Cogito Ergo Summary: Your Weekly Science Listings

By M@ Last edited 160 months ago
Cogito Ergo Summary: Your Weekly Science Listings

These listings appear every Wednesday. If you want to let us know about any upcoming science or technology events, you can contact us at

Event Of The Week

More Chocology at the Royal Institution

Event of the Week, clearly, should be Londonist's First Birthday Party (which, in case this isn't hard-wired into you brain yet, is tomorrow). But the pedants amongst you might notice that there's little scientific about boozing, schmoozing and boogieing. (Apart from the raffle draw, which will see state-of-the-art random ticket selection technology in action. Or Rob's arm, as it's known.)

So we were a little chagrined to find that the Royal Institution are hosting an event on the same night that does manage to combine science and epicureanism. 'More Chocology' looks at the history and manufacture of chocolate, pointing out that the science behind the brown stuff is so complex that it's a wonder it was ever discovered:

Imagine if chocolate had never been invented. All cakes would be lemon. We’d have to have secret stashes of vegetables. And what would happen to Belgium?

Well, we suppose they’d still have Tintin but, otherwise, it doesn’t look good.

The lecture will be given by Dr Patrick Couzens, who has more than 14 years experience in the chocolate industry and, presumably, no teeth. After all the sweet talk, your mouth will no doubt be watering, so step forward Sara Jayne Stanes from something called the Academy of Chocolate (by God, how do we enrol?). She'll be leading a chocolate-tasting session with the finest confections from Tuscan chocolatiers Amedei. (Hey, guys, can we have a free sample for plugging your site?)

Who says science isn't fun?


Here’s an alarming statistic for you, courtesy of the Dana Centre: three-quarters of all the housing value in England and Wales lies along the flood plains of the Thames.

Oh dear.

Here’s another scary number: 120 000 new homes will be built in these flood plains over the next ten years. The words disaster and recipe should now be rattling round your head.

After New Orleans, it's probably only a matter of time before Bush launches the War Against Mother Nature. But can we find ways of lliving with the threat of flooding, or should we all move to Snowdonia? Flood Plain Building at the Dana Centre tonight addresses such questions.

This one verges on the palindromic. Professor Nutt will attempt to raise the awareness of ways to raise the awareness in your nut. Or, more succinctly, how can your brain power be improved? Sociologist Nikolas Rose will also be on hand to look at what will become of our world if everyone starts popping wonder pills to augment their brain power. Catch Your Brain: The Final Frontier at the Royal Institution tonight.

London’s science venues have brains on the brain over the next seven days. (Security staff have been equipped with zombie repellent.) Two events at the Dana Centre continue the laudable ‘Meeting of Minds’ initiative, of which Dana are a partner. Tomorrow, a discussion (also webcast) focuses on the relationship between drugs and brains, with an emphasis on the factors that determine whether a drug is proscribed or prescribed. Then, next Tuesday, a panel of experts present the latest thinking on the old nature versus nurture debate. That is, just how much of what we perceive as infants is ‘built in’?

If you want to combine some of the themes from this week's post, here's a recipe for chocolate brains.

Where and When

Your brain: the final frontier?, Wednesday 7-8.30, Royal Institution, £8

Flood Plain Building - Plainly foolish?, Wednesday 7-8.30, Dana Centre, FREE

More Chocology, Thursday 7-8.30, Royal Institution, £8

Drugs and the Brain: Recreation or Therapy?, Thursday 7.00, Dana Centre, FREE

Nature and Nurture of the Brain, Tuesday 7-8.30, Dana Centre, FREE

Last Updated 02 November 2005