Robin Ince

When?
Tuesday, June 25 2013 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

270 Mare Street
Hackney
E8 1HE

Who?
Robin Ince

What's the talk about?

 We're very excited to announce that the science comedian Robin Ince will be at Hackney Skeptics in the Pub this Tuesday! Note this is not the usual Wednesday.

Robin Ince is travelling around the UK doing such shows as "The Importance of Being Interested" and "The Infinite Monkey Cage" with science presenter Brian Cox. He has also produced a "Cosmic Genome" app and a "Happiness through Science" DVD. You can also find him on Twitter at @robinince. 

We don't yet know what he will be talking about because Robin has so much material there is always room for surprises! But we can be sure that it will be a brilliant, witty, irreverent look at the world through science.

You can buy tickets in advance here - we recommend you do this in case the event fills up! The cost will be £4.

Lucy Harper

When?
Wednesday, April 24 2013 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

270 Mare Street
Hackney
E8 1HE

Who?
Lucy Harper

What's the talk about?

Note: this will be on the 3rd floor not the 5th! I'll add directions ASAP and make sure it's obvious on the evening. :-)

It’s Lucy’s job to make microbiology accessible, and this includes getting accurate science into the mainstream media - something that’s not easy when competing with the likes of the latest celebrity news. With an apparent increase in science on TV as well as groups like Skeptics in the Pub, Lucy will talk about science in the media and the many and varied ways in which science is engaging with the public and asks: Is science becoming an integral part of popular culture?

Lucy Harper is Communications Manager at the Society for Applied Microbiology. You can find her on Twitter as @lucyharper.

The talk will start between 7.30 and 8pm - please join us for a drink, a chat and a question & answer session! No booking required.

Deborah Hyde

When?
Wednesday, March 27 2013 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

270 Mare Street
Hackney
E8 1HE

Who?
Deborah Hyde

What's the talk about?

 The werewolf is a common horror motif, but what did people during the witch-hunt of sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe really mean when they accused someone of 'lycanthropy'? An evening discussing films, history and analysis at which we will found out who is worse - man or beast.

Deborah Hyde blogs on ‘Superstition, Religion and Being Human’ as ‘Jourdemayne’, which is the name of a lady whose knowledge of dark matters gained her friendship of the powerful, but she was burned at the stake in 1441. Deborah is editor of 'The Skeptic' magazine and was our speaker last year on 'Demons and Nightmares', the folklore of the macabre.

£2.50 per head, no booking required. 

Citizen Science for Skeptics

Alice Sheppard

When?
Wednesday, February 27 2013 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

270 Mare Street
Hackney
E8 1HE

Who?
Alice Sheppard

What's the talk about?

Astronomy has been the subject of wonder and speculation for as long as historical records exist. As with all science, people got some things right – and, even with the best methods available, other things wrong.

Since 2007, Alice Sheppard has run the Galaxy Zoo Forum, the discussion area for an online astronomy project with 300,000 members worldwide. Galaxy Zoo has so far produced 21 papers, whose authors and acknowledged contributors include several ordinary citizens. Some of its findings were a direct result of questions or collections of objects created by the users, who became “Citizen scientists”.

Alice takes us through some of the best and worst of astronomical history, and what ancient and modern mistakes are made today. We will hear the questions people have come to Galaxy Zoo with, the ways in which biases were found and dealt with by the scientists and participants, the beautiful and inspiring projects created by untrained people and the scientific thinking they learnt for themselves to apply.

We also take a look at citizen science in general, how Galaxy Zoo taught large numbers of people to understand and use science, and explore what this might mean for skepticism.

Alice co-founded Cardiff and Hackney Skeptics in the Pub and Galactic Orchids, a fundraising astronomy talk series. In her past life she was thrown out of a teaching career for being too interested in science and not interested enough in exams. She’s currently in London doing an MSc in Astrophysics – all Galaxy Zoo’s fault, obviously.

In the meantime, you can classify a few galaxies for yourself at www.galaxyzoo.org.

