Nerd Nite NYC returns to the fair borough of Manhattan for the first time in the new decade, as it graces the stage of Caveat NYC in the Lower East Side on Saturday March 21, 2020 to bring you three fun-yet-informative presentations about your guts, what Fedex knows about your soul, and how Coney Island was ground-zero for pre-mature babies in the early 20th centry. Bring your brain, some pals, and enjoy a few drinks while being delighted by our glorious presenters. Buy tickets here.

And if you need some instant gratification to satisfy your craving of more Nerd Nite presentations, check out our YouTube channel that features a few dozen of our favorites from around the globe.

Nerd Nite NYC
Saturday March 21, 2020
Caveat NYC
21A Clinton Street (Lower East Side)
Presentations-only: 9:30pm (doors at 9:00pm) $12. Buy tickets here.

Back to the Lectures At-Hand:
*Presentation #1

Babies in Boxes: How a Coney Island Sideshow Became Standard Practice in Neonatal Intensive Care
by Dr. Elizabeth Yuko

Description: In many ways, the Coney Island of the early 20th century was the Internet of its day, a place where people went to learn and to gawk in equal measure. Among the sideshows and oddities were new mechanical wonders and cutting-edge technologies that had yet to make it into the mainstream. And there was also another exhibit, nestled among the curiosities and the technological demonstrations, that was a little bit of each. Between 1903 and 1943, babies born prematurely were rushed to a state-of-the-art neonatal intensive-care unit—one that happened to also be one of the most popular attractions on Coney Island. Run by a doctor named Martin Couney, it was, for most of its existence, one of the only facilities in the U.S. designed especially for the care of severely premature infants. At a time when most full-term babies weighed approximately six pounds, Couney declared that he had nursed thousands of three-pound babies back to health. Of the roughly 8,000 premature babies brought to him at Coney Island, around 6,500 survived. This illustrated lecture will highlight a fascinating chapter of reproductive medical history, allowing us to examine the nuances between skepticism, showmanship, exploitation and ethical concerns with emerging technology.

Bio: Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is a bioethicist and writer specializing in sexual and reproductive health and the intersection of bioethics and popular culture. She is also an adjunct professor of ethics at Fordham University and has written for print and online publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and Playboy. Yuko has given a TEDx talk on The Golden Girls and bioethics, and has appeared on The Travel Channel show Mysteries at the Museum and Buzzfeed’s live morning show, AM2DM.

*Presentation #2
Healthy Gut / Better Life
by Dr. Jason Piken

Description:  Are you aware of the relationship that exists between your brain, your intestines, and your microbiome?  Why should you care about this relationship?  The dynamic balance between these 3 players can help you to have a life of joy or can wind up being the culprit behind many of your body’s chronic woes.  Dr. Piken will discuss how the Brain-Gut-Microbiome Axis contributes to many of the symptoms that people experience.  He won’t leave you hanging either, he’s going to suggest some simple changes to your daily habits that can influence all three and help you to have a better life!

Bio: Dr. Jason Piken is the founder of Innate Wellness Group, an office that focuses on getting to the root cause of illness.  He has been practicing as a chiropractor, nutritionist, practitioner of applied kinesiology and health coach for 24 years in midtown manhattan.  His office helps people with chronic conditions understand why they have them so they can heal.  Dr. Piken is also the author of Better, 11 Simple Habits To Improve Your Life, a book that never made it to Best Seller status but is a great read for anyone that wants to get healthy.

*Presentation #3
Does FedEx Believe in a Soul? What International Shipping Rules Say About the Nature of Consciousness
by Dr. Patrick House

Description: It has been said that car rental and insurance companies know more about the brain than neuroscientists do. (We now know, for example, that the brain finishes growing around age 25, which has long been the age cutoff for when car rentals get cheaper.) Analogously, we can ask: What do shipping companies know about the soul? From Ancient Egypt tombs to the back rooms of the Smithsonian; from a CT scan of a mummy at Stanford Hospital to a cargo hold in Tanzania; from my career shipping brain machine-interface devices, mind-control parasites, and brains themselves, I share what I have learned about brains, living or otherwise, from how they are treated in transit.

Bio: Dr. Patrick House has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and a postdoc in ancient DNA, from Stanford University. His research focused on Toxoplasma gondii, the mind-control parasite which makes mice and man, respectively, less or more or maybe-not-at-all afraid of, or in love with, cats. He has written for The New Yorker and Slate and has a book forthcoming on elegance and the brain.


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