> Nerd Nite No. 65: ALS, Accents, and Astrology!

Nerd Nite No. 65: ALS, Accents, and Astrology!

We are having a bonus Nerd Nite at PHS Pop-Up Garden South Street! Joining us for this evening of outdoor nerdery will be:

Corey McMillan with “Turning Down the Volume on ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or “Lou Gerhig’s Disease”, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that impacts an individuals’ ability to move and results in a 2-5 year survival from disease onset. In the past decade a considerable amount of knowledge has been gained about the pathology and genetics that causes ALS. However, there still is not treatment for ALA and little is known about the factors that influence heterogeneity in survival time and disease severity. In this talk I will introduce the idea of “epigenetics” — a fancy word that involves turning down the volume on bad genes — and talk about the evidence suggesting that epigenetics may provide a candidate treatment for ALS.

Dr. Corey McMillan is a Research Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and a member of the Neuroscience Graduate Group and Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. McMillan holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience from Temple University, a masters of science in Psycholinguistics from the University of Edinburgh, and a Ph.D in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh.

Josh Raclaw with “Language attitudes: How accents can be sexy, impressive, or literally the worst

We all place different values on the ways that we, and others, use language. A Southern accent might make us weak in the knees, or we may think we know a lot about a person just from the way they say the word “water’. But why? In this talk we’ll look at the science behind language attitudes, the term that linguists use to describe our common understanding of different accents and other features of a language. Come prepared to look at the language of wartime cartoons, learn the truth about our perception of “foreign accents,” and raise a glass to the diversity of English dialects.

Joshua Raclaw is a linguist and assistant professor of English at West Chester University. His current research examines how scientists use language and gesture in their evaluation of high-stakes grant applications. He’s also interested in how language helps construct our relationships and identities and how new technology changes how we communicate with one another, and one time he wrote over two-hundred pages on the word ‘no’. In his spare time he enjoys sitting in front of his air conditioner and spending quality time with his wife, cats, and beloved Netflix account.

Alexis Jeffcoat with “When M.A.S.H. Meets 17th Century Astrology

Will you marry a handsome drunk? Will you be rich as Croesus or have twelve kids? Fortune telling games were not just the staple of many a 90’s childhood. Find out what happens when silly fortunes get mixed up with Greek mythology, 17th century astrology, and early programming to give you the strangest version of M.A.S.H you’ve ever seen.

Alexis is a huge history nerd who loves playing Dungeon and Dragons and enjoys being blinded by science in her position managing public programming for the Chemical Heritage Foundation. An active part of the geek community, Alexis can be found collaborating on projects like Science on Tap and the Philadelphia Science Festival.

PLUS! Be sure to wear your nerdiest T-shirt so that you can participate in the Nerd Nite Philadelphia Dry T-Shirt Contest.

The details:
Tuesday, August 23rd

PHS Pop Up Garden on South Street

1438 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19146

7:30 pm. $5

See you there!

Comments are closed.