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Jenny Josephs

When?
Wednesday, January 27 2016 at 7:00PM

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Where?

5 Nelson Parade, Bristol, BS3 4JA

Who?
Jenny Josephs

What's the talk about?

Please Note: This event will be held in a different venue to our usual talks
 
By 2050 the global population will reach 9 billion and this will put ever increasing pressure on food and environmental resources. Simply intensifying current farming practices is neither sustainable, nor sufficient to ensure food security. One UN backed solution is to focus on alternative sources of protein, such as insects for food and animal feed. About 2 billion of us already include insects in our diets, though it is still a growing trend in the west.
 
Insects are described as having a variety of different flavours, from mushroomy to pistachio or pork crackling. Their protein levels are comparable to beef and they also contain beneficial nutrients like iron and calcium. Their environmental impact is also minimal, requiring far less water and feed than cattle, and releasing fewer emissions.
 
During this talk, Jenny will explain how insects might replace some of the meat in our diets and also give some tips on how to cook them.
 
DOORS: 19:00
START: 19:30
Admission is FREE and there will be a collection during the interval (suggested donation £3-5).
Venue: The Rope Walk

 
Jenny Josephs is the founder of The Bug Shack, a company aiming to promote edible insects as a sustainable source of protein. This year, Jenny has enjoyed feeding people bugs at events including the Winchester Science Festival, TEDx Southampton University, Bestival and CBBC Newsround.
 
 

When?
Wednesday, January 20 2016 at 8:30PM

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Where?

8 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ

Who?

What's the talk about?

skepticalboardgamenight2

Join us as we kick off the new year with an evening of science and skepticism themed board games. No family arguments over Monopoly house rules here; we’ll be having a drink and playing games such as skeptical Balderdash.
 
START: 20:30
Admission is FREE

 

When?
Wednesday, December 9 2015 at 8:30PM

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Where?

8 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ

Who?

What's the talk about?

It’s the return of the Skeptics in the Pub Quiz! Come down to Smoke and Mirrors for the last event of the year and see out 2015 with a test of your general and skeptical knowledge! 
 
Come either as a team or be put in one when you arrive. 
 
START: 20:30
Admission is FREE and there will be prizes.
 
 
 
 

How We Get Science Coverage Wrong

David Robert Grimes

When?
Wednesday, November 25 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

8 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ

Who?
David Robert Grimes

What's the talk about?

Science and medicine have transformed our lives immeasurably, and never in history have they been more central to our lives and well-being. Yet despite this, there is often a glaring disconnect between the findings of actual science and media reporting of such topics, and consequently there is often a needless chasm between public perception and the evidence on many contentious topics. This can lead to needlessly adversarial and counter-productive discourse of everything from vaccination to climate-change. In this talk, physicist and science journalist Dr. David Robert Grimes discusses the frequent problems in reporting science from misunderstandings to bad statistics to false balance, and discusses the factors that influence this and how such problems can be remedied.
 
DOORS: 19:00
START: 19:30
Admission is FREE and there will be a collection during the interval (suggested donation £3-5).

 
Dr. David Robert Grimes (@drg1985) is a physicist and writes regular opinion and analysis pieces on scientific issues for the Irish Times and the Guardian science, and is a regular panelist on science issues on radio and television. He is joint-recipient of the 2014 Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science.
 
 
 

 

When?
Wednesday, November 18 2015 at 8:30PM

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Where?

8 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ

Who?

What's the talk about?

There are so many books about skepticism, and skeptical books on a wide range of topics, that it can be difficult to know what to read. We’ll be meeting up to discuss books that we’ve read, and would recommend, and which books to avoid.
 
We’ll also be holding a skeptical Book Swap so if you have a book you’ve finished and want to swap it for a new read, bring it along.
 
START: 20:30
Admission is FREE!
 
 

The NHS and Beyond

Michael Marshall

When?
Wednesday, October 28 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

8 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ

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.
 
DOORS: 19:00
START: 19:30
Admission is FREE and there will be a collection during the interval (suggested donation £3-5).

 
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.
 

 

When?
Wednesday, October 21 2015 at 8:30PM

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Where?

8 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ

Who?

What's the talk about?

 
Do you know your Cabernet from your Chianti? Your Napa Valley from your Bordeaux? If you like wine and skepticism then do we have the event for you. 
 
It is generally considered in skeptical circles that wine tasting is wildly subjective and unscientific. But is there even a grape of truth to it? Oenophile’s need not apply, as Bristol Skeptics Society tackles the subject of wine tasting.
 
