Are dolphins as smart as we believe? Are insects more moral than humans? What would a future society look like, if it was built by animals? Join our expert speakers - from the world of science and science fiction - for a lively evening of talks, discussions, comedy and performance rap exploring what we might learn from our animal friends. Then watch as the evening's events are captured in a work of art by our guest illustrator.
This event is running as part of At-Bristol's #FestivalofWhatIf. Tickets are available now through the link above.
🦍 Ti Singh – Apes Together Strong: Animal-based societies in science-fiction from the Planet of the Apes to whales in Star Trek
Ti Singh of Bristol Bad Film Club and The Cosmic Shed podcast discusses examples of animal societies in science fiction and how they hold the mirror up to humanity's darkest aspects.
Ti Singh is the founder of Bristol Bad Film Club and Bristol Sunset Cinema. He is a regular contributor on The Cosmic Shed podcast where he provides the film and pop culture knowledge, while everyone else brings the hard science. Ti got a C in physics at GCSE.
🐙 Russell Arnott – Octopus and cephalopods
Everyone has a favourite animal and Russell Arnott’s is the octopus. It doesn’t matter if you think your favourite animal is better than an octopus; it really isn’t. Find out why as Russell showcases the amazing abilities of the octopus before concluding with the worrying thought, “how long until they take over?!”
Russell has been an oceanographer, a science teacher, and a punk-rock guitarist. When he's not researching plankton at Bath University, he visits schools around the country with a life-size inflatable orca telling kids of all ages how important the oceans are.
🐬 Ginny Russell – Dolphins and marine mammals
Ginny is a graduate marine biologist and oceanographer who works here at At-Bristol. She specialises in deep-sea exploration and mapping and has been on research trips probing our ocean's depths and discovering new species! When she's not busy studying the sea, she is either on it, in it or under it, as a mad keen surfer, diver and seasoned sailor. Ginny will be discussing intelligence in the marine realm, particularly focusing on the dolphin family, their social structures and communications. Discussion will range from blood thirsty hunting to a mind-bending psychedelic experiment conducted in the 1960's
🙊 Ross Exton – Animal sex
Ross Exton is a science presenter, primate, writer, and video producer. His natural habitat is YouTube, but he will occasionally migrate away from creating online videos to perform on stage. He will be discussing whether animals have better sex than humans. From the courtship dances of birds of paradise, to bisexual giraffes; join Ross on a journey of sexual discovery across the animal kingdom. Who knows, you might pick up some new moves!
👨🎨 Paul Cornish – Live illustrator
Paul Cornish is an illustrator from Wales who currently lives in Bristol. He has collaborated with a number of clients, including Techniquest, Magna Science Adventure Centre, and Young Minds.
🐜 MC - Antonia Forster
Hosting the night will be Antonia Forster: entomologist, science comedian, and rapper. Possibly the only scientist named after her expertise, Ant has completed an MSc in insect colony behaviour, and published her results. She now works at the intersection of science, theatre, comedy and music: on a mission to make insects sexy to everyone. This is a brand of multi-disciplinary performance that you REALLY cannot forget. Really. We've tried. Having performed at zoos, festivals, museums, schools and even BBC Radio, Ant is passionate about bringing science to the public in radical new ways. Prepare for a night of learning, laughing, and lightning-fast lyricism.