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When?
Wednesday, November 8 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Ian Glendinning

What's the talk about?

As rational people we value science for its reliance on repeatable evidence of objective facts and on logical relations between these. When "arguing" with those we consider misguided conspiracy theorists and superstitious or supernatural religionists, this becomes our mantra and we bring all our ammunition on cognitive biases and logical fallacies in support of our argument, not to mention rhetoric and mockery! But this simplistic "us and them" stance is political and polarising and is unrepresentative of the real subtleties of knowledge of the natural world. So much so that much popular philosophy and public science debate flip-flops between dogmatic certainty and outright denial of complex "mysteries" and this holds back progress in some important areas.

We will look at some the latest ideas on Free Will but will also notice that there are many others, some like free-will associated with the evolution of consciousness and intelligence, but others more fundamental to physical science itself.

Ian is an atheist, humanist, rationalist, skeptic ... engineer. He is also an amateur philosopher of epistemology researching "What, why and how do we know?" since before blogging was invented.

Maeve Hanan

When?
Thursday, October 26 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Maeve Hanan

What's the talk about?

Trying to separate the facts from the fads when it comes to nutrition can be extremely confusing; especially as we are often bombarded with sensationalist headlines and click-bait articles. In this talk Maeve zooms in on one of the most popular and seemingly conflicting areas of nutrition - fats. Is butter really back? Should you add coconut oil to your coffee? Is it OK to use olive oil for frying? Or should all types of fat be avoided like the plague? Come along to find out! 

Maeve Hanan is a Specialist Dietitian working in the NHS (Dietitian is a protected title for a health professional who is qualified to give dietary advice to individuals and the public). Maeve also runs a blog called DieteticallySpeaking.com which promotes evidence-based nutrition and dispels misleading nutrition claims and fad diets.

Michael Marshall

When?
Wednesday, September 13 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

In 2014, the Good Thinking Society – a charity dedicated to challenging pseudoscience – began a campaign to investigate and contest NHS funding for homeopathy. Three years later, the campaign has gained momentum, having gained some significant successes. Michael Marshall, the charity’s Project Director and only full-time employee, will explain what has happened to NHS homeopathy in the last three years, how some of the recent successes came about, and what’s next for the campaign.

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 is a columnist for the UK’s Skeptic Magazine and has written for the Guardian, The Times, the New Statesman and the Pharmaceutical Journal. He is also a regular guest lecturer in journalism and PR at the University of Sunderland and Sheffield Hallam University.

When?
Wednesday, August 9 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?

What's the talk about?

The fifth annual Open Mic Night is upon us! We will be hosting a series of short skeptical talks from the audience. That's you! Ever fancied ten minutes on our stage to talk about something of a skeptical nature? Now's your chance! All you need to do is fill in a short form.

In the past we've had talks on:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Urban Space
  • Youth Politics
  • Economics
  • Neurology
  • Robotics
  • Digital Rights

If there's a myth that needs bustin', we need you!


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. Seats are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Ian Alexander

When?
Wednesday, July 12 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Ian Alexander

What's the talk about?

The Zombie Institute for Theoretical Studies proudly presents: ‘Zombie Science: Genes of the Damned' - the next in the spoof lecture series from the world's leading zombieism research facility.

In this lecture, theoretical zombiologist Dr. Smith asks whether you will know what to do when the Zombie Apocalypse occurs and you find yourself in your own real-life zombie horror film. See how we can learn lessons from disease outbreaks through history. Draw inspiration from today's popular television and film zombie documentaries. Discover who is most likely to be affected and find out how modern medical technology could be used to help the survivors.

It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry, it'll make you think. It'll also make you feel quite ill, possibly.The outcome of the show will be decided by the audience ... how will you deal with the Damned?

Supported by the Wellcome Trust and University of Glasgow.

