Welcome

What’s up Nerds!  This is the homepage for Nerd Nite Pittsburgh. Nerd Nite is a lecture series that’s a mix between a TED talk, a comedy show, and a social mixer. Speakers present for 15 minutes on a variety of topics related to science and technology, popular culture, history, and other nerdery with a vibe that’s as entertaining as it is academic! Audience members can ask questions, and beforehand there is an entirely optional social game called Speed Friending. If you like comedy, learning about random and interesting things, and meeting other nerds this is for you! The next, or most recent, event will be below and feel free to check out past events with the links in our menus. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram or sign up for our mailing list to get notified when new shows are coming up. If you’ve never been out before and you want to know what you’re getting yourself into, check our our Guest FAQ as well as videos from past speakers on our YouTube page

Schedule for all events will be as follows:
6:15: Doors open to register for Speed Friending
6:30-7:30: Speed Friending
7:30: Doors open for show
7:45-9:30: Speakers
9:30-10: Extra time for mingling and closing bar tabs

If you’re interested in being a speaker in the future please reach out at !!  Info for that can be found on our Speaker FAQ page.

Nerd Nite December 8th

Tickets

Nerd Nite Pittsburgh is a lecture series that’s a mix between a TED talk, a comedy show, and a social mixer! Speakers present for 15 minutes on a variety of topics related to science and technology, popular culture, history, and other nerdery with a vibe that’s as entertaining as it is academic! Audience members can ask questions, and beforehand there is an entirely optional social game. If you like alcohol, learning about random and interesting things, and meeting other nerds this is for you! Social game starts at 6:30, Doors open for the show at 7:30, show starts at 7:45. If you have a topic you are passionate about and you’d like to be a speaker at a later event get in touch at ! December 8th will show the following presentations:

The Science of Holiday Meals:
Rikki Rabbin is a registered dietitian nutritionist with degrees from the University of Maryland and the University of Pittsburgh. She attended her first Nerd Nite in Washington, DC in 2010, and presented in her chosen hometown of Pittsburgh in 2021. She loves food safety, but she’s not one to leave an M&M behind if it’s been less than 5 seconds, either. Join Rikki for a wild ride of food safety and to finally find out why you get so tired after Thanksgiving dinner. If you think it’s just tryptophan, you’re dreaming!

A Plaine and Simple Introduction to the Lute:
Ever wondered what people were rocking out to in the Renaissance? For a while the lute was the “king of instruments”, and everyone from the countryside to the court wanted in. From 1400-1750, the lute was putting out hits left and right, but what happened? Where is the lute now? These questions answered and more in this spectacular presentation on the lute, featuring baroque bops, historical sad bois, and ye olde TikTok.
Levon Ritter is somewhat of a renaissance man himself; a professional musician who does software engineering, sewing, and learning Krav Maga in his spare time. He studied lute with Scott Pauley of Chatham Baroque and has written a thesis on the lute the size of a small novel. He plays bass in the Pittsburgh-based metal band Wake of the Blade, as well as jazz and sacred music as the gigs come.

Robots Gone WIld: Mistakes and Lessons Learned in Field Robotics
Making robots is really difficult. If you think Honda Asimo falling down the stairs or the Mars Climate Orbiter dying a fiery death due to a unit conversion error are signs of gross incompetence, think again. Those robots were pushing the limits of what was possible at the time and consequently necessitated a high degree of complexity and risk. Things don’t always go as planned when you’re pushing the technological envelope to that extreme. Every mistake presents an opportunity for growth and this talk aims to explain and solidify that philosophy while divulging war stories and showing the audience some epic robot fails.
Spencer Krause has spent over 22 years of his life building robots for a variety of purposes. He hasn’t worked on Asimo or the Mars Climate Orbiter but he has seen (and caused) a lot of mistakes and learned something from every one of them. In his spare time Spencer records a Podcast – “Collaborative with Spencer Krause” where he drinks heavily and talks to people doing interesting things in technology, research, and entrepreneurship – video.spencerkrause.com.

Social game:
Our social game will take place before the show from 6:30-7:30. Similar to ‘Speed Dating’ or ‘Speed Networking’ our game is ‘Speed Friending’! Whether you are new to the city and hoping to make friends, trying to expand your professional network with other nerds, or are single and looking to mingle, the game is just about meeting new people! We have a system in place to rotate everyone around to meet someone new every 5 minutes, then you can fill out an online form with which conversations you enjoyed and we’ll email you your matches! You are welcome to join late, but if you want to get the most of it arrive at 6:15 to register and the first round will start at 6:30.

