Cogito Ergo Summary: Your Weekly Science Listings

By M@ Last edited 212 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 on

Event of the Week

Chernobyl and the Nuclear Debate, Dana Centre, tonight

Should we continue to commission and upgrade our nuclear reactors? It’s one of those fiendish dilemmas where both camps have strong arguments and are convinced of their position (and here’s an example). The situation’s a bit like Time Out’s recent ‘Which is better: North or South London’ nonsense, which, incidentally, is also being regurgitated at the Museum of London tonight, courtesy of Robert Elms (who should know better). Unlike the flippant North/South thing, though, the nuclear question does need an answer. And soon. Britain’s reactors need an expensive fillip over the coming years if we’re to continue getting 20% of our energy from nuclear sources.

So, there’s every reason to expect a lively debate at the Dana Centre tonight, when proponents and opponents of nuclear power go head to head on the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl. And one of those heads belongs to Johnny Ball (that’s Zoë’s Dad, for younger readers), who is now a ‘strong and serious voice supporting nuclear power’. He’ll be joined by Keith Barnham of Imperial college, who reckons we can replace nuclear sources with solar power (although not, we suspect, on nuclear submarines). Completing this rather impressive panel, via a direct link-up from Ukraine, is Dmitriy Bobro, the head of a government department looking at the legacy of Chernobyl. We just hope there isn’t a power cut.


Remember what we were saying about dotty debates? Well here’s another one. The Royal Institution present a discussion on ‘Who's the greatest mind that changed our minds?’ By that, they mean who’s the bestest thinker in the field of psychiatry? Gotta be Freud, hasn’t it? Well…yes. But that won’t detract from what should be a fascinating insight into the brain-probing couchmanship of some 20th Century greats you might not have heard of.

Also tomorrow, the Dana Centre hosts another of its popular Dinners. Well, we say popular, but we’ve never actually been along to one. Are they any good? Tomorrow, the theme, if not the cuisine, is feathered dinosaurs. If you think that sounds exciting, you’ll want to return on Tuesday for their ‘Pub guide’ to robots:

Everyone at the event will be able to make a robot, let it play in a specially prepared arena, then take it home as a pet.

Why, in the Terminator’s duffel bag, didn’t we make that Event of the Week?

Finally, over at the British Library tonight, there’s talk of tortoises, sharks, finches and bearded Victorian naturists. Sorry, naturalists. It can only be the islands of the Galapagos.

Ooo, ooo and a late entry courtesy of Katie from Inkycircus. Michael Stebbins is going to be talking about his new book, Sex, Drugs and DNA, at the British Library on Tuesday.

When and Where?

Chernobyl and the Nuclear Debate, Tonight, 7.00, Dana Centre, FREE

Islands of the Galapagos, Tonight, 6.30, British Library, £6

Who's the greatest? Minds that changed our minds, Thursday, 7.30, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, £8

Dinner@Dana: How feathers saved the dinosaurs, Thursday, 6.30, Dana Centre, FREE

The Dana Pub Guide to: Robots, Tuesday, 7.00, Dana Centre, FREE

Last Updated 26 April 2006