The shows

Aug
4
Fri
2017
CODI 2017: Making a Signbank Withdrawal @ New Town Theatre
Aug 4 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

Jordan Fenlon and Andy Carmichael (Heriot-Watt University) take a light-hearted look at the British Sign Language (BSL) ‘Signbank’ – the online repository based on the BSL Corpus. Loosely inspired by the TV show Pointless, they’ll keep each other in check while taking the audience on a slightly naughty, irreverent but evidence-based and informative tour of the many vaults contained within the Signbank. Double entendres will abound, alongside puns, riddles and politically incorrect signs as the pair elucidate the linguistic wonders of the UK’s beautiful, iconic, indigenous language. This performance will be interpreted in BSL and English.

Performers

Jordan Fenlon and Andy Carmichael, Heriot-Watt University.

CODI 2017: Bring Back Child-Labour! @ New Town Theatre
Aug 4 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

Children should work more. Philip Cook (University of Edinburgh) reckons the ban on child-labour is an injustice that disempowers and infantilises children. Rather than focusing on the age at which children are allowed to work, he thinks we should promote good work for children: work which is safe, enjoyable, and materially rewarding. It socialises kids, provides them with skills, develops their self-respect, and allows them greater financial independence. Come and have your settled assumptions about children and work challenged, and consider advocating more and better work for our children.

Performer

Philip Cook, Lecturer in Political Theory, School of Social and Political Science, the University of Edinburgh.

Aug
5
Sat
2017
CODI 2017: Outer Space – the Next Empire? @ New Town Theatre
Aug 5 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

Join space innovation researcher Matjaz Vidmar (University of Edinburgh) and acclaimed science fiction author Pippa Goldschmidt to debate the future of human activity beyond Earth. Who does outer space belong to, and are humans the only ones in it? Will colonising space soon become our business-as-usual, and should we be doing it at all? Is any of this plausible reality, or are these just Pippa’s works of fiction? Come along to find out and have your say on the future of human activity in outer space!

Performers

Matjaz Vidmar, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, the University of Edinburgh and Pippa Goldschmidt, author.

CODI 2017: Neoliberalism, Gender and Victimhood in #KUWTK @ New Town Theatre
Aug 5 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

Criminologist Gemma Flynn (University of Edinburgh) invites you to delve unashamedly into the world of pop culture behemoths The Kardashians. Should academia make more of an effort to Keep Up With The Kardashians (#KUWTK)? Gemma reckons so, and she has gender and justice research, plus plenty of primary sources, to prove it. This event explores neoliberalism at its extremes, gender fluidity and the decline of hegemonic masculinity. You’ll also learn about hierarchies of victimisation – underlined by the Kim Kardashian jewel heist. No prior viewing required!

Performer

Gemma Flynn, Teaching Fellow in Criminology, Edinburgh Law School, the University of Edinburgh.

Aug
6
Sun
2017
CODI 2017: Eradicate Parkinson’s?! @ New Town Theatre
Aug 6 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

Is science now at a point where we can eradicate Parkinson’s? 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the essay, “The Shaking Palsy” by James Parkinson. Research is now at a point where we know major mechanisms underlying the Parkinson’s process, and cutting-edge preventative therapies are being tested in the lab. We also now appreciate that Parkinson’s actually starts many years, decades even, before the characteristic motor symptoms appear. Researcher Tilo Kunath (pictured; University of Edinburgh) and Parkinson’s fundraiser John MacPhee will show how a foreseeable future without Parkinson’s can be achieved.

Performers

Tilo Kunath, Parkinson’s UK Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, the University of Edinburgh and John MacPhee, Parkinson’s fundraiser.

CODI 2017: Doctor Google Will See You Now! @ New Town Theatre
Aug 6 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

Note this performance will take place on 6th August 8-9pm AND 26th August 1.50-2.50pm

Your supermarket knows when you’re pregnant; Google knows what medical conditions you have; Facebook could help your doctor diagnose you. What if Google sent a record of your search terms to your doctor to notify them of likely health conditions? What if Facebook sent an alert to midwives when pregnant ladies posted photos of them drinking alcohol or smoking? Join Mhairi Aitken (University of Edinburgh) as she discusses how this information could be used, and have your own say on what should remain science fiction and what should become reality.