If you haven’t been here before, check what this is about with videos from our youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flOg5cRkceg…

This event is 21+ and requires ID. The venue has limited space and there may not be door sales if we sell out, which happens regularly. Be sure to get a ticket before heading over

Tickets

Nerd Nite October 13th

Tickets: Facebook, Eventbrite

Nerd Nite Pittsburgh is a lecture series that’s a mix between a TED talk, a comedy show, and a networking mixer! Speakers present for 15 minutes on a variety of topics related to science and technology, popular culture, history, and other nerdery with a vibe that’s as entertaining as it is academic! Audience members can ask questions, and beforehand there is an entirely optional networking game. If you like alcohol, learning about random and interesting things, and meeting other nerds this is for you! Networking game starts at 6:30, Doors open for the show at 7:30, show starts at 7:45. If you have a topic you are passionate about and you’d like to be a speaker at a later event get in touch at ! October 13th will show the following presentations:

“Re: Your Brains”
The brain is the most important organ you have… according to the brain. And some of the things you think you know about the brain are complete bullshit – we only use 10%, you are either right or left brained, alcohol kills brain cells. Join Dr. Kym Young, neuroscientist and associate professor of psychiatry at U Pitt, as she busts some of the most popular brain myths and teaches you some fun facts about this 3 lb. wonder. When not studying how the brain works (or doesn’t work), Kym enjoys world travel, jigsaw puzzles, her 2 pawesome cats, and is a huge Disney nerd.

“New Shit Has Come to Light: The Big Lebowski and Historical Revisionism”

“Historical revisionism” and “revisionist history” have a bad rep, usually from people who don’t know what these terms mean. This talk uses The Dude’s insight that “new shit has come to light,” as the main reason why history needs to be revised and updated frequently. Dr. Coohill uses important examples from the past to show how our knowledge of them is only based on what was presented to us when we were young. Historians constantly discover new things in archives, come up with new methods of analysis, and explain the complicated  “ins, outs, and what-have-you’s” of historical events that we think we already understand. After this talk, you’ll hear “historical revisionism” and “revisionist history” with an open and fresh mind. You’ll be “privy to all the new shit”!

Dr. Joseph Coohill is an Oxford-educated history professor and media personality who overturns widely-held, but incorrect, assumptions and beliefs about the past. The public knows him as the host and producer of the wildly popular Professor Buzzkill History Podcast. He has spoken at Nerd Nites in New York and Pittsburgh.

“An inside look at the world’s most ruggedly good looking  and sexually dynamic sport: competitive facial hair”

Standing resolute against a bald-faced majority, men and women the world over have found community and solidarity in shared celebration of a hirsute lifestyle. Competing in over fifty categories spanning multiple categories, from the standard dad Stache (aka the chevron) to the crowd-favorite freestyle beard, competitors and enthusiasts have elevated this niche community into a worldwide phenomenon.

Adam Causgrove is the Chief Executive of the American Mustache Institute, 2012 Mustached American of the Year, and a recognized expert in all things facial hair. Featured in Time Magazine, Pitt Magazine, and countless publications in between, Causgrove will highlight the nuances and faces that have brought this frighteningly handsome pastime from the seedy underbelly of basement competitions to the bright lights of ESPN the Ocho and into the hearts and homes of people across the globe.

Networking game:

Our Networking game will take place before the show from 6:30-7:30. Similar to ‘Speed Dating’ or ‘Speed Networking’ our game is ‘Speed Friending’! Whether you are new to the city and hoping to make friends, trying to expand your professional network with other nerds, or are single and looking to mingle, the game is just about meeting new people! We have a system in place to rotate everyone around to meet someone new every 5 minutes, then you can fill out an online form with which conversations you enjoyed and we’ll email you your matches! You are welcome to join late, but if you want to get the most of it arrive at 6:15 to register and the first round will start at 6:30.

If you haven’t been here before, check what this is about with videos from our YouTube channel

This event is 21+ and requires ID. The venue has limited space and there may not be door sales if we sell out, which happens regularly. Be sure to get a ticket before heading over.

