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Nick Read

When?
Monday, July 25 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?
Nick Read

What's the talk about?

The history of medicine over the last 100 years has been nothing short of miraculous. The diseases that used to kill millions, smallpox, tuberculosis, typhoid, typhus, cholera, pneumonia have all but disappeared. Doctors have effective treatments for heart failure, diabetes, renal failure, liver failure, colitis, coeliac disease, and many other long term conditions. They can prevent heart attacks, strokes, treat Parkinson’s Disease and arrest the course of many different cancers. People are living far longer; eighty is the new sixty.

We have come a long way and might be forgiven for thinking that human disease will soon become a historical curiosity, a thing of the past. Yet why is it that nearly twice as many people harbour long term illnesses now than they did 40 years ago. Obesity, food intolerance, the Irritable Bowel, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Dementia, auto-immune disease, allergy are so much more common that they used to be; some were unknown 40 years ago. Modern medicine has failed to keep up with the long march of poorly explained illnesses; the 40% of the population that are chronically sick usually have several diagnoses. So what is going on? Is it all in the mind? Is it lifestyle; greed, sloth and the obesity epidemic? Does our diet and antibiotics deplete the beneficial bacteria that make up 90% of the cells in our body? Is it all the above and more?

Medical philosophy has remained stuck in heady days of the last century – a pill for every ill - make a definitive diagnosis, apply a specific treatment and receive thanks from a grateful patient. It has become clear that this approach does not work for most ‘illness’, yet people are conditioned to expect it and doctors trained to deliver it. We urgently need to change the paradigm for long term sickness, while retaining the technological miracles for those who need them. Nick's talk will propose a way that this could happen, which might even save money.

Dr Nick Read (www.nickread.co.uk) is a retired gastroenterologist, physiologist and nutritionist and currently maintains a private practice in psychotherapy. During his academic career, he held chairs in Gastrointestinal Physiology, Human Nutrition and Integrated Medicine at The University of Sheffield, published over 500 original papers and reviews and 11 books, including ‘Sick and Tired; healing the illnesses, doctors cannot cure,’ (Phoenix, 2006), which helps people understand and manage illnesses that have no clear cause or pathology. Dr Read is now an active blogger (www.thesensitivegut.wordpress.com) and the Chair of Trustees and medical adviser for The IBS Network (www.theibsnetwork.org), the UK’s national charity for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome with a mission to facilitate patient efficacy and self-management. A dedicated advocate of self-care, Dr Read attempts to delay the ageing process by fell running, wild swimming and infinite curiosity.  His latest book, Cooking for The Sensitive Gut (Pavilion, 2016), co-authored with Joan Ransley, was published in January.

Why should we care if our friends are similar to us?

Katherine Woolf

When?
Monday, June 27 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?
Katherine Woolf

What's the talk about?

Do you find yourself making friends with people like you? Katherine Woolf draws on her often controversial research to explore why this happens, and its impact on success and injustice. Discover how you can challenge the status quo to create a fairer, more integrated, more successful society.

Dr Katherine Woolf is a Senior Lecturer and academic psychologist working at UCL Medical School finding out what makes people – especially doctors – do really well or really badly. Her work focusses on how and why ethnicity and gender influence success, and how we can use this knowledge to improve fairness and equality. She has recently been discovering how our choice of friends can make a big difference to our success.

Suzi Gage

When?
Monday, May 23 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Suzi Gage

What's the talk about?

The media love to sensationalise the dangers of illicit drug use, whilst downplaying or even ignoring the harms from legal drugs. Suzi takes us on a trip through the current scientific understanding of the harms, and also potential benefits of recreational drugs, both illegal and legal.

Dr Suzi Gage is an Epidemiologist at the University of Bristol, investigating associations between substance use and mental health. When not staring at spreadsheets full of ones and zeros she writes the Sifting the Evidence blog on the Guardian website, and has a small obsession with synthesizers.

Kat Arney

When?
Monday, April 25 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Kat Arney

What's the talk about?

