September 20, 2011
Neuroscientist Dr Zarinah Agnew came to the Secret Garden Party this summer to teach us about the coital corners of the cortex in her new lecture, Dirty Brains. Here, she gives us the goods on how neuroscientists have probed our privates.
Trying to make science sound interesting whilst balanced and educational is somewhat of a challenge, but one that I consider to be a central part of being a scientist. I have been working with Guerilla Science for the last few years; we have done a number of events, festivals and parties and it’s been a pretty good ride. This year the theme from their funders the Wellcome Trust is “Dirt” and given that my (very general) theme is brains, I put in a proposal to talk about Dirty Brains: mapping out how the erogenous zones arerepresented in the brain.
The idea stemmed from a couple of lectures I saw at a conference in the US a few years ago: in light of the fact that most of what we know about genitals in the brain has been drawn from studies of men, researchers had decided to instead go to great lengths to map out the female genitals in the brain using real women. Of course my talk (done in conjunction with Dr Aidan Horner of UCL) was accompanied by a fairly long and drawn out description of what these experiments entailed: “mechanical self stimulators” and so forth.
August 15, 2011
Democracy is a dirty word, argues epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani. After spending 10 years working on HIV prevention in Southeast Asia, she’s convinced that public morality stands in the way of sensible decisions – especially when “dirty” behaviour is involved. She joined us at the Secret Garden Party 2011 to explain how prudishness can kill, how whores know more than we give them credit for, and why we need to save the junkies.
Learn more from her wonderful TED talk here.
Sponsored by the Wellcome Trust as part of their fantastic and filthy Dirt season.
Working in partnership with chef Joe Gray we brought a feast of filth to the Secret Garden Party, each course inspired by the physical, biological, ethical, architectural, social, political and temporal dimensions of dirt.
Eminent experts accompanied each course, feeding guests with ideas about the nature of dirt, with scientists Zarinah Agnew, Rachel Edwards-Stuart, Aidan Horner, Elizabeth Pisani, and beatboxer Yasson. All pics on our Flickr site.
March 15, 2011
Working in partnership with experimental food artisans Bompas & Parr, we will host a Dirt Banquet inside a spectacular secret London location.
This unprecedented feast of filth will showcase dirty delicacies, such as radioactive cheese serum, imu cooked pork, Islay whiskey, fermented natto, and an aphrodisiac dessert - each course inspired by the physical, biological, ethical, architectural, social, political and temporal dimensions of dirt. Full menu to be announced a week before the date.
Eminent experts will accompany each course, feeding our guests with ideas about the nature of dirt: anthropologist Val Curtis will guide us through the evolution of disgust, and epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani, author of The Wisdom of Whores (catch her fantastic TED Talk here), will speak on sexuality. This edible adventure will provide diners with an unprecedented culinary experience that promises to be both thought-provoking as well as surprisingly appetizing.
You can buy tickets here.