Tickets: Facebook, Eventbrite

Nerd Nite July 28th

Tickets: Facebook, Eventbrite

Nerd Nite Pittsburgh is a lecture series that’s a mix between a TED talk, a comedy show, and a networking mixer! Speakers present for 15 minutes on a variety of topics related to science and technology, popular culture, history, and other nerdery with a vibe that’s as entertaining as it is academic! Audience members can ask questions, and beforehand there is an entirely optional networking game. If you like alcohol, learning about random and interesting things, and meeting other nerds this is for you! Networking game starts at 6:30, Doors open for the show at 7:30, show starts at 7:45. If you have a topic you are passionate about and you’d like to be a speaker at a later event get in touch at ! June 16th will show the following presentations:

“Maggot Therapy or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bugs”

What’s the most disgusting thing I see too often in the ER? Maggots. In this lecture, we explore the fascinating science and history of maggot infections and the surprising ways in which they may be just what the doctor ordered.

Avir Mitra is an ER doctor and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Education at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He moonlights as a contributing editor at Radiolab and has also written and produced stories for Vice, The Pulse and Here and Now.

“Laura Secord: What Canada’s Paul Revere taught me about Wikipedia and gender”

Raymond Bowman grew up in the Pittsburgh area, worked to become a licensed architect, and is now attempting to apply those skills to nonprofit community development. Lucky for you, he’s not here to talk about any of that. Back in 2015 (at a different nerdy night), Ray presented a humorous comparison between two historical figures with parallel stories, Paul Revere and a lesser-known Canadian woman named Laura Secord. Tonight, he’s here to revisit the story of Laura Secord and explore how gender bias on Wikipedia informs (and deforms) our knowledge and perception of female historical figures.

“Bird Out With Your Nerd Out,
Rock Out With Your Squawk Out”

There’s more bird diversity around Pittsburgh than you might think. So embark on an avian adventure with local bird nerd Ralph Crewe as he dives into a few of the remarkable feathered friends you might encounter around the steel city. Learn how to talk to owls, identify every species of hummingbird in the area, and explore the horrors of duck reproduction!

Ralph Crewe is a Nerd Nite veteran, having delivered such talks as Bullshit in Space, and The Electric Bass Guitar in Baroque Saxony & Various Ensuing Milieus. He spent ten years as a science communicator at a major science museum, has worked for several nerdy YouTube channels, including his current role as script editor for Practical Engineering, works full-time at a local software development firm, and is a generally curious person.

Networking game:

Our Networking game will take place before the show from 6:30-7:30. Similar to ‘Speed Dating’ or ‘Speed Networking’ our game is ‘Speed Friending’! Whether you are new to the city and hoping to make friends, trying to expand your professional network with other nerds, or are single and looking to mingle, the game is just about meeting new people! We have a system in place to rotate everyone around to meet someone new every 5 minutes, then you can fill out an online form with which conversations you enjoyed and we’ll email you your matches! You are welcome to join late, but if you want to get the most of it arrive at 6:15 to register and the first round will start at 6:30.

If you haven’t been here before, check what this is about with videos from our YouTube channel

This event is 21+ and requires ID. The venue has limited space and there may not be door sales if we sell out, which happens regularly. Be sure to get a ticket before heading over.

Tickets: Facebook, Eventbrite

Nerd Nite June 16th

Tickets: Facebook, Eventbrite

Nerd Nite Pittsburgh is a lecture series that’s a mix between a TED talk, a comedy show, and a networking mixer! Speakers present for 15 minutes on a variety of topics related to science and technology, popular culture, history, and other nerdery with a vibe that’s as entertaining as it is academic! Audience members can ask questions, and beforehand there is an entirely optional networking game. If you like alcohol, learning about random and interesting things, and meeting other nerds this is for you! Networking game starts at 6:30, Doors open for the show at 7:30, show starts at 7:45. If you have a topic you are passionate about and you’d like to be a speaker at a later event get in touch at ! June 16th will show the following presentations:


“Finding Galactic Supernova Remnants from the Couch”
At the end of their lives, massive stars explode as supernovae, leaving behind glowing embers known as supernova remnants (SNRs).  These SNRs are evidence for the chemical enrichment by high-mass stars that creates the elements necessary for life.  Our Milky Way Galaxy should have over 1000 SNRs but so far most have evaded detection. Professor Loren Anderson will discuss his efforts to uncover a hidden population of Galactic SNRs, all while sitting on his couch. Dr. Anderson is an Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy at West Virginia University.

