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.

Timandra Harkness

When?
Monday, July 24 2017 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?
Timandra Harkness

What's the talk about?

Big Data knows where you’ve been and who your friends are. It knows what you like and what makes you angry. It can predict what you’ll buy, where you’ll be the victim of crime and when you’ll have a heart attack. Big Data knows you better than you know yourself, or so it claims.

But how well do you know big data?

From science to smart cities, business to politics, self-quantification to the Internet of Things, people are talking about big data as a force for change Privacy, democracy, even our ideas of who we are, could be transformed. You don’t need to be a Silicon Valley tech prodigy to understand what’s going on.

Timandra Harkness writes comedy, not computer code. The only programs she makes are on the radio. If she can understand what’s going on, so can you. Some of the ideas underlying Big Data are based on the kind of mathematics anybody can grasp: different measures that are correlated in predictable patterns; the relationship between the average of a population and what that tells you about an individual; how we study networks and connections to learn something new about the big picture. Others, though harder to grasp in theory, are familiar in practice: apps on our  phones that locate us on a map, or count our steps; internet search engines that predict what we’d like to buy; websites that translate other languages into  English.

But big data isn’t just neat mathematics or clever technology. It has implications for all of us.

Timandra asks the big questions about where it’s taking us: is it too big for its boots, or does it think too small? Are you a data point or a human being? She aims to leave you armed and ready to decide what you think about one of the decade’s big ideas: big data.

How food advertising impacts children’s eating behaviour.

Laura von Nordheim

When?
Monday, August 28 2017 at 12:00AM

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(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?
Laura von Nordheim

What's the talk about?

It is essential to celebrate health and beauty at every size, shape and weight. Obesity, however, is a serious health condition that affects more than 42 million children worldwide. Rather than driven by personal choice, weight gain is closely linked to our environment. Media clearly affects our food choices, eating behaviours and exercise habits - and can be used for better or worse.

Find out how food advertising impacts our eating behaviour - and how we can use this powerful influence to improve children’s diets! 

Laura has always had a passion for health and wellbeing - the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and of our planet as a whole. Nutrition quickly became the focus of her career path and she worked as a health interventionist, cooking instructor and chef for a wide range of community and governemental projects. Working in clinics for children and adults affected by eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating and obesity gave Laura valuable insight into eating behaviour while completing her BSc Psychology and MSc Health Psychology in London. As a postgraduate researcher at University of Sheffield, Laura investigates ‘Media influence and Childhood Obesity’.

Sam Hogarth

When?
Monday, October 23 2017 at 7:30PM

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(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?
Sam Hogarth

What's the talk about?

Social media is struggling with an epidemic. Fake news spreads like a virus, with its ludicrous claims and compelling headlines. Some claim it cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency. Some say it has encouraged Britain to drastically alter it's political future. Others think it's just a bunch of opportunists running get rich quick schemes.

In a "post-truth" world, where we've had enough of experts and can prove anything with facts; what challenges must we address in order to combat fake news? As a Skeptic community, how does this affect us?

Sam is a software developer, Labour Party campaigner and co-organiser of Newcastle Skeptics in the Pub. As the proverbial intersection on the techno-politi-skeptical Venn diagram, he can provide an interesting confluence of perspectives and guide us through the murky maze of fake news. Alas, the answers to this problem are ours to decide. We're a group, let's work it out together.

Martin Graff

When?
Monday, November 27 2017 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?
Martin Graff

What's the talk about?

There is much evidence that being in a good relationship can be beneficial to our health, happiness and general well-being. However, should we resort to online dating in the pursuit of a happy relationship? Psychological research would seem to suggest that online dating may not be the easy answer.

This talk focuses on the reasons why we should be cautious in our online dating pursuits. For example, people make bad decisions in online dating. Furthermore, those we contact are often not what they appear to be. Additionally, there is no evidence that the algorithms employed by dating sites and which purport to match us with a desirable partner actually work in reality. Finally, this talk will conclude with some information on how to maximize our chances in an online dating environment.

Dr Martin Graff is Reader in Psychology at the University of South Wales, UK, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Chartered Psychologist. He has researched cognitive processes in web-based learning, the formation and dissolution of romantic relationships online and offline, online persuasion and disinhibition. He has written over 50  scientific  articles,  published  widely  in  the  field  of  Internet  behaviour,  and presented his work at numerous International Conferences. He writes for Psychology Today magazine and regularly speaks at events in the UK and Internationally.

Karen Douglas

When?
Monday, December 18 2017 at 7:30PM

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(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?
Karen Douglas

What's the talk about?

NOTE: This event is on the 3rd Monday in December because there's apparently something happening on the 25th...

Was 9/11 an inside job? Is climate change a hoax? Was Princess Diana murdered? Millions of people appear to think so, disbelieving official explanations for significant events in favour of alternative accounts that are often called ‘conspiracy theories’. In recent years, psychologists have begun to investigate what makes conspiracy theories appealing to so many people. In this talk, Prof. Karen Douglas will broadly overview what psychologists have found out so far, and will discuss some of her own findings on the causes and consequences of belief in conspiracy theories.

Karen Douglas is a Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Kent. In addition to conducting work on the psychology of conspiracy theories, she is involved in projects examining sexism in language, the influence of sexist ideology on attitudes toward pregnant women, and the psychology of internet behaviour.