Take three top academics, three dangerous ideas, add one comedian and it’s the force of nature that is the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas (CODI).
Hosted by comedian JoJo Sutherland, and now in its seventh year, CODI is sixty minutes of rapid-fire research from some of the finest minds in the country.
Curated by the University of Edinburgh as part of Beltane Public Engagement Network and produced by Fair Pley, CODI moves online to a live stream compilation format, with a live Q&A through the Live Stream page chat box function.
‘A fascinating discussion' Broadway Baby
‘All of the CODI talks are designed to challenge their audiences' Lancet
‘[T]here are no talks here which don’t promise to be hugely educational and thought-provoking’ List
Wednesday 8th July 2020
Instagram hates women
Instagram is notorious for posting ‘body-correction’ ads for skinny tes, waist-trainers, protein shakes and more, amongst the endless display of “perfect” body images. Despite the growing #bodypositivity and #loveyourbody trends, mental health and body image in young people is at an all-time low. Dr Kat Rezai (Edinburgh Napier University) asks: Is Instagram responsible for a generation’s mental wellbeing? Does Instagram hate women? Or does it just hate our bodies?
We Need to Talk About Alexa!
Dr Mhairi Aitken (Newcastle University) is in a tricky relationship. Things started brilliantly; Alexa moved in right away. She always listened; was always keen to help. But now Mhairi suspects Alexa may be talking about her behind her back. Is she just using her to maximise the profits of a tax-evading multi-national corporation? Maybe. But even so, Mhairi quite likes the perks of having Alexa in her life…
Your scan is normal, goodbye.
What if your leg was paralysed but the scans were normal, and doctors said there was nothing wrong? Professor Jon Stone (The University of Edinburgh) researches Functional Neurological Disorder (FND), a stigmatised cause of disability that is the second commonest reason to see a neurologist. Why are so many people made to feel that they are ‘making up symptoms’? And why is modern healthcare so badly set up to deal with these conditions? Can science heal age-old divisions between brain and mind, and between patients and healthcare professionals?
Wednesday 15th July 2020
This Will Make You Sharper!
Staying sharp as you age is easy… just "eat this super-berry", “do these five simple things” or "play this game to beat dementia"! But what if it’s not as simple as the hype suggests? If we need to put in a bit of effort to keep our brains healthy, would we be willing to do that, and do we even know what those challenging things might be? Alan Gow (Heriot-Watt University) explores what we know about how our thinking skills change as we age, and what we might do to stay sharp.
As our data continues to be collected, exchanged, stored, sold and analysed, are we giving away more than we can comprehend? Do we have control over our digital lives? What would that even look like? Join Will Abramson (Edinburgh Napier University) on an exploration of identity and existence in our increasingly digital society. Take a glimpse into a more trusted future and hopefully leave better prepared to take advantage of it. Are you ready to play your part in this future?
AI-enabled robots are on the rise and in some tasks they already beat humans! Soon, they will take their place alongside doctors in our health system, interpreting your X-rays and MRI scans better than their human colleagues. Together, doctors and intelligent robots could enable huge advances in our ability to diagnose diseases early and perform surgery with greater precision. Dr Subramanian Ramamoorthy (The University of Edinburgh) explores what is becoming possible and what questions this raises for patients and medical professionals.
Wednesday 22nd July 2020
We’re all conspiracy theorists!
From mind control chemicals in the water to alien lizards controlling the world, conspiracy theories surround us and continue to shape the world. But what makes some conspiracy theories go viral? What aspects of them ensure they will stick in the mind and spread from person to person? Using the latest psychological research, Joe Stubbersfield (Heriot-Watt University) can build a conspiracy theory sure to capture people’s minds. But can he then stop it spreading?
When did you last have sex?
And who else knows? Ubiquitous fitness, health and dating apps ask us some very personal questions. Who do you really want to know about your private life and health? Your partner? Family? Friends? Doctor? Google? How much do we really share with technology companies? Fitness, health and dating apps such as AppleHealth, GoogleFit and Flo are increasingly demanding our data in return for services. Should you answer them? Social and legal anthropologist Giulia De Togni (The University of Edinburgh) asks what price we are willing to pay for ‘better’ health and wellbeing.
Are Women Assholes?
Women do so much to keep other people happy, yet are assholes to each other. Why? Are we not happy with ourselves? Are we not happy with each other? Does competitiveness drive our insecurities or do women’s insecurities drive our competitiveness? Are we afraid of being alone? Why is single status so threatening? Amy Andrada (The University of Edinburgh) wants to know. In her quest, she discovers women need each other, far more than anyone else…they just don’t know it yet.