G.E.N Nights


Group Experiment Nights (GENs) are collaborative workshop evenings where we get together in the lab and explore various DIY science subjects with a hands-on approach.

Under each theme we investigate the subject from different angles. We typically invite a guest with a scientific approach and one with an artistic or alternative approach that both fit under the theme.  There will be some talking, but the focus will be on experimenting and sharing skills. Depending on the experiments, there might be limited space and equipment so signing up in advance is necessary!

We ask a sliding scale donation between 0 and 50kr to help cover costs for the experiment nights, but of course no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

There is comfortable room for a maximum of 15 participants (first come first serve). If the roster fills up, you can always drop by to see if there are any last minute cancellations but no guarantees!

As part of the collaborative and open process, we will collect protocols, guides and manuals so that you can reproduce the experiments later in our lab or at home.

General plan:
18:00 Welcome, introduction and short presentations
18:30 Hands-on experimenting and hacking
21:00 End of program, getting food from around the corner, hanging out and continued late night hacking.

Important: check the upcoming GENs on our blog

2014 calendar and overview of GENs:

  • GEN6:  Friday March 28th, Microbial Masterworks

  • GEN5: Date TBA (3-4weeks from March 20 (MAYBE Sunday April 14) ), Oyster Mushrooms in the City Part 2

  • GEN 8: Thursday May 15, Herbal Medicine – Make your own treatment and cosmetics

  • GEN7: Thursday May 29th, Liquid Nitrogen Play 

GEN6:  Microbial Masterworks, Moved to Friday March 28th

Bacterial painting has been around ever since Sir Alexander Fleming (the man who discovered penicillin) invented it when he drew a simple stick figure using bacteria. He was a bit ahead of his time and the form didn’t catch on in his day. However, in recent years  it has become a medium that many artists have chosen to express soul and thought with. For some examples and inspiration see here: http://www.microbialart.com/galleries/

In this GEN Erno Erik Raitanen will  demonstrate his method of creating “bacteriograms”. This involves taking bacteria that live on your own body and applying it to film negatives. When developed they create amazing artworks. This is definitely not ‘painting by the numbers– it’s experimentation. BRING YOUR OWN NEGATIVES TO BE DEVOURED AND THEN DEVELOPED! We will have some for you to use, but it is more fun to bring your own.

This GEN will be facilitated by Erno Erik Raitanen, a visual and installation artist whose bacteriograms explore the use of bacteria as applied to photography. See his website for examples of his work here.

Jen Kotila, who is an active member of Biologigagaragen and has a background in biochemistry and an interest in BioArt, will co-lead the workshop with him.

GEN5 part 2:  Date TBA (3-4 weeks from March 20), Oyster Mushrooms and the City Part 2

In the second part of our oyster mushroom GEN, we will go out and bomb Copenhagen with ‘shrooms. It’ll be a fantastic time. During the waiting period, please feel free to edit The Map of Mushrooms with good spots to hit with spawn. Man, that is a fun sentence! The GEN will be even more fun in person. We have expanded the sign up sheet from 15 to 20 so that slightly more people can come if any new arrivals are curious!

GEN7: Liquid Nitrogen Play – Moved to Thursday May 29th

Nitrogen is a gas that constitutes 79% of ordinary air. But at -196C it becomes a very cold, clear liquid. Come and join us when we play around with liquid nitrogen and very cold temperatures. We will be flash freezing flowers and marshmallows that you can take home with you or shatter into pieces outside on the pavement. We’ll also be playing with high temperature superconductors and making them levitate on our Möbius magnetic track. …Yep, we are definitely living in the future. Come and play with it with us!

This GEN is arranged in collaboration with Den Naturvidenskablige Legestue at the Niels Bohr Institute.

The GEN will be by facilitated by:

* Kennet Harpsøe. Kennet has recently finished his Ph.D. in astrophysics and is one of the founding members of Labitat. He has formerly arranged physics “road shows” in connection with den Naturvidenskablige Legestue at the Niels Bohr Institute.

GEN 8: Thursday May 15, Herbal Medicine – Make your own treatment and cosmetics

Get an introduction to the basics of medicinal herbals and try to prepare your own alcohol and water extractions and prepare your own cosmetic cream. We will investigate common herbs (both fresh and dried) that you can find both in drugstores, your herbalgarden and in local Danish nature. As a comparison we will taste and look at homemade “Snaps”. It’s always important to compare medicine to booze.

The GEN will be by facilitated by:

* Elsebethe Hansen.  Elsebethe has worked as a Biomedical Scientist for many years prior to taking a BSc (Hons) in Integrated Chinese Medicine from Kingston University, England and studying at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine (CICM) in Reading, UK. She has taugt at ZCD skole in Odense, DK. before deciding to dedicate her time to freelancing. She is currently in the process of writing a book on the topic of integrated Chinese medicine.

* Brian Christopher King.  Brian is a postdoctoral researcher in the  Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, ‘Plantebiokemi’ at the University of Copenhagen. He will be presenting the scientific side of the topic.

Suggestions for future GENs:
If you have ideas and suggestions for GENs or would like to host/lead one yourself, please drop us a line. No, seriously, don’t be shy! If you have an idea, tell us! If you don’t want to contact us, we welcome you to leave your ideas in our shared GEN brainstorming document here: https://drive.google.com/#folders/0ByARLazIQy3pbUcyaGd2TjRwS0E

Here are some general themes to consider, but feel free to come up with your own inspiration.

  • Food chemistry

  • DIY environmental testing

  • DIY  plant science and green house monitoring

  • Your idea here!

Previous GENs:

See photos and description of previous GEN’s

  • GEN1:  October 3rd, Fun with Filamentous Fungi

  • GEN2:  November 14th,  DIY yeasts for DIY brewers 

  • GEN3:  December 12th,   Jule Fermentation — Holiday sauerkraut

  • GEN4:  Thursday March 6 and 9, Master the Miso Mystery

  • GEN5:  Thursday March 20 and TBA, Oyster Mushrooms and the City Part 1