” HASthen, there, we will put the thumb in contact with the battery…” It’s Monday evening and, on the floor of a Parisian restaurant, around twenty people meet for a “science café”. The theme – the biology of love – was a hit. They were much less numerous at the meeting around the modification of the genome. Laurent, host of the evening, brought a multimeter to measure the electrical conductance of everyone’s skin. As on the poster hanging on the window, he wears a red bandana tied in his white shirt. “Conductance is the inverse of resistance, right? », asks a man who went to electrical engineering school. He is often the one who asks the questions.
Laurent explains his project: we are all going to take a measurement. At 8:30 p.m., we will eat chocolates, and around 9 p.m., we will measure again, to see if the level has moved. “If it’s related to sweating, how can you tell the difference between a good workout and eating chocolate? », asks the questioner. ” It will not work “, promises Jean-Pierre, a hyperemotional. Whether his emotions are positive or negative, it does not move the thingy at home.
brain wave coordination
In the meantime, the device turns around the table, along with a sheet on which everyone writes their name. Vanillechoco, Djendjens, Serein… Rather than a surname, we leave the identifier with which we registered. Some came through Meetup (a platform that offers us “sharing our passions”), others, by OVS (We’re going out!). “Forty-five registered… We should be twenty-two”, says Lawrence. The rule is to divide by two the number of registered to have the number of present.
While the multimeter is running, Pauline recounts her latest electrostatic experience. Others discuss brain wave coordination phenomena. A German girl came because she is interested in the doctor Robert Schleip, the pope of fasciasthese fabrics which, according to her, explain why, “When you have pain in your ankle, it hurts your neck”. A young man doesn’t really care about the subject. But he loves Meetup. “What I like is the interface. »
He had started with conversation meetings in Chinese. Last week, he participated in a meeting organized to test a new board game with its inventor. In these science cafés, some are there for coffee, others for science. Moreover, in terms of coffee, a peanut butter chocolate milkshake is coming. The evenings are held in the Marais district, in Paris, at Breakfast in America, a brand of dinner American style.
The odoriferous substances of the musk deer
“Have you read the documents I put online? », Lawrence asks. ” Nope “, someone answers. ” The titles “, said another. In front of each of us, next to the restaurant menu, a diagram of the cerebral circuit of the cortex and the basal ganglia. ” Can you remember what pheromones are? ? », asks the one who always asks the questions. I don’t feel like there are a lot of neuroscientists around the table, which creates the same kind of suspicion as when you go to a Chinese restaurant and there are no Chinese people around. seen.
The host evokes a study of samples taken from the “atmosphere” of cinemas, which differ according to the genre of film.
Laurent tells us that he did a thesis in biochemistry in the United States, studied behavioral neuroscience in Canada. He collects scientific articles that he presses to extract conferences. But back to the biology of love. He tells us about the odoriferous substances of the musk deer during the rutting period… He explains to us that, for many reasons, it is difficult to fund similar studies on humans. He also mentions a study of samples taken from “the atmosphere” cinemas, which differ according to film genre. “Could we have detected it with the change in skin pigmentation? », asks the man asking the questions. Laurent tells us that anyway all this will soon be collected by our connected bracelets and that, as we will have checked all the boxes “I accept” without reading anything, all our data will end up at Google.
The thing about scientific conversations is that it often digresses. We had come to talk about love and now we find ourselves wondering if the chances of dying during general anesthesia are greater than those of winning the Lotto. Laurent brings us back to the subject with a study which shows that the brain forms an idea of a person from their face by “one hundred thousandths of a second”. “You mean ten hundredths? », said a man comfortable with comma shifts. “But what is love at first sight? », asks a participant who until then tapped on her phone. The host of the evening replies that it does not necessarily translate into a lasting relationship. It needed a science café to be sure.
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The laws of love attraction as seen by one-night scientists
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