Cogito Ergo Summary: Your Weekly Science Listings

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

Photograph based on actual events

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

Event of the Week

Making sense of our world at the Royal Institution

Most of us are fortunate enough to be blessed with a full complement of senses. And those who are not, or who live with an impairment, are usually able to establish rich and meaningful lives. Think Beethoven, Homer, Stevie Wonder and, erm, David Blunkett.

Occasionally, though, folks are born with severe sensory problems. Deafblind people, for example, have great difficulty engaging with the world around them. The Royal Institution takes a look, if that’s the correct phrase, at such disabilities tomorrow. Hosts David Brown and Mark Lythgoe explore whether afflicted individuals benefit from a greatly improved sense of touch, and how this might be reflected in the structure of their brains.

As a further treat for the sensorium, you can bask in the royal glow of Princess Anne, who joins the audience in her capacity as patron of the charity Sense.


So what is the full complement of senses anyhow? Most school kids will tell you that’s it’s five – sight, smell, taste, touch, and texting, sorry, hearing. Slightly precocious youngsters might add ‘balance’ to the list. Only a junior Paxman would venture ‘proprioception’. This little-understood capability is our internal sense of where our body parts are at any given moment. Daniel Wolpert expands on this sense by describing how we control and track our body movements without conscious thought. Catch this lecture for free tomorrow at the Royal Society.

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. The Dana Centre also play the cognitive card tomorrow with a discussion on the nature of consciousness. And here’s a line-up for you: ‘A hypnotherapist, an artist, a psychologist and a sleep researcher will share their thoughts and experiences with you’. If you still have a zombie-like lust for brains after all that, stick around till Tuesday for a reprise of Drugs and the Brain.

Well, we’re all brained out now, but just room to tell you about one further event that’s happening tonight - Big Ideas: Artists explore the process of science. One year ago, the Dana Centre

invited four artists to come up with concept proposals that use the Dana Centre, conceptually, architecturally or technically, as a vehicle to unpack the process of science in a collaborative and participatory way that brings the public into contact with scientists through artistic interrogation.

Well, they really know how to sell that one – at least they didn’t mention synergy. Basically, turn up for free and listen to four artists describe their Dana-inspired masterpieces.

Big Ideas: Artists explore the process of science, Tonight, Dana Centre, 7.30-9.30, FREE

Making sense of our world, Royal Institution, Thursday 7.00, £8

The Puppet Master: How the brain controls the body, Royal Society, Thursday 6.30, FREE

Consciousness - our personal world, Dana Centre, Thursday, 7-9, FREE

Drugs and the brain, Dana Centre, Tuesday, 7-9, FREE

Last Updated 07 December 2005