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In the Classroom

Alom Shaha

When?
Thursday, May 23 2013 at 6:30PM

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Where?

67 Etruria Old Road,
Etruria,
Stoke-On-Trent,
ST1 5PE.

Who?
Alom Shaha

What's the talk about?

TALK: How can children brought up in religious families reconcile the different ‘truths’ they are told about the world? And to what extent should we discuss these issues in schools: what exactly should science teachers say when asked about the ‘truth’ of science by religious students?

In this talk, Alom Shaha will describe his personal experiences growing up in a Bangladeshi Muslim community in London, what role his science education played in his journey towards atheism and how, as a Physics teacher, he responds to the apparent conflict between science and religion in the classroom.

SPEAKER: Alom Shaha was born in Bangladesh but grew up in London. A teacher, science writer, and filmmaker, he has spent most of his professional life sharing his passion for science and education with the public.

Alom has produced, directed, and appeared in a number of television programmes for broadcasters such as the BBC, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts (NESTA) and the Nuffield Foundation. Alom has represented his community as an elected politician, and has volunteered at a range of charitable organisations. He teaches at a comprehensive school in London, writes for a number of print and online publications and is the author of The Young Atheist’s Handbook.

For more information see his website: http://alomshaha.com/

Alom tweets at @alomshaha

The Discovery and Loss of the Cure for Scurvy.

Dr Andrew N Holding

When?
Wednesday, May 8 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

67 George Street, Stoke-on-Trent, Hartshill, Staffordshire, ST5 1JT.

Who?
Dr Andrew N Holding

What's the talk about?

SPEAKER: Dr Andrew N. Holding is currently employed by the Medical Research Council (MRC) in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge.

Dr. Holding's website is here: http://evath.net/

TALK: Of all the slang names for the British, none is more iconic than 'Limey'. While the the term provokes majestic images of the Golden Age of Sail, scurvy cost countless sailors and seamen their lives. It was once not unheard of for nine out of every ten members of a ship's crew to have succumbed to scurvy by the time it returned to port. The results of James Lind's work on the HMS Salisbury in 1747, which led to a cure, without doubt saved innumerable lives. Yet in Cherry-Garrard's account of Robert Falcon Scott's 1911 expedition to the South Pole, he writes: "There was little scurvy in Nelson’s days; but the reason is not clear, since, according to modern research, lime-juice only helps to prevent it." So why did Lind's results get forgotten?

NOTE: We have yet to confirm a venue, but we do know that our regular, The Holy Inadequate, is booked on the night. We'll most likely be booking The Greyhound again, but please check back for updates (or alternatively subscribe to our mailing-list to get updates posted to your inbox). 

£3 per head on the night gets you a ticket in our drinks raffle. Two lucky attendees will win a FREE pint on the night.

CANCELLED!!!

When?
Wednesday, April 3 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

67 Etruria Old Road,
Etruria,
Stoke-On-Trent,
ST1 5PE.

Who?
Andy Lewis

What's the talk about?

TALK: The late eighteenth century was a very creative time for inventing new forms of quackery and many became quite wealthy on the back on their invention. Of these creations, it is perhaps only homeopathy that has survived virtually unchanged into the 21st century. The majority of alternative medicines available today have been invented and developed within living memory, despite claims of their origins in antiquity. 

What makes an alternative medicine successful? Why should homeopathy survive when the very popular tractors of Perkins have long since been forgotten? Could you have predicted this in 1800? Today, we have a new industry of quack devices protecting us from mobile phones. Should you invest in such enterprises?
In this talk, Andy will look at the factors that make pseudo-medicines thrive and why consumers and practitioners latch onto them. Importantly, we shall explore the implications of these views for regulation and protecting the public from delusional or fraudulent claims.

SPEAKER: Andy Lewis developed the Quackometer website that explores the pseudoscientific claims of alternative medicine websites and their impact on society.

Flying Fakirs to Starving Saints

When?
Thursday, March 21 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

67 George Street, Stoke-on-Trent, Hartshill, Staffordshire, ST5 1JT.

Who?
Sanal Edamaruku

What's the talk about?

 URGENT: Please note, tonight's venue has changed to The Greyhound in Newcastle-under-Lyme. 

Paul Hopwood

When?
Wednesday, December 5 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

67 Etruria Old Road,
Etruria,
Stoke-On-Trent,
ST1 5PE.

Who?
Paul Hopwood

What's the talk about?

