Happy Birthday to Nerd Nite! For our birthday edition, our 3-speaker lineup will be discussing fan culture, transplants that helps people with diabetes and the science of Star Trek. Come join us at Howler in Brunswick, for $16 burger and pot deals whilst you are learning. There will be fun, facts, trivia and donuts!

Monday, 21 October 2019 – It sold out!
at Howler 7-11 Dawson Street, Brunswick
Doors 7pm

#1 Ch-ch-changes: Lives Online, Then and Now

by Eric Forcier @eforcier

A tale of two online fan communities. This is the story of Sleepless Whispers, a community of Ender’s Game fans and young writers that formed in the late ‘90s. It is the story of #FakeWesteros, a present-day community of live-tweeting and role-playing Game of Thrones fans. One became the site of a virtual coming-of-age in the wild digital landscape of web forums pre-Web 2.0. The other faces an existential crisis as HBO’s Game of Thrones ends, living online in tweets. While exploring the technological and social changes that have taken place in the last 20 years, I will share with you one aspect of online community that remains the same.

I love science-fiction and fantasy. I am a fan. But I’m also a fan of fans: I think fans can teach us a lot about how entertainment, media technologies and information are profoundly intertwingled in contemporary life. That’s why, as a researcher, I study fandom.  I am a PhD candidate and member of the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. My research explores the information-related activities of transmedia fans in postdigital everyday life. I hold advanced degrees in library and information studies and humanities computing, which isn’t as great an icebreaker at parties as you might think.  Disclaimer: While David Bowie fandom would make for a super fascinating nerd nite talk, he sadly doesn’t feature in this one. (Sorry!)

#2 Islet transplantation: the organ transplant you’ve (probably) never heard of

by Allison Irvin @allisonirvin

For people living with uncontrollable type 1 diabetes, the disease is often a major disruptor to their lives. When other treatment options are ineffective, an islet transplant can be a life-saving option. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the immune system attacking cells that produce insulin, the hormone that controls glucose levels in our blood. These insulin-producing cells are found in structures called islets, distributed throughout the pancreas. In this talk I’ll reveal the process behind separating islets from the rest of the pancreas and the science behind how these little balls of cells can be injected into patients to dramatically reduce their need for insulin injections.

Allison is a Jane of All Trades. She’s a mechatronics engineer by training, an aspiring pilot who is yet to fly anywhere, and a competitive brewer who always comes last. Although Allison is currently bringing blockchain to the world of finance, she has spent seven years working towards a treatment of diabetes – a journey she will share with the NerdNite audience.

#3 The Science of Star Trek

by Dr Pam Rana

Dr Pam will examine the science of Star Trek. Revealing the depths of the beloved show’s mindful accuracy. How fictional voyages of the Starship Enterprise travel boldly backwards in time bridging the frontier between fictional futures and present realities.

Dr Pam hails from the icy shores of Eastern Canada. She’s a celebrated comedian who has a real medical degree from the University of Queensland! The vessel that housed the degree is currently filled with pistachios, and the precise location of the documentation has been hotly debated for years. She joined the The Leak first as a correspondent and then as a main contributor in 2017. She was beyond thrilled to use news satire as a platform for her hot headed brand of jocular comedic environmentalism and jocular socialism. If Pam’s brand were a body, it’d be an anti capitalist head, social justice arms, science torso, ridiculous legs.

Dr Pam Rana’s presentation is below