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Katie Atkinson

When?
Tuesday, January 5 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Katie Atkinson

What's the talk about?

In this talk Katie will provide an insight into the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to show how current research on the topic breaks many of the moulds found in numerous depictions of AI in sci-fi literature and films. She will provide an overview of the main techniques used to represent aspects of intelligent thought and behaviour, and discuss some of the landmark success stories and current state-of-the-art. Katie will further pinpoint some of the challenges that AI researchers face, covering technological, legal and ethical aspects.

Katie Atkinson is Professor of Computer Science and Head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Liverpool. Academic staff in the Department carry out both pure and applied research in their two main areas of expertise: AI and Algorithms.  In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the Computer Science department was ranked 1st in the UK for 4* and 3* research, with 97% of its research being rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Katie's research concerns computational models of argument, with a particular focus on persuasive argumentation in practical reasoning and how this can be applied in domains such as e-Democracy, law and agent systems. She has published over one hundred articles on these, and closely related, subjects. She received her PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2005.

Emma McClure

When?
Tuesday, December 1 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Emma McClure

What's the talk about?

A grisly murder scene, a renegade detective pours over the scene. They find an overlooked clue; a hair, a footprint, a shell casing. Detailed analysis matches it to the bad guy. The bad guy goes to jail - this is often how modern day forensics are thought of and how it is often portrayed in shows such as 'CSI' and 'Silent Witness'.

Forensic evidence is seen as conclusive when it comes to catching suspects and deciding if someone is guilty in a criminal trial. How could the traces left behind at a crime scene lie?

The science in areas such as DNA collection has progressed enormously in recent decades allowing for break-throughs in many old and cold cases.

However, we have also seen many high profile exonerations of those previously convicted of the most serious of crimes on seemingly 'conclusive' forensic evidence. This has lead to increasing scrutiny of the way it is analysed, interpreted and presented in the courtroom.

In this talk, prison lawyer Emma McClure explores this issue alongside the amusing, confusing and sometimes tragic consequences of failing to take a skeptical approach to scientific evidence.

David Alnwick

When?
Monday, November 23 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
David Alnwick

What's the talk about?

Mind Reader.  Cult Leader.  Dave.
 
David Alnwick takes his critically acclaimed magic show on tour, gathering new followers in order to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming the leader of his own cult.  Employing practical, real world examples of 'social manipulation', Dave will entertain, excite and inspire.  Come and worship at the feet of your new lord and commander. 
 
After the performance there will be a 30 minute talk on the ideas and techniques employed within the show including some mention on the wider psychology in play.  This will be followed with a 30 minute question and answer session.

Why children are great pretenders, poor problem solvers, and sometimes less clever than crows

Sarah Beck

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

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Sarah Beck

What's the talk about?

Young children are excellent imaginers, coming up with all kinds of creative and weird worlds. But what is the imagination really for? Adults use their imaginations to solve problems, but children sometimes struggle with this. In this talk, Sarah Beck will explore how children start to use their imaginations for creative problem solving, using examples of children’s thinking about ‘how things might have been different’ and comparing children’s tool-making to that of clever non-human animals.

 

Sarah Beck is Reader in Cognitive Development at the University of Birmingham. She researches children's thinking about possibility and time, and questions whether adults' thinking in these areas is as sophisticated as we might like to think. She teaches an undergraduate course that compares the cognitive abilities of human children with non-human animals.

 

Ash Pryce

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

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

Hydesville. New York. 1848. The young Fox sisters begin communicating with the spirit of a murdered beggar and spiritualism is born.

This interactive look at a history of talking to the dead will feature an array of magical treats including levitating tables, ectoplasm manifestation and spirit communication.

Part magic show, part comedy, part rational inquiry this fun show has regularly packed venues at the Edinburgh fringe.

Ouija Boards

Spirit Slates
Spirit Communication
Stopped Pulses
Spewing ectoplasm
And more...

