The ‘Queer & Quantum’ Science & Arts Day comes to The Stage Door, Southampton on Sunday 31st March 2024 for Trans Day of Visibility, celebrating STEM subjects, the arts and trans/non-binary visibility in both.
The event will feature talks from LGBTQIA+ scientists across quantum physics, astrophysics and more, supported by charity Pride In Stem, who work to support and raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ scientists and issues, and the University of Southampton’s board of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.
There will be two performances by trans/non-binary performers working in STEM areas: Moonface by performer and physicist Meg Hodgson (they/them), and Drag ’n’ Drop! by writer/performer Ri Baroche (they/she). Special performances will be presented by Breakout Youth’s New Milton group, local trans/non-binary drag performers who have been supported in their development by Ri, and Cambridge drag king Dean Adze. The day will end with a Q&A with scientists and performers, followed by DJ sets by local trans/non-binary performers and drag artists.
1pm-1.45pm: Event Opening with Ri Baroche and Dr Brian Pickering, followed by ’I Don’t Think You’re Ready For This Jelly’ with Dr. Scary Boots
2pm-2.45pm: ‘How can we observe our Universe?’ with Dr. Izzy Garland
3.30pm-4.30pm: Moonface by Meg Hodgson - age 16+
5pm-5.45pm: ‘AI & Astronomy: Teaching Computers to Look at the Stars‘ with Dr. Ashley Spindler
6.30-7.30pm: Trans Day of Visibility Special, featuring sets from Dean Adze, the Queen of Diamonds, Harley Truslove and Breakout Youth New Milton
8pm-9pm: Drag ’n’ Drop! by Ri Baroche - age 16+
9-11.30pm onwards: Queer & Quantum After-Party, with Dandy Issues DJ set
List of performers and partners:
Dr. Scary Boots (they/them) ‘I don't think you're ready for this jelly’: What would the world be like if we could make machines that respond to what's going on around them? That was the question Scary started investigating. 4 years Queer & Quantum A Science & Arts Day Celebrating Trans Day of Visibility later they had a homebrewed jelly 3Dprinter with disco lights, a doctorate in soft matter, and a lot of photos of jelly curling up in hot water. Join them for a talk about why working with soft things is (ironically) hard, why materials reject binaries, and why you would want to make soft machines anyway. Scary genuinely has a PhD in 3d printing jelly, won the Institute of Physics 3 minute wonder competition for talking about it, has presented their work at hacker camps, the Edinburgh Fringe, and Cheltenham Science Festival, and now works as a consultant for food, soap, and packaging. When not being a legit scientist (tm) they also perform drag as Dean Adze.
Dean Adze Dean Adze is just your average bloke next door, if you live between a pub full of old rockers and an amateur cryptozoology collection. If you do, we’re sorry about the noises. He’ll be sharing his manly expertise as he transports you to a world of humping, pumping, grease and wrenches. Expect a right-on carry-on with lipsync and learning. Hydromatic!
Dr. Izzy Garland Izzy Garland (they/them) is at Lancaster University, working on understanding how galaxies and the supermassive black holes in their centre co-evolve. Growing up in Essex, they moved to Lancaster in 2015 to complete a Masters in Physics, and stayed there to pursue a PhD - at the time of writing this bio, they are writing up their thesis. They enjoy participating in outreach events, regularly taking the university’s mobile planetarium to schools in the nearby area, focussing on reaching children who don’t believe they can be scientists. At the National Astronomy meeting in 2023, they and another astrophysicist decided halfway through the conference to organise an LGBTQ+ networking lunch for the final day, which was attended by over 50 people. They are an avid music fan who can often be found in Lancaster’s pubs listening to local acts. If you have any queer fictional books to recommend, they would appreciate it! ‘How can we observe our Universe?’ : Galaxies come in all shapes and sizes, colours and components. But how did they get like this? In this talk, I will explain how we know so much about objects so distant, how we can categorise them (and why categorisation is so challenging), and what this can tell us about their internal workings and processes. I will then move on to the supermassive black holes at the centre of these galaxies, so relatively small in comparison, and yet so influential in the evolution of the galaxy. How did they get here? How did they get supermassive? The reasons for co-evolution are still very uncertain, but I will explain what we know so far, and what we don’t! I will finish up by demonstrating how you can get involved as a citizen science to help us learn more about the Universe around us.
Dr. Ashley Spindler Dr Ashley Spindler (she/they) is a Senior Lecturer in Astronomy and Data Science, as part of the Centre for Astrophysics Research at the University of Hertfordshire. Their interests lie in the novel application of machine learning technologies to next-generation astronomical surveys, and she has previously studied the evolution of galaxy morphology. Ashley is also a Trustee of Pride in STEM and a Councillor of the Royal Astronomical Society. ‘AI & Astronomy: Teaching Computers to Look at the Stars’: The next generation of astronomy is upon us, with JWST now collecting data and not long until the Vera Rubin Observatory opens its eyes to the heavens. In this brave new world, astronomers face one very massive problem—data. With the prospect of hundreds of petabytes of images and catalogues to search through, Artificial Intelligence is becoming the go-to tool for tackling the big data challenges of the future. From scanning the skies for unusual objects to classifying the shapes and properties of distant galaxies, this talk will show you the how and the why of AI in Astronomy.
