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Heather Pentler

When?
Wednesday, June 8 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Heather Pentler

What's the talk about?

As long time skeptic when Heather got diagnosed with a chronic illness she was curious about what advice alt med practitioners would give her, so she went along to find out. Heather's talk is a personal story about living with a chronic illness and the real harm that alternative medicine can cause, both physically and mentally. Her talk goes through various therapies and how their advice could threaten her life if she took it up. From EFT to GNM Heather asks WTF are these people trying to sell to people.

eather has been a regular Skeptics in the Pub attendee for the last 5 years, first at Merseyside Skeptics and then after a move north, Edinburgh Skeptics. Despite being a humanities drop out she has always had a passion for science, facts and a morbid love of medical history.

Chaired by Dr Nick Randall

When?
Wednesday, May 11 2016 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?

A year ago we held an Election Debate between 5 parties, and this year we have another important vote - this time on whether to Remain or Leave the EU.

Dr Nick Randall (Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University) has kindly agreed to come back to chair a discussion between:

  • Phil Daniels - Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University, 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.
  • Professor Anand Menon - Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs, Kings College London, who has recently been appointed to head the major new ESRC project 'The UK in a Changing Europe'. Anand will act as Director for the initiative which will investigate the relationship between the UK and the EU.

We will cover various discussion points on both positive and negative aspects of the EU as well as the possible options available to the UK if it were to vote to Leave.

After this discussion there will be our standard Q&A.

Attendees should be aware that this discussion is not intended to explicitly endorse either the Remain or Leave camps, but is an attempt to bring some clarity and insight to a difficult topic.

Chris Peters

When?
Wednesday, April 13 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Chris Peters

What's the talk about?

Pseudoscience in the popular press and on the Internet is not helping with the public understanding of science in UK and there is far more misinformation out there than there is solid science.
 
Sense about Science is an organisation set up to try to redress the balance. It is running a campaign called Ask for Evidence which is about encouraging people to go out and ask for the evidence behind claims they come across in everyday life. We hear daily claims about what is good for our health, bad for the environment, how to improve education, cut crime, treat disease or improve agriculture. Some are based on reliable evidence and scientific rigour. Many are not.
 

How can we make companies, politicians, commentators and official bodies accountable for the claims they make? If they want us to vote for them, believe them or buy their products, then we should Ask for Evidence. 

Alice Sheppard

When?
Wednesday, March 9 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Alice Sheppard

What's the talk about?

Almost everybody wants to know about space, but while the news is full of it, a lot of the basic science isn't available to those who don't know where to look. This has left the door open for some unpleasant elitism in astronomy and a flood of myths that cloud our perception of the skies. Some of these are harmless fun, some are linked with poor understanding of science, some are potentially harmful and some are just frankly extremely sad.

Alice Sheppard, a long-time space addict and ambassador of citizen science, will take you on a tour of some of our most-misunderstood destinations in the Solar System and beyond, and in ourselves as people and potential astronomers. By the end of the evening, you should feel much more equipped to understand what's beyond our planet, and to get this fascinating area of science moving forward.

---

Alice Sheppard co-founded Cardiff and Hackney Skeptics in the Pub, ran the Galaxy Zoo forum for five years and has given several SITP talks about astronomy and citizen science. She has a postgraduate diploma in Astrophysics and wrote the chapter on Cecilia Payne for the first Ada Lovelace Day book. She now writes the Citizen Science column at the Society for Popular Astronomy magazine.

 

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.

We're going to be in the Gallowgate Room, which is on the second floor of the Tyneside Irish Centre. It'll be signposted and you can take the stairs or the lift.

Kevin Dooley

When?
Wednesday, February 10 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Kevin Dooley

What's the talk about?

"Recent neuroscience research shows that addiction compromises the brain’s ability to self-regulate a person’s behaviour. So when someone is trapped in the cycle of relapse and offending, are we wasting money by trying to treat symptoms rather than trying to treat the causes of addiction?

If we don’t understand addiction, we won’t understand recovery from it, or those experiencing it."


