Cogito Ergo Summary: Your Weekly Science Listings

By M@ Last edited 157 months ago
Cogito Ergo Summary: Your Weekly Science Listings

After some good feedback on last week’s debutant listings, we’ve decided to make this a weekly slot, every Wednesday. If you know of any exciting sci-tech events over the coming week that we’ve missed, please let us know through the comments or by e-mailing the usual address. Meanwhile, enjoy this cartoon.

Event Of The Week

Our knowledge of environments on other planets is increasing every year. Just in the past 12 months, we’ve had the first pictures from the ‘crème brulee’ surface of Titan, endless streams of data from Saturnian probe Cassini, and amazing panoramas from the plucky Martian rovers, still going strong a year and a half after their warranties. And discoveries of planets around other stars are now routine astronomy. But still, where are the aliens? Could it really be that the Earth alone is a suitable cradle for life, in all that vast blackness?

Partly because of the recent swell of data, exobiology (the study of alien life) is gradually moving from drinking banter to a respectable scientific discipline. On Tuesday, the Dana Centre probes this timeless topic and explores how different planetary environments might influence a species’ development. Ah, alien evolution; let’s hope there are a few creationists in the audience to add some spice. You can explore the theme further at the Science Museum’s forthcoming ‘Science of Aliens’ exhibition. More on that next week.

Back to planet Earth. Tonight, at the Dana Centre, you can learn about the world’s first race-specific drug, Nitormed, which is tailored for black heart-disease patients. Clinical trials have shown that the combination therapy is particularly effective in that ethnic group. So what’s the problem? The racial element seems to be splitting the medical community in twain, with what New Scientist describes as ‘one of the most explosive rows the FDA [US Food and Drug Administration] has ever faced’. Some see it as a bold step forward towards bespoke medicine, while others claim that there ‘is no place for race in medicine’. Join in the debate with a panel of experts.

Londoners have long had a fascination with anatomy, from the early scientific experiments of Harvey et al., through the notorious 19th Century body snatchers, right up to the enormously successful Body Worlds exhibition a couple of years ago. So fans of scalpels and severed tendons are in for a treat as the Royal Institution presents ‘Anatomy for the terrified!!!’ (their punctuation). Next Tuesday, Dr Susie Whiten explores the modern face of anatomy, with demonstrations of current imaging techniques and other gizmos. She also promises to show off her ‘amazing anatomical curiosities’. We’ll let you read that how you will.

Where and When

Alien Evolution, Dana Centre, Tuesday 7-8.30, free entry, but book ahead.

Segregating Medicine, Dana Centre, TONIGHT 7-8.30, free entry, but book ahead.

Anatomy for the terrified!!!, The Royal Institution, Tuesday 7-8.30, £8.

Last Updated 05 October 2005