“Dr. Whiz Kid or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bladder”
Not content with her own urine, Maria Jantz has decided to embark upon the world’s greatest pissing contest. Things people have said to Maria after hearing that she researches bladder control include: 
“Oh my gosh I had a UTI last month!”
“I’m sorry but honestly that doesn’t sound that interesting.”
“Peeing is ruined for me now.” 
You, too, can add to these consistently rave reviews. This talk will cover the neuroscience of the bladder, what we can do to fix it when things go catastrophically wrong, and an assortment of delightful bladder facts. 
Maria is a PhD candidate in Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. When she’s not studying the bladder, she can be found making neuron mugs, doing handstands, or baking cookies. Her childhood hero was Ms. Frizzle.

“The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Guide to Color Theory”
Louisa Barrett, a former child, leverages her career in graphic design and software development to bring you a tale of turtles, color, and surprise. Color theory is a big topic to get your head around, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are just the heroes in a half-shell we need to make the nitty gritty of color a whole lot less confusing. COWABUNGA!

Networking game:
Our Networking game will take place before the show from 6:30-7:30. Similar to ‘Speed Dating’ or ‘Speed Networking’ our game is ‘Speed Friending’! Whether you are new to the city and hoping to make friends, trying to expand your professional network with other nerds, or are single and looking to mingle, the game is just about meeting new people! We have a system in place to rotate everyone around to meet someone new every 5 minutes, then you can fill out an online form with which conversations you enjoyed and we’ll email you your matches! You are welcome to join late, but if you want to get the most of it arrive at 6:15 to register and the first round will start at 6:30.

If you haven’t been here before, check what this is about with videos from our YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flOg5cRkceg&list=PLcx6pXs_8CRUItElXY8Cvs5vhXtZN_j9w

This event is 21+ and requires ID. The venue has limited space and there may not be door sales if we sell out, which happens regularly. Be sure to get a ticket before heading over.

Tickets: Facebook, Eventbrite

Nerd Nite April 21st

Nerd Nite Pittsburgh April 21

Tickets: Facebook, Eventbrite

Nerd Nite Pittsburgh is a lecture series that’s a mix between a TED talk, a comedy show, and a networking mixer! Speakers present for 15 minutes on a variety of topics related to science and technology, popular culture, history, and other nerdery with a vibe that’s as entertaining as it is academic! Audience members can ask questions, and beforehand there is an entirely optional networking game. If you like alcohol, learning about random and interesting things, and meeting other nerds this is for you! Networking game starts at 6:30, Doors open for the show at 7:25, show starts at 7:45. If you have a topic you are passionate about and you’d like to be a speaker at a later event get in touch at ! April 21st will show the following presentations:


“What I learned about dating apps (generally) after I spent five f**king years studying them for a PhD”
Dr Nicolette Wong is nosy when it comes to people’s love lives, so she decided to make a career out of it. Trained at Oxford and UPitt, she embarked on a five-year project studying dating apps in China and the US for her PhD. All so she could fervently try to figure out why there are so many profiles with pictures of men holding large fish or women trying to make potential matches play Where’s Waldo (not really). Two-time TEDx speaker and a Nerd Nite regular, she enjoys public speaking, giving unsolicited relationship advice, and pretending to be an extrovert.

“An Aspie’s Take on Weight Loss: Y’all are Just Doing It Wrong”
This talk combine’s the story of Jeremy Rochford’s (cPt, WLS, YES, CLC, cCFT, cCFS, CC, CL) successful 200-pound weight loss journey and his realization that he knows exactly where both of his children got their neuro-diversity from. In his talk, he’ll unpack the reason why diets fail, how intermittent fasting is a joke, and why body positivity might just be the truest secret in weight loss. While some get obsessed with Lego’s or Fantasy Football, Jeremy has turned his love of food back around into his love of food, but this time with the appropriate amount of butter. When not discussing weight loss or wellness, you can find him around town in used music stores trying to find those rare import CD’s because he’s just old enough to appreciate what they are.

“5g and the Birth of The Next Generation of Integrated Technology”
What is 5g? Why Now? Why does it matter? What does it enable? Can it kill us or will it just be the robots that do that? These questions and many more will be discussed by speaker Mark Shimkets. Mark Shimkets is a Pittsburgh based Comedian that has a computer science degree and an intense level of nerdery. From acting in NYC to coaching a League of Legends team in Turkey Mark has experienced some weird stuff and is excited to share his knowledge with you all.

