Nerd Nite SF #80: Queer History, Gene Editing, and Gravitational Waves!Wednesday, 1/18/17
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @ Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets here

With Auld Lang Syne still reverberating in our ears, the first Nerd Nite SF of 2017 draws nigh. If your New Year’s resolution was to learn new things, meet interesting people, or kill more brain cells with beer then we have the event for you! A historian weaves a queer biography, a scientist (to the best of our knowledge, of the sane variety) manipulates genomes, and a physicist demonstrates how to listen to gravity waves. Come out for three fascinating talks, plus music, drinks, food, and your fellow nerds. Be there and be square!


“Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi” by Amy Sueyoshi

In the 1890s Japanese Immigrant poet Yone Noguchi – better known today as the father of acclaimed artist Isamu Noguchi – wrote torrid letters of love to Bohemian Club founder Charles Warren Stoddard, as he impregnated Leonie Gilmour and proposed marriage to Alabama’s first historian Ethel Armes who was likely a lesbian. How could same-sex sexuality, infidelity, and interracial love exist openly and acceptably at the turn of the century in the midst of anti-miscegenation and sodomy laws?

Amy is the Associate Dean of College of Ethnic Studies and teaches at the intersection of race and sexuality. She’s founding co-curator of the GLBT History Museum and has a second book forthcoming titled, The Price of Leisure: White Pleasure and the Making of the American “Oriental.”


“Gene Editing: Approaching the Age of GATTACA” by Ashley Libby

Our DNA controls our lives more than we realize. It not only influences our appearance and how our bodies function, but it can also cause things to go wrong. Many diseases are genetically linked to your DNA. Now imagine being able to change that. Envision a doctor telling you that they can simply “cut out” the gene that causes a disease. While this might seems like a scene out of a science fiction novel, it is closer to reality with the discovery of a gene-editing tool called CRISPR. What is CRISPR? Why are scientists so excited about it? How would we use it? Is it really safe? Come learn about the rapidly developing field of gene editing, what genes scientists want to delete, and what we should watch out for.

Ashley is a PhD student at UCSF and manipulates stem cell genomes on the daily.


“Gravity Waves, Interference, and Quantum Mechanics: Opening up new windows to the large and small world” by Holger Müller

We can actually “hear” cosmic gravitational waves – ripples in spacetime created by neutron star binary systems, black holes, and echoes from the birth of the universe, and more – with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. Holger will show with a live demo how we can use a modified laser pointer to generate audio and visualizations using laser interferometry, and will play audio from the real LIGO, while explaining what it all means.

Holger is Associate Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley, and his group develops experimental technology for incredibly precise measurements.


With: Alpha Bravo, who’ll be spinning tunes specially selected to match the presenters’ themes. Follow the setlist on Twitter @djalphabravo.

Food: Delicious bao by Cross Hatch Eatery.

Plus: The San Francisco Public Library will be on hand to dole out library cards, reading lists, and the hottest branch gossip.