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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.

John Cossham

When?
Monday, October 23 2017 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 FRSA is a campaigner, sustainability activist and entertainer who co-founded Frack-Free York in 2011.

He won the Oxfam Carbon Footprint competition in 2008 with the lowest in the UK, and is passionate about compost, polyamory, bicycles and Near Term Human Extinction.

His talk covers unconventional gas extraction and climate change, and promises to be both interesting and entertaining.

Alice Howarth

When?
Monday, September 25 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Alice Howarth

What's the talk about?

One in two of us will suffer with cancer in our lifetime and almost all of us have some experience of the disease. But do we really know what cancer is and how we can work towards a cure? Is a cure even possible? And how can we arm ourselves with the right information to help us prevent and treat cancer?

Alice is a researcher who has worked in the Institute of Translational Medicine at the University of Liverpool with both non-profit and for-profit organisations. In this talk she will discuss what cancer is, how it works and just how we are working towards understanding and curing the disease. She will talk about the complexities of research and some of the big success stories that relate directly to some of the many types of cancer. Only when we understand the difficulties we face can we discern between bogus cancer treatment claims and genuine scientific advancement in this field.

How food advertising impacts children’s eating behaviour.

Laura von Nordheim

When?
Monday, August 28 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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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’.

Timandra Harkness

When?
Monday, July 24 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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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.

Aaron Thierry

When?
Monday, June 26 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Aaron Thierry

What's the talk about?

Despite a consilience of evidence and an overwhelming consensus among the scientific community, the science of human caused climate change is still widely misunderstood and misrepresented. Recent events in the US illustrate just how widespread and influential climate denial has become; with potentially catastrophic implications for all of us.

With climate misinformation still prevalent in the British media, what can we do to better promote scientific understanding of this crucial issue? In the spirit of mounting a defense of evidence based policy this talk aims to highlight some of the key misconceptions about the science and explain why they are wrong.


Dr. Aaron Thierry received his PhD in Ecology from the University of Sheffield. He subsequently researched the impacts of global warming on the carbon cycle in Arctic ecosystems. His studies have led him to be very concerned about the potential impacts of disruptions to our climate and he now spends much of his time lobbying for political action to reduce carbon emissions. A passionate defender for science and rational thinking Aaron was one of Sheffield's contingent who took part in the March for Science in London this April.

Mark Sutton

When?
Monday, May 22 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Mark Sutton

What's the talk about?

In this talk, Mark Sutton informs why a monarchy is corrosive within any democracy and how the British people deserve a better system for all.

Mark Sutton has been The Co-ordinator for Republic in Yorkshire for most of their 5 years of existence.


In that time they have visited virtually every sizeable city and town in the county engaging with the general public. They can often also be found at political events up and down the region, and have regularly appeared in the press and on radio several times plus twice on TV as well as a three page article in a national newspaper only last year.

Although Mar live in Newark on Trent through marriage he considers himself a proud Yorkshireman and son of Wakefield, where he can be found regularly as a lifelong supporter of the Mighty Wakefield Trinity. He is also an obsessive music fan with something of a photographic memory for a tune.

Michael Heap

When?
Monday, April 24 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Michael Heap

What's the talk about?

Certain paranormal claims and practices may be explained by suggestion and suggestibility. This presentation examines a number of these that are associated with a particular kind of suggestibility known as the ideomotor effect.

They include dowsing, various forms of communication with 'the spirit world', and some unusual therapeutic practices.  These will be illustrated with several brief video presentations. There will be a demonstration of dowsing and at the end of the evening all those attending should be able to dowse.

Michael is a clinical & forensic psychologist and is the Chairman and co-founder of the Association for Skeptical Enquiry (ASKE)

Rajin Chowdhury

When?
Monday, March 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?
Rajin Chowdhury

What's the talk about?

Why do doctors sometimes render their patients unconscious? What is a "medically-induced coma"? Do anaesthetists really do crosswords once patients are asleep? How do you know when to stop CPR? And how do you determine somebody is dead? And why does anaesthetics have anything to do with intensive care?

If you've ever wondered about any of these things, this talk is for you. Raj hopes to remove some of the mystery around anaesthetics and intensive care, two of the least well-understood but most exciting specialities in modern clinical practice.

Dr Rajin Chowdhury is an anaesthetic and intensive care registrar working in Sheffield and South Yorkshire. He qualified from the University of Sheffield in 2010 where he is an Honorary Clinical Teacher. He began specialty training in anaesthetics in 2013 and is now dual training in both anaesthetics and intensive care to become a consultant in 2022-3.

He works regularly with unconscious patients. This includes elective and emergency anaesthesia in the operating theatre and management of the "medically-induced coma" on the intensive care unit.

 

Myles Power

When?
Monday, February 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?
Myles Power

What's the talk about?

For decades now, we have been told by organisations like Greenpeace, GM-Freeze, and Friends of the Earth that genetical modified (GM) food is dangerous and has been shown to be harmful to humans.They have done a great job at convincing the population of their dangers by quoting scientific literature that claims GM-food has been shown, among other things, to cause cancer, leukaemia, and stomach inflammation; but is there really any truth to this? What do the papers these organisations are promoting really say, and do they have any flaws? Or, in actual fact, are GMOs going to kill us all?

In his talk, Myles is going to critique several highly referenced anti-GM papers, looking past their veneer of good science, and discovering what they really say about GMOs and the people who promote them. Myles Power and runs the educational YouTube channel powerm1985. He is a chemist who is currently working in industry, but what little free time he has is spent sharing his love of SCIENCE! through home experiments, visiting sites of scientific interest and angry rants at pseudoscience opponents. Myles has many years of experience working in a research lab, which has given him the skills he needs to research and debunk various psuedoscience theories. Some of the theories he has discussed on his YouTube channel include AIDS denialists, 911 truthers, the anti-vaccination movement and homeopathy to name a few. Myles is also one of the founding members of the podcast The League of Nerds which he co-hosts with James from The History of Infection.

Graham Smith

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

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Graham Smith

What's the talk about?

Most of us rely on reading the news or other information in newspapers or online. How do we know if this information is being represented correctly? How can we assess the validity of any claim? Graham will use examples from various sources to ask if the information is misrepresented. This talk will be interactive and engage you critical thinking.

Dr Graham Smith has spent over 20 years working in scientific research for the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs collecting, analysing and interpreting data on wildlife problems. He has a keen interest in critical thinking and has given talks around the country on different aspects the subject. He is a regular attendee at York Skeptics and has helped with organisation since their first meeting.

Kevin Precious

When?
Monday, December 12 2016 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?
Kevin Precious

What's the talk about?

NOTE: This event is not on our usual Monday and is 2 weeks earlier on the 12th December.

Kevin Precious is a former RE teacher turned stand-up comedian and promoter. Besides having played many of the top clubs in the land, he also promotes shows in arts centres and theatres under the Barnstormers Comedy banner. He has previously toured the country with a stand-up show entitled 'Not Appropriate', dedicated to the business of teaching.

In between the various comedic activites, he attends his local humanist group - he's an agnostic, folks - where he loves a good old debate about the big questions in life. Expect jokes and stories then, about his time as an RE teacher, being a humanist, the God-Shaped Hole, and the philosophy of religion... and you can ask him a few questions of your own afterwards, if you wish.