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.

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. We also have a Meetup page here.

Any help you can give us in spreading the word is greatly appreciated.

Simon Singh

When?
Monday, November 24 2014 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?
Simon Singh

What's the talk about?

Simon Singh, best-selling author of ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’ and ‘The Code Book’, will discuss his book ‘The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets’.

Everyone knows that The Simpsons is probably the most successful show in television history. Simon will explain how a team of mathematically gifted writers have covered everything from calculus to geometry, from pi to game theory, and from infinitesimals to infinity in various episodes of The Simpsons.

Simon will also discuss how the writers of Futurama have similarly made it their mission to smuggle deep mathematical ideas into the series.

Tony Prescott

When?
Monday, December 15 2014 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?
Tony Prescott

What's the talk about?

Transhumanism, sometimes abbreviated as H+, is a global movement than promotes the use of technology to transform the human condition by greatly enhancing our physical and psychological capabilities. One outcome could be effective immortality, for instance, by uploading our brains into computers.

Singularitarianism, or S^, is a related movement defined by the idea that a technological singularity—the invention of an artificial superintelligence—could bring to an end of ten thousand years of human dominance on planet Earth.

This talk will consider some of the technological and psychological evidence that we are moving towards either a H+ or S^ future, and ask whether its time to get worried.

Tony is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, at the University of Sheffield, and the Director of the Sheffield Centre for Robotics, a cross-institutional robotics facility with over eighty active researchers. His research focuses on the development of biomimetic robots that include control systems modelled on the mammalian brain. Other ongoing projects include an attempt to create a robot with a human-like memory, the use of social psychology to understand human-robot interaction, and a cultural, ethical and psychological investigation into the experience of immersive virtual reality and telepresence. His life goal is to better understand himself through the intertwined strands of psychology, robotics, music and hedonism.

Stephen Farrall

When?
Monday, January 26 2015 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?
Stephen Farrall

What's the talk about?

In what ways do changes in economic and social policies result in changes in patterns of crime, victimisation and anxieties about crime? How do shifts in social values affect national-level experiences and beliefs about crime and appropriate responses to it (such as support for punitive punishments like the death penalty)? What have been the long-term consequences of almost two decades (1979-1997) of neo-conservative and neo-liberal social and economic policies for the UK’s criminal justice system and the general experience of crime amongst its citizens? Similarly, how do changes in the crime rates affect the sorts of social and economic policies pursued?

What lessons does the recent past offer us today, when policy announcements about further cuts to public expenditure are commonplace and economic growth uncertain and faltering? Using the Thatcher and Major governments (1979- 1997) as our case study, our aim during this Economic and Social Research Council-funded project is to explore the experiences of crime, victimisation and fear of crime at the national and regional levels, and for key socio-demographic groups, since the 1970s (and where possible earlier than this).

Recent publications have outlined our thinking with regards to the ways in which ‘Thatcherite’ social and economic policies in one policy domain (e.g. housing) created ‘spill-over’ effects in other policy domains (such as crime).

Stephen Farrall is Professor of Criminology in the School of Law, Sheffield University. He is currently exploring the long term impacts of Thatcherite social and economic policies on crime in England and Wales (funded by the ESRC) and has also researched why people stop offending and the fear of crime.

http://www.shef.ac.uk/law/research/projects/crimetrajectories

https://twitter.com/Thatcher_legacy

Dr. Michael Sutton

When?
Monday, May 25 2015 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?
Dr. Michael Sutton

What's the talk about?

Patrick Matthew is generally acknowledged as the originator of the theory of natural selection. He published his discovery of  ‘the natural process of selection’ in a book entitled  ‘On Naval and Timber and Arboriculture’ in 1831, which is 27 years before Charles Darwin’s and Alfred Wallace’s papers were read before the Linnean Society in 1858.

The current consensus is that Darwin and Wallace each discovered natural selection independently of Matthew and independently of one another. Moreover, Darwin is hailed as the immortal great thinker on the subject of evolution, because he alone is recognised as first to take his own discovery of the theory of natural selection forward, with many confirmatory evidences, convincing others of its veracity and importance.

In this talk, Mike Sutton will challenge this orthodox view with brand new and independently verifiable evidence, that he uniquely discovered with newly available ‘big data’ research methods, to prove that, pre-1858, Matthew’s 1831 book was read by at least 24 people because they actually cited it in the published literature. Importantly, Mike reveals that at least seven who cited Matthew’s book were naturalists. Most importantly of all, he focuses upon the fact that three of only seven naturalists now known to have cited Matthew’s book were at the very epicentre of influence on Darwin’s and Wallace’s researches. Moreover, two of those three were personal associates and correspondents of Darwin and Wallace. He will show why he believes that Matthew, not Darwin, should now be celebrated as the only independent solver of the problem of species.

Finally, for our sceptical consideration and debate Mike will ask us to think sceptically about whether or not it is a mere tri-coincidence, improbable beyond rational belief, that three out of only seven naturalists known to have cited Matthew’s prior-published book before 1858, containing the full hypothesis of natural selection, played such pivotal roles at the very epicentre of influence and facilitation of Darwin’s and Wallace’s published work on natural selection.’ In other words, is it now more likely than not that Matthew is the sole independent discoverer of the full and complete process of natural selection?

Dr Michael "Mike", Sutton is author of ‘Nullius in Verba: Darwin’s greatest secret’.

Dr Michael "Mike" Sutton is Reader in Criminology at Nottingham Trent University (UK), where he teaches Hi Tech Crime and also Crime Reduction and Community Safety. Before that he worked for 14 years as a senior researcher in the Policing and reducing Crime Unit in the Home Office in London. Mike is the originator of the Market Reduction Approach (MRA) to theft and co-founder and Chief Editor of the open access Internet Journal of Criminology. He is a winner of the British Journal of Criminology Prize for virtual ethnographic research into a pan-European hacking group.