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SDCC 2018 Interview with Nerd Nite!

Nerd Nite San Diego is a monthly gathering of nerds for lectures and a of course beer.  This year they are throwing a party at SDCC with National Geographic…


Let’s start with the basics… What is Nerd Nite San Diego?

Nerd Nite is a monthly lecture event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet deeply academic vibe. It’s often about science or technology, but by no means is it limited to such topics. And it’s definitely entertaining. Our worldwide unofficial tag line is “It’s like the Discovery Channel – with beer!” There are Nerd Nites around the world, and San Diego is just one of them. The chillest one.

How did Nerd Nite start? How has it changed since it’s initial start?
Nerd Nite began on the East coast over ten years ago. A guy was studying this African bird, and he’d come home a couple times a year to his favorite bar. He’d meet a friend there, drink, tell them about the bird, and repeat with another friend night after night. Finally the bartender was like, “Isn’t there a way to get this all done in one feel swoop??” So Nerd Nite was born, and it’s since spread to over 100 cities across the globe. I started the San Diego chapter about two years ago, when I moved here and there wasn’t anything totally rad to do on the first Tuesday of every month.
You have an extensive list of guest-speakers, which have been your favorites? and do you have any dream guest-speakers?
We’ve had way too many excellent speakers to list, but a few of the crowd favorites have been: Francis French of the SDASM on the lunar landing; Carlo Emami of Safewest on hazardous materials transportation; UCSD’s Eva Wittenberg on language and the brain; Cathy Chang of the Sheriff’s Department on crime labs; and science comedian Robert Timothy. There have been requests for all kinds of topics, from animating hand-drawn cartoons to telomeres, fecal transplants, and psychedelics! My dream speakers are the people who would have a blast sharing their expertise with the local nerds!
What’s special about Nerd Nite during SDCC?
During SDCC, Nerd Nite partners with National Geographic to create a more exclusive experience than most other parties downtown. It’s not where you’ll meet Thor or Daenerys, but if you’re a different breed of nerd, you could meet your favorite astronaut or paleontologist. Presentations by famous scientists, free food and booze, a chance to win tickets to Nerd Nite San Diego’s monthly events – this is a very different kind of SDCC party.
What sets SDCC apart from other cons? 
No idea! I’ve never been to a Con of any kind … except one for computer programming in San Francisco, back when thermochromic mousepads were still a pretty neat thing.
What’s something visitors to San Diego should definitely check out?
Visitors to SD should definitely bring their passports, since Mexico is only ten minutes from the convention center. Tijuana is a hipster enclave these days, with all the art- and gastro-culture you could hope for. Plus, have you checked the exchange rate lately? Win-win.
What’s next for Nerd Nite after SDCC 2018?
In addition to our regular events (the first Tuesday of every month!), in September Nerd Nite San Diego will be celebrating our second Nerdiversary! We’ll have beer, treats, games, raffles, and live demonstrations of party tricks for guests to impress their friends with throughout the year. Later in 2018 we’ll have presentations on hot peppers, sleep medicine, koji, and so much more! We’re a growing community, and I hope we’ll grow some more after this year’s SDCC party!

Dave Hisaka

Hello, I am the Creative Content Director. I don't like talking about myself.