Małgorzata Joanna Adamczyk, A feminist kinkster critique of "Fifty Shades of Grey", or BDSM 101
Recent popularity of "Fifty Shades of Grey" resulted in bringing BDSM into mainstream media. However, the BDSM blogosphere did not react enthousiastically to that phenomenon. To the contrary, experienced kinksters often skeptically observed the new interest and „fashion” initiated by the book, claiming that the latter gives people a skewed idea of what is really happening in kink communities.
Feminist circles presented another environment highly criticizing the book and its popularity, pointing out that it romanticizes stalking and abuse. But does a sexual relationship based around BDSM have to be, at its core, an abusive one? The answer is „no”. Kink can be very feminist, indeed!
"Fifty Shades of Grey has cemented many preconceptions about both submissive women and their dominants", writes Sophie Morgan in 'The Observer', and she is not the only one raising a similar voice. In my short talk I would like to problematize some issues around the famous book, soon to be a movie, and discuss how it misrepresents BDSM as domestic and sexual abuse. I will discuss the nature of consent and the difference between enjoying and enduring, and I will characterize main critical remarks towards the book – both feminist and BDSM ones.
Mikołaj Babiak, Why we need to be faster than bacteria and how to do it
I'd like to share my ideas as to why we're loosing more and more drugs for treatment bacterial infection, why is that a problem and why precise and fast diagnostics are both a necessity and a solution. I'll identify crucial and most time consuming steps during diagnosis from the point of view of a doctor. I'll also talk about different approaches to diagnostics and why I think that any method, be it "molecular" or not, that uses databases to identify bacteria and drug resistance is a dead end and will always be outsmarted by constantly evolving bacteria, at least until we master bioinformatics to the level when we'll be able to tell protein structure and function just from genomic DNA sequence. I'll share my idea as to what kind of solution would be a better one.
Natalia Bielczyk, Brain at rest
What does the brain do while laying on the couch and doing nothing? Apparently, it is still on. It consumes almost as much energy as during extensive mental effort, and fMRI studies reveal vast activation throughout rest. What is the nature of the resting state? What can we reveal about the networks in the brain while looking at it under relax? And what happens with the human mind and perception when these resting state networks are damaged? It turns out that the phenomenon that arises from disturbance in the resting state networks is the most common, horrific and - by far - unstoppable psychiatric disorder worldwide, affecting 1/6 of the human population, killing thousands of people yearly and shortening lives of millions.
Daniel Borek, How explanations explain
Paweł Chojnacki, Open source science
Not only open-access journal, but possibilities of advancing science outside of the University complexes. No titles, no prerequirements, just hard data and rational analysis.
Katarzyna Dębowska, Crossing the Boundaries. The fall of the anthropocentric paradigm or how to feel like a cow
I am going to deliver speech on breaking stereotypes about sweet and cute domestic and livestock animals employing my work experience and observations.
My aim is to spread a new idea of animal minds in the context of welfare and this strange covenant between humans and animals that we all participate in, but in fact most of us don't see it.
Coexistence between humans and animals may be explained on the basis of “communicating vessels” and I’d like to explain you that idea.
In order to be a successful doctor, one need to be not only a good medical, but also a great humanist. Have you ever think about it? Just leave for a while anthropocentric point of view and feel like an animal!
Dilaton, PhysicsOverflow: A graduate-level upward physics site and open public peer-review system
In my talk, I would like to give a short introduction to PhysicsOverflow.
It is meant to be a higher-level (graduate-level upward) physics site intended for the international community of (advanced) students and "grown up" physicists to discuss and do physics together.
Apart from the high-level Q&A, PhysicsOverflow also offers (as a completely new feature) a Reviews section, dedicated to discuss and peer review (mostly ArXiv but other sources can be considered too) papers publicly and "in real time".
It would also be nice to have a bit of a discussion contrasting conventional/traditional journal peer-reviewing with free open (online) peer-reviewing as intended to be done on PhysicsOverflow.
Michał Gumiela, The place of European CanSat program in (space) education
What’s up in space education in Polish schools? Since Poland’s membership in European Space Agency (ESA) became fact, there are a few opportunities for high-schoolers to be absorbed by space-related projects. Among others, European program of CanSats, which are ‘micro planetary probes’, is really worth to attract students’ attention. Having some personal-experience I will try to promote ideas standing behind the project, as well as discuss an influence on young people.
Aleksander Jankowski, How to visualize train timetables?
I would like to show my LaTeX package using TikZ to draw train diagrams (a.k.a. train charts), with time on x-axis and distance on y-axis. I would like to share a few thoughts and discuss how to put as much information in such a diagram as possible. This will be done by adding some innocent lies to improve the readability.
Anna Kornakiewicz, How to make healthcare more open? How to allocate resources in healthcare? – are those mirror questions?
I would like to tell about the idea of Future Lantan Hospital (my subproject for iGEM competition) in the context of open health. I am going to refer it to my side project on optimal allocation of transplant organs and tell about difficulties I (and other people) have encountered in spreading this idea in context of society awareness, medical environemnent and lack of economical and law analysis; and discuss ideas and solutions to solve optimal resource allocation problem with engineering part of biology, economy and medicine to bring idea of open health closer.
