SOLD OUT: Nerd Nite 19: Pre-St Paddy’s Day Edition

We’ve cast off the onesies of our previous Nerd Nite, but the three amazing speakers we have lined up will wow you in plain clothes just the same. With topics ranging from elephants to multiple-choice test design and biotech deeds that will put you in jail, our 19th Nerd Nite (which makes it legal for Nerd Nite Edmonton to drink in any Canadian province) will astound, delight and confound you… in the best ways, of course.

Be there AND be square.

When: Monday, March 16, 2015 (doors @ 7:30pm, show @ 8pm)
Where: The Club (Citadel Theatre, 9828-101A Avenue Edmonton)
$16 in advance, includes fees & GST (Tickets available 02/11/15 at 1:00pm) Tickets are sold out!
$22 at the door, includes fees & GST
[Children 17 & Under Will Not Be Admitted]

Our line-up includes…

Life as a conservation biologist: This ain’t Discovery Channel!
Aditya Gangadharan

When I was young and naive, I thought that conservation biologists wore khaki shorts and big hats, sat in fancy, off-road vehicles, and observed as elephant herds passed by. In reality, shorts mean legs are impaled by thorns, hats get tangled up in vines, vehicles break-down far too frequently, and the elephants charge! Oh yeah, and life revolves around animal fecal matter. In this presentation, I will illuminate the not-so-sexy world of field conservation research, introduce you to the most confused bird on the planet, and tell stories of a murderous primate and a curious tiger named Coffee.

Bio: Aditya recently completed his PhD on the conservation of elephants, tigers and other mammals in the Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot in South India. He has previously worked for several non-governmental organizations and a United Nations organization.

Choose ‘C’
Rachel Dunn

So many of life’s milestones are marked by writing a multiple choice test—getting your learner’s permit, writing diploma exams, even becoming a Canadian citizen! But a lot of people don’t realize what goes into creating the perfect multiple choice question. From deciding the Bloom’s taxonomical level (whatever that means) to running a test analysis after (aka getting your nerd freak on), here’s what teachers are really thinking when they make up tests.

Bio: Rachel writes and administers 48 exams a year as a teacher with Edmonton Public Schools, so she’s gotten pretty good at writing multiple choice questions. When Rachel isn’t busy blowing things up in her classroom, she volunteers as a Board Member for the Alberta Science Network and OPTIONS Sexual Health. She lives with her two furry companions: Moonie the Cat and Adam the man-friend.

Clones, three-parent babies, interspecies embryos and other cool biotech stuff that may land you in jail
Ubaka Ogbogu

If you have seen the movie Gattaca (Columbia Pictures, 1997), then you know someone already imagined how some future race of humans would be born. What you may not know is that reproduction through genetic manipulation no longer exists in some imagined or dystopian future. Sheep and dogs have been born through an asexual form of reproduction known as cloning, which results in an offspring that is the “genetic copy” of a single parent (in 2003, a bunch of party poopers called the Raelians falsely claimed to have achieved the same feat in humans). Recently, scientists in the UK developed a procedure that makes it possible to give birth to a “three-parent” baby. And depending on where you live, it is now possible to create a baby with genetic features that are designed to save an ailing sibling’s life. Before you say, “cool”, and convert you basement into a lab for cattle and creeping things, let me tell you first what sorts of reproductive technologies can land you in jail in Canada, OK?

Bio: Dr. Ubaka Ogbogu is an Assistant Professor cross-appointed to the Faculties of Law and Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta. He teaches and researches in the areas of health law and science policy studies, law and bioethics, legal history of science/medicine, pharmacy law and ethics, and the law of torts. He previously taught at the Universities of Nigeria, York and Minnesota, and his academic publications have appeared in numerous law and science journals, including the Health Law Journal, Constitutional Forum, Journal of International Biotechnology Law, Medical Law International, Cell Stem Cell, Nature Biotechnology, EMBO Reports, Regenerative Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, and Canadian Pharmacists Journal. Dr. Ogbogu is a member of the University’s Health Law Institute and holds a research appointment as the Katz Research Fellow in Health Law and Science Policy. In his spare time, he writes poetry, drinks wine, hangs out with family and friends, and rants about the morality of paywalls.