Have a gander at our past events...

<< Following year  Previous year >>

Suzi Gage

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

Download iCalendar file
(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?
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

Download iCalendar file
(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?
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

Download iCalendar file
(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?
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

Download iCalendar file
(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?
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

Download iCalendar file
(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?
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

Download iCalendar file
(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?
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

Download iCalendar file
(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?
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

Download iCalendar file
(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?
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

Download iCalendar file
(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?
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

Download iCalendar file
(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?
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.

Dr. Michael Sutton

When?
Monday, May 25 2015 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(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?
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.

Godwin's Law, Holocaust Denial & Historical Evidence

Vicky Stiles

When?
Monday, April 27 2015 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(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?
Vicky Stiles

What's the talk about?

The Third Reich was a large, complex, modern state with a thriving mass media, diverse population, and fruitful trade and cultural links with the rest of the world. The ideology behind National Socialism drew upon well-established strands of nationalist and racialist thinking as well as centuries-old anti-Semitism, and the Nazi Party and its government used cutting-edge technology and techniques to give these ideas the broadest possible audience and appeal.

All too often, this baffling web of networks, policies and overlapping interest groups, which changed constantly over the twelve years the Third Reich lasted, gets reduced to the ideas and actions of just one man. From the top of the ivory tower, to the very bottom of the bottom half of the internet, this talk will explore what Adolf Hitler means to all of us, and how our obsession with him is sucking the meaning out one of our most potent historical symbols: the Holocaust.

Victoria Stiles recently completed a PhD in History at the University of Nottingham and is a co-organiser of the Greater Manchester Skeptics Society. Her research encompasses stereotype formation, the manipulation of evidence and attitudes towards imperialism in Nazi Germany, as well as Anglo-German relations. She occasionally blogs about her sources and what it means to "do" history at tattyjackets.blogspot.com.