TOPIC: The Scientific Method is one of the cornerstones of philosophical enquiry, which endeavours to help try and answer the question, “What is going on?” by producing the highest quality evidence possible. Many areas of scientific research endeavour to do this by taking the individual out of the equation, thus bypassing the limitations and distortions of our perceptions of existence, but just what is the extent of the limitations of the human brain?

 
There are many ways to try and answer this question; and in this talk Paul Hopwood gives his take on the matter by looking at research he examined during his Cognitive Psychology studies. By presenting some (hopefully!) enlightening and humorous examples, he aims to provide the audience with sufficient evidence to find out where the limits lie; and, hopefully, the ability to be able to push those limits back!
 
SPEAKER: Paul Hopwood is a relatively new and highly enthusiastic Skeptics speaker; and a keen amateur chess player. He gained his Psychology Degree from Leeds and his Master of Research Degree in Psychology at York; for which he studied the long- and short-term memories of his fellow chess players. He is extremely keen to be an ambassador for improving the public understanding of science; and to take an active part in the Skeptical community.
 
He is also (to his knowledge) the only public speaker to have been able to answer audience questions whilst successfully solving a Rubik’s Cube.
 
£3 per head on the night gets you a ticket in our drinks raffle (two lucky attendees will get a FREE pint on the night). 

Chris worfolk

When?
Wednesday, November 7 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

67 Etruria Old Road,
Etruria,
Stoke-On-Trent,
ST1 5PE.

Who?
Chris worfolk

What's the talk about?

In 2006, Chris Worfolk founded Leeds Atheist Society while studying at the University of Leeds. During his time running the society, he had a great deal of interaction with the other faith societies on campus, including attending their events, making friends and even going on their weekend retreat. In this talk, he will discuss his experiences and provide an insight into how they operate.

 
(£3 per head gets you a ticket in our drinks raffle, two lucky attendees will get a FREE pint on the night.)

Informal Event, Drinks Raffle + Quiz

(none)

When?
Sunday, October 21 2012 at 5:00PM

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Where?

67 Etruria Old Road,
Etruria,
Stoke-On-Trent,
ST1 5PE.

Who?
(none)

What's the talk about?

As discussed at our last meet up we will now be setting on a Skeptics in the Pub social event every third Sunday of the month, these events will kick off earlier than our usual and will have a much more informal feel about them, so there no need to turn up on the dot.

Typical features will include our drinks raffle and an Oh so solid Skeptics in the Pub quiz, where you'll be scratching your skull raw over some of the most ridiculously juvenile conundrums ever to make their way out of a creationist web-forum.

 
As well as serving as a social event for skeptical thinkers to gather together informally over a few drinks this secondary event will also serve the following functions: - 
  • As a discussion group for contentious issues arising from talks,
  • An alternative day, allowing skeptics from further afield to attend, where they might otherwise not be able to.
  • An occasional alternative slot for speakers who find it difficult to commit to our usual mid-week slot (owning to distance and travel time).
  • And act as a slot or platform for any panel-style debates, we might be planning for 2013.
  • In the meantime, Stoke Skeptics will continue to provide regular events on the first Wednesday of the month (subject to speaker availability).
(£3 per head gets you a ticket in our drinks raffle, two lucky attendees will get a FREE pint on the night. Monies accrued will be spent on prizes for our pub quiz.)

Ronald Green

When?
Wednesday, July 4 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

67 Etruria Old Road,
Etruria,
Stoke-On-Trent,
ST1 5PE.

Who?
Ronald Green

What's the talk about?

 "Why should nothing matter? If anything matters, why should nothing matter? And yet it does, for there isn’t anything, it seems, that nothing does not touch, or anything that does not touch nothing. History, philosophy, religion, science, art, literature, music – all look towards nothing at some point, stimulating questions that would otherwise not be asked.

What is this nothing, that we can’t actually see, touch or feel? Is it absolute? Is it relative to everything else? If we are able to think about it, write and read about it, is it something, and if so wouldn’t it then not be nothing?

This is precisely the mystery of nothing – that the more we think about it, the more there is to it.

THE SPEAKER: Ronald Green is the author of “Nothing Matters – a book about nothing” (iff-Books). Philosopher, linguist, university lecturer and ESL teacher, Ronald has lectured and given workshops in Europe, North and South America and the Middle East on linguistics, ESL and the use of the Internet in education. For the past five years he has been thinking seriously about nothing, culminating in his recently-published book." -- Blurb curtesy of Cork Skeptics.

 

 

£3 per head, gets you a ticket in our drinks raffle. Two attendees will win a free pint on the night.