Dr. Smith has been giving talks on the science of zombies for many years from Brighton to Unst, informing and inspiring over 20,000 people. When not lecturing, he works for the Zombie Institute for Theoretical Studies, where he and his colleagues prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse. With the motto "love the zombie, hate the zombieism", the group focuses on how the condition could come about and how it could be prevented and treated. He is often asked if he has ever seen a real zombie, but, thanks to the groups preventative measures, none has yet been forthcoming.

Hustings and Chaired Q+A

Chaired by Dr. Nick Randall

When?
Wednesday, May 31 2017 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 2017 Snap General Election is right around the corner, so we're hosting a skeptical election-themed night! Continuing from our 2015 event, 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 chaired Q+A session with questions from the audience, and between the candidates themselves.

After his excellent performance at our 2015 event, and our 2016 EU Referendum debate, the hustings will be chaired again by Dr Nick Randall - Senior Lecturer and previous Head of Politics, Newcastle University. With research interests in; 

"[T]he 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 can confirm the following candidates will be partaking in the event: 

  • Chi Onwurah MP - Labour, Newcastle Central (incumbent)
  • Simon Kitchen - Conservatives, Newcastle East
  • Cllr Dr Nick Cott - Lib Dems, Newcastle Central
  • Alistair Ford - Green Party, Newcastle East

When?
Wednesday, May 10 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Victoria Stiles

What's the talk about?

We’ve reached a situation which shouldn’t have been possible. It is now almost inevitable that the Nazis will appear as a cautionary example in any political discussion and yet this year has seen the rise to prominence of groups which openly share many of their beliefs and even borrow their symbols. It appears that knowing about the past is not the same as learning from history, but is it reasonable to expect history to teach us anything at all?

Victoria Stiles is a freelance researcher and consultant in the field of Modern European History and specialises in the portrayal of imperial history and national stereotypes within Nazi Germany. This year she was called a historian by the LAD Bible, which has more than justified the time she spent getting a PhD. In this talk she will explain some of the ways in which historians use and assess evidence, how they draw parallels between events in different times and places, and how they arrive at an account of the past which they are willing to call “a history”. She is very keen to hear the audience’s thoughts on what they want history and historians to do for them.

Is there anything from our past which can shed light on our current situation? This talk won’t provide all the answers but maybe together we can formulate some better questions.

 

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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. Seats are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Social and Physical Survival in Extreme Environments

Anna Temp

When?
Wednesday, April 12 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Anna Temp

What's the talk about?

 We’re not yet on Mars and we won’t be for a long time. Research into Isolated & Confined Environments (ICE) has spent the past few decades trying to answer the question of how we will survive while we’re on our way there and when we get there. Survival in ICE does not just depend on hazardous physical environments but also on team spirit and emotional support. On Earth, this research is usually carried out either at the South Pole or the North Pole. How do you survive in a space where humans are not the apex predators? And how do you cope with your life depending on the competence and good will of strangers? How do we know who to send and who not to send? If the recent re-shaping of the political and economic global landscape has made you want to join a Mars mission, come along and find out if you’ve got what it takes!

Anna has spent some time working with an Arctic team trying to answer these questions. She is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh and went to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard three times.

Kevin Precious

When?
Wednesday, March 8 2017 at 8:00PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Kevin Precious

What's the talk about?

Note - We're starting slightly later than usual. Doors from 7:30pm, starting at 8.

In between the various comedic activites, Kevin Precious attends his local humanist group - he's an agnostic, folks - where he loves a good old debate about the big questions in life. Expect jokes and stories then, about his time as an RE teacher, being a humanist, the God-Shaped Hole, and the philosophy of religion... and you can ask him a few questions of your own afterwards, if you wish.

Kevin Precious is a former RE teacher turned stand-up comedian and promoter. Besides having played many of the top clubs in the land, he also promotes shows in arts centres and theatres under the Barnstormers Comedy banner. He has previously toured the country with a stand-up show entitled 'Not Appropriate', dedicated to the business of teaching.

When?
Wednesday, February 22 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Various

What's the talk about?

THIS EVENT IS TWO WEEKS LATER THAN USUAL.
Please take note of the changed date; we hope this doesn't cause any issue
s.


