Cogito Ergo Summary: Your Weekly Science Listings

By M@ Last edited 208 months ago
Cogito Ergo Summary: Your Weekly Science Listings
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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

Hearing Colours, Seeing Sounds at the Dana Centre, tonight

What flavour is Londonist? Salt and vinegar with an unwelcome hint of mustard? Or like the smell of a satellite, with green-tasting screeches?

What sounds like nonsense to most of us can smell perfectly to people with synaesthesia, the condition whereby the senses get all muddled up. Tonight, the Dana centre is devoting the evening to exploring how synaesthetes react visually to music. Listen to/watch/sniff this:

Would you describe a B played on the cello as an ominous dark shape made of synthetic fur, with teeth embedded in its back? Or does it have a claggy peanut-butter middle with chocolate rippled over it?

Someone who might is artist Lynette Kay, who will show off her synaesthetic paintings inspired by music, while a group of LSE docs explain the basis of this odd phenomenon. There will also be music by the New London Orchestra for you to fondle.


Whether you’re a synaesthete or not, ‘financial sense’ means the same in anyone’s language. So it’s good to see that all this week’s lectures are free. The Dana are back again tomorrow with a look at animal emotions. Do they, indeed, have any (animals, not the Dana)? Can a turkey be perky and a gnu feel blue? And if the lark can lark about then can the toucan lark too?

Sorry - think we were channelling Spike Milligan for a second there.

Sticking with the rhyming, the Royal Society opens our eyes to the plastic fantastic on Monday. Prof Richard Friend of Cambridge will be discussing a range of semiconducting polymers ‘set to revolutionise industrial and consumer electronics’. Again. We’re only just getting the hang of the current generation, thank you.

Two further events on Tuesday. The Dana Centre, lucky bastards, do sex and drugs. Pills such as Viagra (or VIA-G*RA, as it’s often to be found in our inbox) are now commonplace in the planet’s bedrooms. How is this affecting society? Finally, at the Natural History Museum, there’s a members-only event where Andrew Parker will describe the origins of colour in the animal kingdom.

When and Where?

Hearing Colours, Seeing Sounds, 7.00, tonight, Dana Centre, FREE

Party Animals, 7.00, Thursday, Dana Centre, FREE

Plastic fantastic: electronics for the 21st century, 6.30, Monday, Royal Society, FREE

Sex, drugs and debate, 7.00, Tuesday, Dana Centre, FREE

Seven Deadly Colours, 7.00, Tuesday, Natural History Museum, FREE (members only)

Last Updated 31 May 2006