July 20, 2009 by Zoe
Taking our rightful place alongside Thom Yorke, Vivian Westwood and Nick Cave, we performed at Latitude, one of Britain’s most refined and thought-provoking music festivals.
The Frog Who Croaked Blue – Friday 17 July 1730-1830
Iconic intellects Wittgenstein, Nabokov and Feynman all shared the fascinating condition synaesthesia, where music can have colour, words can have taste, and time and numbers can float through space. People with synaesthesia may literally “see” music in colour and movement, and the condition is forcing us to radically rethink how our senses are organized. Psychologist, author and synaesthesia expert Jamie Ward revealed how science is unraveling the mysteries of our senses and what happens when they become entwined.
Mastering Memory – Friday 17 July 2115-2215
In a world of sharp-eyed Sudoku addicts, Luminosity fanatics, mind game traffickers and declining grey matter, do any of the brain training products on offer really work? Memory maestro Richard Bowdler and attentive scientist extraordinaire Professor Adrian Owen unpacked the phenomena of brain training for us and explained how we truly can collect our thoughts and make them stick.
Mysteries of the Universe – Friday 17 July 2230-2330
Martin White, a high energy physicist with lots of energy, works on the ATLAS experiment of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Geneva. He introduced us to the quantum Universe, where scientists searching for the answers to fundamental questions like ‘what is everything made of?’ and ‘how did everything get here?’ delve into the science of the very strange. They have uncovered the existence of invisible dark matter, the possibility of parallel Universes, and particles that can be in two places at once – but are they any closer to the ultimate answers they are looking for? Truth, as we always say, really is stranger than fiction.
Centering on Pleasure – Saturday 18 July 1500-1600
Pleasure scientist Morten Kringelbach, senior research fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, Oxford University and author of The Pleasure Centre, surveyed the secrets of sensual gratification. Hedonistic experiences are a delightful – and integral – part of being human, but is there a downside? We explored the many facets of pleasure, emotion and desire and came a bit closer to understanding the brain’s tantalizing reward systems as Morten shed light on new discoveries about joy, passion, and longing. He dished up the dopamine for an orgy of neurochemical insights.
A Beginner’s Guide to the Universe – Saturday 18 July 2100-2200
Bona fide rocket scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock took us on a journey through Space and Time for a taste of our extraordinary Universe. Our voyage began here on our home planet before traveling out through our solar system and beyond, past the Milky Way and out to the very edge of the Universe with the Hubble space telescope. As we flew past celestial bodies, tour guide Maggie brought galactic landmarks to life, explaining how we discover how truly awe inspiring our Universe is with live demonstrations.
Beatbox Laboratory – Sunday 19 July 1230-1330
What does it take to become a human beatbox, and can science help you beatbox better? We found out with a series of live experiments that performance scientist Aaron Williamon and biomedical engineer Evan Morgan conducted on battling volunteers. Helping us to perfect our techniques, champion beatboxer Yasson guided us through the art of sonic manipulation and the art of taking everyday sounds and forming them into structured rhythms, from standard drum snares and hi hats to auditory mimicry and vocal scratching.
Music on the Brain – Sunday 19 July 1830-1930
Why do your feet move spontaneously when you hear a beat? Will listening to Mozart really make you smarter? Could musical training actually enhance your intelligence? We all have music on the brain, and it makes us undeniably happy, but why? Neuroscientist Jessica Grahn and music psychologist Gianna Cassidy explored how music affects our brains, alters our moods and changes our world.
IT IS ROCKET SCIENCE! – Sunday 19 July 2030-2130
Comedian Helen Keen took us on a whistlestop tour of the Great Brains who put monkeys, ladies, dogs and gentlemen into orbit. Helen Keen loves space rockets, and brings their story to life with a fusion of stand-up comedy and tinfoil in her critically acclaimed one woman show – a celebration of stargazing, space-racing, and the boundless possibilities of an infinite Universe.