Bristol Skeptics in the Pub is a monthly meeting and talk hosted by the Bristol Skeptics Society for those interested in science, history, psychology, philosophy, investigative journalism, and how to examine extraordinary claims of all types.
Bristol Skeptics in the Pub meet every fourth Wednesday of the month at Smoke and Mirrors. Admission is free with a collection during the interval (suggested donation £3-5).
Previous speakers include Simon Singh, David Colquhon, David Nutt, Susan Blackmore, and many more.
Wednesday, October 22 2014 at 7:30PM
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Smoke & Mirrors
8 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ
Prof. Christopher French
What's the talk about?
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.
Admission is FREE and there will be a collection during the interval (suggested donation £3-5).
Chris French is the 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, as well as being a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and a member of the Scientific and Professional Advisory Board of the British False Memory Society.
He has published over 120 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 frequently appears on radio and television casting a sceptical eye over paranormal claims, as well as writing for the Guardian and The Skeptic magazine which, for more than a decade, he also edited. His most recent books are Why Statues Weep, co-edited with Wendy Grossman, Anomalistic Psychology, co-authored with Nicola Holt, Christine Simmonds-Moore, and David Luke, and Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience co-authored with Anna Stone.