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Rajin Chowdhury, Michael Heap, Joanne Mutlow and Mike Parker

When?
Monday, August 19 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Rajin Chowdhury, Michael Heap, Joanne Mutlow and Mike Parker

What's the talk about?

A recent survey has revealed that the majority of people in this country now say that they do not belong to any religion. Meanwhile, Humanists UK, the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people, continues to grow in strength and now has over 85,000 members and supporters. Humanists UK ‘advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail’. ‘We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all’.

Four local humanists will each give a short presentation on what humanism means to them and how they are actively involved in the community as humanists. The audience will then be invited to ask questions and to share their beliefs and opinions about humanism.

Mhairi Bowe

When?
Monday, July 15 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Mhairi Bowe

What's the talk about?

CANCELLED: Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances we are cancelling this event.

Food poverty and foodbank use has increased rapidly in the UK during the last decade. Food insecurity is also being experienced by more and more people in times of austerity, insecure employment, low incomes, and rising living costs. Still many people suffering extreme food poverty resist foodbank use due to the stigma of receiving this sort of help and common discourses about ‘foodbank tourists’ and ‘scroungers’. In this talk, Dr Mhairi Bowe will discuss her research looking the reasons for foodbank use in Nottinghamshire, the impact of stigma on the successful delivery of food aid, and the vital support resources being delivered by community-based foodbanks.

Dr Mhairi Bowe is a Chartered Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Nottingham Trent University. Her research focuses on the impact of group-based identities and social relationships on psychological well-being and lived experiences. Mhairi’s work focuses on a variety of topics including the impact of social prescription, community engagement, and ecotherapy on mental and physical health.

Caroline Ward

When?
Monday, June 17 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Caroline Ward

What's the talk about?

CANCELLED

Unfortunately our speaker for tonight has had to cancel her talk with us. Therefore there will be no event tonight and we’ll be back in July.

 

Conservation can be magical. Literally. And this complicates things. That is why protesters in Iceland will blockade road building projects which threaten the habitat of the endemic Icelandic elf. And why in some parts of Ethiopia people will protect Hyenas because they eat evil spirits. And why Caribbean owls are endangered because people persecute them because they are witches.

Dr Caroline Ward of the University of Leeds will explore how beliefs in magic can endanger but also protect species, with important real world impacts. She'll show how this produces complex ethical and practical dilemmas for conservation, and talk about solutions.

Michael Marshall

When?
Monday, May 20 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

In 2013, when Michael Marshall first interviewed the Vice President of the Flat Earth society for his show Be Reasonable, people could scarcely believe that anyone could genuinely think the Earth was flat. Five years later, Flat Earth belief has gone mainstream, spawning thousands of hours of YouTube videos, gaining widespread international media coverage, and attracting countless followers. How did we get here?

In this talk, Marshall will talk through his experiences of the Flat Earth movement, take a look at the leaders and some of their reasoning, and report back from the weekend he spent at the UK’s first ever Flat Earth convention.

Michael Marshall is the Project Director of the Good Thinking Society and the Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. He regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast.

His work has seen him organising international homeopathy protests, going undercover to expose psychics and quack medics, and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Statesman.

Charlotte Hardman

When?
Monday, April 15 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Charlotte Hardman

What's the talk about?

Why is it so difficult to stop eating the chocolates even though we’re full? A popular idea is that certain foods like chocolate are addictive and that “food addiction” explains why so many people are overweight.

But does food really have the same effects on the mind and body as hard drugs? Or is food addiction simply a myth or an excuse for over-eating? To answer these questions, Charlotte will talk about the latest scientific research on food and addiction with a particular focus on the role of psychology. She will consider the similarities but also the key differences between eating and substance use disorders.

Dr Charlotte Hardman is a lecturer in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Liverpool. Her research examines the factors which influence appetite, eating and food preferences and she has worked in this area for more than 15 years, including designing and testing interventions to change eating behaviour. She has a PhD in Psychology and has published over 40 scientific papers in prestigious journals including Nature Reviews Endocrinology and the International Journal of Obesity.

@CharlotteHardm3

Chris French

When?
Monday, March 18 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Chris French

What's the talk about?

This talk will describe my experience of taking part in a documentary investigating reincarnation claims amongst the Druse in Lebanon. The Druse are a religious sect for whom reincarnation is a central belief. The general conceptual problems with reincarnation will be outlined as will the specific problems associated with the Druse version. Case histories that were featured in the documentary are presented and discussed.

A plausible alternative (non-paranormal) explanation for apparent past-life memories is outlined. It is argued that, regardless of the truth of such beliefs, believing in reincarnation has been beneficial for the Druse.

Professor Chris French is Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit in the Psychology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and a Patron of the British Humanist Association. He is a member of the Scientific and Professional Advisory Board of the British False Memory Society. He has published over 150 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics within psychology. His main area of research is the psychology of paranormal beliefs and anomalous experiences. He writes for the Guardian and The Skeptic magazine. His most recent books are Anomalistic Psychology, co-authored with Nicola Holt, Christine Simmonds-Moore, and David Luke (2012, Palgrave Macmillan), and Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience, co-authored with Anna Stone (2014, Palgrave Macmillan).

John Cossham

When?
Monday, February 18 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
John Cossham

What's the talk about?

John Cossham is an entertainer and environmentalist with knowledge and expertise in the areas of climate change, composting and the art of balloon modelling. However for the the past 25 years he's also been open about being non-monogamous with the knowledge of all concerned, and 13 years after 'coming out', discovered that the word 'polyamorous' matched how he'd been living.