You may remember - and hopefully came to! - our EU Referendum event back in May 2016 where Dr Phil Daniels (Newcastle) and Professor Anand Menon (Kings College London) partook in a chaired discussion on the positive and negatives of the EU, with the aim to bring extra clarity and insist to a difficult and hard to follow political campaign. As they say - the rest is history.

Ms May has decided that Article 50 should be triggered, and thus begin our exit negotiations from the EU, no later than the end of March 2017.

We'll be continuing our efforts in bringing clarity to the very divisive and murky waters around Brexit with a collection of lightning talks, with Q&A, to tackle as many areas as possible. This will include talks from: 

Phil Daniels - Senior Lecturer, University of Newcastle, specialising in European Union politics and political economy, with future emphasis on the impact of European integration on the politics and political economy of Italy and Britain.

Dimitrios Gounopoulos - Chaired Professor of Finance, University of Newcastle, specialising in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and also issues in Bonds Structure, Corporate Governance, Executive Compensation and Earnings Management.  His work has attracted the interest of the markets and as a result of this he was honoured with a Gong Ceremony by the Oldest Stock Exchange in the world, the NYSE – Euronext Amsterdam.

John Wildman - Professor of Health Economics, University of Newcastle, specialising in health inequalities and the social determinants of health. He has worked on oral health, Quality Adjusted Life-Years and resource allocation formulae for the Department of Health. 

David Harvey - Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Newcastle. 

Additional speakers will be added to this listing as soon as they are confirmed.

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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. Seats are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sam Hogarth

When?
Wednesday, January 11 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Sam Hogarth

What's the talk about?

Social media is struggling with an epidemic. Fake news spreads like a virus, with its ludicrous claims and compelling headlines. Some claim it cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency. Some say it has encouraged Britain to drastically alter it's political futures. Others think it's just a bunch of opportunists running get rich quick schemes.

In a "post-truth" world, where we've had enough of experts and can prove anything with facts; what challenges must we address in order to combat fake news? As a Skeptic community, how does this affect us?

Sam is a software developer, Labour Party campaigner and co-organiser of Newcastle Skeptics in the Pub. As the proverbial intersection on the techno-politi-skeptical Venn diagram, he can provide an interesting confluence of perspectives and guide us through the murky maze of fake news. Alas, the answers to this problem are ours to decide. We're a group, let's work it out together.


This is a free event, however donations on the door would be greatly appreciated in order to cover running costs. We host our event on the first floor of the Tyneside Irish Centre, which is accessible by lift and/or stairs.

Ash returns with a successful Edinburgh Fringe show!

Ash Pryce

When?
Wednesday, December 14 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

Roll up! Roll up! Roll up! Gather ye round the traveling caravan, as Snake Oil Salesman Ash Pryce demonstrates the miraculous curative abilities of psychic surgery, taught to your humble trickster by a wise man in the Philippines (or a magicians tool book, whichever sounds more wondrous).   See with amazement the telekinetic forces at work as you learn how to move objects with your mind, psychically manipulate your finest silverware and read the minds of your peers.  Or maybe, it’s all just a trick?


Whereas the sister show here last year, "How to Talk to the Dead" looked specifically at spirit communication in the past, "How to be a Psychic Conman" will look at the more incredible, magical side of psychic claims that persist today.   The types of demonstrations that blur the line between the honest deception of magic, and the dishonesty of those hoping to make a quick buck out of your deep rooted beliefs and sometimes your grief.

The show will involve demonstrations and explanations of telekinesis tricks, metal bending, psychic surgery and remote viewing as well as look at government funded research into psychic phenomena, and the shoddy protocols that allowed “psychics” to beat the legendary Zener card experiments in the 1930s.

And if that wasn’t enough, interspersed throughout the show will be numerous on stage demonstrations of mentalism to add an extra layer of entertainment to the proceedings.  

Warning to those on the front row… there will be blood!


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

"Go see" - Edinburgh Skeptics


About Ash

Ash Pryce is a performer, director and occasional 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.