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Michael Marshall

When?
Tuesday, November 3 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 Westgate Street
Bath,
BA1 1EL
(Used to be 'the Rat & Parrot')

Who?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

 It’s easy to think of pseudoscience existing in a glass case at a museum – something to be examined and critiqued from a safe distance, but not something to touch and to play with. Using examples taken from his own personal experiences in skepticism, Michael Marshall will show what happens when you begin to crack the surface of the pseudosciences that surround us – revealing the surprising, sometimes-shocking and often-comic adventures that lie beneath.

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 has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Statesman.

Stevyn Colgan

When?
Tuesday, October 6 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 Westgate Street
Bath,
BA1 1EL
(Used to be 'the Rat & Parrot')

Who?
Stevyn Colgan

What's the talk about?

 Skepticism and critical thinking isn’t just about UFOs, bad pharma and Creationism. It’s about the everyday things too. After leaving school Stevyn gained places at both art and catering colleges, but turned them down and instead accepted a drunken £50 bet with his homicide detective father that he could survive six months as a police officer. He consequently joined the Metropolitan Police Service in London and ended up staying for 30 years.

During his service he found himself frequently challenging the traditional or ‘accepted’ ways of doing things; critical thinking and his own natural skepticism led him to explore different way of doing things, often in innovative and unusual ways. These included using wizards to tackle street gambling, lollipops to stop anti-social behaviour and dog shows to prevent homicides. Ultimately, he was asked by Scotland Yard and the Home Office to be part of an experimental unit to explore some of these new ideas, many of which have now found their way into everyday policing across the UK. The Skeptical Bobby is all about grass-roots skepticism and why we should be critical thinkers in every aspect of our lives.

Stevyn Colgan is an author, artist, songwriter, speaker and oddly-spelled Cornishman. He is one of the ‘Elves’ that research and write the popular BBC TV series QI and co-writes its sister show, The Museum of Curiosity, for BBC Radio 4. He has, among other things, been a chef, a potato picker, a milkman and a police officer. He has written briefing notes for two Prime Ministers and TV scripts for Gerry Anderson and Doctor Who. He’s helped build dinosaur skeletons for the Natural History Museum, movie monsters for Bruce Willis to shoot at, and was the official artist for the 2006 National Children’s Book Fair. He has been set on fire twice, been shot at once, and he is a regular at festivals and events such as Skeptics in the Pub, Cornbury, Harrogate, Hay, Latitude and the Edinburgh Fringe.

He is the author of Joined-Up Thinking, Henhwedhlow: The Clotted Cream of Cornish Folk Tales, Constable Colgan’s Connectoscope, and The Third Condiment. He has co-written Saving Bletchley Park – due to be published in October 2015 with Dr Sue Black and his new book Why did the Policeman cross the Road? will be published in May 2016 (if you want to know how to police elephants using bees, or why an Austrian mayor leaves fake vomit down alleyways, or how the phantom bus stops of Dusseldorf help protect dementia patients, please consider pledging here.) He is currently writing a novel and a book about art, and recording an album of his own songs. He stops inordinately frequently for tea.

Paulina Wegrzynek

When?
Tuesday, September 8 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 Westgate Street
Bath,
BA1 1EL
(Used to be 'the Rat & Parrot')

Who?
Paulina Wegrzynek

What's the talk about?

 Computer-mediated communication and social media have become a pervasive phenomenon in today’s society. People use social media as a platform for social expression and a tool for social change. Most recently, it has been argued that the accessibility and the mobility of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter mediated the crowd into participation in the 2011 English riots, the Occupy protests, and the “Arab Spring”. However, research into the social concepts of group decision making and group polarisation in the context of modern communication strategies is lacking. This talk will provide an overview of a recent study addressing this topic and discuss its findings and implications.

Paulina Wegrzynek is a research assistant in psychology and a postgraduate neuropsychology student at Bath Spa University. Her research interests and current work focus on social media and group decision making, employee well-being, and a link between depression and inflammation

OPEN MIC NIGHT

Various

When?
Tuesday, August 4 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 Westgate Street
Bath,
BA1 1EL
(Used to be 'the Rat & Parrot')

Who?
Various

What's the talk about?

 Is there a subject close to your heart that you want to share with a like minded audience? Are you studying something that you think others would find interesting? Is there something happening in the world that you think others should know about?

Take part in our Speaking Skeptically Open Mic Night and use a 15 minute slots to speak your mind!

Confirmed speakers:

Hayley Stevens Who You Gonna Call? A Lawyer!
A look at the legality of renting out a haunted house
Charlie Williams Tips for the ethical time traveler
A look at causality, logic, and possibility
Martin Graff Online Dating Doesn’t Work
An introduction to the psychological research into online dating

If you want to deliver a talk fill in the application form here or email bathskeptics[at]gmail[dot]com

 

Anyone and everyone

When?
Tuesday, November 25 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 Westgate Street
Bath,
BA1 1EL
(Used to be 'the Rat & Parrot')

Who?
Anyone and everyone

What's the talk about?

Come and join us for our regular monthly social - a gathering of various people of variable number to talk about all things! We are very friendly and will have a sign :-)

Anyone and everyone

When?
Tuesday, October 28 2014 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

38 Westgate Street
Bath,
BA1 1EL
(Used to be 'the Rat & Parrot')

Who?
Anyone and everyone

What's the talk about?

