What are blogs for, if not self-publicity? In that vein, I’ll be appearing at the Spacetacular! night on April 12, in honor of Yuri’s night: the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first-ever manned space flight.

The evening is organized by Londonist editor Matt Brown along with comedian and presenter Helen Keen, hosting a line-up of comedians and scientists. I promise not to be funny so you can tell which I am — I’ll be talking for ten minutes or so about my adventures in space (well, working on a big space-based project, the Planck Surveyor Satellite).

We scientists often, and correctly, make the point that manned space flight has almost nothing to do with science. But I certainly wouldn’t be the scientist I am if it weren’t a morning long ago in Hooks Lane Nursery School watching one of those early moon launches, thinking I wanted to have something, anything, to do with that. So let us know if you want to come celebrate [the Facebook event link is currently broken, but this one is still up.] this amazing human achievement with comedy and science (and spacey costumes) at the Camden Head Pub in London next week.