Week In Geek: 15-21 October 2012

Celebrate Ada Lovelace Day. See Tuesday.

London events for people with curious minds.

Tuesday marks the annual Ada Lovelace Day, which celebrates the work of the early computer programmer, and the contribution of women to science and technology in general. Several of the events in this week’s listings are part of that theme.#ald12

Monday 15 October

SKEPTICS: Why do some people have wacky, nonsensical beliefs, and why do these sometimes work their way into a wider population? Stephen Law talks about believing bullshit at tonight’s Skeptics in the Pub, in the Monarch, Camden Town. £2, 7.30pm

Tuesday 16 October

SPACE: TV-gracing scientist Kevin Fong gives a UCL lunchtime talk about the future of space travel in the 21st Century. FREE, 1.15pm

LORENZO’S OIL: The real-life tale of two parents seek a cure for their child’s rare nerve disorder, Lorenzo’s Oil screens at the Royal Society of Chemistry (Burlington House, Piccadilly) followed by a talk by Dr Keith Layden about the treatment and a discussion led by Lorenzo’s half sister, Cristina Odone. £5, 5.30pm

LOVELACE ART TOUR: The Government Art Collection, tucked in a mews off Tottenham Court Road, looks after a portrait of Ada Lovelace. This evening tour of the archive includes a short talk about the painting. FREE, details on booking

ROBOTICS: Imperial College hosts a discussion about the state-of-the-art in robotics, from military to medical to the home. FREE, 6pm

FINDING ADA: Perhaps the biggest celebration of Ada Lovelace Day comes at the Finding Ada event at IET in Savoy Place. A medley of our favourite scientists and performers gather together to celebrate women in engineering, with science, technology, comedy and song. £10, 6.30pm

INTERNET: Robin Mansell is at London School of Economics to discuss the difficulties of policymaking and legislating for the Internet. FREE, 6.30pm

ELECTRICITY: Frances Ashcroft is at the Royal Institution to explain how electricity is used within the body. £10, 7pm

BRIGHT CLUB: Eschewing the usual lineup of academics from the sciences and humanities, tonight’s Bright Club at the Wilmington Arms features talks from the world of acting, writing and directing. £5, 7.30pm

MORE ADA: This month’s PubSci event, upstairs at the Ritzy in Brixton, also celebrates Ada Lovelace Day with an evening’s discussion about women currently working in science and related fields. Some boozing will happen too. Free, 7.30pm

Wednesday 17 October

SCIENCE LIVE: The Science Museum’s new stage show for families begins today, running till 4 November. Science Live features various experiments and demonstrations aimed at a 7-11 year-old audience (and their parents/guardians). £12.50 (adult), £9 (child), 11am and 1.30pm each day

SYNAESTHESIA: Today’s lunchtime talk at Wellcome Collection looks (or should that be smells?) at synaesthesia, the condition where the senses get crossed wires. Enjoy listening to your sandwiches, while Michael Banissy reveals more. FREE, 1pm

CYBER-SECURITY: As the threat of cyber attacks increases, Michael Chertoff at Imperial College discusses the nature of the threat and the legal and ethical quandaries of countering them. FREE, 5.30pm

MAG-LEVS: This week’s talk at the IET looks at the history and possible future of magnetically levitated transport. FREE, 6pm

TURING: Everyone’s favourite genius is profiled in a Royal Society lecture, which will look at the many fields of maths and computing that Alan Turing made contributions to. FREE, 6.30pm

MEDICINE: This month’s Cosy Science event at the Citie of Yorke pub asks whether cancer can ever be 100% curable, given the many causes and mechanisms at play. The speaker is Professor Gaudenz Danuser of Harvard Medical School. FREE, 7pm

EXECUTIONS: Can executions ever be humane, and what involvement does the medical community, entrusted to save lives, have in the killing of criminals? A debate at the Dana Centre, including a mock execution, will look at the moral and medical sides of execution. FREE, 7pm

BLOGGING: Museum of London holds an evening devoted to London blogging, with a panel comprising Dave Hill (Guardian Online), Sonya Barber (Time Out), Michael Pollitt (Snipe London), Chloe McCloskey (Lecool) and Ian Mansfield (Ianvisits). £7, 7pm

Thursday 18 October

HUMANISM: Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association explains what Humanism is and why it matters. The talk begins a new public lecture series at Goldsmith’s College in New Cross. FREE, 7pm

ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY: Learn how to photograph the heavens with a masterclass at the Royal Society, featuring astronomers Damian Peach, Pete Lawrence and Steve Richards. This is an entirely lecture and wine-based event from Sky at Night, so don’t worry if it’s cloudy. £25, 6.30pm

Friday 19 October

WOMEN IN SCIENCE: This year’s scientific Nobel Prize winners were all male, as they were the year before, and the year before that. Although there are now many prominent female scientists around the world, it’s still a male-dominated pursuit. The Royal Society hosts a Wikipedia edit-a-thon to improve information about female scientists and technologists past and present. This is followed by a panel discussion looking at the reasons for this gender disparity. FREE, 2.30-6pm (Wikipedia), 6.30pm (panel)

Saturday 20 October

BATTLE OF IDEAS: The annual debate-a-thon that is Battle of Ideas takes place at The Barbican, with dozens of talks and panels on every controversial subject under the sun. Continues tomorrow. £100 (weekend pass)

VIRTUAL LONDON: Our friends at CASA (UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis) will unleash some of the geographic technologies on the public, with demos of a virtual London at the Building Centre, just off Tottenham Court Road. Part of the Bloomsbury Festival. FREE, 10am-5pm, continues tomorrow

3D PRINTING: Following a trade day yesterday, the 3D Print Show opens its doors to the public. See examples of products made by 3-D printing and buy your own kit. Continues tomorrow. £19.95 (day), £29.95 (weekend), 10am-8.30pm

WEIRD ANIMALS: Travel to the furthest reaches of the globe without leaving London, in the Grant Museum’s Weird and Wonderful Wildlife weekend. The museum will show off some of its more unusual specimens, at this family-friendly event. Part of the Bloomsbury Festival. FREE, 1-5pm, continues Sunday.

NAUGHTY NATURE: Stick around at the Grant Museum after hours for an adults-only look at lust, jealousy and pride in the animal world. FREE, 6-8pm

HORROR: The Prince Charles Cinema hosts a John Carpenter all-nighter, featuring Big Trouble in Little China, Escape From New York, The Thing, The Fog and They Live. £25, 9pm

Sunday 21 October

UGLY ANIMALS: Pandas and polar bears get all the attention, but which threatened ugly animals deserve to be saved? Join a stellar line-up of comedians at the Vandella in Shepherd’s Bush to help decide. £5, 7pm

Did we miss anything…even in all that lot? Let us know in the comments or tip us off about future events by emailing matt@londonist.com

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  • Mark Johnson

    Lorenzo’s oil is an amazing story.

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