Welcome to the Skeptics in the Pub, Nottingham

For the promotion of science, reason and critical thinking

We get together on a monthly basis to have a relaxed, enjoyable and social evening while listening to talks given on a wide range of topics. 

The events are free, though we do ask for a £3 donation to cover the speakers expenses and other costs.

All upcoming events are listed below and on the right of this page.

Our venue is the first floor function room of the Canalhouse pub.

Who can attend? 

The meetings are open to all, whatever your beliefs and views, so please come along. We are a friendly bunch and everyone is welcome.

As the Canalhouse room is a private function room, under 18s are allowed to attend our events. However, under 18s must be accompanied by an adult when in the public downstairs bar.

Disabled access

The Canalhouse has a service lift which we can used to provide disabled access to the first floor function room. There is also a disabled toilet on the same floor.

Please let us know if you're coming to an event and require disabled access. We will make arrangements with the bar staff to bring you to the function room.

Keep in touch

Subscribe to the mailing list (on the right of this page) to be notified about upcoming events.

You can join the Nottingham Skeptics Facebook group here, and will receive an invite to each event.

We are also on Google+.

Follow @Notts_Skeptics to keep up to date on up coming meetings and other information.

 

Paul Duncan McGarrity

When?
Tuesday, March 7 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Paul Duncan McGarrity

What's the talk about?

An archaeologist and comedian (same person, Paul Duncan McGarrity) sits in a room and answers your questions on any subject as honestly as possible. Could be rude, probably crude. Be prepared to talk candidly with the protection of context.

'Like a very tall, funny, excited child' (Scotsman)

Timandra Harkness

When?
Tuesday, April 4 2017 at 7:30PM

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

Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Timandra Harkness

What's the talk about?

Big Data knows where you’ve been and who your friends are. It knows what you like and what makes you angry. It can predict what you’ll buy, where you’ll be the victim of crime and when you’ll have a heart attack. Big Data knows you better than you know yourself, or so it claims.
But how well do you know big data?

From science to smart cities, business to politics, self-quantification to the Internet of Things, people are talking about big data as a force for change Privacy, democracy, even our ideas of who we are, could be transformed. You don’t need to be a Silicon Valley tech prodigy to understand what’s going on.

Timandra Harkness writes comedy, not computer code. The only programs she makes are on the radio. If she can understand what’s going on, so can you. Some of the ideas underlying Big Data are based on the kind of mathematics anybody can grasp: different measures that are correlated in predictable patterns; the relationship between the average of a population and what that tells
you about an individual; how we study networks and connections to learn something new about the big picture. Others, though harder to grasp in theory, are familiar in practice: apps on our  phones that locate us on a map, or count our steps; internet search engines that predict what we’d like to buy; websites that translate other languages into  English.

But big data isn’t just neat mathematics or clever technology. It has implications for all of us.

Timandra asks the big questions about where it’s taking us: is it too big for its boots, or does it think too small? Are you a data point or a human being? She aims to leave you armed and ready to decide what you think about one of the decade’s big ideas: big data.

Victoria Stiles

When?
Tuesday, May 9 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

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.

Jenny Josephs

When?
Tuesday, July 4 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Jenny Josephs

What's the talk about?

After completing a PhD in Visual Cognition at the University of Southampton, Jenny changed course and started The Bug Shack - a business promoting and selling edible insects. Jenny is a regular speaker at Skeptics events and science festivals and is also involved in academic research.

By 2050 the global population will reach 9 billion and this will put ever increasing pressure on food and environmental resources. It will be a challenge to ensure global food security without further damaging the environment with intensified farming practices.

One UN backed solution is to focus on alternative sources of protein, such as insects for food and animal feed. About 2 billion of us already include insects in our diets, though it is still a growing trend in the west.

Insects are described as having a variety of different flavours, from mushroomy to pistachio or pork crackling. They are comparable to beef in protein and contain beneficial nutrients like iron and calcium. Their environmental impact is also minimal, requiring far less water and feed than cattle, and releasing fewer emissions.

During this talk, Jenny will explain how insects might replace some of the meat in our diets and also give some tips on how to cook them. You will be invited to sample some tasty bug snacks after the talk!

Dr Nick Hawes

When?
Tuesday, September 5 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Dr Nick Hawes

What's the talk about?

It’s inevitable, isn't it? One day robots will take over the world, either through some kind of violent rebellion, or through the back door -- by taking all our jobs. Aren't we throwing caution to the wind by ignoring this threat? Well, by explaining some of the basic principles behind artificial intelligence and robotics, I'm going to try to convince you that all those science fiction writers are wrong, and whilst robots will have a large part to play in our future, you don't need to worry about the effect they'll have on our existence.

Nick Hawes is a Reader in Autonomous Intelligent Robotics in the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham. His research is in the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to create intelligent, autonomous robots that can work with or for humans. He is a passionate believer in public engagement with AI and robotics and was selected to give the Lord Kelvin Award Lecture at the 2013 British Science Festival.

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