Alan Henness

When?
Wednesday, January 30 2013 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

270 Mare Street
Hackney
E8 1HE

Who?
Alan Henness

What's the talk about?

Stories like Rhys Morgan's (our June 2012 talk) occurred because of marketing claims made - often without evidence - for products on the Interet. It's been a short two years since the Advertising Standards Authority started to regulate such claims.

In that time, the Nightingale Collaboration has given the Advertising Standards Authority possibly their most serious challenge yet: curbing the misleading claims made on CAM websites. Many practitioners have realised their responsibilities and taken down long lists of 'what homeopathy can help with...', etc.

But much more needs to be done and we can't rely on the Advertising Standards Authority  to do everything, so we've been using other regulators as well, particularly the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

Find out more about who the Nighingale Collaboration is, what we've been up to and what our future plans are.

Please note this is Wednesday, not Monday. Yes - we have finally moved to Wednesdays! We'll always be the last Wednesday of the month, except in December.

You can follow Alan on Twitter as @zeno001 and the Nightingale Collaboration as @NightingaleC.

No booking required. £2.50 a ticket - get these downstairs. See you there!

 

When?
Monday, December 17 2012 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

270 Mare Street
Hackney
E8 1HE

Who?
Tom Kerss

What's the talk about?

Update: Sorry - this talk is cancelled. Our speaker this evening will be Simon Clare from Horsham SITP. Tom will try and come along another time!

 Is the world going to end four days after the talk? Probably not, as you know. But did the Mayans really predict an end to the world this December, and what is the actual astronomy behind the "Mayan calendar" business?

Tom Kerss is an astronomy communicator who runs a lot of public projects, and makes the night sky accessible in London! You can find him at Baker Street Astronomers in Regent's Park once a month, and as @tomkerss on Twitter.

When?
Monday, December 17 2012 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

270 Mare Street
Hackney
E8 1HE

Who?
Simon Clare

What's the talk about?

 The Alpha Course runs in 162 countries and has been attended, according to their website, by 20 MILLION people. Over a 9 week period, students are guided through Christian theology ostensibly to “Explore the meaning of Life”.

The new Archbishop Of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was closely involved in the Alpha Course and his election shows that the Alpha model of spreading the word is now at the heart of contemporary Christianity.

Simon Clare, a full-on atheist and organiser of Horsham Skeptics in the Pub, signed up to his local Alpha Course in Brighton, wondering if he would end up converted. Spoiler: He wasn’t converted but he was surprised at what he learnt about human faith.

Simon will give an overview of the course from biblical history all the way through to singing in tongues.

Many thanks Simon, who can be found as FaithlessEye on Twitter, for standing in at the last minute when our speaker couldn't make it!

No booking required. £2.50 each - hope to see you there.

When?
Monday, November 26 2012 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

270 Mare Street
Hackney
E8 1HE

Who?
James Robson

What's the talk about?

The oceans and their inhabitants have always served as a rich source of inspiration for story tellers -from fisherman returning from far-off seas reporting encounters with mermaids and mighty squid, to mythology with its gods and beasts awakening from the depths to torment the protagonists.

In modern times too people are fascinated with the seas and rivers and creatures found within, but a different kind of myth started to form around them. Driven by sensationalist media and exaggerations in film, some animals have gained almost magical powers and other terrible, evil intent.

This talk aims to address some of the most common misconceptions about our damp denizens and show that real life is often much more interesting than fiction,

James Robson is one of our convenors,  and also runs PubSci - Science in the Pub - in Brixton. He's a marine biologist a researcher and works at the Horniman Museum. You can find him on Twitter at @AnswersinGenius.

This is going to be our first birthday, so if possible, please bring cake. But most importantly, please bring yourself and have a great time!

No booking required. Tickets £2.50 on the door.

Alom Shaha

When?
Monday, October 29 2012 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

270 Mare Street
Hackney
E8 1HE

Who?
Alom Shaha

What's the talk about?