The language of genes has become common in the media. We know they make your eyes blue, your hair curly or your nose straight. We’re told that genes control the risk of cancer, heart disease, alcoholism or Alzheimer’s. The cost of DNA sequencing has plummeted from billions of pounds to a few hundred, and gene-based advances in medicine hold huge promise.

There are 2.2 metres of DNA inside every one of your cells, encoding roughly 20,000 genes. These are the ‘recipes’ that tell our cells how to make the building blocks of life, along with all the control switches ensuring they’re turned on and off at the right time and in the right place. But rather than a static string of genetic code, this is a dynamic, writhing biological library. With the help of cats with thumbs, fish with hips and wobbly worms, Kat will unpack some of the mysteries in our DNA and explain the latest thinking about how our genes work.

Dr Kat Arney is a science writer and broadcaster whose work has featured on BBC Radio 4, the Naked Scientists and more. She has just published her first book, Herding Hemingway’s Cats, about how our genes work.

Selina Wray

When?
Monday, March 28 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Selina Wray

What's the talk about?

Over 800,000 people in the UK live with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) or other forms of dementia, and this number is set to rise as we face an aging population. Currently, there are no disease modifying treatments for AD, and the care costs of looking after people with dementia represent a huge socioeconomic burden for the UK economy, as well as being devastating for the individuals and their families who live with the condition.

Finding novel therapies to slow down the onset and progression of dementia is a national research priority, as outlined in the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge. In this talk Selina Wray will discuss what we know about the causes of dementia, why clinical trials so far have failed and looking forward, how new methods of research can help us to better diagnose dementia, understand the molecular basis of the disease and ultimately develop the treatments we so desperately need.

Dr Selina Wray is a senior research associate in the NIHR Biomedical Research Unit for Dementia Research at UCL Institute of Neurology. Her work focuses on understanding the molecular basis of Alzheimer’s Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia, with a particular focus on the use of stem cells to create disease models that can be used in the laboratory to understand disease mechanisms and develop novel therapies. She recently received £900,000 in funding from NC3R to support her research and was also named Red Magazine’s Woman of the Year in the Pioneer category in 2014.

Michael Marshall

When?
Monday, February 29 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?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

Homeopathy is one of the most widely debunked form of alternative medicine – yet homeopathic remedies adorn the shelves of respected pharmacies and are funded by taxpayers on the NHS. How big of a problem is this? Using information and personal experiences gathered during his last 6 years of campaigning against homeopathy, Michael Marshall will highlight how much money is spent on homeopathic remedies, how this gives undeserved credibility to homeopathy, how such remedies can lead to genuine harm and what you can do to help.

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 and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Statesman.

Why children are great pretenders, poor problem solvers, and sometimes less clever than crows

Sarah Beck

When?
Monday, January 25 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?
Sarah Beck

What's the talk about?

Young children are excellent imaginers, coming up with all kinds of creative and weird worlds. But what is the imagination really for? Adults use their imaginations to solve problems, but children sometimes struggle with this. In this talk, Sarah will explore how children start to use their imaginations for creative problem solving: using examples of children’s thinking about ‘how things might have been different’ and comparing children’s tool-making to that of clever non-human animals.

Sarah Beck is Reader in Cognitive Development at the University of Birmingham. She researches children's thinking about possibility and time and questions whether adults' thinking in these areas is as sophisticated as we might like to think. She teaches an undergraduate course that compares the cognitive abilities of human children with non-human animals.

Michael Heap

When?
Monday, November 23 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?
Michael Heap

What's the talk about?

The term ‘hypnosis’ is used to describe a definable range of psychological phenomena that can be experimentally tested in the laboratory with all the rigour, reliability and replicability that characterises the investigation of mainstream psychology. As a result, in recent years a series of highly sophisticated neurocognitive theories of hypnosis have been developed and tested and no person investigating hypnosis now seriously doubts that it is ‘a genuine phenomenon’. Yet there remains something seriously wrong with hypnosis, something that people in the field have always been very reluctant to confront. What the problem is will be revealed and discussed in this talk.

