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Defy your genes, peak oil and the paranormal

Discover what studying twins tell us about ourselves, why we see Mother Theresa in the 'nun bun' and what life will be like after oil at Nerd Nite London on 19 March 2014

Address: Nerd Nite, Paper Dress Vintage,[masked] Curtain Rd, London, EC2A 3AH
Details : Wednesday 19 March 2013, Doors at 8 pm, Tickets £6

Nerd Nite London is back with another fantastic line up of speakers. If you want to understand how studying twins reveals why we are who we are, why the human desire to find order in randomness allows us to see Mother Theresa in a cinnamon bun, and how we'll avoid a Mad Max-style existence when we run out of oil, Nerd Nite London is the place to be on Wednesday 19th of March.

Nerd #1- Chris French- Meaning and Randomness: On Seeing (and Hearing) Things That Are Not There

One of the greatest strengths of the human species is our ability to detect meaningful patterns in the world around us - but there is a bizarre price to pay for this amazing ability. We sometimes think we perceive meaning in randomness, and see and hear things that aren't really there. Professor Chris French will show how this pervasive phenomenon can cause people to hear phantom Satanic messages in rock music and see Mother Theresa's face in a cinnamon bun.

Chris French is a professor of psychology and head of the anomalistic psychology research unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. What is anomalistic psychology? It is essentially the psychology of weird stuff - everything from alien abductions to zombies - but starting from the working hypothesis that such claims can best be explained in psychological, rather than parapsychological, terms.

Nerd #2- Tim Spector- Identically Different: Why you can change your genes

Why do you vote a certain way, remain faithful for twenty years, dislike sport or never put on weight? Based on cutting-edge discoveries that are pushing the frontiers of our knowledge of genetics, Professor Tim Spector will explain that nothing is completely hard-wired or pre-ordained. Using fascinating case studies of identical twins he'll show how minor life events and the choices we make, as well as those made by our ancestors, fuse with our inherited genes to mould us into the individuals we are.

Tim Spector is professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and director of the TwinsUK Registry, one of the world’s richest data collections on twins, covering 11,000 siblings. Since 1992 he has demonstrated the genetic basis of a wide range of common diseases, previously thought to be mainly due to ageing and environment, and currently has a highly coveted European Research Council Senior Investigator award to study Epigenetics.

Nerd #3- John Turner- The Black Leaf and Peak Oil

What will happens when the oil runs out? Will we descend into a Mad Max-style future? Burning fossil fuels is not rational, so we're going to need to find a way to do it smarter if we are to keep doing what we are doing while dodging the downsides of burning up our planet's resources. Dr. John Turner will provide insights into what might come next, and why ' plant power' is unlikely to be the answer.

John is a physical inorganic chemist at the University of Sussex. He's interested in why things are the way they are and why they are not something different. It's all about the quantum mechanics. Probably.

All profits from the night go to charity. More information about Nerd Nite London can be found by following us on Twitter @nerdnitelondon, liking us on Facebook or visting

tickets on sale at:

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  • Flavia

    Hi there, first time attending. Can I buy tickets at the door or are they only available online? Thanks

    February 21, 2014

    • Nerd Nite L.

      Hi, welcome! A few tickets are usually available on the door but we advise booking in case we sell out.

      February 21, 2014

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