Nerd Nite DC is DC’s original science + nerd + drinking event. See us nerd out!

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Fall is almost here and its time to dry those poolside margaritas out of our brains and fill them instead with delicious…knowledge. Our speakers this month will take topics you thought you knew – like chocolate, biology and Frank Lloyd Wright – and turn them on their head with alternate perspectives. We will be talking about how chocolate can make you do much more than salivate, how biology is the new material of maker labs and how Frank Lloyd Wright’s life was even more interesting as his architecture. So grab a beer at the bar and get ready to peel back the layers to see things in a whole new light!

Date: Saturday Sept 10th, 2016 A.D.
Time: Doors 6:00PM, Show 6:30PM
Where: DC9, 1940 9th St NW
Tickets: $10 at
This is a 21+ event.


Cuckoo for Cocoa: Is Chocolate Addiction Real?
by Margaret Riley

Have you ever experienced a chocolate craving? Have you ever wondered why? During this talk we will dig into the sweet, gooey center of everyone’s favorite treat and explore the pharmacological, neurochemical, and orosensory effects of chocolate. Turns out your cravings aren’t all in your head—though the brain might be responsible for turning some people into “chocaholics.”

Bio: Margaret Riley is a lover of all things chocolate and a self-educated chocolate expert. She works as an attorney for the federal government, knows all the offices in her workplace with candy bowls, and spends her free time traveling the world hunting for the best cacao-based products. She’s an Alexandria native and fan of anything geeky, as long as it’s covered in chocolate.


The House That Frank Built 
by Dan Siegal

The man, the myth, the legend: architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  He is celebrated world over as the greatest American architect of all time, but what sort of person was he?  We all have seen examples of his work, but we know very little about the salacious life and mind behind the building genius. Come and learn about formative events from his childhood, his many, MANY affairs, and the house he built for his son that may or may not have been a “practice building” for another project.

Bio: Meghan is a lawyer turned lobbyist who advocates on behalf of research universities and scientific societies.  She became obsessed (in a totally non-creepy way) with Frank Lloyd Wright after visiting Taliesin West in her home state of Arizona, and has spent the years collecting facts, stories, and little known anecdotes about the man behind the façade..


Synthetic Biology: What Happens When Engineers Are Let Loose in the Biology Lab
by Dan Siegal

The biological world is really good at doing stuff, whether we humans like it or not.  And every once in a while, biology provides us with something that we can use: things like penicillin, or aspirin, or beer. But why should we be limited to what biological systems “naturally” do?  What if we didn’t want to wait around for the biology to come up with solutions for us? Synthetic biology, a relatively new scientific field focused on the re-engineering of biological organisms like bacteria and yeast, holds significant promise for the future of biotechnology and medicine. Cheaper drugs, greener means to fuel our cars, and targeted therapies for attacking diseases are all on the horizon thanks to an intrepid group of biological hackers. So let’s talk biological hacking – where we’ve been and where we’re headed in the not-too-distant future.

Bio: Dan Siegal serves as a scientific advisor to at least one U.S. government agency (that he’s been told he’s not supposed to name in venues like this) where he supports the development of research programs at the bleeding-edge of systems and synthetic biology.  Dan is also the founder of and former showrunner for the Columbus Science Pub (CBUs’ answer to Nerd Nite back in 2010) and got to briefly play with some Hollywood bigshots as a consultant as a science advisor to Hollywood.

Nerd Nite DC: Be There and Be Square!