Networking game:
Our Networking game will take place before the show from 6:30-7:30. Similar to ‘Speed Dating’ or ‘Speed Networking’ our game is ‘Speed Friending’! Whether you are new to the city and hoping to make friends, trying to expand your professional network with other nerds, or are single and looking to mingle, the game is just about meeting new people! We have a system in place to rotate everyone around to meet someone new every 5 minutes, then you can fill out an online form with which conversations you enjoyed and we’ll email you your matches! You are welcome to join late, but if you want to get the most of it arrive at 6:15 to register and the first round will start at 6:30.

If you haven’t been here before, check what this is about with videos from our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVl964vvbYrgRJaUCLifPgw

This event is 21+ and requires ID. The venue has limited space and there may not be door sales if we sell out, which happens regularly. Be sure to get a ticket before heading over.

Tickets: Facebook, Eventbrite

Nerd Nite February 24th

Tickets: Facebook, eventbrite

Nerd Nite Pittsburgh is a lecture series that’s a mix between a TED talk, a comedy show, and a networking mixer! Speakers present for 15 minutes on a variety of topics related to science and technology, popular culture, history, and other nerdery with a vibe that’s as entertaining as it is academic! Audience members can ask questions, and beforehand there is an entirely optional networking game. If you like alcohol, learning about random and interesting things, and meeting other nerds this is for you! Networking game starts at 6:30, Doors open for the show at 7:25, show starts at 7:45. If you have a topic you are passionate about and you’d like to be a speaker at a later event get in touch at ! February 24th will be Bass Nite with the following presentations:

“The Electric Bass Guitar in Baroque Saxony and Various Ensuing Milieus”

How many strings does it take to move the butts of a nation? Four. Sometimes five but that one’s in the shop. Join local professional nerd Ralph Crewe (known from past Nerd Nite’s as the Bullshit in Space guy) as he explores the profound depth of the electric bass guitar. Were the baroque masterpieces known today as the Bach Cello Suites originally written for the electric bass? Is the theme to Seinfeld the song of a generation? Are all bass players really just the worst guitar players in the band? Find out the answers to these questions and probably a few others!

Ralph Crewe currently works at a software development firm, but has a long history of nerdery. He helped to run a planetarium and worked at a major science center for ten years (hence the Bullshit in Space), and has also studied the bass for 24 years. He plays bass mainly in jazz and Latin settings these days, but has extensive experience in rock, hip-hop, country, musical theater and many other forms. He also can identify nearly every species of bird commonly found in Pennsylvania.

“The Euphemistic Euphonius Euphonium and Friends.”
Primarily a baritone voiced instrument that plays in the tenor range and above, the Euphonium is an oxymoronic instrument. Abby herself lives a bit of an oxymoronic life, boasting two degrees on an instrument that has less job perspectives than people who know what the instrument even is. Abby will delve into the history of the instrument, drop a little bit of brass in general, the reason it really shouldn’t exist, and how low it can go. (hint: not very) We’ll also talk about video game music…I can’t help myself.

Abby Lannan is a freelance artist, educator, and performer and can nerd out about video games and video game music for hours at the drop of a hat. Talk to me about the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy FFXIV. Abby has a bachelors in Music Education, a masters in performance and is a musician with the River City Brass Band as well as the Brass Roots based in Pittsburgh.

“All About that Bass”

While there are many options to enjoy, no small amount of hobbyists enjoy bass as a focus of their craft. Doug is an expert in everything surrounding bass. From cleaning, to the tools of the trade, to even the best method to obtain one. Doug will go over how to get started so that one day you can share your skills with bass with everyone in your life.

Doug Oster is Pittsburgh’s Garden Guru. He’s the host of the radio show The Organic Gardener, creator of the Emmy winning documentary “The Gardens of Pennsylvania”, and founder of Cultivating Success, a garden program for foster and adoptive children.
Networking game:

Our Networking game will take place before the show from 6:30-7:30. Similar to ‘Speed Dating’ or ‘Speed Networking’ our game is ‘Speed Friending’! Whether you are new to the city and hoping to make friends, trying to expand your professional network with other nerds, or are single and looking to mingle, the game is just about meeting new people! You’re welcome to come late or leave early. We have a system in place to rotate everyone around to meet someone new every 5 minutes, then you can fill out an online form with which conversations you enjoyed and we’ll put you in touch with the matches!

