Category: Event

Nerd Nite v.41 Animals in Science, Laugh Tracks, and the Chemistry of Cosmetics

Polar Vortex!? The interesting thing about the most banal thing to come in conversation, like the weather, is that it can still be an opportunity for good science communication. Sure you may have a dad or an uncle on Facebook that still doesn’t believe in global warming, but this is your time to shine and exercise your skills in sci-comm and patience. At Nerd Nite however you can let your hair down and know that you are with friends, and everyone (eventually) will know your name. Get in here for a fab February. This month!

Poster by: Armin Mortazavi IG: @armin_mortazavi

Where: The Fox Cabaret

When: Wednesday February 27th; Doors @ 7, show starts @ 7:30

Tickets: Eventbrite


1. Animals in Science

Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy

2017 saw the highest number of animals in Canadian science ever recorded: 4.4 million. This is despite that fact that a very small proportion (0-12%) of animal-based research translates into the creation of new drugs to treat the most important conditions of our time. This compelling talk will challenge audience members to rethink some of the often deeply held assumptions about the use of animals in research, testing and science education. It will beg the question: We can continue to use animals in science, but should we? *Note: no graphic images will be used*

Bio: Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy is a former neuroscientist who has spent her career getting to know animals better, on their terms. After retraining in animal behaviour, welfare, and ethics she now uses her science savvy to advocate for the advancement of science without suffering. Elisabeth is co-founder and executive director of the Animals in Science Policy Institute (AiSPI), a Vancouver-based national charity. She is an instructor at the University of British Columbia, an Advisor to both the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods, and the Humane Education Coalition. She is part of the editorial team for the Alternatives to Laboratory Animals journal, and also gives national policy advice to the Canadian Council on Animal Care on a regular basis.


2. The Laugh Track Legacy

Robyn Fashler

Despite delivering “the best medicine”, Laugh Tracks have a pretty lousy reputation. With this talk, Robyn aims to refute this unjust impression. She will discuss the history, controversy, and significance of canned-laughs and explain why they deserve a hearty guffaw themselves.

Bio: Robyn makes her way selling office furniture and she is weirdly enthusiastic about it– seriously, “Task Seating” is one of her favourite topics. Beyond that, Robyn is a self-proclaimed comedy connoisseur and is mildly obsessed with old-school television. Naturally, she also has a fascination with laugh tracks. She hopes you will see their value as well.


3. Chemistry of Cosmetics

Dr. Emma Davy

The cosmetics industry is marketed towards women to reduce aging! Look younger! Have no pores! But cosmetics are poorly regulated, if at all. Why is something many of us use barely regulated in terms of ingredient listing and trasparency for consumers? In this talk I will discuss the narrative around the word “chemical”, especially as it relates to cosmetics. I will discuss ingredients and regulation of these products. And finally, I will look at cosmetics from a woman’s perspective – are they so poorly regulated because women’s health is taken less seriously than overall health?

Bio: Emma has a PhD in chemistry from the University of Victoria where she studied organometallic chemistry. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Catalysis Research and Innnovation, Emma landed at Quest University Canada where she has been for the last three years as a teaching fellow and faculty member in the physical sciences. Emma is a passionate chemical educator, podcast lover, boy-band scholar, and overall giant dork.

Nerd Nite v. 40 Radon, Prison Health and Becoming an Astronaut

Greetings Vancouver Nerds. We are now in MMXIX. What are we going to do this year? Yes, we. We want to learn with you, we want to laugh with you, we want to meet you. If you’ve been coming to Nerd Nite before you know that we actively pursue knowledge not from the ether but from you, the nerd community. We’ve already heard stories of people becoming friends and more at Nerd Nite, which only strenghthens our community. We have no objective but to learn, and laugh, and drink. If you see a fellow Nerd Niter on the street greet with them a LLAP sign, flash them your vampire stake tucked in your pants, so say we all. This month, fuck resolutions, let’s just be better citizens on this planet by getting smarter together. Get in here.

Poster by: Armin Mortazavi IG: @armin_mortazavi

Where: The Fox Cabaret

When: Wednesday January 23rd; Doors @ 7, show starts @ 7:30

Tickets: Eventbrite


1. Radon

Anne-Marie Nicol 

Bio: Anne-Marie Nicol is an associate professor in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and a Knowledge Translation Scientist at the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health (NCCEH). Anne-Marie began her academic career in the social sciences at SFU (Communications BA) and then developed a strong interest in environmental and occupational health during her Master’s degree at York University (MES). She completed her PhD in Epidemiology at UBC. At SFU, she teaches Human Health Risk Assessment as well as Health Communication and Public Health Toxicology.

2. Becoming an Astronaut

Michael Koehle 

Bio: Michel is a Physician-Scientist and Associate Professor, practising Sport and Exercise Medicine – Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Clinic at the University of British Columbia / Director of the Environmental Physiology Laboratory – University of British Columbia – My job is a mix of research, teaching and clinical medicine. Our research group’s main research area is studying the human adaptation to different environments.

3. Kate McLeod 

Prison Health

Bio: Kate joined the Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education in September 2017. She is currently the evaluator on a 5-year project focused on participatory approaches to preventing sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections among federally incarcerated men in BC. Kate is pursuing her PhD at UBC in the School of Population and Public Health and is one of UBC’s Public Scholars.

Nerd Nite Solstice Spectacular

Happy Solstice Nerds! 2018 has been a wonderful one for Nerd Nite. On one hand we watched Kaylee take her science career to the next level by going to Sri Lanka, but we also got to see so many amazing co-hosts save Michael from making a fool of himself. So just like last year we’re inviting all of our speakers, and guest hosts back to our show to celebrate a year of nerdiness. We’re going to have a nice nerd time with them, and we’d like all of you to be there too. A few of them will be taking the stage to play POWERPOINT ROULETTE. They’ll be coming up to deliver short presentations they will have never seen before. Last year was a blast, and we have some spots left for eager audience members to play too! Email us at

Where: The Fox Cabaret

When: Wednesday December 19th; Doors @ 7, show starts @ 7:30

Tickets: Eventbrite


Playing with us will be:

Dr. Carin Bondar – Sept speaker

Desiree Nielsen, RD – Feb speaker

Robin Coope – Feb speaker

Devyani Singh – May speaker

Mary Glasper – Nov speaker

We also are super excited to have You Tube scientist Kurits Baute with us to give a classic Nerd Nite talk!

Bio: Whimsical Scientist – I sealed myself in a DIY biodome, measured the world with my bike, and built a digital camera from scratch. Ⓥ, MSc, He/Him

Join us for a night of fun as we celebrate our amazing #nerdherd community!