Author: Science London

Written by Supatra Marsh, Art Neuro founder, Science London volunteer and QMUL researcher

I have volunteered for Science London for a number of years now and I am very grateful to them for introducing me to the marvellous world of science communication. During my time at Science London I have met some wonderful people, made brain shaped bath bombs, and decorated cupcakes with STI’s – yes you heard right – Sexually Transmitted Infections!

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A post from one of our awesome volunteers, Duvaraka Kulaveerasingam.

Earlier this autumn, I spent a month working on the BBC show Horizon. I had a buzz of excitement and nervousness on the day I arrived. The vast glass atrium, as you enter New Broadcasting house, is awe inspiring and gives a feel of how big the organisation is. Having worked only in science and academia for a few years, the organised nature of the BBC struck me straightaway. Within an hour of being there I was up and running with my own laptop, outlook email connected and ready to receive jobs.

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Science news from one of our brilliant volunteers, Dr Alfredo Carpineti.

Last month ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre Array) took the first high definition image of the formation of a planetary system. Stars and thus planets form from the condensation and contraction of gas and dust clouds that constitute nebulae. Once the molecular cloud starts contracting a protoplanetary disk immediately begins to emerge, heralding the formation of planetoids and eventually planets. And it is from one of these clouds, specifically the Taurus Molecular Cloud, that this image come from.

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How much do you know about you-know-what?

Science London is getting steamy, as we look at the science of sex and the maths of making love…

We’ll be joined by some real life sex scientists, who will be on hand to talk about their research and answer your burning questions. Where in the UK has the most sex? How can apps make people use condoms? And what do you call your bits?

On the programme, we have:

Dr Soazig Clifton, UCL:
“Who with? Where? What? How often? All good questions, especially when it comes to the sex lives of Brits. I’ll be undressing the results of NATSAL – the largest ever survey of national sexual habits.”

Dr Rosie Webster, UCL:
“How can a website make men use condoms? Sexually transmitted infections can be prevented using condoms, but many people don’t use them. We’ve developed a website which encourages condom use, and I’ll be talking about how we decided what this website should include (which involved a lot of talking to men about sex!)”

Plus a special guest!

We’ll be hosted by the lovely Sh!, who will also be selling lots of goodies, with a special 10% discount just for you, so come early and have a browse!

Ticket price includes a free glass of wine, and there will also be the chance to get involved…

This event is for over-18s only and will contain adult content.

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Date: Thursday 4th December 2014
Time: 7pm, for a 7.30pm start
Place: Sh!, 57 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6PB [gmap]
Cost: £3 (+ booking fee) reserve your ticket by clicking here

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The Dating Games returns as a part of the RI Lates

In this edition of The Dating Games, Science London will be using facial recognition technology to explore the idea that we are more likely to be physically attracted to people with similar features to our own. Fancy testing it out? Then come and join the Science London team and research scientists for the latest instalment of ‘The Dating Games: Rules of Attraction’.

How it works
By using newly developed facial recognition software we can analyse faces quantifiably and therefore assess how similar two people look. Comparing this similarity score alongside a traditional speed-dating rating will mean we can investigate whether similarities sizzle or whether opposites really do attract.
We will be running two speed dating rounds:


  1. Virtual dating, which will record the software scores of facial similarity between pairs of participants;

  2. Traditional dating, where daters will speak to and rate each partner for skipped heartbeats.
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Mutual Attraction by Teddy Llovet



After the dating, there will be a talk discussing the science behind the game and Science London will take your contact information to send through those all important love matches.

Will similarities set hearts racing or will we find dazzling conversation can supersede aesthetic appeal? Come along and find out!

Date: Friday 24th October 2014
Time: 6.30pm
Place: The Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street London W1S 4BS [gmap]
Cost: Please see details on the RI website for cost and ticketing.

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Art Neuro are curating Science London’s SciBars at the Book Club.

Join us for an in-depth look into the workings of science-art collaborations, and how we can use art to explore science. Artists and scientists from Art Neuro will be discussing their work for the project, come down for a drink and find out what they have been up to.