If you haven’t been here before, check what this is about with videos from our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVl964vvbYrgRJaUCLifPgw

This event is 21+ and requires ID. The venue has limited space and there may not be door sales if we sell out, which happens regularly. Be sure to get a ticket before heading over.

Covid information:
The CDC has maintained its stance that those who are vaccinated can resume normal activities, though wearing a mask indoors when not eating or drinking is recommended. With this from the CDC, and the articles saying Omicron numbers will go down as fast as they went up now that Pittsburgh has peaked, we are setting this date and planning our next event. However, if things look bad on the preceding Sunday we will reschedule, and give everyone a full refund of their ticket price. If we do not cancel, we will still be happy to issue refunds to any requests received before the show begins. Additionally the following is Spirit’s policy which will be enforced for Nerd Nite:
We are requiring proof of full vaccination (2 shots of Moderna or Pfizer, 1 shot of J&J) for all guests in order to attend events at Spirit. If you do not have proof of full vaccination, you must show a negative test result from a PCR test taken within 48-hours of the show’s start time. If you cannot provide any of these things, you will not be admitted to the event. We appreciate your understanding as we enact the required policies for us during this ongoing pandemic. The health and safety of our staff, artists and guests is our #1 priority.

Tickets: Facebook, eventbrite

Nerd Nite September 2nd

Nerd Nite Pittsburgh is a lecture series that’s a mix between a TED talk, a comedy show, and freshman orientation. Speakers present for 15 minutes on a variety of topics related to science and technology, popular culture, history, and other nerdery with a vibe that’s as entertaining as it is academic! Audience members can ask questions and beforehand there is an entirely optional networking game. If you like alcohol, learning about random and interesting things, and meeting other nerds this is for you! Networking game starts at 6:30, Doors open for the show at 7:25, show starts at 7:45. If you have a topic you are passionate about and you’d like to be a speaker at a later event get in touch at ! The speakers for September 2nd are:

Phil Nash: “Watergate Weirdness: Come for the High Crimes, Stay for the High Jinks.”

We all know the Watergate scandal story of the 1970s, but very few of us know just how many weird scenarios and personalities were involved in the famous crimes that ended the Nixon presidency. This talk shows the manifold political motivations that prompted the Watergate break-in and cover-up, all the way from secret 1968 Nixon campaign shenanigans about Vietnam, to some of the seedier sides of Nixon’s personal finances. And what a rogues’ gallery of criminals! The lives and careers of many of the Watergate burglars and their fellow travelers would be considered too far-fetched even for a Hollywood thriller. Like most famous historical events, Watergate is weirder and far more complex than you think!

Philip Nash is an award-winning history professor at Penn State. He is an expert on modern American political and diplomatic history, and his books “The Other Missiles of October” (about the Cuban Missile Crisis) and “Breaking Protocol” (about America’s first female ambassadors) have made major contributions to their fields. Phil is also committed to bringing scholarly history to the general public, and his appearances on podcasts and on talk radio have captivated audiences world-wide. He just finished writing a biography of Clare Boothe Luce–who thought Nixon got a bad rap for Watergate.

Joe Coohill (aka Professor Buzzkill): “The Hitler Testicle Meter.”

Allied soldiers sang the humorous ditty “Hitler Only Had One Ball” during World War II, and the question of whether Hitler suffered from “monorchism” (having only one testicle) has been a minor historical issue ever since. This talk analyses how historians of medicine and psychology have tried to determine whether the Fuhrer was missing some wedding tackle, and whether that may have contributed to his mania. This talk is about science and pseudoscience, the nature of serious historical research, how urban legends start and spread, and, of course, about the number that the Hitler Testicle Meter has displayed at any one time.

Joseph Coohill is a historian of Britain and Ireland. He received his doctorate in modern history from Oxford in 1998. He has taught in universities in Britain and the United States, but has found his greatest reward in becoming a “Historian for the Public,” because of his highly popular show, The Professor Buzzkill History Podcast (professorbuzzkill.com). Joe is continually fascinated by myths and misunderstandings in popular conceptions of history. His latest project is about the rise of Churchill legends in the United States.

