Not quite the Rolling Stones, but I’m excited to be taking both Half Baked Heroes and Subliming the Ridiculous shows on tour this year. I’ll be at the Cardiff Science Festival and the Lancashire Science festival. The latter almost feels like a residency as I’m performing over three days. You have no excuse to miss this one.
Aside from new things, I’ve been revisiting old favourites. When I first started along the path that has led me here it was because I delivered an outreach session at Aston University. It was a workshop on EEG, which was a variation on a practical I taught on the psychology undergraduate programme. That element later became a favourite in an early variation of the Fifty Shades of Grey Matter session I developed on the history of electrophysiology and neuroscience. While it remained in the full version of that workshop, the EEG practical got cropped in versions I did for the NeuroCafe as part of the Flatpack Film festival in 2014.
However, I wanted to create another session, so I developed What You Know and Why You Don’t. This touched on some cognitive, attentional and biopsychology through the theme of ‘criminal psychology’. It was quite an immersive session with all students experiencing the phenomena. The finale was always spectacular, with a lie detector test being performed on an audience member. Of the 13 to 1 chance, it always worked well with a little data analysis. It’s amazing how the body tells what the brain knows. What You Know… was the session that ended up being very popular; to the point where it surpassed the amount of hours I spent teaching undergraduate sessions.
Originally, it was run with another aspect of social psychology based on sports psychology. As I started to enjoy it more, I found the ad libs grew and What You Know… became too big to share it’s space with.
As a result, The Sporting Conundrum grew from the social psychology bit. Why was I good at sports but only when nobody was watching? Can you scientifically prove that sports coaches are worth their wage? Why do some get addicted to extreme sports?
However they organically grew, I had never delivered this trilogy as one event. They had always been separate… until this March. I was invited to deliver all three psychology shows, back to back, as part of the Malvern Science and Faith festival. I hadn’t revisited these in a couple of years and I refreshed them a little, with new images and the like. One of the resounding memories of the day was just how many variations of these workshops I’d been through. There story is long and I have a feeling I’m not yet ready to let them go. Maybe another tour is in order… Hmm.