Join Us EVERY Tuesday Night, 8 pm, At San Francisco’s REd Victorian!

 

This Month’s EVENTS

May 28

How a world war, a Quaker and an eclipse made Einstein a SUPERSTAR

Ask a random person on the street to name a scientist, and they’ll probably say “Einstein.”* Not Maxwell or Bohr. Not even Newton or Darwin. How exactly did this babe magnet patent clerk become the most famous nerd of all time: THE GENIUS? The answer – an amazing story with a cast that includes Russian soldiers, British conscious objectors, extraterrestrial enthusiasts, and an eclipse that took place 100 years ago this month – might surprise you.

May 21

Tissue Engineering for Intestinal Regeneration

Our body is constantly replacing cells to allow organ growth and tissue repair. Every second 2million red blood cells are created, and every 10 years our skeleton is fully remodeled. The impressive regeneration ability of our organs could be used to develop novel therapies for patients. In this Red Victorian talk we will focus on engineering techniques used for intestinal regeneration, as thousands of patients suffer from intestinal diseases in the USA each year costing billions of dollars for health care. During this talk a surgical device used in vivo to generate new intestine will be presented to you.

May 14

DO NO Harm: An ER doctor's view on the price of medical care

Federal law requires that emergency rooms provide care to all patients regardless of their ability to pay. It makes no restrictions on what hospitals may bill for this care. The cost can be devastating, especially for those without insurance; overall, medical bills are thought to be a factor in almost half of all personal bankruptcies in the United States.

This talk will explore an emergency physician's experiences and ideas about communicating with patients, the prices of emergency care, and the challenges of practicing safe and high-quality medicine in an environment that is not free.

 
 

PasT EVENTS

APRIL 30

Is the Bible a source for good in democratic discourse?


Have you ever said to someone, "the bible can be used to say anything" and felt like that was the end of the conversation? To a philosopher, such a statement is just the beginning. What does it mean to use a text? Do we really think the Bible is used to shape social and political policy? Who or what is talking with or through the Bible? Is this helping or hurting democracy?

APRIL 23

IMPACT OF LANGUAGE ON HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND MODERN NEW SPEAK

Impact of the language on human behaviors, the voluntary erasure of words and the modern newspeak. The first human language emerged between 50 000 and 100 000 years ago. Since then we have develop thousands of different languages across the globe. Each of them with their uniqueness. In “1984" George Orwell imagined a new language called the newspeak, a simplified version of english created to limit and control thoughts that people can have. During this talk we will explore different languages, the impact that they can have on people whom speak them. How important are the words that we use in our daily life?

APRIL 16

Mixed Reality in Medicine

Mixed reality is an interesting new technology that merges reality and virtual reality to create a new environment where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. The combination of computer processing, human input, and environmental input creates a unique reality experience with a variety of potential applications. We will discuss the use of mixed reality for medical purposes, using the newly developed Microsoft HoloLens.

APRIL 9

INSTITUTIONAL HEALTH

Some institutions are regularly capable of great and novel feats of coordination; they build large infrastructure projects, rapidly mobilize resources, and organize to meet new challenges. Others struggle with much smaller problems; their efforts get strangled by bureaucracy, or expended in unresolvable infighting, or whittled away by corruption. In everything from small companies to large social movements to entire societies, we see massive differences in how well institutions function. This talk is about institutional health, a measure of the internal functioning of organizations large and small.

 

APRIL 2

BLOCKCHAIN and GDPR - An impossible conciliation?

Blockchain technology promises to shift control of all types of activities from central parties to their users. Such a promise seems to echo the spirit of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which hopes to give EU citizens control of their own personal data. Yet the GDPR was conceived before Blockchain was widely known and was fashioned for an era where data are processed centrally. As a result, many of the GDPR’s stipulations clash with Blockchain’s decentralized approach. Come and explore the way in which the GDPR and Blockchain can be reconciled to empower users over their data and realize data privacy

MARCH 19

Silicon Valley's Original Accelerator

Silicon Valley's Original Accelerator: The 'ultrafast' revolution takes the reins from a half-century of frontier scientific discovery at the Bay Area's smallest National Laboratory, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, nestled in the foothills above Stanford University in Menlo Park, is the site where the largest science project of its kind at its time was constructed in the early 1960s. Seemingly unflinching in the face of Silicon Valley's booms and busts, SLAC has been cultivated into a multi-purpose lab with world-leading capabilities in ultrafast X-ray science. This talk reaches from the history of SLAC from its inception as "Project M" to its position today as, "science facility most often confused for a chat application."

MARCH 12

Nuclear Disruption

UNs Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that there are no solutions to the climate changes without scaling nuclear power. Meanwhile, nuclear power is in decline as a power source. But, why do we need it? Why isn’t it happening? And what can we do? The Molten Salt Reactor is a reactor type that is not plagued by the issues typically associated with existing nuclear power. It can deliver scalable, cheaper-than-coal, dispatchable power source by the mid-/late-2020s, enabling the free market to fight the runaway GHG-emission and eliminate energy poverty. Are you ready to rethink nuclear?

MARCH 5

Cause or Effect? Looking beyond correlations

Often, scientific questions deal with problems of cause and effect. Does consumption of red meat cause cancer? Is too much screen time harmful for children? In today’s world, vast amounts of data are collected under the principle “collect data now, ask questions later”. Tapping such sources to answer “why”-questions has immense opportunities for many scientific disciplines, ranging from biology to public policy. However, such data often does not fit into the classical framework of randomized experiments and pitfalls are abound. We will discuss several ideas and approaches that allow to answer “why”-questions in such settings.

 

FeBruary 26

Reducing carbon emissions with AI: Photovoltaic Forecasting

Photovoltaic (PV) power generation has emerged as one of the lead renewable energy sources. Yet, its production is characterized by high uncertainty, being dependent on weather conditions like solar irradiance and temperature. Predicting PV production, even in the 24-hour forecast, remains a challenge and leads energy providers to keep idle - often carbon-emitting - plants. In this talk, we will present what are the various ways to predict a photovoltaic forecast, using numerous scientific and engineering tools available - from weather forecasting to satellite imaging. Finally, we will explore active areas of research and how AI and deep learning can help us do a better job at renewable energy forecasting. The future looks bright!

February 19

Are we alone in the universe? Unlocking secrets of exoplanets

Today, we are closer than ever to find an answer to the question “Are we alone in the universe?” The NASA Kepler Space Telescope showed that planets are abundant throughout our Galaxy, but most of the Kepler planets orbit stars too distant to further study. The NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission will find exoplanets transiting nearby, bright stars: the best targets for follow-up characterization with large ground telescopes, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the James Webb Space Telescope. This talk will show how these ambitious Space Telescopes are changing our view of the cosmos.

February 12

Pen Play: Art, Improvisation and neuroscience

We are hosting a participatory event on Partner Pen Play in Parallel (PPPiP), or simultaneous improvisational drawing on paper.. There will be two parts to this event. First we will have a short lecture on art therapy, sexology, affective neuroscience, and aesthetics. Then for the second part of the event, we will provide Paper and Pens and do some drawing together.

February 5

Digital tools for menstrual health

Half of humanity is, has, or will be menstruating. Yet, the impact of this fundamental biological rhythm on women’s health and quality of life has been little studied or addressed beyond their reproductive aspect. Many women however suffer from various physical and psychological symptoms and diseases associated with the menstrual cycle. Together, we will explore how millions of self-tracked data points collected via phone apps can support inclusive research on menstrual health.