearly worded reply in exchange. Astroquizzical has since fielded questions about the plausibility of movie and video game scenes, some technical explanations, and many questions which begin “what would happen if…”. This talk will walk you through some of the least anticipated questions Astroquizzical has received, and their answers.

Dr. Jillian Scudder is an astrophysicist currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Sussex. Jillian grew up in Florida, completed her undergraduate degree in Minnesota USA, and her PhD in Victoria, Canada, and is now in the UK. Her specialty is in studying the way galaxies evolve, through collisions and over time. Astroquizzical is an outreach project she runs in her spare time, where she answers questions from the general public about anything to do with space. 

2. Do you want a robot lover? -Dr Blay Whitby
Would you like to have sex with a robot, or maybe just fool around a little bit? Do you think you could fall in love with one? Could a robot ever love you back? And would you do unspeakable things to a robot that you would never do to a human? But then might you start doing them to a human just because you’ve already done them to a robot and now the line is getting blurry? These are the questions Dr. Blay Whitby will help you answer in this highly entertaining talk.

Dr. Whitby is a philosopher and ethicist concerned with new and emerging technologies and their social and humanitarian impact. He is a member of the Strategic Ethics Committee of BCS The Chartered Institute of IT and ethical advisor to the Royal Academy of Engineering. Widening public engagement in science through debate is important to him.

3. A Dog’s Guide to Human Whispering – Victoria Ratcliffe
Most dog owners have probably found themselves thinking that their dog understands them better than most people. That’s until requests wash ineffectually over their heads and it seems apparent that they haven’t got a clue what they’re being told. People still seem determined to speak to their dogs but how much do they actually understand? Victoria will be discussing the recent exciting advances in dog behavioural research, including the work she is currently doing at Sussex University, which is just beginning to uncover what is actually going on in our furry friends’ heads when we speak to them. She hopes to convince you that they are listening, and may understand more than you might have thought!

Victoria is currently working towards her PhD at the University of Sussex under the guidance of her supervisor, Dr. David Reby, investigating ‘how dogs hear us’. Domestic dogs are particularly well suited to explore communication between species, as they often gain extensive natural experience in communicating with humans. By investigating how dogs perceive human voices we can not only improve our communication with them, but also increase our understanding of how unique our own thought processes are and how much they are actually shared with other mammals.
Cakes, quizzes, music, drinks and our special guest host Dr Mick Taylor!
Doors at 7.30pm for an 8pm start
Tickets £4 for regular nerds and £3 for the student/65+ nerds

Upstairs at the Caroline of Brunswick


Tickets from HERE

Please please note that we sell out every month now so strongly advise you to buy tickets online early! We have a few we reserve for sale on the night but again they disappear very quickly

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