Come and join us for our regular monthly social - a gathering of various people of variable number to talk about all things! We are very friendly and will have a sign :-)

Anyone and everyone

When?
Tuesday, June 24 2014 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

38 Westgate Street
Bath,
BA1 1EL
(Used to be 'the Rat & Parrot')

Who?
Anyone and everyone

What's the talk about?

Come and join us for our regular monthly social - a gathering of various people of variable number to talk about all things! We are very friendly and will have a sign :-)

Anyone and everyone

When?
Tuesday, May 27 2014 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

38 Westgate Street
Bath,
BA1 1EL
(Used to be 'the Rat & Parrot')

Who?
Anyone and everyone

What's the talk about?

Come and join us for our regular monthly social - a gathering of various people of variable number to talk about all things! We are very friendly and will have a sign :-)

Reason, radicals and unsung heroes in the 1790s

John Issitt

When?
Tuesday, May 13 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 Westgate Street
Bath,
BA1 1EL
(Used to be 'the Rat & Parrot')

Who?
John Issitt

What's the talk about?

The vision of a society formed from progressive equality was based on a claim of reason. For radicals of the 1790s and for a child brought up a socialist in post war Britain, inequality was fundamentally unreasonable - society could and should be organised on equitable and therefore rational grounds. Yet the French Revolution brought Robespierre and the Guillotine and the Russian Revolution brought Stalin and the Gulag. Have we expected too much of reason? Is reason confounded by the human condition? John Issitt uses the critical episode of radical challenge in 1790s to explore the limits of reason and ask whether life is essentially mysterious?

John Issitt is a writer and a part time lecturer at the University of York UK where he teaches philosophy of learning. He taught for the Open University for 23 years and is a National Teaching Fellow.

Peter Reynolds

When?
Tuesday, April 8 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 Westgate Street
Bath,
BA1 1EL
(Used to be 'the Rat & Parrot')

Who?
Peter Reynolds

What's the talk about?

Peter Reynolds is the leader of CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform, a UK political party and the largest, membership-based drug policy reform group in Britain. CLEAR campaigns for an end to the prohibition of cannabis, most urgently for those who need it as medicine. Peter will explain the background to cannabis prohibition, the latest scientific and medical research and the reality of going head to head with the Daily Mail, the Home Office and those who still promote "Reefer Madness" propaganda.

Alistair Coleman

When?
Tuesday, January 14 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 Westgate Street
Bath,
BA1 1EL
(Used to be 'the Rat & Parrot')

Who?
Alistair Coleman

What's the talk about?

One of the world's last dictatorships, power has been passed from father to son over three generations in a personality cult that borders on religion. But what do we know about this secretive state with worrying nuclear ambitions? Alistair Coleman, a North Korea watcher with the BBC unravels the clues to give us a better picture of what's going on in Pyongyang.

Is there an alternative to alternative medicine?

Dr. Richard Rawlins MB BS MBA FRCS

When?
Tuesday, November 12 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 Westgate Street
Bath,
BA1 1EL
(Used to be 'the Rat & Parrot')

Who?
Dr. Richard Rawlins MB BS MBA FRCS

What's the talk about?

Since time immemorial we humans have been concerned about our health and well-being. For early civilisations it seemed obvious that the gods, spirits and stars were the cause of illness and disease. The Age of Enlightenment ushered in more critical analysis and we now expect medicine and healthcare to be evidence-based. Yet a third of the UK population indulges in alternatives to evidence-based medicine and at least £500 million is spent every year on implausible treatments. There is no satisfactory way of differentiating between a sincere practitioner of complementary or alternative medicine, a dissembling quack, and an out and out fraudster.

Just why do so many patients spend so much time and trouble on alternatives to science based care? Why do many doctors refer their patients for metaphysical medicine? Why are politicians content to allow taxpayers funds to be spent on treatments that have no evidence of effectiveness? Is there an alternative?

In this presentation Richard Rawlins reviews how conventional, orthodox, mainstream medicine has evolved from esoteric, hermetic, and arcane origins - has passed through a stage of thaumaturgic medicine - and now provides the best possible care in the light of current knowledge and understanding. There are many problems with orthodox medicine, but the scientific method and the attention of sceptics, in pubs and elsewhere, keeps healthcare professionals on the straight and narrow of intellectual and professional integrity. Richard brings the insights and perspectives of a magician to this challenging consideration of contemporary caring professions.

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Richard qualified as a doctor in 1968, was a lecturer in Anatomy at King's College London, a ship's surgeon on cruise ships around the world, and on warships as a Surgeon Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Naval Reserve. After further training in London he was appointed Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Bedford Hospital. He has represented his colleagues throughout his career; spending three years as Chairman of the UK Consultants Conference. In 2006 he retired to Kingswear on the River Dart where he bases his private practice. He is an expert medical witness to the Courts and to the General Medical Council. He has been active in developing BMA policy towards alternative medicine and in particular pressing for the NHS to cease purchasing homoeopathic remedies unless and until NICE reports on their cost effectiveness.

As a member of The Magic Circle, and Riviera Circle of Magicians Mentalist of the Year 2010, Richard has particular experience of illusion, deceit and deception. Magicians are honest - they say they are going to fool you, and then they do! Richard expects healthcare professionals to be honest and admit what they are up to, and his forthcoming book Placedo - the Way of the Placebo - will reveal all.