Week In Geek: 17-23 October 2011

M@
By M@ Last edited 74 months ago
Week In Geek: 17-23 October 2011


Events for Londoners with curious minds.

This week sees the start of the London Science Festival (LSF). We've linked up all events that still had tickets available at the time of going to press.

Monday 17 October
LSF SPACE: The SameAs meetup group's monthly gathering is all about outer space tonight. Six speakers include Kevin Fong and Lewis Dartnell. You'll find them (and us) floating around upstairs in The Driver, King's Cross. FREE, 7pm

VIRTUAL CITY: How, if at all, will technologies such as augmented reality and geotagging trasform the way we interact with the city? A panel of marketeers and artists get together at London Transport Museum to dissect. £8/£6, 6.30pm

VOLCANOES: Work or live in Shoreditch? You may want to flee tonight at the news that they're making volcanoes in the basement of the Book Club. Fortunately, there's a real-life vulcanologist on hand to prevent the trendy hangout getting twinned with Pompei. £2, 7pm

SCIENCE AND RELIGION: The Royal Institution's Frank James begins a six-part course on the links between Christianity and science, beginning with the pre-Renaissance world and moving through to the rise of so-called intelligent design and 'new atheism'. Because it's a course, it'll set you back a fair bit, but the learned Prof James is always good value. £200 for six 90-minute discussions, 7pm each Monday

Tuesday 18 October
PHYSICS: Eminent thinker Lisa Randall is at the RSA to discuss the latest fundamental physics research. The talk will be broadcast live over the web if you can't make it. FREE, 1pm

CHAOS THEORY: A philosopher and a mathematician get together at London School of Economics to chat about unpredictability and what we can learn from it. FREE, 6.30pm (unless ironically cancelled due to unforeseen events)

ARCHITECTURE: Sir Terry Farrell, marmite architect behind the MI6 building at Vauxhall and that great postmodern complex above Charing Cross station, is at the V&A to talk shop. Top of the agenda is his TV-AM building in Camden Town, currently undergoing a major revamp. £9/£6, 7pm

AI: Should we fear artificial intelligence? After all, it _always_ runs amok in the movies. A panel of experts will address the issue at Imperial College tonight. In an extreme Turing test, you have to work out which of the panel is the android, before he starts firing his laser into the audience. Possibly. FREE, 6pm

Wednesday 19 October
LSF CHIMPS: See a movie made especially for chimpanzees, as Rachel Mayeri's Primate Cinema comes to the Arts Catalyst on Clerkenwell Road. No need to book, just turn up. FREE, 12-6pm, runs until 26 October

LSF SENSES: Catch a couple of art installations at GV Art Gallery (Chiltern Street) made entirely of salt and sugar, to represent the sense of taste. Whether it meets your artistic tastes is another matter. FREE, 11am-6pm, runs until 26 October

PARAPSYCHOLOGY: Did you know that Goldsmith's College has a unit who subject paranormal claims to scientific scrutiny...exactly how the Ghostbusters got started. Researcher Peter Venkman Chris French comes to Wellcome Collection to discuss the psychological factors at play in people who believe in supernatural stuff. FREE, 1pm

MATHS: How many great mathematicians can you name? Take that number, multiply by 31, then take the positive square root. That's how many great mathematicians you'll know after hearing Prof Robin Wilson talk about his new book at Gresham College (Barnard's Inn Hall) tonight. FREE, 6pm

SCIENTIFIC PARLOUR GAMES: Make your way to UCL's Anatomy Building for an evening of mystery object identification. Then head into the Grant Museum for a private view and glass of wine. FREE, 6.30pm

Thursday 20 October
LSF INSTALLATION: Clap your eyes on a 'field of jeans', denim trousers made of material that soaks up pollution using embedded catalysts. You'll find them somewhere in the environs of the very polluted Euston Square. FREE, 8am-dusk

LSF ASTRONOMY: The Invisible Universe, a talk by the very visible Francisco Diego at UCL's Darwin Lecture Theatre, speculates about the 96% of the Universe we can't see. FREE, 4.30pm

LSF SPACETACULAR! This one gets special bold-type billing and an uncharacteristic slip into the first-person pronoun, because it's co-hosted by me, your humble Week In Geek compiler M@ Brown. I'll be joined on stage, upstairs at the Camden Head, by comedian Helen Keen, and a roll-call of space scientists, geeks and comedians for a variety night themed around space. I'll also be running a mini space quiz and an open mic session for anyone with interesting space anecdotes. Bring tin foil! £5, 8pm start, just turn up!