Performer

Mhairi Aitken, Research Fellow, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, the University of Edinburgh.

Aug
7
Mon
2017
CODI 2017: The Pain Factory @ New Town Theatre
Aug 7 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

Legal systems operate on a pain principle: punishments should involve a loss, and that loss should be painful. The problem is, some of us feel some losses more keenly than others do: one person might find prison life merely unpleasant and difficult, while another could spend their entire prison term in a constant state of fear and distress. Have these two prisoners been punished equally? What legal and ethical consequences arise from cases like this? Join philosopher Lauren Ware (University of Stirling) to consider the radical proposal that prisons should be turned into personalised pain factories.

Performer

Lauren Ware, Lecturer, Division of Law and Philosophy, University of Stirling.

CODI 2017: Alternative Facts: Is the Truth in the Archives? @ New Town Theatre
Aug 7 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

Note this performance will take place on 7th August, 8-9pm AND 22nd August, 1.50-2.50pm

What is the truth? Is it out there? And is it in the archives? After an ‘interesting’ past year of political developments, archivist Rachel Hosker (University of Edinburgh) returns to the Cabaret to investigate the idea of whether archives hold the truth or not. What power do archives have in such political situations? Can archives expose the darker side of power – especially during times of war? Are the historical facts quoted by Trump and about Brexit watertight? How archives perceived, used and created for good and bad.

Performer

Rachel Hosker, Archives Manager at the Centre for Research Collections, the University of Edinburgh.

Aug
8
Tue
2017
CODI 2017: Start Skipping the Dentist! @ New Town Theatre
Aug 8 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

Jan Clarkson (pictured; University of Dundee) has already told us to stop brushing our teeth. Now she reckons we should start skipping our routine scale and polish too. Should a dentist really be saying this?? Well, yes! Working with Craig Ramsay (Head of Chief Scientist’s Office Research Unit) on a £3 million trial, Jan has found that there are no benefits from this routine dental treatment, or from oral hygiene instruction. Could you live without your six-monthly clean-up? Would you pay for it if it wasn’t on the NHS? Bring your pearly whites and have your say!

 

Performers

Jan Clarkson, Division of Oral Health at the University of Dundee and Craig Ramsay, Head of Chief Scientist’s Office Research Unit.

CODI 2017: Physics vs Psychology: Which is the Hard Science? @ New Town Theatre
Aug 8 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

The year is… not important; this is fiction. But Susan, the last secondary school student on Earth, is deciding what to study at university. Physicist Helen Cammack and psychologist Kate Cross (University of St Andrews) are here to do battle for Susan’s soul. Should she pursue physics, the study of the universe? Or psychology, the science of the mind? Is there a hard option and an easy option? Susan needs you to come along, ask hard questions of our two scientists, and help her choose her path…

Performers

Helen Cammack, physicist and Kate Cross, psychologist, University of St Andrews.

Aug
9
Wed
2017
CODI 2017: The Robots are Coming! @ New Town Theatre
Aug 9 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

Should we really fear robots – whether as a threat to all our jobs, or even as possible Enemies of Humanity? What about stairs? What about batteries? Why not robots that help out at home or act as workplace team buddies? Ruth Aylett (Heriot-Watt University) reveals that social robots are being developed whose role is to assist – and even act as companions – for children doing homework and elderly dementia sufferers who need extra interaction. Come and hear the real story about what robots can and cannot do, and where you are likely to see them soon.

Performer

Ruth Aylett, Professor of Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University,

CODI 2017: Is Pee a Feminist Issue? @ New Town Theatre
Aug 9 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

Elaine Miller (physiotherapist, comedian, mother and reformed incontinent) believes women’s health provision is rooted in misogyny.  The “future is female”? Statistically speaking, it’s a leaky, traumatised, depressed, inactive future for many women. Elaine’s a pelvic health specialist, and a busy one: 1:3 women wet themselves, despite the WHO stating that incontinence is “largely preventable”. The recent mesh disaster highlights that surgery is not necessarily the answer. In short: the evidence is flawed; professionals are poorly informed; physiotherapy is the best solution; pee is most definitely a feminist issue.

