Week In Geek: 30 January-5 February 2012

By M@ Last edited 149 months ago

Last Updated 30 January 2012

Week In Geek: 30 January-5 February 2012

London events for people with curious minds.

Tuesday 31 January
HISTORY OF SCIENCE: Learn more about bacteria-botherer Sir Alexander Fleming and his connections with Imperial College, at said institution this lunch time. FREE, 12.30pm

MAYAN ASTRONOMY: Speak Spanish and want to learn more about the Mayans? Pop along to Imperial College, where this Spanish-language lecture will reveal the impressive mathematical and astronomical learnings of the ancient civilisation. FREE, 1pm

MEDICINE: Here's a curious one: an exhibition about medical error or, rather, how to eliminate it. The Hunterian Museum's latest small exhibition Make It Better, running today until 4 February, examines new designs and technologies that help reduce the risk of patients coming a-cropper in hospital wards. FREE

ASTRONOMY: What is the solar wind, and how far does it reach? A lecture at Queen Mary discusses these cosmic farts. FREE, 6.30pm

FOOD: Where does your dinner come from? Beyond Tesco, obviously. What could we eat if imports ever stopped? Is the UK self-sufficient in food? These and many other questions of the dinner plate are pondered at the Dana Centre tonight. FREE, 7pm

ARABIC SCIENCE: A-list science commentators Robert Winston and Jim Al-Khalili converge upon the Southbank Centre to discuss the many achievements of medieval Arabic science. £10, 8pm

Wednesday 1 February
MONKEY PAINTING: Can animals make art, or does the beast-brush combo just lead to random splodges on canvas? Judge for yourself at a small exhibition of paintings by apes and elephants at the Grant Museum. FREE, runs till 9 March

LIKE A RECORD, BABY: Professor Carolin Crawford delivers a Gresham College lecture on the importance of rotation in the universe. Appropriately, the talk is on the giant roundabout that houses the Museum of London. FREE, 1pm

Thursday 2 February
GOD/SCIENCE: Alain de Botton continues his waltz around the public speaking circuit to promote his new book about what atheism can learn from religious insights. Tonight he's at LSE. FREE, 6.30pm

GENETICS: Professor Timothy Aitman looks ahead to the possible fruits of a genetics revolution, which would see our knowledge of the genome linked to many branches of medicine. FREE, 7pm

DARK ROMANCE: Is the title of the first Salon event of the year. Westbourne Grove Community Space is home to tonight's gentle probing of the psychology of love, with a screenwriter, social commentator and poet each dissecting that unruly emotion. £10, 7.30pm

GEEK VARIETY: A few tickets are still available for the latest Festival of the Spoken Nerd show, at the Haymarket Theatre. Expect mathematical, scientific and experimental high-jinx and, as we can attest, a very amusing time. £12, 7.30pm

Saturday 4 February
FAMILY BRAINS: Pop into the Royal Institution at any point today and meet Prof Bruce Hood, he of the recent Christmas Lectures, and Sophie Scott, who lead family-friendly activities on the theme of the brain. £10/£5, 11am-4pm

Sunday 5 February
BIG OLD MACHINES: It's the monthly opening of the Kirkaldy Testing Museum, a small museum devoted to engineering on Southwark Street. FREE, 11am-3pm

Booking Ahead

SPACETACULAR!: Like space and astronomy? How do you fancy a show that mixes real space science with space comedy, short films, tin-foil costumes and the legendary space quiz? Come along to Spacetacular! on 23 February at the Roxy near London Bridge. Londonist editor M@ and comedian Helen Keen host. Come as you are or come in space costume and get £1 off entry (redeemable on door). Book now. £5, 7pm

BRIGHT CLUB: The regular science-meets-variety night has another big gig at the Bloomsbury Theatre on 10 February. Researchers and comedians share a stage to talk about sex, romance and seduction. They've got that policeman out of Torchwood, and everything. £8, 7.30pm

IG NOBELS: The awards that celebrate science which 'first makes you laugh, then makes you think' are an annual highlight of the geek calendar. The 2012 roadshow once again sees host Marc Abrahams return to Imperial College to present the most outre science from the past year (the first recorded observation of same-sex necrophilia in mallards was a choice highlight from our most recent visit). The event takes place on 9 March and tickets are still available here.

TED: The ever-popular TED brand of talks returns to London with the Observer licensing the name to put on a series of short inspirational talks by thought leaders (whatever those are) from many different fields. The event at Sadler's Wells on 10 March has a particular focus on the creativity of youth, with speakers including Plan B, Camilla Vallejo and Tilda Swinton. £60/£55

Anything to add? Let us know in the comments. Want to tip us off about future geeky events? Send an email to [email protected].