Moonface by Meg Hodgson (they/them) 2024. Shady billionaires make plans to colonise and mine the solar system behind all our backs, and the Moon is feeling dangerous. One last investigation could figure out where it all went wrong and how we can course-correct before it’s too late. MOONFACE is a live solo theatre show that uses clowning to explore colonial, capitalist mining practices and how the models created on Earth are being utilised to inform the future of interplanetary travel. Made in collaboration with Professor Ilan Kelman, coordinator of UCL’s Space Health Risks Research group, and the London Mining Network, MOONFACE is a humorous and exuberant love letter to our nearest celestial neighbour and an exploration of how much 'space' we all take up in our late-stage capitalist universe. Meg Hodgson is an experimental performer, clown and movement artist based in London. Exploration of the serious business of science, queerness and grief through exuberant mediums is the foundation of Meg’s artistic practice, with current shows-in-progress exploring the imminent corporate mining of the Moon and historic, non-binary jester narratives. Meg has trained under and collaborated with artists such as Stacy Makishi, Philippe Gaulier, Le Gateau Chocolat and Marisa Carnesky and has toured extensively and internationally.
Drag ’n’ Drop! by Ri Baroche (they/she) In a world where gender has been outlawed, only drag can save us... Dragona Budjet (it’s pronounced bou-jzay, m’kay?!) is one half of high-energy drag removals company Drag ‘n’ Drop! She really puts the all in removals, bringing entertainment and education in unequal measure. Rifling through the universe’s rhinestoned curtains, join her on a journey through music, comedy, and spoken word, deep into the near dystopian future of gender neutrality and across the nebulous territories of queerness, identity, mental health, climate change, and quantum physics. In a show that puts the feathered eyebrow in high-brow and the dick joke in Phillip K. Dick, Dragona gets to the top and bottom of the biggest questions: if a drag queen falls in a forest, will her makeup survive? Where does self-worth come from? And where the hell is Drop? This is drag’s answer to Waiting for Godot that no-one asked for. Ri Baroche (they/them) is a non-binary/trans writer, performer, musician and drag artist based in Hampshire. With 10+ years of experience across the arts, Ri has been entertaining, provoking and baffling audiences across the UK. Their work is focused on examining things that don’t normally co-exist, the parts of ourselves that cause friction and sparks, and have adopted the creative motto of “Throw things together to see what they do”. They love the challenge of finding excitement, entertainment and fresh energy in daunting subjects, such as climate change, gender, and science research. They are passionate about achieving better representation of LGBTQIA+ people and stories, and are growing their arts collective ‘drodge’ to this end. They are an Associate Artist from August 2023-Feb 2025 at MAST, where they will be working on new musical-comedy Trutopia!, which focuses on positive stories and solutions around climate action. Links: linktr.ee/drodge @ribaroche @drodgeuk @dragonabudjet
Pride In Stem Pride in STEM is a charity run by an independent group of LGBTQIA+ scientists & engineers from around the world. Proud of who we are and what we do. We aim to showcase and support all LGBTQIA+ people in STEM fields. Dr Alfredo Carpineti (he/him) is a queer Italian astrophysicist, science journalist, and social activist. He has an MSc in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces and a PhD in Astrophysics from Imperial College London. He is the Senior Staff Writer & Space Correspondent for IFLScience where he has worked for 8 years, writing over 5,000 articles that have been read by millions. He is the chair and founder of Pride in STEM, an award-nominated British charity dedicated to supporting and showcasing LGBTQIA+ people in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Pride in STEM and other sibling organisations launched and continue to promote LGBTQ+STEM Day, the international day for LGBTQIA+ people in STEM, happening globally on November 18. For this work, Alfredo was recognised as one of the 100 global LGBTQ+ trailblazers by Attitude Magazine in 2020.
Dr. Brian Pickering Brian is a Senior Research fellow at the University of Southampton, and sits on the university’s board of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion. He will present a talk as part of the day’s events on a research project demonstrating the positive effects of transition.
Event Opening with Ri Baroche and Dr. Brian Pickering, followed by ’I Don’t Think You’re Ready For This Jelly’ with Dr. Scary Boots - £5
‘How can we understand our Universe?’ with Dr. Izzy Garland - £5
Moonface by Meg Hodgson - £10
‘AI & Astronomy: Teaching Computers to Look at the Stars‘ with Dr. Ashley Nova - £5
Trans Day of Visibility Special, featuring sets from Dean Adze, the Queen of Diamonds, Harley Truslove and Breakout Youth New Milton - FREE
Drag ’n’ Drop! by Ri Baroche - £10
Queer & Quantum After-Party, with Dandy Issues DJ set - £5 advance, £10 after 10pm
All-day: £25 (limited to first-come-first served, 20 max)
Sunday 31st March 2024, 1pm-11.30pm
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