Polyamory describes multiple romantic relationships where consent and honesty are paramount, and a growing number of people are identifying with this 'relationship orientation'. John will explain poly from his perspective, having been chief admin on the UK Polyamory facebook group for 9 years, and will argue that honest non-monogamy is more ethical than cheating, and may lead to richer, more fulfilled lives. Expect a lively discussion following the presentation.

Nasrin Nasr

When?
Monday, December 17 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Nasrin Nasr

What's the talk about?

NOTE: THIS IS ON THE 3RD MONDAY OF THE MONTH NOT THE USUAL 4TH MONDAY.

Nasrin conducts interdisciplinary research to design, develop and evaluate health technologies and health services for long-term conditions. This type of research involves working with researchers and professionals from a range of backgrounds and disciplines as well as involvement of patients and their families.

Patients are expert and active participants in their own health who have knowledge and practical skills borne out of their experiences of living with a long-term condition. Nasrin uses Narrative inquiry to create life stories. Knowledge grounded in personal life stories enriches our understanding of the impact of long-term conditions on people’s lives and subsequently informs the design of interventions and provision of health services. In this talk, Nasrin will use a few published examples to elaborate on this research methodology.

Dr Nasrin Nasr: (Research Fellow, ScHARR, University of Sheffield). Nasrin is a physiotherapist by background and has a DPhil in Health and Social Sciences. Her main research interest and experience is examining the narrative of change demonstrating how people redefine their life stories during the trajectory of a long-term condition. Overall, her research involves the development and evaluation of complex health interventions with focus on health care technologies. She has 10 years post-doctoral research experience in the area of technology design and development where she has applied a hybrid of qualitative and User-centred design methods to design, develop and evaluate home-based assistive technologies for the self-management of long-term conditions. She also applies innovative evaluation methods for complex health and social settings to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions as well as to explore how, why and in what circumstances the interventions work.

Nasrin’s other roles includes Module lead for ‘Complex Evaluation Methods’ (Masters in Clinical Research); lead for Short Courses: Real World Evaluation, and Experiential Research Approaches (ERA): (ScHARR)

Chris French

When?
Friday, December 14 2018 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Charles Street
12.0.06
Sheffield

Who?
Chris French

What's the talk about?

NOTE: This is being held in co-operation with Sheffield Hallam Student's Humanist Society and is in addition to our normal talk in December.

ALSO NOTE: The venue for this event is at the University - the Dorothy Fleming Lecture Theatre and starts at 7pm.

Professor Chris French, Goldsmiths University will give a talk on the psychology of ghosts and hauntings.

Opinion polls repeatedly show relatively high levels of belief in ghosts even in modern Western societies. Furthermore, a sizeable minority of the population claim to have personally encountered a ghost. This talk will consider a number of factors that may lead people to claim that they have experienced a ghost even though they may not in fact have done so. Topics covered will include hoaxes, sincere misinterpretation of natural phenomena, hallucinatory experiences and pareidolia (seeing things that are not there), the fallibility of eyewitness testimony, the possible role of complex electromagnetic fields and infrasound, photographic evidence, EVP, and the role of the media.

Agata Debowska

When?
Monday, November 26 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Agata Debowska

What's the talk about?

Psychopathy is one of the oldest known mental disorders. Although the concept of psychopathy is of interest to many researchers and practitioners, an agreed definition of the disorder does not exist. More specifically, as long as researchers tend to agree that psychopaths are characterised by callous affect, lack of empathy, and manipulativeness, the inclusion of criminal and antisocial behaviour as a fundamental component of the disorder is highly controversial. In this talk, Dr Agata Debowska will discuss the concept of psychopathy, introduce the newly developed Psychopathic Personality Traits Model (PPTM), and present some of her research findings on measuring and profiling psychopathic traits among forensic and non-forensic populations.

Dr Agata Debowska is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Sheffield. Her current research interests and publications focus predominantly on child abuse and neglect, gender-based violence, psychopathy, criminal social identity, and prisonization. She has published extensively and presented her research findings at international public lectures and conferences. Agata is an Associate Editor in Frontiers in Psychology (Forensic and Legal Psychology section) and a member of the None in Three (Ni3) Research Centre.

Tony Harcup

When?
Monday, October 22 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Tony Harcup

What's the talk about?

Tony Harcup will draw on his experience as a journalist and as a journalism academic to explore the good, the bad and the ugly of news reporting. At a time when the traditional journalism industries are under existential threat, yet stories whiz around us all the time, his talk will focus on the enduring value of properly researched news.

Tony currently teaches journalism studies at the University of Sheffield and is the author of the Oxford Dictionary of Journalism. Before moving into higher education he worked as a staff and freelance journalist in both alternative and mainstream media, mostly in Yorkshire. His research interests include news values, alternative journalism and ethics, and his book Journalism: Principles and Practice has been translated into several languages including Chinese, Polish and Korean.

Kate Davison

When?
Monday, September 24 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Kate Davison

What's the talk about?

What can historians learn from old jokes? They might not be the most obvious subject of academic inquiry, but in recent years the history of humour has become a vibrant field of research. If you take Aristotle’s word for it, laughter is fundamental to human experience - people have always laughed; yet, the things we think it acceptable to laugh at, and how that laughter is thought about, tolerated or suppressed, have varied considerably with time, place and culture. This has compelling possibilities for historians. The talk will use the example of eighteenth-century Britain - a period brimming with bawdy jest books and a surfeit of satirical texts and images - to consider what the laughter of the past can tell us about the sensibilities, values and interests of those who lived through it.

Kate Davison has been a lecturer in the History Department at the University of Sheffield since 2017; before that she taught at the University of Oxford, and carried out her own research and study at the universities of Cambridge, Exeter and Sheffield. Her work focuses in particular on Britain c.1650-1800 and this talk will draw on material from the book she is currently working on.