Over the course of the evening we’ll look at the supposed science behind wine tasting, take part in tasting challenges, and see if there is anything to it. So come and drink some wine - for science!
 
START: 20:30
Participation is FREE however there will be a collection of donations to help cover the cost of the wine.
 
 

How to Rebuild our World from Scratch

Dr Lewis Dartnell

When?
Wednesday, September 23 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

8 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ

Who?
Dr Lewis Dartnell

What's the talk about?

Maybe it was an asteroid impact, a nuclear war, or a viral pandemic. Whatever the cause, the world as we know it has ended and you and the other survivors must start again. What key knowledge would you need to not only survive in the immediate post-apocalyptic aftermath, but avert another Dark Ages and accelerate the rebooting of civilisation from scratch? Living in the modern world, we have become disconnected from the basic processes that support our lives, as well as the beautiful fundamentals of science that enable you to relearn things for yourself. The Knowledge is a grand thought experiment on the behind-the-scenes fundamentals of how our world works, and what drove the progression of civilisation over the centuries.

The Knowledge is a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, and was also awarded The Times 'New Thinking' Book of the Year.
 
DOORS: 19:00
START: 19:30
Admission is FREE and there will be a collection during the interval (suggested donation £3-5).

 
"A glorious compendium of the knowledge we have lost in the living; the origins of the material fabric of our actual lives. This is the most inspiring book I've read in a long time"
  -- The Independent
 
"An extraordinary achievement. With lucidity and brevity, Dartnell explains the rudiments of a civilisation. It is a great read even if civilisation does not collapse. If it does, it will be the sacred text of the new world -- and Dartnell that world's first great prophet."
  -- The Times
 
"The Knowledge is a fascinating look at the basic principles of the most important technologies undergirding modern society. It is a fun read full of optimism about human ingenuity"
  -- The Wall Street Journal
 
"The Knowledge is a stimulating read, a grand thought experiment on re-engineering every building block of civilisation"
  -- The New York Post
 
"A terrifically engrossing history of science and technology"
  -- The Guardian
 
"The ultimate do-it-yourself guide to 'rebooting' human civilisation"
  -- Nature
 
Dr Lewis Dartnell (www.lewisdartnell.com) is a UK Space Agency research fellow at the University of Leicester. He also holds an STFC Science in Society Fellowship, and alongside his astrobiology research writes regular science articles in newspapers and magazines, and has appeared in TV shows such as BBC Horizon, Wonders of the Universe, and documentaries on National Geographic, Discovery and History channels. ‘The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch’ (www.the-knowledge.org) is his third book.
 

When?
Wednesday, September 16 2015 at 8:30PM

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Where?

8 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ

Who?

What's the talk about?

It’s the return of our annual skeptical open mic night where anyone with a short, skeptically inclined talk can take to the stage. This is a great opportunity for both speakers and the audience to cover topics that either you wouldn’t normally get a skeptics in the pub, or that wouldn’t fill a full-length talk. Each speaker will give a short talk (between 10-15 minutes) followed by five minutes of Q&A.
 
Do you have (or are working on) a talk that you would like to bring to the event? Get in touch at contact@bristolskeptics.com. Anybody is welcome to come and take part in the open mic, the only prerequisite is that you approach the topic at hand in a skeptical way. PLEASE NOTE: Speakers must have registered before hand; the running order of the night will be decided in advance.
 
START: 20:30
Admission is FREE 
 
Speakers include:
 
HENRY PARR
SEXUAL JEALOUSY: 
What is it good for?
 
Sexual jealousy is basically a bad thing, a negative emotion, a human weakness, and yet we positively celebrate it in our society. Why? Where does it come from? Can we get rid of it? Should we?
 
 
ANDREW ENDERSBY
REMOTE VIEWING HOSTAGES:
The Dozier Case
 
In December 1981 the Italian terrorist organization The Red Brigades kidnapped the US Brigadier General Dozier. This talk focuses on the attempts of the US government sponsored remote viewing team to help locate this individual using psychic means, and the impact this had on the search efforts taking place.
 
 
JAMES LENNOX-GORDON
EDITING TRUTH: 
Can Film Represent Reality
 
From documentaries to reality shows, film and TV often purport to show truth and represent reality as seen in front of the camera. Yet history is full of examples where filmmakers fail to do so, and controversies where films mislead the audience. Is it even possible to give a true representation of reality through film? Or is the concept precluded by the very medium?
 
