Better Learning With Beer!

Fundraiser: Science Education for Adults!


Past Events

Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Portland

SOLD OUT: The Neuroscience of Pleasure and Love – Repeat!

Is the brain chemistry behind our love for chocolate equivalent to that which drives infatuation with a new lover, the love of a particular song, or addiction? How does the brain sort out pleasure and discomfort? What drives our decisions to stay with one person for life or go from one lover to another, never settling down? At this Science on Tap, Dr. Larry Sherman, neuroscientist at OHSU, will focus on these and other questions that reveal much about how neurochemical changes can have major effects on our behaviors—how we love, what we love, and who we love.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017, in Portland

SOLD OUT: Inside the Feline Mind

Tonight’s event at the Alberta Rose Theatre has SOLD OUT. If you missed out on buying tickets, there’s good news! We’re repeating the topic on Wednesday, April 12, at the Kiggins Theatre in Vancouver. Hope you can join us there!

Have you ever wondered what goes inside your cat’s furry little brain? Let Dr. Rolan Tripp, a veterinarian and animal behaviorist, take you on a guided tour through the feline mind, from genetics to geriatrics. Learn answers to questions like:

  • Why do cats hiss?
  • Why bring me a dead mouse?
  • Why head-butt people as affection?
  • Why ask for stroking then attack a person for doing it?
  • Why not just use the perfectly good litter box you provide for them?

Come to this entertaining lecture to get an entirely new perspective on the semi-wild animal in your life.

Dr. Tripp holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine as well as academic degrees in Philosophy and Music. He is an Affiliate Professor of Applied Animal Behavior at two US Veterinary Schools, and certified by the International Assn of Animal Behavior Consultants. Dr. Tripp has published over 40 articles on pet behavior, and given over 100 lectures to veterinary associations. In addition to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, he has presented in England, Japan, Puerto Rico, and Canada, including giving the Keynote Address at an international veterinary meeting. He has appeared on Animal Planet over 200 times as a content expert.
 
This talk will also be held on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at the Kiggins Theatre in Vancouver.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Vancouver

Evolution Under the Influence: Alcohol and the Coevolution of Humans and Yeast

Have you ever sat down at a bar, ordered a beer, and thought to yourself, “Why do humans even have specific genes for breaking down alcohol?” This is what happens when a guy with a PhD in Molecular and Medical Genetics from OHSU gets a job working at a brewery. The answer, as it turns out, takes you a long way back in human history; our relationship with yeast (the organism that makes alcohol), predates human evolution. At this Science on Tap, Dr. Kevin McCabe, Lab Supervisor at Full Sail Brewing, will take you through the history of primate alcohol consumption, the importance of yeast to human history, and how early microbiology turned the tables on yeast and gave humans control over our boozy destiny.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017, in Portland

Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life

Take a look up at the stars on a clear night and you get a sense that the universe is vast and untouchable, full of mysteries beyond comprehension. But did you know that the key to unveiling the secrets of the cosmos is as close as the nearest toaster? Our home here on Earth is messy, mutable, and full of humdrum things that we touch and modify without much thought every day. But these familiar surroundings are just the place to look if you’re interested in what makes the universe tick.

At this Science on Tap, Helen Czerski, PhD, author, Research Fellow at University College London, and science presenter for the BBC, will provide the tools to alter the way we see everything around us by linking ordinary objects and occurrences, like popcorn popping, coffee stains, and fridge magnets, to big ideas like climate change, the energy crisis, or innovative medical testing. Along the way, she offers answers to vexing questions: How does water travel from the roots of a redwood tree to its crown? How do ducks keep their feet warm when walking on ice? Why does milk, when added to tea, look like billowing storm clouds? You may never look at your toaster the same way.

Copies of Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life will be available for sale and signing.

Saturday, February 4, 2017, in Portland

SOLD OUT: The Neuroscience of Pleasure and Love

Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Is the brain chemistry behind our love for chocolate equivalent to that which drives infatuation with a new lover, the love of a particular song, or addiction? How does the brain sort out pleasure and discomfort? What drives our decisions to stay with one person for life or go from one lover to another, never settling down? At this Science on Tap, Dr. Larry Sherman, neuroscientist at OHSU, will focus on these and other questions that reveal much about how neurochemical changes can have major effects on our behaviors—how we love, what we love, and who we love.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017, in Vancouver

Game Theory, Cooperation, and the Origins of Life

This event is one week earlier than our usual schedule.

