After running four successful series of ‘Brains at the Bevy’ talks, we are delighted to announce a fifth series for 2020.
These talks will take place at the Bevendean Community pub:
They start at 6pm and last for an hour, including lots of time for questions and discussion. Tea and coffee will be provided during the talk and all are welcome to stay on afterwards to enjoy food and drink available at the Bevy.
Wednesday 25th March 2020 at 6pm: Dr. Neil Singh
‘What’s making you sick? How society shapes our health’
As a GP, I get trained to wag my finger at patients and tell them off for their unhealthy ‘lifestyles’. Similarly, public health campaigns that promote healthy behaviours assume all individuals have equal agency and that we everyone has equal choice. Is this true? My clinical practice has made me acutely aware that people make choices within limits. Join me to discuss a big question: How much of our health is in our control, and how much is determined by the society we live in?
Wednesday 29th April 2020 at 6pm: Prof. Chris Joyce
‘Are we in the midst of a mass extinction event?’
According to the international environmental movement Extinction Rebellion, we are facing an unprecedented global emergency, a mass extinction of biodiversity of our own making that threatens the future of all life on the planet. This talk examines current species loss in relation to past mass extinction events by introducing the concept of biodiversity, assessing human impacts on nature, and considering whether we need a radical rethink of nature conservation.
Wednesday 27th May 2020 at 6pm: Dr. Rian Manville
24th June: Dr Ben Fincham (University of Sussex)
‘Are you having fun?’
What is fun? How is it distinct from happiness or pleasure? How do we know when we are having it? Ben Fincham provides an entertaining account of this often taken-for-granted phenomenon.
Wednesday 29th July 2020 at 6pm – Dr Jess Moriarty and Christina Reading
‘Finding the inner compass: creative recovery from cancer’
Following our experiences with cancer, we felt lost. Trying hard to get back to the people we were before our illness and creatively stuck – Chris with her fine art and Jess with her writing – we chose to adopt an autoethnographic approach that we hoped would be transformative and also help us resist conventional academic research practices that seek to deny the personal (Moriarty, 2016). We engaged in a process of walking, writing and critique that we hoped would restore our creative processes. By trying something new, taking risks and being vulnerable in our work, we believed we would find a way back to the artist/writer and people we thought we needed to be. Instead, we identified a method of mapping a new way forward that helped us to accept the women we are post-cancer and shift and evolve our creative methods. We will offer insights into our work and engage the audience in creative tasks that helped us to map a way back.
Wed 30th Sept: Prof. Mark Yeoman
‘What can old snails tell us about how our brain ages?’
Studying the nervous system of snails has enabled us to more deeply understand the mechanisms by which nerve cells communicate and how changes in communication are fundamental to our ability to learn and remember. My research group uses the pond snail to understand how the ageing process impacts cell signalling and the consequences this has for learning and memory formation and motor function. This talk will focus on how ageing affects learning and memory in snails and the relevance this work has ageing in the human nervous system.
Wed 28th Oct: Dr. Mel Flint
‘Too stressed out for cancer therapy?’
Patients diagnosed with cancer often experience considerable psychological distress, and activation of the psychological stress response has been linked with a poor response to chemotherapy. The psychological stress response is mediated by fluctuations of the stress hormones such as cortisol. Stress hormones are responsible for signalling a wide range of processes involved in cancer spread and immune function. I will share research on our understanding of stress and stress hormones and how we may be able to improve both chemo and immune therapies for highly stressed cancer patients.
Wed 25th Nov – Prof. Bhavik Patel
‘Measuring gut health’
Over 20 % of the population suffers from some form of gut disorder. This talk will focus on how devices that are used to measure chemicals in our gut help us understand particular diseases and how we might be able to treat them.