About the Talk: The modern world has witnessed a revolution in understanding how our brains work. Where once it was believed that we were in complete control of our actions, modern neuroscience has put forward a compelling case that this sense of control is merely an illusion. This has been termed “the death of free will”.
In this upcoming talk, Dr Robert King asks if the pendulum has swung too far and whether we still have the ability to make truly independent choices in our lives.
About the Speaker: Robert James King, Ph.D., is a researcher at the School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork. He has published in the field of human sexual behaviour, and is interested in various aspects of human behavior viewed through a biological lens. He blogs about his ongoing work in a popular form at Psychology Today.
Robert has consulted for television, radio and print media and is a regular reviewer for scientific journals, including Human Nature, Archives of Sexual Behavior, and The Journal of Evolutionary Psychology.
Are there gender differences in attraction? Can you really find true love on the Internet? How do people actually portray themselves online? Can you have a virtual affair?
In this talk, Dr Martin Graff will examine all of these issues and will draw on current empirical studies on online relationships. He will cover some of the major research work on the online disinhibition effect, which suggest that we disclose more personal information, and do this more quickly in online environments.
Dr Graff will also give some factual advice on how to construct dating site profiles, and the way to approach an online liaison with a potential dating partner. With the explosion in the provision of online dating sites, including those dedicated to finding partners for affairs, this will also draw on some of the speaker’s own research on online infidelity, asking whether it is possible to have a virtual affair.
About The Speaker:
Dr Martin Graff is Reader in Psychology at the University of South Wales. He is an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Chartered Psychologist.
Over the years he has carried out research in the areas of cognitive processes in web-based learning, individual differences in website navigation, online interaction and the formation and dissolution of romantic relationships online and offline. He has also carried out research in the areas of online persuasion, and online disinhibition, and has supervised several doctoral degrees in this area.
He is a member of the British Psychological Society Undergraduate Education Committee, which oversees the running of Psychology degree programmes at British Universities. In April 2013, he was invited as a visiting research professor to Cortland University, New York, USA April 2013.
Dr Graff has published widely in the field of Internet behaviour, and has also written for The Psychologist in the area of Online Infidelity. He has also presented this work at numerous International Conferences.
This talk will take place at Blackrock Castle Observatory at 8pm — directions can be found on our information page. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers, and all are welcome at this free event. We hope to see you there!
“Whoever makes two ears of corn, or two blades of grass grow where only one grew before, deserves better of mankind, and does more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together” – Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels)
Humans exist because plants exist. Plants have shaped our world, allowing animal life to evolve and they continue to have an overriding influence on our society. From the food we eat, the medicines we take, the beer we drink and the clothes we wear; plants make life possible on Earth. Indeed, Ireland has built two of its largest industries – agriculture and tourism – on its green image.
In this talk, EoinLettice—lecturer in Plant Science at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at University College Cork —will examine the importance of plants in society and even unearth some intriguing mysteries which can be solved with a knowledge of plants. What caused the Salem witch trials? Why are the British a nation of tea-drinkers? And what caused the ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’?
Eoin will discuss the present place of plants in culture and society and discuss the idea of ‘plant blindness’ – the inability to see or notice plants (and their importance) around us. Given the crucial importance of plants to critical global problems like food security and climate change, we ignore plant blindness at our peril.
About The Speaker: Eoin is a lecturer in plant science at the School of BEES, University College Cork where he teaches a diverse range of subjects including plant biotechnology, plant pathology, soil science, biological control and organic horticulture.
His main research focus is the biocontrol of plant pests using sustainable approaches. He’s also interested in science communication, running the Communicate Science blog and novel methods in teaching and learning.
This talk is part of Culture Night Cork 2013. It is open to the public, and free to attend. It starts at 7:00pm on Friday 20th September.
Our next talk takes place on Friday 12th July, and we are delighted to host Mathematics Professor Colm Mulcahy who will be discussing the life and legacy of renowned American writer and sceptic Martin Gardner. Details below.
About The Talk: American man of letters and numbers—and patterns and puzzles—Martin Gardner (1914-2010) wrote about 100 books, starting with “Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science” over sixty years ago.
That lead to his playing a founding role in CSICOP (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal), and the Skeptical Inquirer magazine. He was most well-known for the 300 columns he wrote for Scientific American, mostly on recreational maths, and the huge body of magic he created.
We’ll survey his legacy and touch on his little known professional Irish interests and connections.
About The Speaker: Dubliner “Card Colm”Mulcahy is Professor of Mathematics at Spelman College, in Atlanta, Georgia, where he’s been teaching since 1988. He was fortunate to know Martin Gardner for the last decade of his life. He is the author of the upcoming book “Mathematical Card Magic” (AK Peters).
Our next meeting is The Little Atoms Road Trip, featuring Neil Denny! The talk begins at 8pm in Blackrock Castle on Friday 5th April.
Neil Denny is the producer and presenter of the Little Atoms Radio Show and podcast. Neil was the recipient of a Travelling Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, and in May 2012 he embarked upon a month long, 6614 mile road trip across America.
The aim of the trip was to produce a series of podcasts which present a wide-ranging overview of science and skepticism from an American perspective. Driving from San Francisco to Boston and calling in at Phoenix, Santa Fe, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York along the way, Neil recorded 39 interviews with scientists and science writers including Ann Druyan, Leonard Susskind, Kip Thorne, Priya Natarajan, Paul Davies, George Church, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Mary Roach, Edward Stone and Sara Seager.
He recorded interviews at some major sites of scientific interest, including NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, The Los Alamos National Laboratory, and The American Museum of Natural History. He also spent a less scientific day visiting Kentucky’s Creation Museum.
This talk by Dr. Marcin Szczerbinski, Lecturer in Applied Psychology at UCC, will explore genetics and the puzzles of heritability. What does it mean to say that a trait is heritable? Is there a gene for schizophrenia or a “gay gene”? What can we learn from looking at cases of identical twins raised apart, or indeed from adopted children raised together? And does genetic actually mean immutable?
These and similar questions will be addressed during what promises to be a truly insightful talk.
About the speaker: Dr. Marcin Szczerbinski is a Psychology graduate of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, and of the Department of Human Communication Science, University College London. From 2001 until 2011 he was a lecturer at the Department of Human Communication Sciences, University of Sheffield, where he contributed to a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, particularly in Speech and Language Therapy. He joined UCC in January 2011.