2nd Annual BAHFest London
BAHFest is a celebration of well-argued and thoroughly researched but completely incorrect scientific theory. Our brave speakers present their bad theories in front of a live audience and a panel of judges with real science credentials, who together determine who takes home the coveted BAHFest trophy. And eternal glory, of course.
Date: March 25, 2017
Location: Imperial College
Price: Student: £12 + £1.15 fee, Non-student: £22 + £1.70 fee
Judges and Speakers
Richard Sandling is an award winning stand up comedian, actor & filmmaker from Essex. He has won So You Think You’re Funny and in 2012 was the only British Nominee at The Comedy Central Comedy Awards in New York.
He runs film comedy show Perfect Movie in London and has a lot of excellent videos on YouTube.
His TV work includes Peep Show, Catharine Tate, Miranda, Zapped! & Russell Howard’s Good News and his Film work includes Cult British Movie Nina Forever, The Comedian’s Guide to Surviva, The People Vs. George Lucas & Ashens and The Quest for the Game Child.
He collects VHS tapes, loves reading The Nero Wolfe Mysteries and drinks a lot of real ale.
Keynote speakerTom Scott bodges things together with video editing tools, lines of code, and metres of network cable. 700,000 people subscribe to him on YouTube for videos about science, technology, and interesting things in the world. As a speaker and event host/MC, Tom’s knowledge, sense of humour, and thought-provoking style mean he’s spoken at the Eurovision TV Summit in Switzerland, at every Thinking Digital since 2009, and to the Conference on Parliament and the Internet. Tom once interviewed Edward Snowden via videolink, asked an inappropriate question, and learned that, yes, Snowden does bother to wear trousers even when it’s only a head-and-shoulders camera shot.
Keynote speakerMatt Allinson is a science communicator who lives in London. His PhD focused on reducing the cost of solar panels by making them out of highly toxic carcinogens that dissolve in rainwater. He was one of the winners of BAHFest 2016 with the slighly less ridiculous idea that the Kardashian sisters were a reliable source of Graphene. He has also given talks at the Royal Institution, Einstein’s Garden at Greenman festival, and Wikimania 2015.
JudgeJen is an astrophysicist and science communicator based in the south of England. She works at University of Portsmouth where she is the SEPnet/Ogden Outreach Officer for the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, responsible for their outreach and public engagement programme. In her spare time, Jen can be found presenting the Seldom Sirius podcast and helping to organise the Winchester Science Festival. Over the past eight years her science communication journey has found her lecturing at the Royal Institution, performing astronomy-themed stand up in front of 500 people, giving talks at schools in India and becoming BBC Radio 5 Live’s go-to astronomer to comment on space news stories (but only at unsociable hours!). Jen was a keynote speaker at BAHFest London 2016 where she fixed all of the world’s problems using big data.
JudgeSimon Singh is an ex-particle physicist, current science writer and future corpse. His books include Fermat’s Last Theorem, The Code Book and The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets. He was born in Somerset, lives in London and will be cremated in Iceland.
JudgeHelen Keen is an award winning comedy writer and performer. She began her career by winning the first Channel 4 New Comedy Writing prize, and wrote material for various established tv and radio shows. Her credits include guest spots on R4’s Infinite Monkey Cage (and touring with the Uncaged Monkeys) and on R4’s Museum of Curiosity, being appointed the first Comedian in Residence at Newcastle University’s Centre for Life Science Village, compering the first ever live comedy night at CERN, Large Hadron Comedy, joining the Stargazing Live live roadshow as a comedian & history of space travel expert, appearing at Latitude, the Science Museum, the Royal Institution and appearing in the second TV series of The Alternative Comedy Experience (curated by Stewart Lee) on Comedy Central. Her first solo stand up show It Is Rocket Science launched 3 critically acclaimed series on BBC Radio 4 and won a slew of awards. Her first radio documentary, Finding Your Voice, about selective mutism, was nominated for a Mind Media Award and her new comedy series, Big Problems with Helen Keen, debuted in the 6:30pm slot on BBC Radio 4. In 2015 she was selected as a 2015 Wired Innovation Fellow. In 2016 her first book The Science of Game of Thrones was published in the US and UK
JudgeTom is Dean of Imperial’s Faculty of Natural Sciences and Professor of sustainable Chemistry. He isn’t quite an Imperial College lifer, he studied at the University of Sussex, but he has been here for over 20 years. When he isn’t in his office or lab, he can be found walking on fire for charity just by the Queen’s Tower.
PresenterSimon Watt is a biologist, science presenter and president of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. You can find him trying to redesign our species on his comedy science podcast Level Up Human.
PresenterLouie is studying for a Physics degree here at Imperial, in the hopes of legitimizing his plans for world optimization. Although his proposal to stop the Earth’s rotation with asteroids was unsuccessful, this has not put him off from coming up with another perfectly logical way to make the world a better place.
Philippa is the manager of press and communications at the Royal Society of Biology. When she’s not tweeting about crabs, she’s being bullied into pitching terrible science comedy routine ideas by Matt Allinson because, “mate, what’s the worst that can happen?”
She could actually end up on stage delivering it to an audience of people Matt, that’s what could end up happening. This is all your fault.
Dr. Kat Arney
PresenterDr. Kat Arney is a science writer and broadcaster. Her first book, ‘Herding Hemingway’s Cats: Understanding how our genes work’ is out now, and her second – ‘How to Code a Human’ – is coming later this year. And a 5 part series – Did the Victorians Ruin the World? – written and presented with her sister, science comedian Helen Arney, will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in April.
PresenterKatherine is a third year medical student, who has made the arduous journey here from where she studies, at Imperial College London. The main thing she attributes to her three years of medicine is a newfound understanding of just how weird humans are. When she’s not on the wards, she can be found in the Imperial sci-fi society’s library, where she continues to discover how weird humans can be.
PresenterEd is a writer, improviser, and software engineer. He is so devoted to biology that his own body is actually made of biological matter.