Cogito Ergo Summary: Your Weekly Science Listings

By M@ Last edited 150 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

Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, from Monday

Roll up, roll up, for the premier event in London’s popular science calendar. The annual Summer Science Exhibition is when the Royal Society fills up its halls with (a) top British scientists, (b) cool stuff to play with and (c) us, the general public. It’s a formula that works well. The researchers get to show off their work and help sell science to the public, while we get to do fiddle with robot nurses. And all within the beautifully marbled halls of the RS’s headquarters in Carlton House Terrace. Everyone’s a winner.

This year, highlights include: how to turn yourself invisible, why some folks get bitten by the mozzies more than others, and why the now-destroyed Mir space station may have saved us all from bird flu. Sort of.

As is so often the case with the Royal Society, however, they don’t make it easy for us. The exhibition is only open in the evening on Monday. If you miss that, you’ll have to bunk off work to visit on one of the remaining days. Grrr.


Mind-reading computers, another diversion at the RS’s exhibition, also get a look-in at the Dana Centre tonight. Mind reading, that is, via brain scans. Will these tools ever be advanced enough to literally read people’s thoughts? One clear sign that this area is maturing rapidly is an interest from advertisers. The emerging field of ‘neuromarketing’ examines the effects of brands and marketing strategies on the brain. Feedback is then used to improve the message. Oh what a world it seems we’ll live in.

Speaking of the future, it seems to be getting name-checked a lot this week. Tomorrow, go see ‘The future biology of happiness’ at Gresham College if you want to know why so many people are depressed despite all our modern wonders and unprecedented health care. Then, because it’s not all so bleak, the Dana Centre present ‘Future Worlds: better by design’ – a vague-sounding glimpse into the future of design courtesy of the RCA (please write better blurbs, folks).

But we must revisit misery to finish off. ‘In pursuit of pain’, Dana Centre’s Tuesday offering, looks at the whys and wherefores of chronic pain, weaving in the arguments for and against using cannabis, and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, which is enjoying a renewed popularity. An impressive panel includes the founder of Fighting Back (a not-for-profit organisation to raise awareness of pain issues), a couple of scientists and an acupuncturist.

When and Where?

The Technology of Mind Reading, tonight, 7-8.30, Dana Centre, FREE

The future biology of happiness, Thursday, 1pm, Gresham College, FREE

Future Worlds: Better by design?, Thursday, 7-8.30, Dana Centre, FREE

RS Summer Science Exhibition, Monday, 6-9; Tue-Thur, 10am-4.30pm, FREE

In Pursuit of Pain, Tuesday, 7-8.30, Dana Centre, FREE

Image from Wikipedia, courtesy of Kaihsu Tai.

Last Updated 28 June 2006