For those who love to learn, Philadelphia’s nerds are preparing an event they call “like the Discovery Channel – with beer!”
Speakers at Philadelphia’s inaugural Philadelphia Nerd Nite this Thursday will talk about robots, regional languages, and psychedelic drugs.
Philly Nerd Nite speaker Alexandra Davatzes will talk about astrobiology and the search for life on Mars.
“I think sometimes the area of research that I study,” Davatzes says, “people maybe only think of UFOs or sort of crazy theories or Star Trek or Star Wars or something like that. But there’s actually a lot of really interesting science behind…the reality of it…It’s just fun to learn. It’s always fun to learn something new.”
Melissa McCartney admits she’s a nerd. The neuroscientist, who studies epilepsy, helped set up Philly Nerd Nite.
“I think a lot of people are turned off by science,” McCartney says, “because it’s a lot of large vocabulary words and a things that they don’t necessarily understand and I think the point of Nerd Nite is to kind of dissolve that down to everyday language that people can understand.”
McCartney says Nerd Nite is supposed to provide a safe space where people can walk right up to the speaker to ask questions, and maybe even fish for book recommendations.
She says she thinks the definition of ‘nerd’ has changed a lot over the years, and she doesn’t think it’s necessarily a negative stereotype anymore.
The first ever Philadelphia Nerd Nite will be held on Thursday Dec. 9, at the Field House, a sports bar in Center City.