Better Learning With Beer!

Fundraiser: Science Education for Adults!


Past Events

Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Vancouver

The Neuroscience of Pain: The Good, the Very Bad, and the Ugly

Pain is the most important and misunderstood sensory system: you cannot live without it, yet we live every day trying to avoid it. Dr. Morgan cannot cure your pain (he’s not that kind of doctor), but he will explain how your nervous system codes pain, how your brain tries to control it, and how drugs provide relief. And don’t worry… he plans for this talk to be entertaining and pain-free.

Dr. Michael Morgan is a Professor of Psychology at Washington State University Vancouver, and has studied the neural mechanisms of pain modulation for over thirty years. He earned a doctorate in Physiological Psychology from UCLA and conducted post-doctoral research in Neurology at UC San Francisco before joining the faculty at WSU Vancouver, where he has won teaching and research awards.
 


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

Wednesday, June 7, 2017, in Portland

Inside the Feline Mind

Back by popular demand! This is a repeat of the sold-out events held at the Alberta Rose Theatre on Tuesday, March 14, and at the Kiggins Theatre on April 12.

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 20 times as a content expert.

Monday, May 22, 2017, in Portland

The Neuroscience of Pleasure and Love, at Artists Rep.

This event is in collaboration with the Artists Repertory Theatre’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
It is also a repeat of the two sold-out shows held at the Alberta Rose Theatre in February and March, 2017.

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, May 16, 2017, in Vancouver

We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe

This is a special bonus Science on Tap event!

Why does the universe have a speed limit? What (or who) is attacking Earth with tiny, super-fast particles? What exactly is Dark Matter? And for that matter… What is matter?

PHD Comics’ Jorge Cham and particle physicist Daniel Whiteson are experts at explaining things. In their book, We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe, Cham & Whiteson explore why a vast portion of our universe is still a mystery, and what a lot of smart people are doing to understand it. Armed with their popular infographics, cartoons, and highly entertaining and lucid explanations of science, Cham and Whiteson explore some of the biggest holes in our cosmic knowledge. We Have No Idea features over 400 incredible, original illustrations, that illuminate everything from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes. It’s the perfect book for anyone who is curious about big, universe-sized questions. At this Science on Tap, they will introduce their new book and will invite us to see the universe as an exciting expanse of mostly uncharted territory that’s still ours to explore.

Books will be available for sale and signing.

This Science on Tap event is co-sponsored by Science Talk NW, an organization dedicated to improving science communication and engagement in the Pacific Northwest. We host regional workshops and an annual conference, helping scientists better connect with diverse audiences to share their work and build a community passionate about making science fun and accessible for everyone.


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

Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Vancouver

Chicks Dig Science: Girls, Goggles, and Blowing Stuff Up

Picture a scientist. What do you see? Beakers? Check. Lab coats? Check. Wild fuzzy hair? Check. Old white dude? Check. Girl? Not so much. Today, right now, girls are killing it in math and science. They are taking more science credits in high school than boys and earning higher grades. What they aren’t doing is choosing science careers. Why is that? What does science have to say about this persistent gender gap?

Dr. Brandy Todd, AKA Eugene SLUG Queen Professor Doctor Mildred Slugwak Dresselhaus, Director of the Science Program to Inspire Creativity and Excellence (SPICE) has spent the last 10 years researching and implementing engaging, hands-on science with girls. At this Science on Tap Dr. Todd will dive deep into the obstacles girl scientists face, share what parents, teachers, and allies can do to support budding girls scientists, and extoll the virtue of a wicked set of bangs.

 


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

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in Portland

Every Brain Needs Music: The Neuroscience of Composition, Interpretation, and Performance

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.

Saturday, April 22, 2017, in Portland

March for Science!

Do you believe that science is important? Are you frustrated about how science, scientists, and evidence-based policymaking are under attack?

Join us for a march through downtown Portland to show your support for SCIENCE!

On Saturday, April 22, the March for Science is happening in downtown Portland and around the world, and it’s a chance to show your support for the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.

We’ll update closer to the March date where Science on Tap marchers will be meeting.

Want to help out but can’t attend? Donate to the March for Science!

Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Portland

Sign-Making Party for the March for Science

Do you believe that science is important? Are you frustrated about how science, scientists, and evidence-based policymaking are under attack? Do you want to stand up in support of science?

On Saturday, April 22, the March for Science is happening in downtown Portland and around the world, and it’s a chance to show your support for the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.

To prepare for the March, join us on Thursday, April 20, at the Lucky Lab Brew Pub in Portland to make signs to carry at the March! It will be a casual evening with time to meet with other science enthusiasts, make plans for marching on Saturday, and to make clever signs. We will provide poster paper and markers for anyone to use. Even if you’re not joining in the March on Saturday, you’re welcome to come to the sign-making party to help show your support for science and create signs for others to carry.

This is a free event and you can drop by anytime between 6:00-9:00pm. Food and drink will be available for purchase.

Want to help out but can’t attend? Donate to the March for Science!

Image: https://twitter.com/Hilarx

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Vancouver

Inside the Feline Mind

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.

 


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

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Portland

Microbes and the Human Gut

The human body has trillions of cells, but only about 1/10th of those cells are actually human. The rest are microbes that live in and on our bodies, and collectively they’re called the “human microbiome,” and we couldn’t survive without them. They make vitamins for us, help us digest food, and battle disease-causing microbes, and they may influence our behavior, particularly in what and how much we eat. However, disturbances to the gut microbiome, perhaps through antibiotic overuse, have been associated with obesity, asthma, and autism. Understanding how a body’s microbiome is unbalanced or not functioning optimally may help lead to new and unusual treatments such as use of probiotics, prebiotics, and fecal transplants. (Really.) At this Science on Tap, Dr. Lisa Sardinia, associate professor of biology at Pacific University, will explain what the microbiome is, how it can get out of balance, and how we may be able to restore health by deliberately changing the kinds or numbers of microbes that share our bodies.

Monday, March 27, 2017, in Portland

Love, Trauma, and Bonding: How Early Experiences Shape Who We Become

This event is in collaboration with the Artists Repertory Theatre’s production of Feathers and Teeth.

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.

This is an updated version of the talk What Doesn’t Kill You… How Early Experiences Shape You, Your Health, and Your Kids held at the Clinton Street Theater on December 6, 2016.

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

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.
 

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.