Peter Harrison

Science. Comedy. Magic.

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Magic, Dragons, and Dinosaur Saddles (Oxford 3/7/13)

This Wednesday (3/7/2013) I’ll be speaking at Oxford Skeptics in the Pub about creationism. I spent a year working with the world’s top creationist organisations, collating the strongest arguments for creationism, so that I could discover and present the ultimate argument in favour of creationism. It was a serious investigation, but it might be unintentionally hilarious (like creationism).

The talk takes place at St Aldate’s Tavern and begins at 7:30 pm.

Science Showoff tonight! (4/6/2013)

Tonight’s Science Showoff is set to be brilliant, which is why I’m going along to see all the acts! It’s the last time SSO will take place at the usual venue, so it will hopefully be a memorable goodbye. The lovely nano-lady Suze Kundu won’t be able to make it tonight, so I’m jumping in as a last-minute replacement. I will attempt to squeeze Chewbacca, Beyonce, a rigid penis, and a vampire squid from hell all into one little talk about science. What could possibly go wrong?

Time: 7pm

Venue: Wilmington Arms, 69 Rosebery Ave, London, EC1R 4RL

It’s free to get in but you can make donations at the door for a wonderful charity. The charity changes each time. This time it’s the Holborn Community Association. £5 would be awesome if you can spare it.

There will be lots of great acts so check it out! More info.

ARRGH MY EYES! The Ugly Animal Preservation Society

Update: My animal won! The night was a sell-out and fantastic fun, thanks to all who came along! It was great to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while and to make some new ones. The other acts were hilarious (and hideous), and Simon was a fantastic compere! My animal was Promachoteuthis sulcus, which isn’t very well known so doesn’t even have a common name. At the event, I proposed the “human-gobbed squid” or “gob-faced squid” to a large crowd. It was agreed at this event and at the Festival of the Spoken Nerd event on Friday that the animal should be known as the gob-faced squid. With several hundred people from these events now referring to it as the gob-faced squid, it’s the most common name it has as a relatively unknown creature! I’m happy and strangely proud that my animal won the evening. Here is the new mascot for the Scottish branch of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society:

 P sulcus

This is a message for all the amazing people who have come to the brilliant Edinburgh International Science Festival. If you’re up for some shenanigans, and don’t have a weak stomach, come along to see us at the Ugly Animal Preservation Society! If comedy and nasty ugly are your things, you’ll be in a disgusting heaven!

As well as myself, you’ll see performers including Helen Arney (Uncaged Monkeys, Festival of the Spoken Nerd), Simon Watt (Inside Nature’s Giants), Steve Cross (Science Showoff), the guys from Punk Science, and more! It will be funny, interesting, and horrific in equal measure.

It’s on Wednesday night, 9pm-11pm. You can get all the details here!

Magic, dragons, and dinosaur saddles!

For the third year running, Edinburgh Skeptics will be organising Skeptics On The Fringe. If you somehow haven’t heard of the world’s longest skepticism festival, then allow me to explain. Taking place throughout the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, Skeptics On The Fringe consists of free lectures and performances from skeptics and scientists for a whole month!


This year will be my second appearance for Skeptics On The Fringe, and I’ll be debuting a never-before-seen talk about creationism. For almost a year I’ve been working with (that’s right, with) some of the world’s biggest creationist organisations in an attempt to collate the strongest arguments possible in support of creationism. We can laugh away so many absurdly hilarious creationist claims as we come across them on blogs and YouTube comments, but what about the big guns? Given one chance to prove their point, what evidence do the world’s most powerful creationist groups cite? I’ve been collating a list.

I’m talking on Thursday the 9th of August. The venue is the Banshee Labyrinth and the show starts at 8:30pm. It’s free, though I do encourage you to make a small donation if possible. The lovely folks at Edinburgh Skeptics volunteer their free time in order to run a month of daily events for us lucky buggers.

You can find out more about Skeptics On The Fringe here.

Hackney Skeptics in the Pub

I’ve been asked to speak about the science of lucid dreaming tomorrow (30/7/2012) at Hackney Skeptics in the Pub. It’s been a very popular talk that’s went down well at Skeptics on the Fringe, Winchester Science Festival, and other Skeptics in the Pub groups including Birmingham, Reading, Nottingham, Glasgow, Dundee, and Aberdeen. If you’re in the area, come along and say hi!

Update: Thanks to everyone who came along! I really enjoyed this one, especially the Q&A. Some really thought-provoking stuff! The audience were great, the venue is brilliant, and the organisers were awesome.

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I also got Ned Evett to sign his album, Treehouse. All in all a great night. Cheers!

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Winchester Science Festival

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At the end of the week, Winchester Science Festival is taking place from Friday through to Sunday. I can’t wait to see the talks and performances, and I’m fortunate enough to be taking the stage on Saturday morning at 9am to talk about the actual science behind our understanding of lucid dreaming. Do come along if you can pull yourself away from your own dreams that early! All three days are filled with fantastic speakers. It should be a great weekend.

You can find out more at the website: www.winchesterscifest.org

Or follow on Twitter: @WinSciFest

Update: The first Winchester Science Festival was amazing! Well done to James Thomas for organising the entire event! I saw some incredible talks and performances, I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to an awesome audience, and along with Simon Watt I got an extra set as Lewis Dartnell was unfortunately ill on the day of his talk (it’s all good, he’s fine now). I hope to come along for a second one next year!

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Chaos Ceilidh! Aberdeen 17/3/2012

Update: Thanks to everyone who came along, and to the organisers for creating such an enjoyable and unique night! I thoroughly enjoyed the dancing, the drinks, and the company. I hope this “experiment” of mixing science and a ceilidh will happen again.

As we approach the end of British Science and Engineering Week, what better way to celebrate than with an event all about dancing, stovies, and science? This Saturday 17th, the Chaos Ceilidh will be taking place at Elphinstone Hall. The event is from 7pm until 11pm and involves food (included in the ticket price), ceilidh dancing, a quiz with great prizes, and science/comedy sets from the likes of myself and St Andrews lecturer Dr Alun Hughes. Should be a brilliant night!

Tickets are £6 (£4 concession) and booking is recommended. For a ticket, call TechFest on 01224 274348.

Event details here: Chaos Ceilidh

2012 Ig Nobel Tour of the UK - Edinburgh

March is an exciting time! Not only do we have QEDcon in Manchester, but British Science and Engineering Week takes place between the 9th and 18th of March. I’ll be performing/speaking at a few events during this time, including a Science Ceilidh in Aberdeen on the 17th of March.

In conjunction with British Science and Engineering Week, March will also bring us the 2012 Ig Nobel Tour of the UK, visiting Edinburgh on the 16th of March. I’ll be providing a reading alongside other science/comedy types about previous Ig Nobel prize winners, strange and improbable research “that first makes people laugh, and then makes them think”.

It’s guaranteed to be both funny and interesting, so come along to Counting House at 7pm and be sure to reserve a ticket! The Edinburgh event is being hosted by Edinburgh Skeptics.

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