Andrew Meade McGee: “When Washington Met Silicon Valley: Did Al Gore Invent the Internet?”

The “Al Gore said he invented the internet” story is now part of American history. This “boast” was (and is) relentlessly ridiculed on talk radio. But, in the broader sense, is there any truth to it? Computers come from dorm rooms and garages in California, right? Genius inventors combining futuristic design and cutting-edge technology? Well, that’s only half the story. Our modern digital age was shaped by a surprising number of decisions made not in laboratories but in government boardrooms. This talk shows that surprising political decisions created the American information society.

Andrew Meade McGee is a visiting assistant professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University. He studies big technology, big government, and big business. Educated at Harvard and the University of Virginia, he also did improv comedy before settling on a career teaching undergrads. He has been the Kluge Fellow in Digital History at the Library of Congress and is a member of the global “Histories of Artificial Intelligence” working group based at the University of Cambridge. He loves American history in its convoluted, messy whole.

Our Networking game will take place before the show from 6:30-7:30.  Similar to ‘Speed Dating’ or ‘Speed Networking’ our game is ‘Speed Friending’! Whether you are new to the city and hoping to make friends, trying to expand your professional network with other nerds, or are single and looking to mingle, the game is just about meeting new people! You’re welcome to come late or leave early. We have a system in place to rotate everyone around to meet someone new every 5 minutes, then you can fill out an online form with which conversations you enjoyed and we’ll put you in touch with the matches!

If you haven’t been here before, check what this is about with videos from our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVl964vvbYrgRJaUCLifPgw This event is 21+ and requires ID. The venue has limited space and there may not be door sales if we sell out, which happens regularly. Be sure to get a ticket before heading over.
Covid information:

The CDC has maintained its stance that those who are vaccinated can resume normal activities. We’re trusting the CDC in our decision to continue hosting events.  If the CDC changes this recommendation we will immediately cancel and everyone will receive a full refund for their ticket.  Additionally, following Spirit’s protocol at this time during all indoor events, we will be checking temperatures at the door and asking those who can’t provide proof of vaccination or a negative pcr test within 72 hours, to remain masked indoors.  A printed copy or a photo on your phone of your vaccination card or pcr test will suffice as proof as long as the name is visible and it matches your id.  We will have disposable masks available at the door for those who do not provide proof.  If you have concerns or questions about public safety, please reach out to Spirit at 

Get your tickets on Eventbrite or Facebook!

Nerd Nite August 5th

Nerd Nite Pittsburgh is a lecture series that’s a mix between a TED talk, a happy hour, and freshman orientation. Speakers present for 15 minutes on a variety of topics related to science and technology, popular culture, history, and other nerdery with a vibe that’s as entertaining as it is academic! Audience members can ask questions and beforehand there is an entirely optional networking game. If you like alcohol, learning about random and interesting things, and meeting other nerds this is for you! Networking game starts at 6:00, Doors open for the show at 6:50, show starts at 7:15. If you have a topic you are passionate about and you’d like to be a speaker at a later event get in touch at ! The speakers for August 5th are:

Dr. Matt Moynihan: Matt has been a nuclear fusion blogger, podcaster, consultant, researcher and writer since 2008. He got his PhD in fusion from the University of Rochester in 2012. During graduate school, he wrote popular science articles that explained fusion research to normal people. After leaving school, Matt worked as a science advisor to several fusion startups and was the host of The Fusion Podcast (www.thefusionpodcast.com). He also started New Light Consulting, a company that helps investors make sense of private nuclear fusion (www.fusionconsultant.net). He was Quoras’ Top Writer on Fusion in ‘17 and ‘18 with over 500 answers and 1 million views. Matt also organized The Nuclear Fusion Shark Tank a forum for fusion startups to pitch to potential investors (https://www.nuclearfusionsharktank.com/). He is writing a popular science book on nuclear fusion for Springier. Presenting: Why Nuclear Fusion Would be Awesome – If We Get It To Work.

Rikki Rabbin: Rikki is a registered dietitian nutritionist with degrees from the University of Maryland and the University of Pittsburgh. She likes talking about poop in general terms, but does not want to hear the specifics about what happened after you ate corn/beets/sugar free chocolate/too much coffee. She attended her first Nerd Nite in Washington, DC in 2010, and has since been counting the days until it would be her turn to present. Presenting: How We Turn Food into Poop.