 How can children brought up in religious families reconcile the different 'truths' they are told about the world? And to what extent should we discuss these issues in schools: what exactly should science teachers say when asked about the 'truth' of science by religious students?

In this talk, Alom Shaha will describe his personal experiences growing up in a Bangladeshi Muslim community in London, what role his science education played in his journey towards atheism and how, as a Physics teacher, he responds to the apparent conflict between science and religion in the classroom.

Alom Shaha is a physics teacher, writer and science communicator. He is the author of The Young Atheist's Handbook.

http://alomshaha.com

Please note we're still planning to move over to Wednesdays to avoid clashing with the other two London Skeptics as soon as we can.

Clio Bellenis

When?
Monday, September 24 2012 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

270 Mare Street
Hackney
E8 1HE

Who?
Clio Bellenis

What's the talk about?

After philosophy was dismissed by physicist Brian Cox, Dr. Clio Bellenis decided that she had to speak out in favour of this oft-misunderstood subject. Addressing philosophical concepts such as personal identity and free will, Dr. Bellenis will talk some modern philosophical thought and  the transferable arguments between the two disciplines. She hopes to establish that philosophy can be of huge worth to scientists, skeptics and in developing critical thinking. 

Dr Clio Bellenis is a Child Adolescent Psychiatrist and a Clinical Director with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. She has an MA in Philosophy and is an atheist, a skeptic and a feminist.

£2.50 on the door. 

This event has been changed back to the Monday to avoid a double-booking. Sorry for any confusion!

Trailing homeopaths in East Africa

Martin Robbins

When?
Monday, August 27 2012 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

270 Mare Street
Hackney
E8 1HE

Who?
Martin Robbins

What's the talk about?

 Martin Robbins of the Guardian's Lay Science talks about dangerous pseudo-medical practices outside the Western world, from homeopaths in East Africa to flat earthers and anti-vaccine campaigns in Nigeria .

As part of the talk, Martin will be showing video clips from a trip to visit homeopathic projects in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania last year, shot for a film he's making with Michael Story, with support from the Wellcome Trust.

(This should be a pretty interesting follow-up to Rhys's talk in June, where we heard a little about dangerous substances such as "miracle mineral solution" being marketed as miracle cures in developing countries. Obviously, you don't need to have heard it, so if you're new please come along!)

Martin Robbins is a writer and talker covering science, pseudoscience and evidence-based politics at The Guardian, New Statesman, Strange Quarks, and anywhere else that'll have him. You can find him at Lay Science or on Twitter as @mjrobbins.

No booking required. £2.50 at the Hackney Picturehouse.

Peter Harrison

When?
Monday, July 30 2012 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

270 Mare Street
Hackney
E8 1HE

Who?
Peter Harrison

What's the talk about?

An oneironaut, or lucid dreamer, is someone who can deliberately remain consciously awake during a dream and is completely aware of the situation. With the release of Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Inception, lucid dreaming has once again been thrown into the public eye. The topic is surrounded by myths, misunderstandings, and controversy. Most communities focusing on lucid dreaming consist of individuals interested in unlocking their psychic potential, or meeting their spirit guides. For this reason, many people associate lucid dreaming with the supernatural. What many people (skeptics included) do not realise is that the existence of lucid dreaming has been well established by scientists all over the world and is actively studied in many universities and scientific establishments. This is a fascinating scientific topic, unfortunately often lumped together with irrational supernatural beliefs.

Peter Harrison is a science graduate, a magic/mentalism consultant, and a highly successful lucid dreamer. But unlike so many of his fellow oneironaughts, he’s an active skeptic and interested in the science behind the phenomenon. This talk covers the reality of lucid dreaming, the scientific evidence and experiments in this interesting field, and the abundant myths and misunderstandings.

Peter Harrison runs St Andrew's Skeptics. Besides lucid dreaming, he also does stand-up and @reptilefacts, and loves pineapple. We managed to catch him while he's in London for the summer!

You can look him up at Endless Forms, Reality Is My Religion, and on Twitter.

Please fill in the form below to send us a message