October 24 – Doubt & Uncertainty


Why to Love Doubt and Uncertainty

Neuroscientist Dr. Stuart Firestein will extend the ideas popularized in his Ted talk on ignorance. He will more deeply explore failure and doubt in the pursuit of science, and discuss how we should be thinking about uncertainty when making social policy decisions.

Dr. Firestein is the chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, where his laboratory is researching the vertebrate olfactory receptor neuron as a model for investigating general principles and mechanisms of “signal transduction” — the ways in which chemicals, such as neurotransmitters, hormones, and peptides with membrane receptors, exert their influence in the brain and nervous system. He has published articles in Wired (magazine), Huffington Post,  and Scientific American. He has been an adviser to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation program for the Public Understanding of Science. In 2011 he released the book Ignorance: How it Drives Science. 


Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Capital Ale House Music Hall

623 East Main Street   Richmond, VA  23230
Room for 100 curious minds — Seating on a first-come basis
Click here to indicate “Going” on Facebook 
5:45  Doors Open

7:00  20-minute talk by Dr. Firestein*
7:20 to 8:00  Q&A Open Discussion

* Dr. Firestein’s talk will be live-streamed from 7:00pm to 7:20pm on Science Pub RVA’s Facebook page


Are these events for scientists?
Quite the opposite. Science Pub RVA nights are specifically created for the general public to connect with scientific thinkers and converse informally about curiosity-piquing ideas.

How do I get there?
Click here for a map
Carpooling and public transit are always good ideas.
Click here to plan your GRTC trip
Click here for information about the venue’s free parking lot

Do I have to be 21?
Not this time — All adults 18 and over are welcome.

How much is it?
Attend for free, or make a donation.

$5 suggested per person — Look for the beaker on the welcome table.

What time should I arrive?
We will be ready for you at 5:45 pm. Seating is on a first-come basis. Dr. Firestein’s program will begin at 7:00. We anticipate a full house and recommend arriving by 6:15. (Note: The doors will not open prior to 5:45 pm, as we will be filming.)

I don’t drink alcohol, do you ever have any non-pub events?
Pub is in our name, but sipping on a glass of water is completely copacetic. Our focus is more about enjoying the night’s topic and each other, and less about whatever liquids are in hand.

Will there be food?
Yes, our venue would love to serve you dinner and drinks. Though, ordering food is not a requirement for attendance.

Will I feel comfortable if I arrive by myself?
Yes, many folks arrive solo. If you’d like to meet others, we’ll point you toward a community table. In the meantime, use #SciPubRVA to get social with us on Twitter and Instagram.

Note: By attending this event, you consent to the recording of your likeness, image, and/or voice and authorize The Community Idea Stations and Virginia Commonwealth University to use photographs, video, and audio recordings containing your likeness, image, and/or voice in any medium for any purpose.