Nerd Nite is launching in Hong Kong!!! So knowledge! Much Beer! Very excite! Wow!

Event: Nerd Nite Hong Kong: Launch Edition
Date: 24th April 2017
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Morrison Cafe & Bar; 284 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan
Entry Fee: Free! You just got to buy your own drinks!

Speaker 1: Prof. Stephen Palmquist
Topic: What is Philosophy? And why must we all disagree
Quick Nerdisms: I argue that the most comprehensive way of defining philosophy is to regard it as the self-defining discipline. This definition holds in at least four senses. First, any attempt to define a discipline is by its very nature philosophical. Second, philosophy is therefore the only discipline for which the task of self-definition lies within the discipline itself. Third, the task of defining oneself, nowadays often thought of as related more to psychology than to philosophy, is also essentially philosophical, with psychology serving as a crucial but subservient light to guide the path. Fourth, recognizing the status of philosophy as essentially self-defining enables us to embrace the fact that there are as many different “definitions” of philosophy as there are philosophers; yet paradoxically, we can still regard philosophy as one and the same task throughout all these differences. I conclude with a summary of my own unique approach to defining philosophy, which divides philosophy into four distinct, one-word areas, with the purpose of each area being expressed as a two-word goal. This results in a surprisingly simple, twelve-word map of the philosophical path.
Nerd Cred: Stephen Palmquist (D.Phil., Oxford) is Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Hong Kong Baptist University, where he has taught since 1987. His 175+ publications (translated into 12 languages) include 11 books and 90+ refereed articles/chapters. In 1999 he founded the Hong Kong Philosophy Café, whose branches have over 900 members.

Speaker 2: Dr. Timothy Bonebrake
Topic: Butterfly urbanites: tales from Hollywood and Hong Kong
Quick Nerdisms: Urbanization globally has grown dramatically in recent decades. The consequences of urbanization for biodiversity and the world’s species could be substantial as natural habitats are paved over for housing and development. And yet, our cities are full of life! Using butterflies as an example, I will describe my research on the ecology of urban parks in cities over the past several years, with a focus on Los Angeles and Hong Kong. The lessons from this research give us insights into how humanity may be able to co-exist with other diverse species in cities.
Nerd Cred: Dr. Timothy C. Bonebrake is an Assistant Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Hong Kong. He received his BS at the University of California, Berkeley and PhD from Stanford University. Prior to moving to Hong Kong he held research positions at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Riverside. He has broad research interests in global change ecology and tropical conservation. Current and recent studies have focused on theoretical and empirical aspects of climate change impacts on biodiversity, with an emphasis on insects and Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). His lab carries out research all over the world including Central Africa, Southeast Asia and North America. In Hong Kong he is studying biodiversity in urban areas and country parks examining the implications of these patterns for global change and conservation issues.

Speaker 3: Dr. Claire Lykou
Topic: “Cleaning dust” or an astronomer’s look at how stars die
Quick Nerdisms: Did you ever wonder why there is life on our planet? Have you thought about what we are made of? To put it nicely, we are all made of stardust! I will talk about the origins of stardust, where it comes from, how it is formed, what it looks like and how it arrived in our Solar system.
Nerd Creds: Dr. Claire Lykou is an astrophysicist and a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Laboratory for Space Research of the University of Hong Kong. She studied physics at the University of Crete in Greece, and graduated with a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Manchester. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, she worked at the University of Vienna. She is an observational astronomer interested in stellar evolution, and especially how stars like the Sun evolve and die, and how they are replenishing the interstellar matter with material we can also find on Earth.