Robin Carhart-Harris will be discussing his research into the effects of psychedelics on the brain and how this inspired documentary maker Georgina Cammalleri’s short film. Also India Harvey and Lebina Shrestha will discuss their collaboration trying to understand advanced brain imaging through constructed textiles.

Date: Tuesday 21st October 2014
Time: 7pm, for a 7.30pm start
Place: The Book Club, 100-106 Leonard St
London EC2A 4RH [gmap]
Cost: Free ticketed on EventBrite.

touchable-felt
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Art Neuro are curating Science London’s SciBars at the Book Club.

Join us for an in-depth look into the workings of science-art collaborations, and how we can use art to explore science. Artists and scientists from Art Neuro will be discussing their work for the project, come down for a drink and find out what they have been up to.

Matthew Parker and Kate Hughes will talk about portraying research using zebrafish to understand addiction through the eyes of an artist.

Date: Monday 6th October 2014
Time: 7pm, for a 7.30pm start
Place: The Book Club, 100-106 Leonard St
London EC2A 4RH [gmap]
Cost: Free ticketed on EventBrite.

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Hold on to your Santa hats… as Science London is incredibly smug to announce their frivolously festive yet factually full-on CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA.

We will be bringing you a merry medley of seasonal science. Ingeniously and with ruthless logic, we have fused together an evening of quizzing, craft, music and comedy.Like prizes? SO DO WE. Even if you haven’t brought your best brain for our quiz, then you’ll still have a chance to win a special something for sporting the most inventive Christmas hat. In fact, we are liable to award prizes for implausibly trivial reasons. CCT Logo

Hosted by Bright Club and Science Showoff creator Steve Cross, and with a line-up including award-winning comedian and science songstress Helen Arney, cosmologist-cum-comedian Andrew Pontzen, and FameLab-winning funny man Tom Whyntie, this one will be a Christmas cracker.


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Date: Wednesday 18th December 2013
Time: 7pm
Place: Canal Cafe Theatre, Delamere Terrace, Little Venice, London, W2 6ND [gmap]
Cost: £5 (plus £1.50 annual membership and booking fees may apply) from The Canal Cafe Theatre Website

Oh, and you simply must visit our marvellously festive advent calendar!

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After a summer break, The Science London Dating Games is back!

We’ve got a new game and a new venue but we’re asking the same question; can science help us to find love? This time we are investigating the idea of symbiotic similarities and we are looking to recruit 15 girls and 15 guys looking for a shot at love.

In this edition of The Dating Games, we will be using facial recognition technology to explore previous findings that we are more likely to be physically attracted to people with similar features to our own. Fancy testing this idea? Then come and join the Science London team and research scientists from Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) for the latest instalment of The Dating Games: Rules of Attraction.Ongoing research at QMUL is looking at how we perceive and recognise facial features in potential partners. The research utilises newly developed facial recognition software to describe faces quantifiably. The software assesses how similar two people look.How it works
We will be running two speed dating rounds:
1) Virtual dating, which will record the app scores of facial similarity between pairs of participants;
2) Traditional dating, where daters will rate each partner to record heart flutter scores.
Dating games

Will the app scores sync with the racing hearts? Will we find evidence for the ‘similarities attract’ claim, or will dazzling conversational wit supersede aesthetic appeal? Come along and find out! (more…)

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How useful are animal models in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie addiction?

As a warmup for the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition we have invited one of the teams from the event to tell us about their work.

Dr Matt Parker of Queen Mary, University of London will talk about how studying the impulsive nature of zebrafish can tell us about the cycle of addiction, specifically, the move from occasional drug use to habitual and compulsive drug seeking, withdrawal and relapse.

Dr Parker will discuss some of the difficulties associated with treatment, and how understanding more about the genetics and early markers of addiction may help to develop more effective treatments and even prophylactic interventions.

Zebra fish facility

Date: Wednesday 26th June 2013
Time: 7pm, for a 7.30pm start
Place: Upstairs at The Lamb, 92 Lambs Conduit Street, WC1N 3LZ [gmap]
Cost: Free

You can learn more about the Zebrafish Neurobiology and Behavioural Genetics Group’s work and their exhibit at http://zebrafish-genetics.tumblr.com/

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