Kevin Dooley, a heroin and crack cocaine addict for over 20 years, has been clean and sober for the last 12. He has appeared as a spokesperson on BBC News at Ten and the Channel 5 'Austopy' documentary series episode The Last Hours of River Phoenix. Articles about his addiction, prison experience, being handcuffed to attend his son’s funeral and being homeless on the streets of Westminster have appeared in The Independent, the Big Issue, and others.


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.

 

Audio: https://soundcloud.com/north-east-skeptics/kevin-dooley-addiction-illness-or-crime

Carlton Reid

When?
Wednesday, January 13 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Carlton Reid

What's the talk about?

Welcome to Gridlock Britain. Motorists get stuck in traffic jams not because of lots and lots of people in cars but because of medieval road systems, slow-poke cyclists, and militant pedestrians. But fret not, the Tory Government has a cunning plan – it’s going to build more roads.

If you’re sceptical about the Chancellor’s £15 billion road-building frenzy you’ll enjoy this thought-provoking and, at times, controversial talk by author and journalist Carlton Reid. He will explain that, in the words of an 1950s American urbanist, “building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity.”

Reid writes for The Guardian and is the author of Roads Were Not Built For Cars, a highway history book that shows how it was bolshy middle-class cyclists in the 1880s who brought roads back into mainstream use, and it was these high-society pedal-pushers who went on to use cycle technology to create motoring, and who founded most of the world’s car brands. (Yup, cyclists *are* to blame for traffic congestion!)

Originally funded by a four-times-oversubscribed Kickstarter campaign, Reid’s book was later picked up by an American publisher, a specialist in books about climate change. While much of the climate-change debate revolves around the burning of dirty coal it’s less well understood that our love affair with motoring is also killing us (sometimes brutally). Cities around the world are waking up to the fact that the age of the private motor car is coming to an end. Think driving around the centre of Newcastle is hard? That’s increasingly being done by design, and it’s going to get harder.

Our driving habits are already changing – plugged-in Millennials drive less than previous generations – but they will have to change even more. Electric cars won’t solve congestion, and driverless cars are far from a radical solution (they’re glorified taxis). If we value our mobility we’re going to have to repurpose our roads.

While some motorists may think the road belongs to them, that it was even originally built for them, Reid shows this is not the case, and he uses history to steal a glimpse into the future. He has spent the last 12 months travelling the world giving a version of this talk, presenting in front of parliamentarians in a fusty room in the House of Commons, and talking to law-makers in a Congressional budget committee room in Washington, D.C. He has also appeared on television, batting for bicyclists on ITV’s Alan Titchmarsh Show where the motoring position was argued by political heavyweight (and panto dame) Christopher Biggins.

Fresh from a lecture tour of South Africa Reid will give his talk in Newcastle because he lives here.


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.

 

Audio: https://soundcloud.com/north-east-skeptics/carlton-reid-who-owns-the-roads

Aliyah Saleem

When?
Wednesday, December 9 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Aliyah Saleem

What's the talk about?

VENUE CHANGE: We've managed to pick up on a cancellation at the Tyneside Irish Centre. We're now in the Gallowgate Room. Take the lift up to the 2nd floor.

"The talk that I hope to give will focus on apostasy from Islam, and the consequences it can have for ex-Muslims here in Britain, and around the world. I will discuss my own journey out of Islam as well as my experiences of being an ‘out of the closet’ apostate. I will try to give an insight into the kind of reactions that an ex-Muslim can face for speaking out, and for choosing to leave Islam. Furthermore I will speak about the work that Faith to Faithless is doing and why we thought it was necessary to hold events across universities to raise awareness for the growing and largely hidden ex-Muslim community in Britain."

"I aim to discuss how there is a gendered experience for women who choose to leave Islam, as well as the heightened experience that some ex-Muslims can face if they are also members of the LGBT community. We have found that public institutions and counselling professionals do not know much about apostasy, and this can cause an issue as many ex-Muslims can suffer from mental health issues caused by the breakdown of family relationships. Overall the talk will be about the taboo of apostasy, and how people are starting to break the structures that hold it in place." 