LSF FILM: Oscar-winning headf*ck Inception will be showing at the Coronet in Notting Hill. There's a Q&A afterwards with the digital effects people behind the film. £6.50/£5, 7.30pm

SPACE: UCL's Your Universe festival runs from today till 23 October. Its events come under the London Science Festival umbrella, but there's also a packed itinerary of exhibitions and diversions particularly geared up to kids. FREE

GEEK DRINKS: The Geekpub group hold their monthly drinks at The Glasshouse Stores in Soho. Head along if you like talking geek over a pint. FREE, 7pm, @pubgeek

TILTING AT WINDMILLS: Should we invest in green technologies for the UK, creating jobs and taking a lead in the industry but potentially ruining the countryside with windy infrastructure? Or should we instead invest in China, offering expertise to help them reduce carbon emissions. Or both. Or neither. Join the Intelligence Squared crew at the Royal Society tonight to discuss further. £10, 7pm

Friday 21 October
LSF MEDICINE: Learn how chewing an aspirin can save your life if you find you're having a heart attack. The talk take's place at King's College Guy's campus. FREE, 2.30pm

LSF GENETICS: Prof Ray Gosling, who worked with Franklin and Wilkins on the structure of DNA, opens this exploration of DNA research with a pre-recorded video address, followed by updates on the latest research. Another event at the Guy's campus of King's. FREE, 6.30pm

LSF SPACE: Dr Kevin Fong describes the final space shuttle mission and the workforce who made it happen. The talk at UCL reprises Fong's excellent documentary recently shown on the BBC. FREE, 6.30pm

Saturday 22 October
LSF SPACE: Meet Bridget, Europe's very own Martian rover. The interplanetary robot will be pacing around the Jeremy Bentham Room at UCL awaiting Earthling visitors. There's also a discussion about controlling a vehicle millions of miles away at 4pm. Return again on Sunday, with another free talk at 4pm. FREE, 11am-8pm

SCI-FI: Meet a different kind of robot at the Cartoon Museum, where Doctor Who's K-9 will be making a visit. Free with entry, 3pm

LSF RADIO: Quentin Cooper, the energetic punster from Radio 4's Material World, records an episode of the show from Greenwich Observatory. FREE, 5pm

LSF ASTRONOMY: Stick around at the observatory for an adults-only evening of physics fun. Learn to build a pop-up Large Hadron Collider, mingle with space scientists and meet some visitors of a rocky persuasion from outer space at the Astronomers' Ball. £12, 6.30pm

LSF ORIGIN OF LIFE: How did life start on Earth, and what are its chances on other planets? Neither question will be definitively answered at this UCL talk by Lewis Dartnell and Nick Lane, but they'll have fun trying. FREE, 6.30pm

LSF COSMOLOGY: Artists and scientists join forces to create sculptures that help reveal the structure of the Universe. You'll find the cosmic stuff at UCL's old refectory. FREE, 9am-6pm, and tomorrow

SCI-FI: Join the London Sci-fi/Fantasy Meetup Group for their final beer night of the month, in the Mad Hatter, Southwark. FREE, 5pm

Sunday 23 October
THEATRE: Another chance to see Helen and the Space Rocket at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden. The play follows the adventures of the titular Helen born on the day Voyager I launched on its own adventures to the outer solar system. £8/£6, 6.30pm

FILM: Watch a screening of The Matrix at the Royal Albert Hall. Yes, the Royal Albert Hall. The film will be accompanied by a live orchestral performance of the score. £15-£55, 7.45pm

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below. Please email matt@londonist.com with information about upcoming events. And check out Ian Visits' events calendar for more brain-engaging events.

Last Updated 17 October 2011

DavidC

Professor Ray Gosling worked closely on the discovery of DNA at King's College London in the 1950's. In the following video he talks about the past, present and future of DNA research:http://youtu.be/e9-ti4_LY68