Magdalena Kasjaniuk, Science of makeup
How to become more beautiful with makeup? Science already knows the most attractive features of the human face. Women without knowing it discover variety of makeup techniques making them look better. I will combine these two sources of information: science and make-up. I'll show set of make-up tricks that help women fix "weaknesses" of their beauty.
Staszek Krawczyk, "You must gather your party before venturing forth." Why were computer games from the late 1990s so important in Poland?
I strongly suspect that many of you have played such games as "Baldur's Gate", "Diablo", "Fallout", "Heroes of Might & Magic III", "Starcraft", and so on. But why did these games turn out to be so important for Polish gamers (or at least for some of them)? I will try to answer this question sociologically, analysing such things as the age and gender of avid players, the emergence of a professional game market in Poland, the technological developments, and so on. The talk will be based partly on my conference paper available here, and I invite you to read it beforehand if you have time, although some of my ideas have changed since the time of writing that paper in April 2014.
Michał Krupiński, Polish approach to science communication
I want to give a brief overview of the activity of Polish science popularizers, particularly focusing on the natural sciences. I will discuss specificity of Polish approach to science communication and popularization. I will also try to answer the questions: How to communicate science more effective? and What is the nearest future of Polish popularization of science?
Marcin Kurczych, Hypnosis – witchcraft or reality
Many educated people would put hypnosis somewhere among fortune-telling and acupuncture. There is, however, scientific evidence suggesting that such phenomenon actually exists, although there are many myths about it. I would like to present some of these and other things about hypnosis - like where it is used, how to induce it, what can be done with someone under, etc.
Dominik Kufel, Wealth throughout history
Are the wealthy just born in the right place at the right time? Is it the possibility, that throughout history, distribution of wealth is governed by hidden forces like DNA, patterns of human migration and even the laws of thermodynamics?
I will discuss the mechanisms, which run the economy of wealth and poverty.
Jakub Madej, How economics can enhance the quality of non-academic life
I'd like to present various finding in economics (primarily behavioral econ) which shed new light on how individuals think and behave. All these research attempt to explain different aspects of decision-making process, interactions between individuals and thinking in general that are very common for our everyday, ordinary life. I am going to argue that through knowing our drawbacks one can make decisions more consciously and responsibly. Findings I'm going to present had mostly been made by Daniel Kahneman and Dan Ariely. As this topic might be familiar to some Offtopicarium participants, I will choose some less-known but still not less compelling research, including concept of heuristics and biases by Kahneman and Tversky with fallacies later found by other researchers (hot-hand fallacy, IKEA effect, hindsight bias), Ariely's research on irrationality and dishonesty, as well as possible usage of all of these findings to governmental policy making. Besides all these works made at intersection of economics and psychology I will present Chetty's research on long-term effect of schooling which proves that investing in education have a strong financial effect clearly noticeable in our future. General conclusion of my talk is that, contrary to common belief, scientific research can explain our everyday life and improve its quality.
Piotr Migdał, Side-projects and off-topics
Why creativity often happens when one is not being paid, or told to do something?
Is procrastination always bad?
How working in formal structures is design to be good at repetitive task and may inhibit unconventional ideas?
Anna Olchowik, Serious games in education
I will tell a story on my adventures with starting up a small game-design company that is:
1) how I got funding to start and learn
2) how I screwed up my first project
3) how I found my first customers
Also I would like to tell you about my first serious game that will teach synthetic biology.
Olga Pokorska, Before words
From the first days of life, infants are very sensitive to words as a specific kind of sounds. But the early communication develops not only on the basis of auditory signals. It is the case especially for infants, who have some extra experience with gestures, like infants of deaf parents. We'll take a closer look at early words- and gestures- learning processes and we’ll try to observe the very first conversations between infants and their parents. Even before words, there is so much going on in them!
Jan Szejko, Constructed languages
I will tell about the history of constructed languages and a few interesting facts about some of them. I don't want it to be a talk on my favorite conlangs and I don't want it to be a "Why I don't like Esperanto" hate-talk ;)
Emilia Wnękowicz, Regaining sight after long-term blindness
Talk about unexpected problems of people who have regained sight after long term blindness. I will try to explain the development of vision in humans, and consequences of its disturbances (physiological and psychological).
Marcin Ziemniak, Synthetic life – beyond biology and chemistry
During the presentation I will try briefly summarise the recent discoveries and development in biological chemistry which are connected to the idea of synthetic (biological not computational) life such as new synthetic analogues of DNA, extended genetic code and so called bioorthogonal chemistry which allow us to introduce chemical modifications to proteins, nucleic acids and other biomolecules in vivo. In the second part of the talks I am planning to discuss whether we are capable of creating a synthetic organism or significantly alter biochemistry of existing organisms. Another idea which is worth discussing are ethical issues - perhaps we are able to create synthetic life but should we do this?
Krzysztof Zieleniewski, Mahan's influence of "The Influence of Sea Power upon History" upon strategies then and now
Mahan wrote a famous book on fleets and their crucial role in power projection on key areas, winning wars and dominance. His way of thinking led to sea arms race prior to World War One and even ship design. More interestingly, I'll try finding how his ideas could be (or actually are?) put to work today.