Aliyah Saleem is an Ex-Muslim woman of Pakistani heritage who was born in London. She is a cofounder of Faith to Faithless, and a grass roots activist working on ex-Muslim issues.  

Aliyah has spoken publicly about the Islamic school that she attended in Britain and the manner in which she was expelled for possessing a camera. She has written for the Times, and was part of documentary about ex-Muslims for the BBC.She left Islam at the age of 19 after researching into evolution and feminist arguments about the role of religion in society. She spent 5 years in a British Islamic boarding school, and a year studying interpretation of the Quran in Pakistan.


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.

 

Audio: https://soundcloud.com/north-east-skeptics/aliyah-saleem-islam-and-apostasy

Bradley Garrett

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

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Where?

Castle Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1RQ

Who?
Bradley Garrett

What's the talk about?

Limited Seating Space - Please RSVP on Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Newcastle-Skeptics-in-the-Pub/events/224607470/

I want to ask you to think about borders. Not borders between countries, but the borders we encounter everyday, boundaries set up by governments, corporations and by fellow citizens. Many of these borders are invisible until we cross them. Trespass is good for cities, because it makes everyday borders visible so that we can discuss whether or not they are ethical, justified or even legal.


Dr Bradley L. Garrett is a social geographer at the University of Southampton with an interest in lost, forgotten and off-limits places. From 2005-2008 he travelled the world as an archaeologist. Since then, he has lived as an urban explorer, photographing off-limits urban places.

His first book, Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City (Verso Books 2013), is an account of his adventures trespassing into ruins, tunnels and skyscrapers in eight different countries. His second book Subterranean London: Cracking the Capital (Prestel Publishing 2014), is a photographic dissection of what lies underneath the streets of London, layer by layer. 2016 marks the release of the final book in his urban exploration triptych; London Rising (Prestel Publishing 2016), documents the social, infrastructural and corporate verticalities of the city. Details of his current research, media projects, publications and events can be found at www.bradleygarrett.com


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.

 

Audio: https://soundcloud.com/north-east-skeptics/bradley-garrett-trespass-is-good-for-cities

Margaret Corvid

When?
Wednesday, October 14 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Margaret Corvid

What's the talk about?

Margaret Corvid will give you an introduction to BDSM and how the culture and community works in the UK. Covering the various different kinds of kink - from foot fetish to whips - BDSM relationships, negotiation and consent, as well as BDSM and the law. She'll also debunk lots of myths about BDSM that have populated our culture since 50 Shades, as well as the recent porn panic laws, and what it's like to be, or to visit, a pro Domme.


Margaret Corvid is a professional Domme and blogger of the New Statesman writing the column "Power Trip" which covers kink and sex work from both a personal and professional perspective.


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.

Note: This talk covers themes of an adult nature. Under-18s are not permitted. ID may be requested by staff.

All welcome - apply now!

When?
Wednesday, September 9 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
All welcome - apply now!

What's the talk about?

The fourth 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.

James Welch

When?
Wednesday, August 12 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
James Welch

What's the talk about?

The Conservative Government has come to power with a manifesto commitment to repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a “British Bill of Rights”.  But plans to legislate were not included in the Queen’s Speech; instead the Government proposes to bring forward proposals for a Bill some time this year. 


James Welch, the Legal Director of Liberty will seek to explode the myths around the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights that it gives effect to.  He will argue that repeal of the Act and/or any change to our relationship to the European are not only unnecessary but extremely undesirable.   

Liberty is a campaigning group working to protect civil liberties and promote human rights through a combination of test case litigation, lobbying, campaigning and the provision of free advice. Liberty is an independent membership organisation and relies on the support of individuals.  Join today at www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk.  James has been Liberty’s Legal Director since 2000.


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.

 

Audio: https://soundcloud.com/north-east-skeptics/james-welch-do-we-need-a-british-bill-of-rights

Chris Coltrane

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

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Where?

43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Who?
Chris Coltrane

What's the talk about?

Due to popular demand, we have moved this event to the Tyneside Irish Centre!

 

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