Closing the Ark Door After the T-Rex has bolted?

When?
Wednesday, April 4 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

67 Etruria Old Road,
Etruria,
Stoke-On-Trent,
ST1 5PE.

Who?
Mark Edon

What's the talk about?

Why should Skeptics be more interested in Creationism? This talk will give a brief synopsis of the current issues in the UK and what you can do about it. How to argue against creationism without using logic and evidence (sort of). Note, that's arguing "against" Creationists, which is not the same as "arguing with creationists". There will also be a segment on "Creationism or Fiction - can you spot the difference?" as well as a bit of actual science (if we have time).

 
Our speaker Mark Edon is a lifelong fan of science. He got involved in the UK anti-creationist scene after creationists interfered in his kid's school. Since then he has been inspired to study for a degree with the Open University in Life Sciences, which he has nearly finished.
 
Mark is also the Humanist representative on the Leeds City Council Standing Advisory Committee on Religious Education (SACRE) and the secretary for the BCSE (British Centre for Science Education).
 
£3 per head on the night, includes a ticket in our drinks raffle (Two lucky attendees will win a FREE pint on the night).

Why you can’t believe everything you read in the papers.

Michael Marshall

When?
Wednesday, February 1 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

67 Etruria Old Road,
Etruria,
Stoke-On-Trent,
ST1 5PE.

Who?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

 “You can’t believe everything you read in the papers.”
 
Everyone knows this, but few people realise this truism extends far beyond the celebrity pages and gossip columns, and spills into ‘real’ news. Here, the near-invisible influence of PR companies is often pivotal in deciding what news gets told, and how it gets reported.
 
By taking a brief look at the history of modern journalism, and using real examples taken from recent headlines, Michael Marshall will show why you really, really can’t believe everything you read in the papers.
 
Michael Marshall is the co-founder and vice-president of the Merseyside Skeptics Society, appears on the “Skeptics with a K”, and co-hosted the “Righteous Indignation” and “Strange Quarks” podcasts.
 
Michael also headed up the nationally- and internationally-successful 10:23 Campaign against homeopathy, co-organises the QED conference and sporadically writes about the often-unsuspected role of PR in modern media.
 
He was once described by Ben Goldacre as ‘a mighty nerd from Liverpool’. He was also once rather amusingly called a VERY rude word by self-proclaimed psychic Joe Power.
 
NOTE: Revised event price for 2012, £3 per head on the night, to cover speaker and buffet costs. This also includes the cost of a 'pint raffle' ticket. Two lucky attendees will get a FREE pint on the night!

The Future of Stoke Skeptics in the Pub

Non-Speaker Event / Social

When?
Wednesday, January 4 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

67 Etruria Old Road,
Etruria,
Stoke-On-Trent,
ST1 5PE.

Who?
Non-Speaker Event / Social

What's the talk about?

This Wednesday’s Stoke Skeptics in the Pub will be a non-speaker event, which will take the form an ad hoc Annual General Meeting, where organisers and attendees will be able to discuss the future of the meet up for this year and trash out any issues that might arise.

All subjects will be up for debate from...

  • future speakers,
  • alternative venues,
  • the cost of events,
  • the expansion of operations,
  • attendance/membership,
  • the creation of a newsletter,
  • etcetera.
 (Picture "CourtGavel" by Jonathunder.)

A Seasonal Talk on Religion.

Mike Hall

When?
Wednesday, December 7 2011 at 7:00AM

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Where?

67 Etruria Old Road,
Etruria,
Stoke-On-Trent,
ST1 5PE.

Who?
Mike Hall

What's the talk about?

Come join us this December for a Christmas Extravaganza at Stoke Skeptics in the Pub. We're laying on a FREE glass of Sherry and mulled wine for our members. Mince pies will accompany our usual buffet and we'll have Christmas crackers, cards, merriment and much, much more. 

Our speaker this Yuletide is the redoubtable MIKE HALL, President
 of the Merseyside Skeptics Society, presenter of the amazingly popular Skeptics with a K podcast, and one of the masterminds behind the 10:23 Campaign and the Question.Explore.Discover Convention

His particular interests are the existence of God, alternative medicine, logic and Doctor Who; and in-keeping with the season of good will he'll be giving us a talk on religion. ;D He once appeared on the Sky One game show

 "Are You Smarter Than A Ten Year Old?". - Turns out, he wasn't. 

So come along and relieve some of that Christmas anxiety with Stoke Skeptics in the Pub. - You know you'll feel better for it!

- Please RSVP to let us know if you will be attending.