We have another excellent 3-speaker lineup for you in April where speakers will be discussing energy, metals in the body and what aging looks like. Come join us at Howler in Brunswick, for $16 burger and pot deals whilst you are learning.
Absolute power: a generalist’s guide to energy.
by Tom Lang
Description: Energy. Your kid has too much of it, you don’t have enough, it can never be created or destroyed, and telemarketers can save you money on it. It’s all a bit complicated, but there’s one thing we know for sure: it’s not matter. Or maybe it is. The jury’s still out there too. So what is energy, how is it different from electricity, why do we need it, and how can we make enough of it without destroying the planet? What’s the go with coal? What’s the go with nuclear? What’s the go with cow farts? This talk will answer some of your burning, radiating, or rapidly rotating questions. There will be graphs.
Bio: Tom Lang is a science communicator, comedian, and boardgame developer, who has turned chronic indecision into a career choice. You may have seen him at a comedy festival show, at the Sci Fight Comedy Debate, at a science event around Melbourne, and also he just has one of those faces. His job is teaching children about energy and the impending climate apocalypse. They may not be allowed to vote yet, but at least now they know what to be angry about.
Metals in the body: an X-ray investigation
by Dr Claire Weekley
Description: Your body needs various metals to survive — copper, iron, and even molybdenum. Yet we’ve barely scraped the surface in our understanding of the roles metals play in human health and disease. Metals in biology are famously hard to study – and that’s where X-rays come in. The synchrotron (basically a football-field-sized X-ray microscope) allows scientists to ‘shine an X-ray light’ on metals in biological samples and learn what they’re really up to. Join Claire for a tour that spans the Periodic Table, synchrotrons and the mysteries of the metals in your body.
Bio: Dr Claire Weekley works at the intersection of chemistry and biology to understand the roles of metals in living organisms. She avoided biology subjects like the plague during her undergraduate degree, but things changed when she started adding selenium to human cells during her PhD at The University of Adelaide. During her first postdoctoral position at the University of Chicago, Claire dipped her toes into copper and microbial lanthanide biology while falling in love with (almost) all things Chicago. Now she’s a postdoc at The University of Melbourne, adding protein biochemistry to her repertoire and still trying to catch up on all the undergraduate biology she skipped.
by Dr Kylie Quinn
Description: World demographics are getting older – and you’re getting older too! While we all know what ageing looks like (and some of us know what ageing feels like…), it remains a bit of a mystery as to what ageing actually is in terms of a biological process. Dr Quinn is here to explain what the lead suspects are for causes of ageing, she’ll run you through currently proven mechanisms that speed up or slow down ageing and she’ll explain why our ultimate goal right now is to extend healthspan, rather than lifespan, so we’ll all be able to live our best lives in the future.
Bio: Dr Kylie Quinn is an RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow studying how ageing impacts on your immune system. She loves vaccines, spending her PhD at the Malaghan Institute in New Zealand trying to make the TB vaccine a little less rubbish and then 5 years at the National Institutes of Health in the USA working on vaccines that are now in trials for HIV, Malaria and Ebola. Since arriving in Melbourne, she has been trying to figure out how to make vaccines for the elderly a little less rubbish, recently receiving the John and Eileen Haddon Award for Geriatric Research. Dr Quinn loves coming to visit Nerd Nite, having presented in 2014 and 2015, and if you want a preview of her spiel, check out her recent interview on RRR with Einstein-A-Go-Go (starting around 40 minutes in).