Drinking skeptically in the City of Dreams

Welcome to Newcastle upon Tyne Skeptics in the Pub! We organise monthly skeptical pub talks in Newcastle upon Tyne, the City of Dreams. Our upcoming talks are listed below - no tickets required, you can just turn up on the night. You can sign up to get new event notifications using the form on the right, as well as joining our Facebook group and following us on Twitter @SITP_NCL.

If you'd like to help us with a small donation to help with speakers' expenses and the running of Newcastle Skeptics, please check out the donation options below, anything you can spare is greatly appreciated. 

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Rebecca O'Neill

When?
Wednesday, March 11 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Castle Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1RQ

Who?
Rebecca O'Neill

What's the talk about?

Three and a half years behind the counter in a health food shop can be a learning experience in more ways than one.

From vitamins and minerals to the latest celebrity-endorsed wonder supplement, no main street or shopping centre is complete without a purveyor of alternative therapies. Likewise, there are very few people who don’t associate vitamin C or echinacea with the treatment of colds or flu.

If these ideas are so pervasive, one question is why? What is it about the sellers of these therapies that make them seem so valid or trustworthy?

Well, take it from a former believer: the answer is definitely not black and white.

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Rebecca O’Neill is the founder of the Dublin Skeptics in the Pub group that looks to promote rational, critical thinking and examines extraordinary claims whilst having a quiet pint (or beverage of choice). She is also co-host and producer one of the few all-female skeptical podcasts: The Skeprechauns.

During her undergraduate, the necessary evil of a part time job led her to work in retail, spending three and a half years behind the tills in a well known health food shop. As a coping mechanism, and perhaps to make amends for her time selling goji berries and aloe vera juice, she now gives talks about her experiences and about the health food industry in general.

A designer by training she fell rather serendipitously into museum work, working the in the Natural History Museum in Dublin for five years. She is now studying for her PhD, interested in all things curatorial in the real and digital world.

This is a free event, although donations to help fund Newcastle Skeptics in the Pub events are appreciated. We suggest £3, or whatever you can afford.

Debate and QA with candidates from the 5 main parties.

Chaired by Dr Nick Randall

When?
Wednesday, April 8 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Chaired by Dr Nick Randall

What's the talk about?

The 2015 General Election is right around the corner, so we're hosting a skeptical election-themed night! The topic of the debate will be:

"What is your party going to do for Newcastle, and the North East?"

The event will consist of:

  • A six-minute talk from each party
  • A Q+A session and debate, with questions taken from the audience.

The debate will be chaired by Dr Nick Randall - Senior Lecturer and Head of Politics, Newcastle University. With research interests in; 

"the politics of the British Labour and Conservative Parties; political ideologies in the UK; the territorial politics of the UK; the impact of European integration upon UK politics; the role of ideational and discursive factors in politics"

we're sure he's the perfect person to chair and ensure a thought-provoking debate between the candidates.

As of early Feburary, all invited parties - Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, Green, and UKIP - have confirmed their attendance, and the representatives for each party are as follows:

  • Chi Onwurah MP, Labour - Chi is the incumbent for the Newcastle Central Constituency, with a background in Engineering. Before being elected in 2010 she was Head of Telecoms Technology for OFCOM, and since 2013 has been a Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office).
  • Duncan Crute, Conservatives - Duncan is a Parliamentary Candidate for the Newcastle East Constituency, with a background in business he's run his own tailoring company for over 10 years and previously worked for a marketing consultancy.
  • Wendy Taylor, Liberal Democrats - Wendy is a Councillor with Newcastle City Council for the Dene Ward, and has been since 1988. Between 2004 and 2011 she was the Executive Member for Environment, Sustainability, and Transport. Wendy is a Parliamentary Candidate for the Newcastle East Constituency.
  • David Robinson-Young, UKIP - David is also a Parliamentary Candidate for the Newcastle East Constituency, and a Barrister at Law at Dere Street Barristers, specialising in Employment Discrimination Law. 
  • Shirley Ford, Greens - Shirley is a Parliamentary Candidate for the South Shields Constituency, assists in the running of the community's Deaf Childrens Club, and is an active human rights and anti-poverty campaigner having lobbied the UK Government, the EU, and the UN.