Performer

Elaine Miller

Aug
10
Thu
2017
CODI 2017: You Don’t Matter @ New Town Theatre
Aug 10 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

You’re completely insignificant; just one out of 7 billion people on planet Earth, orbiting just one star out of 100 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy, just one galaxy out of 100 billion galaxies in our observable Universe. And our Universe is likely just one Universe in an almost infinite number of Universes where everything can and will happen. No longer should you waste time worrying about life’s indecisions, because in one Universe, somewhere out there, you’ll have made the right choice. Catherine Heymans and Joe Zuntz (University of Edinburgh) will be your guides.

Performers

Catherine Heymans, Professor and Joe Zuntz, Chancellor’s Fellow at the School of Physics and Astronomy, the University of Edinburgh.

CODI 2017: Eyewitnesses are Futile @ New Town Theatre
Aug 10 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

Memory is an untrustworthy companion. It fails often and badly – people even have memory for things that never happened. And it isn’t trivial – just ask Calvin Johnson, who spent sixteen years in jail because he was misidentified by an eyewitness. Stephen Darling (Queen Margaret University) argues we need to be careful when we use witnesses in court, because memory just isn’t fit for this purpose. People remember being licked by cartoon characters, and exaggerate and distort reality just because of how we ask them things. In short, memory is very, very misleading…

Performer

Stephen Darling, Senior Lecturer, Division of Psychology and Sociology, Queen Margaret University.

Aug
11
Fri
2017
CODI 2017: Women, Science Is Not For You: III @ New Town Theatre
Aug 11 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

In this ‘post-truth’ era, we desperately need more scientists to critically evaluate evidence for political and corporate claims; we can’t afford to keep losing many of our best women.  Clare Taylor (Edinburgh Napier University), Pam Cameron (Novo Science) and Frances M. Lynch  (Electric  Voice  Theatre) discuss what we can do about this loss, bring evidence for five explanations for why highly qualified and ambitious women are deserting science, and sing the praises of some overlooked Scottish Superwomen of Science. One of the Cabaret’s most popular returning acts!

Performers

Clare Taylor, Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology, Edinburgh Napier University; Pam Cameron, Director, NovoScience and Frances M. Lynch, Artistic Director, Electric Voice Theatre.

CODI 2017: Is Your Online Reputation Hurting You? @ New Town Theatre
Aug 11 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

Is your digital footprint a good reflection of who you are? How did those tracks and traces get there? And why are younger internet users moving to anonymous online spaces?

The Managing Your Digital Footprint project researches how students manage their online identity and social media. Drawing on that work, and these strange digital times, Nicola Osborne (EDINA, University of Edinburgh Digital Footprint team) explores these virtual breadcrumbs, how they are shaping our lives, and how we can take control 

2016 praise for Nicola: ‘reveals a collection of hidden gems and curiosities’ **** (BroadwayBaby).

Performer

Nicola Osborne, Digital Education Manager and Service Manager at EDINA, the University of Edinburgh.

Aug
12
Sat
2017
CODI 2017: Anti-Vaxxers are Anti-Social! @ New Town Theatre
Aug 12 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

Vaccines save lives. Yet vaccine opponents and conspiracy theorists continue to make dangerous claims that put the public in danger. Worryingly, the most prominent of these voices are using their anti-establishment platform to perpetuate myths that have been previously debunked. Those children remaining unvaccinated by choice are now not only at risk themselves, but are risking the lives of others who, for genuine medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated. Why is society, which usually stops us from harming strangers, tolerating such antisocial behaviour? Microbiologist Clare Taylor (Edinburgh Napier University) will be on hand to inject some sense.

Performer

Clare Taylor, Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology, Edinburgh Napier University.

CODI 2017: Doing Drugs (Policy) @ New Town Theatre
Aug 12 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

How do we do drugs? How do we do drugs policy? Do the two areas complement each other? Anna Ross (University of Edinburgh) knows that drugs are an emotive topic, with many people holding strong opinions on how we regulate and legislate their use. In her research, she has found that behind every strong opinion, there is story. Come to her show to hear these stories and share your own. It’s a chance to explore the complexities of how drug use, and drug policy, impact on our lives.

