There’s only 7 days till the British Science Festival 2016 kicks off in Swansea and to celebrate the occasion, I’ll be showcasing a taste of each day’s Festival programme to whet your appetite.
In the following days, I’ll be selecting an event of interest from each day the Festival is running, with some information about the science communicator behind it. To start us off, we’ll be looking at Sophie Scott’s talk on why we laugh.
Two major questions are the drive behind Sophie Scott’s research: why do we laugh and how do we do it? As deputy director of the University College London’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Sophie seeks out the neurological basis of communication, whether it’s speech or vocalised emotion.
As a pioneering researcher in the science of laughter, she’s made some unexpected discoveries – including that rats are ticklish, and that the one tactic that’s almost guaranteed to get someone to laugh is to show them someone else laughing. We are thirty times more likely to laugh if we’re with someone else than if we’re on our own, and we’re more likely to ‘catch’ laughter from someone we know than someone we don’t know. In her talk, she’ll venture into the sometimes surprising reasons for laughter, it’s use as a social tool and how our anatomy produces it.
You can see Sophie Scott’s talk during the Festival on Tuesday 6th September, 6-7pm in the Taliesin Theatre. Tickets and information can be found here.