We're still working out some of the details behind the scenes, so stay tuned for more information.

This is a free event, although donations to help fund Newcastle Skeptics in the Pub events are appreciated. We suggest £3, or whatever you can afford.

Ash Pryce

When?
Wednesday, May 13 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

VENUE CHANGE!

Due to popular demand, we're moving this event to the Tyneside Irish Centre. We're on the first floor - go directly up the stairs and the door is to your right. An elevator is also available. Drinks served downstairs.

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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.

This is a skeptically themed show and not intended as an actual demonstration of mediumship or psychic abilitie

Ouija Boards
Spirit Slates
Spirit Communication
Stopped Pulses
Spewing ectoplasm
And more...

"Ash Pryce is a naturally funny guy and won't allow his audience to be bored"
"Very entertaining" - edfringereview "Go see" - Edinburgh Skeptics

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Ash Pryce is a performer, director and occassional magician 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.

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This is a free event, although donations to help fund Newcastle Skeptics in the Pub events are appreciated. We suggest £3, or whatever you can afford.

Suw Charman-Anderson

When?
Wednesday, June 10 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Castle Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1RQ

Who?
Suw Charman-Anderson

What's the talk about?

More women now than ever are participating and succeeding in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) at all levels of education. They are outstripping men in even the 'hardest' sciences. Is this fairly reflected in the highest echelons of academia and industry? If not, why not? What can and should we do to support women in these areas?

Suw started Ada Lovelace Day, which has become an international celebration for women in STEM. The site is a repository for information about women, both historical and currently working, telling their stories, and the work they do. More than that, the organisation is looking to provide a set of resources to support women looking to get into these areas or advance once they are there.

Suw is also an author, having recently completed her first book, Argleton (available on Amazon and through her sites), which has met with acclaim.

Suw is a social software consultant and writer who specialises in the use of blogs and wikis behind the firewall. With a background in journalism, publishing and web design, Suw is now one of the UK's best known bloggers, frequently speaking at conferences and seminars. She was also a founding member of the Open Rights Group.

Her personal blog is Chocolate and Vodka, and she writes on Strange Attractors, a shared blog with Kevin Charman-Anderson, and she tweets as @suw.

This is a free event, although donations to help fund Newcastle Skeptics in the Pub events are appreciated. We suggest £3, or whatever you can afford.

Chris Coltrane

When?
Wednesday, July 15 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Castle Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1RQ

Who?
Chris Coltrane

What's the talk about?

Chris Coltrane is a comedian and activist in the anti-austerity movement that Mark Thomas once described as “the future of British political comedy”. He’s also a keen fan of skepticism from the sidelines, dipping his toes into the anti-homeopathy and pro-choice movements, plus his 2013 stand-up performances at QED and the MSS. “Basically I’m a nice man and I’d very much like Newcastle Skeptics to like me”, he says.

In July Chris will be bringing a work-in-progress preview to us of his new Edinburgh Fringe show, Left Wing Propaganda Machine, a show he thinks will be about “evidence, and how people in power are bad at using it”.

He’ll be using stand-up comedy to argue for an evidence-based drugs policy; for an end to austerity; and he’ll be talking plenty on how every single statistic that British people think they know is wrong. How can democracy even work when we’re so badly informed? And how on earth does someone make that funny? Come and see Chris in July, and see if he’s worked it out.”

You can follow Chris Coltrane on twitter @chris_coltrane, or visit his website www.chriscoltrane.co.uk for podcasts of previous Edinburgh Fringe shows!

This is a free event, although donations to help fund Newcastle Skeptics in the Pub events are appreciated. We suggest £3, or whatever you can afford.