Todd Medema: Todd is a Product Manager at Tesla, game designer and Citizens Climate Lobbyist deeply passionate about using systems design to minimize climate change. His views are his own. Presenting: Renewing Renewables: Where do we stand on clean energy?

This month we will be repeating our most successful networking option from before pandemic again which means our game will take place before the show from 6-7. If you come out to these events to meet people, or just would rather play a game than stand in line before the doors open, just sign in early and come upstairs. Similar to ‘Speed Dating’ or ‘Speed Networking’ our game is ‘Speed Friending’! Whether you are new to the city and hoping to make friends, trying to expand your professional network with other nerds, or are single and looking to mingle, the game is just about meeting new people! You’re welcome to come late or leave early. We have a system in place to rotate everyone around to meet someone new every 5 minutes, and then you can fill out a form with which conversations you enjoyed and we’ll put you in touch if there’s a match!

If you haven’t been here before, check what this is about with videos from our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVl964vvbYrgRJaUCLifPgw This event is 21+ and requires ID. The venue has limited space and there may not be door sales if we sell out, which happens regularly. Be sure to get a ticket before heading over.

Get tickets on eventbrite or facebook

Nerd Nite February 20th – Romance and Sexuality Nite

Nerd Nite Pittsburgh is a lecture series that’s a mix between a TED talk, a happy hour, and freshman orientation. Speakers present for 15 minutes on a variety of topics related to science and technology, popular culture, history, and other nerdery with a vibe that’s as entertaining as it is academic! Audience members can ask questions and it’s followed up by an entirely optional networking game. If you like alcohol, learning about random and interesting things, and meeting other nerds this is for you! Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:15. If you have a topic you are passionate about and you’d like to be a speaker at a later event get in touch at !

February 20th will be our second themed Nite! For the month of Valentine’s Day all three speakers will be discussing a subject in the realm of romance or sexuality. Speakers are:

Nicolette Pawlowski, PhD – Nicolette is a sex educator and CEO of Apassionato Co., which provides sexual health sessions for individuals, organizations, and events. Random fact: to support her Masters and PhD work, Nicolette co-founded a dance company, Los Sabrosos Dance Co., which is now one of the top dance companies in the Pittsburgh area. Sex and salsa, anyone? Presenting: Sex Through the Life Course

Dina Brenci – Watching people struggling through the dating scene and continually being frustrated with their results (or lack of results), Dating Coach, Dina Brenci has made it her mission to support individuals in making organic connections in partnerships that last. Combining years of animal behavior studies, with her unconditionally loving and non judgmental persona, she has designed a unique approach to dating that feels completely new. She is an ICF certified coach that specializes in helping her clients date with out dating. Talk: Dating with Scrum (How Agile can help you achieve your dating goals)

Maura Randolph, Adriana Mazzotta and Ali Mazzotta – Maura, Adriana, and Ali are three childhood friends who founded a non-profit (called Happy Cycling) to provide underprivileged women in Pittsburgh access to long-term feminine hygiene products. When they’re not crowded over a computer planning their next Happy Cycling event, they are busy having vaginas, likely chugging wine, or are at their day jobs – Maura is an Engineer, Adriana is a Designer and Ali is a Product Manager. Presenting: Period Poverty – We’re Not Ovary Acting

This month we will be mixing it up and doing our networking game before the show instead of after! We’ll be running the game from 6-7. If you come out to these events to meet people, or just would rather play a game than stand in line before the doors open, come downstairs to Spirit Hall and let us know you’d like to play. Since this is romance night, similar to ‘Speed Dating’ our game this month will be ‘Speed Friending’! Whether you are new to the city and hoping to make friends, trying to expand your professional network with other nerds, or are single and looking to mingle, the game is just about meeting new people! You’re welcome to come late or leave early to get a seat upstairs. We will have a system in place to rotate everyone around to meet someone new every 5 minutes, and then like speed dating you can tell us which conversations you enjoyed and we’ll put you in touch if there’s a match!

We are a volunteer run organization and could use some extra hands! If you’re free to come early at 5:30 or stay late from 10:00-10:30 shoot us an email and there will be free drinks and admission in it for you!

If you haven’t been here before, check what this is about with videos from our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVl964vvbYrgRJaUCLifPgw

This event is 21+ and requires ID. The venue has limited space and there may not be door sales if we sell out, which happens regularly. Be sure to get a ticket before heading over.