Performer

Anna Ross, School of Social and Political Science, the University of Edinburgh.

Aug
13
Sun
2017
CODI 2017: Fifty Shades of Green @ New Town Theatre
Aug 13 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

Come along for an hour of delight, intrigue, and awe with Terry Huang (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh) as he delves deep into the private sex lives of plants. Alluring suitors with a pungent rotten odor, promising nectar for the exchange of goods, or going at it alone. These are the sights and smells of courtship and consummation in the botanical world. From mutualistic partnerships to deceit-filled ones that would rival the most twisted romance, these vivid pollination stories will reveal the ingenious ways flowers have gone about dealing with one of life’s (most) important needs. Sex.

Performer

Terry Huang, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

CODI 2017: Are Aliens Coming to Eat Your Face? @ New Town Theatre
Aug 13 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

From the science of sterilising spacecraft to the evolution of big flappy mouths, University of Edinburgh astrobiologist Dr Adam Stevens will lead you on a tour of what we know about life in the universe. By examining life on Earth, we can start to answer a myriad of questions: Is there life elsewhere? What does it look like? If it exists, is it coming to try and eat our faces off? And what if human beings are more dangerous to the rest of the universe than the universe is to us?

Performer

Adam Stevens, researcher at the School of Physics and Astonomy, the University of Edinburgh.

Aug
14
Mon
2017
CODI 2017: In Praise of Useless Languages @ New Town Theatre
Aug 14 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

We often hear people classify languages as ‘useful’ or ‘useless’ depending on how many people currently use them. However, is the value of a language determined solely by the political or economic power associated with it? Research on bilingualism over the lifespan shows that knowing more than one language – ANY language – can benefit the mind. From this point of view, Antonella Sorace (University of Edinburgh) reckons that all languages are worth learning, and minority languages, such as Gaelic and Sardinian, are a particularly precious resource.

Performer

Antonella Sorace, Professor of Developmental Linguistics, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, the University of Edinburgh.

CODI 2017: Fitness to Witness @ New Town Theatre
Aug 14 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

The majority of innocent people in prison are there because of another innocent person – a well-meaning eyewitness. Many factors can contribute to an eyewitness misidentification, yet jurors (the public!) remain largely unaware of these. This is one case where fact is definitely scarier than fiction…If you’re captivated by Making a Murderer or scintillated by Serial, join Faye Skelton, Lecturer in Psychology at Edinburgh Napier University, to find out why witnesses are often wrong, and what psychological research can do to help reduce the number of wrongful convictions.

Performer

Faye Skelton, Lecturer in Psychology, Edinburgh Napier University.

Aug
15
Tue
2017
CODI 2017: What Keeps You Sharp? @ New Town Theatre
Aug 15 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

Isn’t the expression ‘having a senior moment’ awful? Yet people often think of changes in their mental skills with age in terms of decline. While some people do experience these changes, others do not. So how do thinking skills change through midlife and beyond, and do our lifestyles affect those changes? Join Alan Gow (Heriot-Watt University) to explore results from “What Keeps You Sharp?”, a nationwide survey about attitudes towards the changes people expect in their thinking skills with age. See how your beliefs match the survey, and explore how all that matches current evidence.

Performer

Alan Gow, Associate Professor of Psychology, Heriot-Watt University.

CODI 2017: Can Recipes Help Gender Equality? @ New Town Theatre
Aug 15 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

The University of Edinburgh is trying to improve the position of women in higher education – with recipes. University academic Daphne Loads is questioning whether this is a good idea. Can a symbol of domesticity really help women in the professional world? Or will the University continue to be a place where almost every permanent symbol of achievement – building and street names, portraits and busts – is masculine, where women drop off the career ladder, and where most Wikipedia editors are young men? Should universities do something less soft and fuzzy if they want to help women?

Performer

Daphne Loads, Academic Developer at the Institute for Academic Development, the University of Edinburgh.

