Nerd Nite #9

And we’re back! Sadly this will be Nerd Boss Wade’s last Nerd Nite Wagga. To send him off onto new adventures we’re bringing back a few of his favourite speakers from Nerd Nite’s past. To round out a compliment of stellar speakers, Tracie will finally have her chance to command the lectern after being sidelined for Nerd Nite 8. It’s going to be a great night as we celebrate all things nerdy.

Fun, games, three interesting talks, and of course, beer.

Be there and be square.

*18+ event, no minors

When: Thursday, 23 February 2017 (7:30pm for 8pm)
Where: The Union Club (122 Baylis Street, Wagga)
$10 in advance, includes a free drink
$10 at the door (no free drink)
*18+ event, no minors


Arty farty: Clearing the air on art and culture
Tracie Miller

Have you been to a gallery/theatre/roundabout/abstract dance performance and wondered, “why! Why would someone make this? What does it mean? Why would I pay for this? What were the artists thinking??” The art debate has never been more alive in Wagga. Art encourages us to explore, to dream, to think and linger a little longer. It encourages communication – people taking time to discuss works and write letters to the editor to share their ponderings, and occasional outrage. We’ll take a trip through the arts, discussing the artists behind the work and why the arts today remain a reflection of our society.

BIO: Tracie has been working in the arts and culture sector for 10 years and is currently Wagga Wagga’s Cultural Officer. In this role she’s responsible for creating and implementing Wagga’s public art plan and cultural programming. Tracie has a BA (Art History and Criticism) from Western Sydney University and is passionate about all aspects of art and culture – however is not afraid to admit that she will travel internationally to see certain sports as well art.

These are not the facts you’re looking for: navigating news in a post-truth world
Wade Kelly

Thanks to social media, news travels fast — perhaps too fast. In recent months terms like “alternative facts,” “fake news,” and “post-truth” have occupied a great deal of column space and air time. But what does it all mean? With an increasing distrust of mainstream sources, and a brewing war on the media, what can we do to wade through all the noise and make sense of our world? This presentation will explore what we can do to become more information literate and bring others along with us.

BIO: Wade is a PhD candidate at Charles Sturt University. The focus of his research is community engagement. Simply put, he’s interested in how and why universities and academics engage with community. He’s passionate about knowledge dissemination to non-academic audiences and is excited about the differences institutions can make in communities and society. As part of his mission to make learning more accessible to the general public he brought Nerd Nite to Edmonton, Canada and is the founder and Nerd Boss for Nerd Nite Wagga.

Rambling tales of a rampant natural historian (Cancelled for family reasons… a new baby!)
Andrew Peters

Some things are unavoidable. The bird lays the egg, the bee makes the honey, and a passion for natural history brings a life of adventure. From African savannah to the jungles of New Guinea, Andrew Peters has only ever pursued one thing: to know more about the natural world. Follow the meandering life history of a man with a penchant for knowledge and discovery.

BIO: Andrew Peters, a veterinarian, has spent the last six years attempting to spend as much time as possible on tropical islands with a mojito in hand. He discovered that a migratory pigeon conveniently visited all of the most interesting tropical islands in the region, and so chose this species as a subject for his PhD. Serendipitously this led to a lot of reading about vaginas and discovering the wild wonders of PNG. He now enjoys sharing his rambling stories and factoids with vet students at Charles Sturt University, when he’s not running in the mountains or fluffing around on his rainforest block in northern NSW. 

Wilhelm Reich: What to do when the world doesn’t agree with you!
Tim Wess

In 2016, possibly the largest ever contingent if Wagga Wagga citizens (2) visited Organon Maine USA. Organon maintains the last home of Wilhelm Reich, a man whose many theories are “so out there” that they are still waiting to be adopted by mainstream science; sex-pol, orgastic potency, vegtetotherapy and orgone energy, are a few of the phrases he coined for his unusual practices. Unconfined by the boundaries of academic practice, he established his own institutes to combine psychoanalysis, cosmic orgone engineering, and a telephone-booth-size device that supposedly gathered energy from the atmosphere, which could purportedly cure — while the patient sat inside — common colds, cancer, and impotence. Join Tim as he attempts to unpack Reich’s many theories so you can answer for yourself whether the world will ever be ready for Wilhelm Reich.

BIO: Tim is the Executive Dean at Charles Sturt University. His research has focussed on bio polymers, especially collagen, in contexts from biomedical to food to cultural heritage artefacts. When not working or cycling to work, he likes to study languages, especially minority ones where he’s lived. Tim now live in Wagga with his family and is currently studying the Wiradjuri language.