Einstein famously said, “God does not play dice with the universe.” But could games have anything to do with the Origins of Life on the Earth? In this talk, Dr. Niles Lehman, professor of chemistry at Portland State University, will introduce the concept of game theory and make a connection between game theory’s principles and how life may have arisen on the Earth some four billion years ago. Surprisingly there may be a link between strategies that “players” use when in competitions, and the strategies that molecules use to behave in a life-like fashion.

NEW DATE: Wed, January 25, 2017, in Vancouver

Science Circus and the Physics of Fun

Science Circus is physics taught with hilarity and dexterity. Often compared to a Pixar movie, Science Circus blends mature science with comedy to create a show The Smithsonian Institution called, “wonderful.” Observe gravity’s constant acceleration through bowling ball juggling, gyroscopic stability through glass bowl spinning, centripetal force with cowboy lariats, center of balance from a six-foot tall unicycle, and inertia with a classic tablecloth pull. Come watch as master juggler Rhys Thomas describes and demonstrates physics concepts with the irresistible force of levity.

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017, in Portland

More Than Hard Rock: Metals in Your Life

When one talks about metal and life, most people might immediately think of Metallica, or maybe about the dangers of lead in drinking water. But Dr. Kelly Chacón, professor of chemistry at Reed College, wants to tell you about the other amazing roles that all kinds of metals play: in our bodies, in ecology, and in helping our fight against newly emerging, antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”. Equal parts fascinating and formidable, the biological activity of metals like copper, silver, nickel, cobalt, and even arsenic will leave you with plenty to think about as you sip your beer.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016, in Portland

Memory and the Neuroscience of Addiction

Back by popular demand! This is a repeat of our sold out event held at the Clinton Street Theater on Tuesday, 9/6/16.

Starting from a very young age, humans are driven to seek out novel sensations and rewarding experiences; the brain is wired this way. During adolescence, some seek out drugs of abuse because they create novel sensations and can alter the perception of reality. Repeated exposure to these drugs creates new experiences in the form of powerful, persistent memories, and these drug-related memories are thought to underlie the relapse that can occur for decades, even after extended periods of abstinence. At this Science on Tap, Barbara Sorg, PhD, professor of neuroscience at WSU Vancouver, will talk about what happens in the brain with rewarding experiences and how drugs of abuse alter the structure and function of the brain to make drug addiction a chronic brain disease. She will also discuss how her laboratory uses animal models of addiction to weaken memories associated with cocaine.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016, in Portland

What Doesn’t Kill You… How Early Experiences Shape You, Your Health, and Your Kids

This is a repeat of the talk held at the Kiggins Theater in Vancouver on October 12, 2016.

Your experiences in early childhood are not just the beginning of your life story, rather, they set the tone for how you will respond to life events for years to come. Childhood experiences that are consistently stressful or traumatic get “under the skin” and shape the brain and the body in ways that put us at risk for mental and physical health problems as adults. These experiences can also affect the way we parent our children. At this Science on Tap, Sara Waters, PhD, professor of Human Development at WSU Vancouver, will talk about how and why traumatic childhood experiences stay inside our minds and bodies for a lifetime and what we can do about it. She will talk about her research on how parents transmit stress to their children and intervention programs that help heal the effects of early trauma.

Monday, November 28, 2016, in Portland

SOLD OUT! You and Your Racist Brain: The Neuroscience of Prejudice (Repeat!)

This is a repeat of the event held at Revolution Hall on October 3, 2016, and is in collaboration with the Artists Repertory Theatre’s production of A Civil War Christmas.

Racism exists when one group dominates, excludes, or seeks to eliminate another group on the basis of differences that it believes are inherent, hereditary, and unalterable. In large part, racism stems from the human brain’s tendency to engage in prejudice, a process that allows our brains to make judgments based on visual information in milliseconds. These preconceived opinions about other people are not based on reason or experience but on instinct—and they have a basis in neuroscience. But why does the brain do this? More importantly, can we use what we known about the neuroscience of prejudice to overcome this reaction, potentially developing methods to combat prejudice and end racism?

Dr. Larry Sherman, a Professor of Neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University, will explain how our brains react to people who are “different” and explore possible ways to overcome the automatic prejudice that contributes to racism in our society.

