Welcome to Skeptics in the Pub, Sheffield. Skeptics in the Pub is about getting people together to have a relaxed and enjoyable evening while listening to talks given in a friendly manner on a wide range of topics.

The talks usually start at 7.30pm (doors open at 7pm - press the buzzer to be let in) and we hold them at the Farm Road Sports & Social Club, Farm Rd, Sheffield S2 2TP. 

To find out more about us please read the About Us page. And if you're not sure what a skeptic is then cast your eyes over the What's a Skeptic page.

The events are free though we do ask for a £3 donation to cover the speakers expenses and other costs.

All upcoming events are listed below and the meetings are open to all whatever your beliefs and views so please, come along.

You can also join our Facebook group here and follow our Twitter feed.

You can also sign up to our email events list. Any help you can give us in spreading the word is greatly appreciated.

Richard Bentall

When?
Monday, June 20 2022 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

(Press the buzzer to be let in. We are in the back room of the Club.)

Who?
Richard Bentall

What's the talk about?

 Anyone who spends more than ten minutes arguing politics on Twitter faces a high risk of being accused of being 'delusional'. However, the term 'delusion' is used by mental health professionals to describe an abnormal belief that is the symptom of a mental illness. Typically these are of five kinds: paranoid, grandiose, reference (the belief of being the focus of special messages or attention), of being controlled, or religious. However, the greatest minds in psychiatry have laboured long and hard to agree on how psychotic delusions differ from other beliefs and attitudes. Part of the problem seems to be what the Victorian journalist Charles MacKay termed the 'madness of crowds' - the huge range of bizarre beliefs held by people in the general population. To MacKay's many examples, a modern catographer of beliefs would have to add numerous pseudosciences and conspiracy theories such as QAnon. And what about Richard Dawkins' claim that the belief in God is a delusion? In this talk I will discuss many suggested ways of distinguishing between pathological and nonpathological beliefs, suggest a solution of my own, and illustrate how examining pathological beliefs can inform our understanding of beliefs in general.

 Richard Bentall is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Sheffield and has previously held chairs at Liverpool University, Manchester University and Bangor University. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the British Academy. He has studied the cognitive and emotional mechanisms involved in psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, paranoid delusions and manic states, using methods ranging from psychological experiments, and experience sampling to functional magnetic resonance imaging.

 

The inside story of science's biggest controversies

Fiona Fox

When?
Monday, July 18 2022 at 7:30PM

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

Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

(Press the buzzer to be let in. We are in the back room of the Club.)

Who?
Fiona Fox

What's the talk about?

MMR, Climategate, Frankenstein foods and ‘babies with 3 parents’ … science stories have made headlines over the last few decades, often for the wrong reasons.  For years, science and media seemed to be opposing camps and many scientists actively resisted talking to the media. Would the two never meet? 

Founding director of the Science Media Centre, Britain's independent science press office, Fiona argues that  a lot has changed since then. Covid has demonstrated how scientists have indeed stepped up to the plate and the status of science journalists has risen inside newsrooms with editors recognizing the importance of getting the science right.  Fiona argues that the groundwork for these positive changes had been laid over many years and through a series of controversial stories including animal research, human animal embryos and GM crops.

In her book  Beyond the Hype, Fox shines a light on the truth behind some of the headline-grabbing stories of the last two decades.  From global emergencies like Covid-19 and Fukushima to the shaming of Tim Hunt, she reveals the highs and lows of each media controversy and shows us how more scientists engaging openly has transformed the way science is reported. But, Fiona argues, not everything has moved in the right direction.

Fiona has received many accolades for her services to science, including an OBE and honorary fellowships of the Academy of Medical Science, the Royal Society of Biology and the British Pharmacology Society, and a special award for promoting openness in animal research.  She has a blog on science and the media and writes for science publications and other media.