A science festival, a zombie conference and a gaming convention all on the same few days. The hipsters might rule the town the rest of the year, but this weekend Brighton belongs to the geeks.
Brighton Science Weekend
Sallis Benney Theatre, Sat 28th Feb & Sun 1st Mar
Brighton Science Festival goes out with a big bang with two full days of topical pop science – including talks on internet surveillance, climate change denial and the accidental origins of LSD. There’s also an array of interactive stalls involving a virtual reality headset, 3D digital models and the Large Hadron Collider (though possibly not the real thing). On Sunday, the editor of science journal Nature, David Adam, discusses OCD and asks “at what point does a harmless idea become a blizzard of unwanted thoughts?” A theme, we’d guess, familiar to many geeks.
Zombies, Zombies, Zombies!
University of Brighton, Sat 28th Feb
Meanwhile, next door in the Grand Parade building, there’s another day of talks with a somewhat less scientific bent: a herd of speakers from around the UK are stumbling into town for an academic conference all about zombies. This ‘Multidisciplinary Multimedia Symposium’ takes a decidedly brainy look at pop culture’s undying fixation with the living dead – with lectures on graphic novels, horror films and video games. The day finishes with a panel debate including local zombie game-makers Paul Stapleton, Naomi Alderman and a certain SOURCE contributor.
Friends Meeting House & Sallis Benney Theatre, Fri 27th Feb – Sun 1st Feb
Not to be outdone, Brighton Science Festival is also putting on trio of evening events over the weekend. First up, the festival director himself, Richard Robinson, discusses the animal dynamics of the modern workplace – or how your boss is mostly likely a psychopathic ape. Saturday night sees Richard Wiseman, the experimental psychologist who collected the world’s largest archive of dream reports, exploring the science of sleep and dreaming. Then on Sunday, John Hinton performs his one-man comedy musical about physics, bratwurst and nuclear war – ‘Albert Einstein: Relativitively Speaking’.
Komedia, Sun 1st March
Just when you thought it was safe to start acting straight, here comes another instalment of Brighton’s ‘geek-centric shindig and swap meet’ – arguably a cross between a retro museum, a social club and a game con. Featuring a tabletop sale of comics, models and anything else one might deign to collect, this all-day geek gathering also gives you the chance to play old school video games on huge screens, dance to DJs spinning 8-bit chiptune anthems and dress up as a Japanese Schoolgirl/Imperial Stormtrooper for a chance win a £300 prize in a cosplay competition. Awesome, as they say.