Larry Sherman is a Professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology and in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the Oregon Health & Science University. He is also the President of the Oregon Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. He has over 80 publications related to brain development and neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and neurofibromatosis. He serves on a number of US and international scientific review panels for the US National Institutes of Health, the US Congressionally-Directed Medical Research programs, and others. He has made numerous television appearances, discussing various topics related to neuroscience. He has also given hugely popular talks and performances (including playing the piano) around the globe on topics that include music and the brain, the neuroscience of pleasure and love, the neuroscience of racism, and a deeply personal presentation dealing with his recently discovered biological family and exploring the contributions of genes and environment to brain development and personality. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and Portland Monthly Magazine recognized Dr. Sherman as one of the “People who are changing our world”. He was also the 2012 Teacher of the Year at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016, in Vancouver

A Scientific Approach to Raising an Ideal Dog

Most people raise dogs as if they are mini furry people, but they’re not. Canines are proud members of a different species with very different sensory systems and somewhat different social structure. At this Science on Tap, Dr. Rolan Tripp, a veterinarian and animal behaviorist, will talk about understanding how dogs think and why they behave the way they do. He will show how to measure and graph both wanted and unwanted canine personality traits, and will give behavioral science-based suggestions on how to increase mutual trust, respect, and bonding with your dog.

Dr. Tripp holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine as well as academic degrees in Philosophy and Music. He is an Affiliate Professor of Applied Animal Behavior at two US Veterinary Schools, and certified by the International Assn of Animal Behavior Consultants. Dr. Tripp has published over 40 articles on pet behavior, and given over 100 lectures to veterinary associations. In addition to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, he has presented in England, Japan, Puerto Rico, and Canada, including giving the Keynote Address at an international veterinary meeting. He has appeared on Animal Planet over 200 times as a content expert.

(This is a repeat of the talk held at the Clinton Street Theater on July 5, 2016.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016, in Portland

An Animal’s Guide to Dating Success

Have you ever wondered how animals find and impress that special someone? From crazy dances to unanticipated sex changes, animals have some unusual strategies for attracting and keeping their mates. Join Dr. Allison Coffin, Assistant Professor of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience at WSU Vancouver, for this fun romp through the dating lives of birds, fish, and other animals. No date required!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016, in Vancouver

What Doesn’t Kill You… How Early Experiences Shape You, Your Health, and Your Kids

Your experiences in early childhood are not just the beginning of your life story, rather, they set the tone for how you will respond to life events for years to come. Childhood experiences that are consistently stressful or traumatic get “under the skin” and shape the brain and the body in ways that put us at risk for mental and physical health problems as adults. These experiences can also affect the way we parent our children. At this Science on Tap, Sara Waters, PhD, professor of Human Development at WSU Vancouver, will talk about how and why traumatic childhood experiences stay inside our minds and bodies for a lifetime and what we can do about it. She will talk about her research on how parents transmit stress to their children and intervention programs that help heal the effects of early trauma.

 


Science on Tap at the Kiggins is produced in partnership with  Campus Sig-Horz Vancouver

Monday, October 3, 2016, in Portland

You and Your Racist Brain: The Neuroscience of Prejudice

Racism exists when one group dominates, excludes, or seeks to eliminate another group on the basis of differences that it believes are inherent, hereditary, and unalterable. In large part, racism stems from the human brain’s tendency to engage in prejudice, a process that allows our brains to make judgments based on visual information in milliseconds. These preconceived opinions about other people are not based on reason or experience but on instinct—and they have a basis in neuroscience. But why does the brain do this? More importantly, can we use what we known about the neuroscience of prejudice to overcome this reaction, potentially developing methods to combat prejudice and end racism?

Dr. Larry Sherman, a Professor of Neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University, will explain how our brains react to people who are “different” and explore possible ways to overcome the automatic prejudice that contributes to racism in our society.

