NERD NITE MELBOURNE EDITION #40
We have an excellent 3-speaker lineup for you for our 40th show where speakers will be discussing the philosophy of the good place, if all plastics are bad, and if buildings can impact your wellbeing. Come join us for our season finale at Howler in Brunswick and $16 burger plus pot deals whilst you are learning.
Holy Forking Shirtballs: The Philosophy of the Good Place
by Aaron Grinter @PhilosophyGrin
Description: Around 4.3 billion years ago, the universe began. Sometime later, in 2016, the television show ‘The Good Place’ came into being. The Good Place was created by hilarious TV goldmine, Michael Schur,creator of the US Office, Parks and Recreation, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The premise is simple: Eleanor Shellstrop wakes up in non-denominational heaven after a tragic accident involving margarita mix and a truck full of Viagra. The problem is that there’s been a mixup, she is actually a horrible person, who lived a life of alcoholism and scamming the elderly. In order to not get kicked out of heaven, she vows to become a good person. How does she plan to do it? With the power of philosophy. As the final season of The Good Place draws to a close, we will explore some of the key philosophical ideas that the show taught you without you realising it. I can’t promise that I can get you into heaven, but I can promise you that you will understand more about deontology than you did before.
Bio: Aaron is (mercifully) about to complete his PhD and teaches at Swinburne University. His field is philosophy and the aim of his research is to prove to his parents that getting a degree in philosophy wasn’t a complete waste of time. His thesis synthesises ecology, economics, and social theory to construct an epistemology of sustainability. In his spare time, he enjoys growing houseplants and worrying about his PhD. I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is yes, his dog features prominently throughout his thesis.
Are All Plastics Bad?
by Dr Lewis Blackman @LDBlackman
Description: Plastics often get a bad rap – but I’m here to convince you that while many are catastrophic for our environment, there’s also a whole world of “good plastics” out there! Clever plastics that can help save children from cancer, allow amputees to walk and as weapons to kill superbugs. This talk ventures into the nanoworld to focus on how smart, shape-changing, nanosized plastic vehicles can allow us to tackle some of the world’s nastiest diseases more effectively and with fewer side effects than ever before!
Bio: Lewis is a Londoner who fancied a change from the Big Smoke to the Land Down Under. After spending a year teaching science in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, he completed a PhD in polymer chemistry at the University of Warwick. Lewis is currently a postdoctoral fellow at CSIRO working on developing new polymer biomaterials to combat microbial infections.
Can buildings change your mind?
by Dr Stephanie Liddicoat
Description: For many people, the buildings we inhabit go unnoticed. Our homes, schools, and shopping malls are part of the fabric of our everyday lives and yet these environments affect us in subtle yet profound ways. Often a walk in the forest brings about a sense of calm. Why do our buildings so often fail to do the same? Buildings do indeed influence our psychological states — often not for the positive. In this talk, Dr Liddicoat will explore how architecture can impact wellbeing and make you rethink the buildings you encounter. Dr Liddicoat will also address some of the big questions in evidence-based design, such as: What is the public perception of the asylum for the insane? How do we deal with the stigma of mental health in the built environment? In what ways might architecture shape our psychological responses? What does this mean for the delivery of mental health care?
Bio: Dr Stephanie Liddicoat is a Lecturer in Architectural Design at Swinburne University, and has always been fascinated with how the buildings we inhabit can change how we feel. She felt this was a call to action for architects, whose creations could influence people’s lives. The pursuit of the mechanisms by which buildings influence psycho-cognitive wellbeing has shaped her research trajectory, as she unpacks the wicked problem of how to design a building that changes your mind.