<< Following year

When?
Wednesday, August 7 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

Who?
Kathryn Ford

What's the talk about?

TALK: The notion that one can judge a person’s character on the basis of their facial appearance is an idea that dates back to the ancient Greeks and for a short period, the practice of physiognomy was considered scientific. 


Despite the fact that this ancient practice has long been discredited, the idea that one can “read” a person’s character simply by looking at their face still persists within folk psychology. In fact, this belief and our natural tendency to judge people on the basis of facial appearance has a surprisingly pervasive effect on all of our lives.

In this talk Kathryn Ford will look at the modern face of physiognomy trying to answer questions such as; why do we judge people as soon as we see them? How accurate are these judgements? And does facial appearance effect how people are treated within the criminal justice system?

WARNING: This talk will involve some discussion of rape.

SPEAKER: Kathryn Ford received a BSc in Neuroscience and Psychology from Keele University in 2011 and an MSc in Evolutionary Psychology from Brunel University in 2012.

PRICE: £3 per head, includes entry into drinks raffle. Two lucky attendees will win a FREE pint on the night.

Tannice Pendegrass

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

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Where?

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

Who?
Tannice Pendegrass

What's the talk about?

TALK: Tannice firstly aims to take you through different definitions of autism, cultural representations and the results of her survey, asking over 700 people about their perceptions of what causes and ‘cures’ autism (spoiler: we don’t know and, currently, nothing).
 
The second part of the talk focuses on ‘the bad’ and ‘the ugly’. Tannice will briefly cover the MMR scandal, but this is not the main focus of her ‘bad’ or ‘ugly’ section: the subject that Tannice reserves the most ire for is the toxic and sometimes downright dangerous ‘treatments’ many children must endure. Asking the question ‘what’s the harm?’ has never been more important.
 
The third part of the talk is for ‘the good’, focusing on ABA or Applied Behavioural Analysis; the gold standard for aiding those on the spectrum. From Kim Peek (the inspiration for rain man) to Jenny McCarthy (an anti-vaccination campaigner), this talk will give you a broad overview of Autism, Autism interventions and why cultural representations of Autism are usually wrong. You’ll also find out why a horse died when he was being treated in a chamber normally reserved for divers suffering from the bends.
 
Find out more on her website: www.tannice.co.uk
Follow Tannnice on Twitter @Tannice_
 
NOTE: Owing to work commitments, the speaker will be conducting this talk over Skype. 
 
SPEAKER: Tannice is a writer, editor and proofreader who moonlights as a public speaker on the subject of Autism. She also hosts Guildford Skeptics in the Pub, a monthly event promoting critical thinking, science and reasoned debate in Surrey.
 
Having worked in fields as diverse as teaching, marketing, mental health, online games and finance, she has an excellent working knowledge of a broad spectrum of industries. An avid reader and writer, Tannice also enjoys proofreading and editing fiction and is especially interested in psychology, philosophy and science.
 
PRICE: £3 per head includes drinks raffle ticket. Two lucky attendees will get a FREE pint on the night.

Iszi Lawrence

When?
Wednesday, June 5 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

Who?
Iszi Lawrence

What's the talk about?

SPEAKER: Iszi lawrence is a stand-up comedian, skeptic and atheist. She is the resident compere of the Lil Fat Comedy Club Witney, has had sell out shows at the Camden, Brighton, Bath, Oxfringe and Edinburgh fringe. She also featured in Perrier Award winning The Passion Of The Hodgson and has appeared on BBC Radio 1, BBC 7 and local radio inc. Resonance FM.

 

She hails from a mixed background of both christianity and Islam.

 

Iszi is also co-host of the Sundays Supplement podcast and comperes Oxford Skeptics in the Pub. She has been an invited speaker to Atheist Think Week and has spoken at several Skeptic societies and conferences around the UK and Europe.

 

TALK: "The experiences of an awkward atheist" - how superstition, belief and reason are intermingled in comedy and everyday life.

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).