Larry Sherman is a Professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology and in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the Oregon Health & Science University. He is also the President of the Oregon Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. He has over 80 publications related to brain development and neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and neurofibromatosis. He serves on a number of US and international scientific review panels for the US National Institutes of Health, the US Congressionally-Directed Medical Research programs, and others. He has made numerous television appearances, discussing various topics related to neuroscience. He has also given hugely popular talks and performances (including playing the piano) around the globe on topics that include music and the brain, the neuroscience of pleasure and love, the neuroscience of racism, and a deeply personal presentation dealing with his recently discovered biological family and exploring the contributions of genes and environment to brain development and personality. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and Portland Monthly Magazine recognized Dr. Sherman as one of the “People who are changing our world”. He was also the 2012 Teacher of the Year at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016, in Vancouver

How Geckos Stick and Why We Care

Geckos can run up smooth vertical surfaces but, until recently, no one knew how they did it. Studying the physics of gecko feet at the nanoscale and measuring the tiny forces involved showed that gecko feet stick mechanically, not chemically. This discovery lead to the development of the world’s first adhesive that is dry, self-cleaning, reversible, and can even work in the vacuum of outer space. Designs based on gecko feet are being used to create robots that can run up walls and NASA grippers to clean up space junk. This adhesive could bring changes to the manufacture of everything from home electronics to car brakes. At this Science on Tap, Kellar Autumn, PhD, Professor of Biology and Entrepreneurship at Lewis & Clark College, will talk about gecko adhesion and how the study of strange animals has lead to biologically inspired materials and machines.


Science on Tap at the Kiggins is produced in partnership with  Campus Sig-Horz Vancouver

Tuesday, September 6, 2016, in Portland

Memory and the Neuroscience of Addiction

Starting from a very young age, humans are driven to seek out novel sensations and rewarding experiences; the brain is wired this way. During adolescence, some seek out drugs of abuse because they create novel sensations and can alter the perception of reality. Repeated exposure to these drugs creates new experiences in the form of powerful, persistent memories, and these drug-related memories are thought to underlie the relapse that can occur for decades, even after extended periods of abstinence. At this Science on Tap, Barbara Sorg, PhD, professor of neuroscience at WSU Vancouver, will talk about what happens in the brain with rewarding experiences and how drugs of abuse alter the structure and function of the brain to make drug addiction a chronic brain disease. She will also discuss how her laboratory uses animal models of addiction to weaken memories associated with cocaine.

 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016, in Vancouver

Every Brain Needs Music: Neuroscience, Performance, and Song

Back by popular demand! This is a repeat of the sold-out talk held at the Alberta Rose Theatre on Friday, June 24, 2016.

Music not only soothes the soul, but it can enhance the brain as well. At this Science on Tap, explore the origins of music, why humans enjoy making and listening to music, and how the brain behaves when we create music. Also, learn how music practice might improve brain development and prevent or limit the effects of aging and brain injury. In this multi-media presentation, Dr. Larry Sherman, an OHSU neuroscientist and accomplished pianist who studies normal brain development and neurodegenerative diseases, will combine musical performance, thought-provoking data, and lively discussion. Dr. Sherman is a Professor and Senior Scientist of Neuroscience at OHSU and President of the Oregon Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.

Check out our podcast, A Scientist Walks Into A Bar, to hear some of Dr. Sherman’s earlier talks: The Neuroscience of Trauma: From Trigger Warnings to PTSD and The Neuroscience of Pleasure and Love.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016, in Portland

Drug Discovery and the Science of Medications

We all take drugs — Tylenol, Lipitor, Nexium, Viagra — but have you ever wondered how they’re developed? Drug discovery is a long, arduous and yet innovative scientific process that involves a wide variety of physicians and scientists including biologists, chemists, crystallographers, statisticians, pharmacologists, and many more. In this multi-media presentation, Leah Frye, Vice President of Schrödinger’s Drug Discovery Group, will describe the different approaches pharmaceutical and biotech companies take to find new drugs and the steps required for approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The talk will also highlight the important role computers and computational methods play in the overall drug discovery process with an emphasis on preclinical stages.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016, in Vancouver

Physics for Rock Stars: Making the Laws of the Universe Work for You

Come learn about physics with clarity, humor, and real world examples you can use in your daily life as a secret agent or lead singer. Christine McKinley, mechanical engineer, musician, and author of Physics for Rock Stars will explain why a solid understanding of the periodic table will help you decide who (and if) you should date and how the laws of motion and energy are your guides to an adventurous and drama-free life. There will be no equations, numbers, or tricky concepts—just an inspiring tour through the basics of physics and the beauty of the organized universe.