 
SAM DOWNIE
I LOVE IT WHEN A SCAM COMES TOGETHER: 
Scams, Contricks, Happiness/Behaviour Scams and Fraud
 
In this talk Sam Downie demonstrates a few tricks that the HR / Coaching industry use within Character Strengths. Sam will also talk briefly on the popularization of the Health and Wellbeing business industry, and positive psychology gurus and experts in the 'science of happiness'.
 
 
ANTHONY WOOD
ARE HUMANS EVOLVING TO HAVE TWINS?
 
Twins seem to be much more common these days, but is there an actual increase or is it just my perception?  Does having twins mean you have more children in total?  If so, does that mean there is selective pressure on humans to have twins? This presentation is a look through the stats on twinning.
 
JACK UKLEJA
CRANIAL SACRAL THERAPY
 

 

An Amble Through Vaccination and Those Who Dangerously Preach Against It

Michael Head

When?
Wednesday, August 26 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

8 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ

Who?
Michael Head

What's the talk about?

Smallpox is eradicated, polio has nearly gone the same way and in most countries diphtheria is rare. That’s due to vaccination. Yet headlines are often fixated on measles outbreaks on both sides of the Pond, or the ‘dangers’ of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine. There are too many who are just not fussed about vaccines or worse, actively preach and campaign against them, with more than the occasional dollop of an absence of morality.
 
Plus there’s the desperate search for an ebola vaccine that, at best, will come two years too late, the imperfections of the tuberculosis vaccine, the waning immunity over time of the pertussis (whooping cough) immunisation, that HIV vaccine that just won’t come, and the annual guesswork that is the composition of the influenza vaccine. It’s a complicated business, alright.
 
This presentation will walk you through some facts and figures, highlight the new vaccines in the pipeline and provide an insight into the public health danger posed by those who try and tell you MMR gives your child autism (it doesn’t, by the way).
 
DOORS: 19:00
START: 19:30
Admission is FREE and there will be a collection during the interval (suggested donation £3-5).

 
Michael Head is a research associate in infectious diseases at University College London and a visiting academic in the Faculty of Medicine at University of Southampton. He has been working in infectious disease research since 2004, has published widely in peer-reviewed journals including Lancet and Nature journals, and for some reason spends far too much of his spare time reading about ‘bad science’ on the web.
 
 

When?
Wednesday, August 19 2015 at 8:30PM

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Where?

8 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ

Who?

What's the talk about?

 
What would you do if you could start your own religion? Who would you worship? Who would your followers be? Which celebrities would you enlist to spread your message?
 
Answer all these questions and more at the Bristol Skeptics Society’s Create Your Own Cult competition.
 
Each team will need to complete a variety of tasks including writing your commandments, designing your iconography, choosing a prophet, and deciding your rituals.
 
Points will be awarded on originality, creativity, and parody.
 
START: 20:30
Admission is £1
 
Create Your Own Cult is a team-based competition. Either come as a team or be randomly assigned to one on the night.
 

Ash Pryce

When?
Wednesday, July 22 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

8 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

Hydesville. New York. 1848. The young Fox sisters begin communicating with the spirit of a murdered beggar and spiritualism is born. This interactive look at a history of talking to the dead will feature an array of magical treats including levitating tables, ectoplasm manifestation and spirit communication. Part magic show, part comedy, part rational inquiry this fun show has regularly packed venues at the Edinburgh fringe.
 
Ouija Boards
Spirit Slates
Spirit Communication
Stopped Pulses
Spewing ectoplasm
And more...
 
DOORS: 19:00
START: 19:30
Admission is FREE and there will be a collection during the interval (suggested donation £3-5).

 
"Ash Pryce is a naturally funny guy and won't allow his audience to be bored" "Very entertaining" - edfringereview
 
"Go see" - Edinburgh Skeptics
 
Ash Pryce is a performer and director based in Scotland.  He has written and staged several skeptically themed shows looking at myths & legends, ghosts, psychics and mediumship as well as producing full plays ranging from Faustus to more contemporary original shows in Edinburgh.  He is the founder of Edinburgh Skeptics, the newly started History in the Pub Edinburgh, and runs what is believed to be the worlds first skeptical ghost tour every Fringe.  He lives just outside of Edinburgh with his three Degus, one of which holds a grudge against him.
 
Please Note: This is a skeptically themed show and not intended as an actual demonstration of mediumship or psychic abilities