Michael Heap is a clinical forensic psychologist in Sheffield. He has previously held part-time lectureships in psychology and clinical hypnosis at the University of Sheffield. He has written and edited several books on hypnosis. He is chairman and a co-founder of the Association for Skeptical Enquiry.

Iszi Lawrence

When?
Monday, October 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?
Iszi Lawrence

What's the talk about?

Skeptic, comedian and voice of the Skeptics Guide To The Universe, Iszi Lawrence is out to delight and inform with her new show The Z List Dead List. The Z List Dead List is a live comedy show about obscure people from History. As a skeptic, Iszi has found a few people from the past that will pique your interest.

Expect woo, violence, sex and death. And a competition.

The show is also a podcast with guest interviews from Jon Ronson, Griff Rhys Jones, Natalie Haynes, Neil Denny, Richard Herring etc. You can find it on iTunes or from www.zlistdeadlist.com

Evidence that Reason Can Change Minds

Tom Stafford

When?
Monday, September 28 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?
Tom Stafford

What's the talk about?

Are we irrational creatures, swayed by emotion and entrenched biases? Modern psychology and neuroscience are often reported as showing that we can't overcome our prejudices and selfish motivations.

Challenging this view, cognitive scientist Tom Stafford looks at the actual evidence. Re-analysing classic experiments on persuasion, as well as summarising more recent research into how arguments change minds, he shows why persuasion by reason alone can be a powerful force.

 

Read more here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B010O1Z018

Richard Burdett

When?
Monday, July 27 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?
Richard Burdett

What's the talk about?

Richard Burdett looks at advertising from both the consumer’s and the advertiser’s perspective. Can consumers trust what they’re seeing, reading, hearing and clicking on? And, in an increasingly fragmented and fractured media environment, can advertisers trust the data on which they’re making multi-million pound investment decisions?

Richard began his career at Saatchi & Saatchi, spending eleven years working with clients such as BA, BP, Cadbury Schweppes and Sainsbury’s. He then moved from advertising to the fledgling world of multi-channel television, initially as Head of Ad Sales for The Discovery Channel and subsequently as Head of Marketing for UKTV. Next stop was Vice Chairman of CIA (now MEC) one of the world’s largest media buying agencies. In 2003 he became Head of 4Creative, Channel 4’s in-house ad agency, working on shows such as Lost, Desperate Housewives, Shameless and Jamie’s School Dinners as well as the launches of More4 and Film4.

He is currently MD of Horse & Country TV, a thematic channel which does exactly what it says on the tin. The channel has brought over fifty new advertisers on to TV and was one of five nominees for Best Factual Channel in this year’s Broadcast awards, up against BBC3, BBC4, Discovery and History.

Suw Charman-Anderson

When?
Monday, June 15 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

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Who?
Suw Charman-Anderson

What's the talk about?

NOTE: THIS EVENT IS ON THE 15TH JUNE, ONE WEEK EARLIER THAN OUR USUAL SLOT.

In 2009, Suw Charman-Anderson founded of Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. With grassroots events held around the world and thousands of people writing and talking about the women who have inspired them, the day seeks to raise women's profiles and highlight unsung heroines.

Suw will talk about why there's a need for such a day, and also about Ada Lovelace herself. Lauded as the first ever computer programmer, Ada was a gifted mathematician, yet today she faces challenges from many voices as to the veracity of her contributions to computer science. So who was Ada? And what do we know about her work on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine?

Suw is a social technologist and, as one of the UK's social media pioneers, has worked with clients worldwide. A freelance journalist, she has written about social media and technology for The Guardian, CIO Magazine and others.

Learn more about Ada Lovelace Day, 13 October 2015, at www.findingada.com or follow the team on Twitter at @findingada. Suw's blog is at www.chocolateandvodka.com and you can follow her on Twitter as @suw.