Aug
16
Wed
2017
CODI 2017: No Copyright, No Problem? @ New Town Theatre
Aug 16 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

Is copyright necessary? Does it hinder or does it help? What would happen if there was no copyright?  Without it, who benefits and who loses out? Is copyright just for corporations? Or does copyright also serve the interests of individual creators (artists, writers, musicians etc.) more effectively than we might think? Join Smita Kheria, intellectual property law expert (University of Edinburgh), to find out whether copyright matters or could we live without it.  Creators and consumers, professionals and amateurs, rights holders and pirates, come along and have your say!

Performer

Smita Kheira, Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at Edinburgh Law School, the University of Edinburgh.

CODI 2017: Find Your Neurotribe! @ New Town Theatre
Aug 16 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

This show takes place on the 16th AND 25th August

If mental illness is largely defined by a deviation from a norm, where does that leave us? Psychologist Matthias Schwannauer (University of Edinburgh) has looked at the history of mental disorder and found examples of madness that are genuinely seen as incredulous, shocking and bewildering, but also common instances of labels of mental disorders being used to control what was deemed as unacceptable, dangerous or otherwise challenging. If what is identified, diagnosed and treated as mental illness is based on no more than varying societal and cultural anchor points, is anyone ever truly mentally ‘ill’?

Performer

Matthias Schwannauer, Professor of Clinical Psychology – Head of Clinical & Health Psychology, School of Health in Social Science, the University of Edinburgh.

Aug
17
Thu
2017
CODI 2017: Fitness to Witness @ New Town Theatre
Aug 17 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

The majority of innocent people in prison are there because of another innocent person – a well-meaning eyewitness. Many factors can contribute to an eyewitness misidentification, yet jurors (the public!) remain largely unaware of these. This is one case where fact is definitely scarier than fiction…If you’re captivated by Making a Murderer or scintillated by Serial, join Faye Skelton, Lecturer in Psychology at Edinburgh Napier University, to find out why witnesses are often wrong, and what psychological research can do to help reduce the number of wrongful convictions.

Performer

Faye Skelton, Lecturer in Psychology, Edinburgh Napier University.

CODI 2017: Shiver Me Liver @ New Town Theatre
Aug 17 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

Liver disease is avoidable, silent and the third highest killer of those under 65 in the UK. Why, then, is the Government not supporting better liver screening? Do they think that only ‘alcoholics’ get it and they won’t try to change? Karen Matthews (Queen Margaret University) looked for liver disease in an alcohol support service using a machine which bounces sound waves off the liver. Even in this setting, liver disease was likely not just caused by alcohol, but also obesity, and those who were found to have it were very keen to change.

Performer

Karen Matthews, School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University.

Aug
18
Fri
2017
CODI 2017: Measuring Humanity @ New Town Theatre
Aug 18 @ 1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

Someone smart once said ‘if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist’ so Dr Marisa de Andrade (the University of Edinburgh) is out to Measure Humanity! Join her as she pushes academic boundaries on her mission to measure health and inequalities through the power of people and creativity. Is there such a thing as ‘hard-to-reach’ communities, she asks? Is there only evidence where there’s money to be made? (And what is ‘evidence’ anyway?) How do you measure soft ‘touchy-feeling’ things like compassion and relationships – and should researchers be doing this anyway? Can you prove that acting helps you stop smoking, or that 3D virtual reality landscapes beat depression?

Performer

Marisa de Andrade, Lecturer and Programme Director, School of Health in Social Science, the University of Edinburgh.

CODI 2017: Turn to the Darknet @ New Town Theatre
Aug 18 @ 8:20 pm – 9:20 pm

The internet presents new opportunities for being both hidden and exposed.  Intelligence agencies and various governments fret about the advantages online anonymity gives miscreants and malcontents. Libertarians and civil liberties activists point to the technically and increasingly legally unlimited surveillance opportunities it provides. Is this a problem? Can we do anything about it? Angus Bancroft (University of Edinburgh) argues that ‘the darknet’ – currently home to geeks, thieves and drug dealers – actually gives us a potential way of taking back control.  Never mind the dark side – we need the dark net…

Performer

Angus Bancroft, Senior Lecturer, School of Social and Political Science, the University of Edinburgh.