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Ian Glendinning

When?
Wednesday, April 11 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Ian Glendinning

What's the talk about?

The search for planets in orbit around other stars in the galaxy is intensifying with the pending launches of two new space telescopes in the next 18 months, both dedicated to the search for exoplanets. With nearly 4,000 now confirmed and another 4,500 potential candidates, the new systems are expected to vastly increase the rate of discovery. I will talk about how these planets are detected and how it will be possible to search for potential life on many of them and also on sources within the solar system.

But if there are so many planets – estimated at billions in the Milky Way – where are the aliens? This is the Fermi Paradox and we will explore some of the possible answers to this and maybe come up with a few more.

Ian Glendinning is a retired Police Officer with a lifelong interest in astronomy, photography, German Shepherds and why people believe weird things. In the final year of a BSc hons degree in astronomy and a Fellow of the RAS.

When?
Wednesday, March 14 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Dr Laura Graham

What's the talk about?

On 15th June 2016, the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee on Prostitution published a report recommending that the laws surrounding brothel keeping and soliciting in England and Wales ought to be reformed.

This report is the latest step in a decade-long public re-examination of sex work in England and Wales, but these recommendations mark a significant deviation from the more punitive approach favoured by the preceding publications. Although not fully committed to any one legal approach to sex work, appears to favour a more harm-reduction based response, providing echoes of international discourses around human rights and sex work.

A range of United Nations bodies, including the General Assembly and UN Women, have published reports and policies supporting decriminalisation of sex work to uphold sex workers’ human rights. Amnesty International has also openly supported the decriminalisation of sex work.

Laura Graham will explore the Select Committee report, and how its recommended reforms could be implemented to make the law more human rights compliant, particularly drawing on European Convention on Human Rights jurisprudence. Through this lens she will also explore the use of human rights, and particularly legal human rights instruments, in the debates around sex work, arguing that they are both a useful and limited tool to promote sex workers’ safety and agency.

James Williams

When?
Wednesday, February 14 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
James Williams

What's the talk about?

In 1995 a dutch biologist Kees Moeliker was sitting in his office when he heard the thud of a bird hitting the glass wall of his building. Upon inspection, he discovered a male mallard duck lying dead on the ground. As he watched, a second living duck appeared and beginning to copulate with it. The act lasted for an impressive 75 minutes and only stopped when the biologist intervened.

It isn’t just in ducks that this behaviour has been observed. Necrophilia has been seen in many species of animals including dogs, cats, otters, sea lions and humpback whales. And of course humans...

James Williams will be casting a skeptical eye over the topic of necrophilia, discussing its zoology, its existence in humans and its role in our modern culture.

He is a science communicator, skeptic and storyteller based in Bristol who specialises in critically discussing dark, and taboo topics with humour and irreverence.

"No trip complete without a visit to hospital or brush with the law"

Justin Ball

When?
Wednesday, January 10 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Justin Ball

What's the talk about?

For those who dare to think they can do more with less.  A lot less. Less money, a much smaller, older bike, little if any backup, no foreign languages, no credit card ... and yet remain capable, confident and self-sufficient for long distances.

Covers basics like parts and tools, road trophies, dress, your jacket and bike and MANY more, plus a smattering of travel tales, all served up with a good dose of attitude!

Newcastle Kiev

Newcastle Sahara

Wales Iraq

Vancouver Mexico

What to Ride

What to Take

Fast, Cheap and Nasty!

No trip complete without a medical emergency or a brush with the law

How to do it, how to stay mobile

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

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Where?

67 Westgate Rd,
City Centre,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SG

Who?
Dr Aroup Chatterjee

What's the talk about?

"Dr Aroup Chatterjee was born and brought up in Calcutta, a city (unfortunately) synonymous with Mother Teresa. He came to UK in 1985 at the age of 26, when the reputation of Teresa was at its peak in the world . Difficult or impossible to convey it to a non Calcuttan, but in Calcutta, at least in the 1980s she was very much a peripheral figure, not prominent in any aspect of the city's life. If anything Dr Chatterjee was well-disposed towards Teresa till about 1988, when it began to dawn on him the astonishingly monumental nature of lies, myths and misrepresentations that went on (and goes on) about Teresa's so-called charity. He realised this was due to both the world media, and to her own self, as she had become adept at prevaricating about her minimal charitable work. In 1994 he collaborated with Tariq Ali on the film Hell's Angel, which was shown on Channel 4 and was a sensation. The film was his brainchild though has become known as Hitchens's film as Christopher Hitchens was asked to present it.

He has been working to challenge and rectify the mega-myth of Mother Teresa since then, and his book Mother Teresa The Untold Story is the fruit of his labours (the first edition was called The Final Verdict).

He works as a physician and lives in London, and has 3 children.

He is a life-long atheist and was brought up one - no, that is not that unusual in middle-class Calcutta. But his atheism is not the reason why he is a Teresa-basher. He does it for the sake of historical veracity.

He is pleased and proud to announce that he is regularly abused by the 'convent-educated' English speaking Indian upper classes."

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.