"Ash Pryce is a naturally funny guy and won't allow his audience to be bored" "Very entertaining" - edfringereview

"Go see" - Edinburgh Skeptics

About Ash

Ash Pryce is a performer and director based in Scotland.  He has written and staged several skeptically themed shows looking at myths & legends, ghosts, psychics and mediumship as well as producing full plays ranging from Faustus to more contemporary original shows in Edinburgh.  He is the founder of Edinburgh Skeptics, the newly started History in the Pub Edinburgh, and runs what is believed to be the worlds first skeptical ghost tour every Fringe.  He lives just outside of Edinburgh with his three Degus, one of which holds a grudge against him.

 

Philip Moriarty

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

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Philip Moriarty

What's the talk about?

There is no doubt that quantum physics embodies mind-blowing concepts that force us to question the very nature of reality.  And if there’s a contender for our current best “theory of everything” then quantum mechanics wins hands down.

But, far too often, the word “quantum” signals the worst type of vacuous pseudoscientific gobbledegook. It’s exploited by those who are entirely clueless about the underlying physics -- or, worse, should know better -- to evoke a misplaced mysticism about the ‘holistic’ nature of the universe. Moreover, when consciousness and quantum collide, the nonsense factor goes through the roof…

Philip Moriarty will aim to tease out the science from the mysticism and show that while quantum physics certainly has its weird and wacky aspects, it’s at heart a theory of waves. That means we can very often easily interpret what’s happening at the quantum level in terms of the everyday world around us – he’ll take a look at what coffee cups, drums, and a SlinkyTM can tell us about the broader nature of the universe (and Deepak Chopra’s place in it).

Philip Moriarty is a professor of physics at the University of Nottingham. He tweets at @Moriarty2112 and blogs at www.muircheart.wordpress.com.

Daisy Christodoulou

When?
Tuesday, August 4 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Daisy Christodoulou

What's the talk about?

How do we best teach children to have a sceptical and questioning attitude? Can pupils learn everything they need to know from first principles? Are there some things they just need to take on trust? If pupils do need to depend on authority, how can we also teach them to be sceptical of authority? And what does scientific evidence have to tell us about this – how do we think and learn, and is it even possible to teach critical thinking and scepticism?
 

Bonus Talk from PubhD at 21:00

Lexi Earl (Education) is a final year PhD in the School of Education. Her research explores food experiences in primary schools and focuses in particular on how policies are taken up in schools. She examines how food-related topics like obesity and ‘foodieness’ are adopted within the school setting, and how this affects the kinds of human beings we can become. She blogs about cake and the PhD experience at Philosophy and Madeleines.

The NHS & Beyond

Michael Marshall

When?
Tuesday, July 7 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

Homeopathy is one of the most widely debunked form of alternative medicine – yet homeopathic remedies adorn the shelves of respected pharmacies and are funded by taxpayers on the NHS. How big of a problem is this?

Using information and personal experiences gathered during his last 6 years of campaigning against homeopathy, Michael Marshall will highlight how much money is spent on homeopathic remedies, how this gives undeserved credibility to homeopathy, how such remedies can lead to genuine harm and what you can do to help.

--

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

Sophie Scott

When?
Tuesday, June 9 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Sophie Scott

What's the talk about?

NOTE: This talk will start at 7 pm (prompt!). 

Professor Sophie Scott is the Welcome Trust Senior Fellow at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London researching the neuroscience of voices, speech and laughter.  Oh, and she's an occasional standup too!

In this talk Sophie will look at some of the problems with the Brain Sex theory of brain organisation, and also address some of the conceptual issues people run into when they try to develop brain based theories of sexuality.

You can listen Sophie talking to Jim Al-Khalili on R4's The Life Scientific about her research here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03bdpl5

Bonus Extra talk from 9 pm to 9.30 pm: "PubhD Sampler".

A previous PubhD speaker will tell us about their research for 10 minutes followed by a 20 minute Q&A. The speaker is Mark Iliffe who is researching mapping in developing countries and how to create better services using that data.

 

Iszi Lawrence

When?
Tuesday, May 12 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Iszi Lawrence

What's the talk about?

Skeptic, comedian and voice of the Skeptics Guide To The Universe, Iszi Lawrence returns to Nottingham Skeptics in the Pub with her new show The Z List Dead List. The Z List Dead List is a live comedy show about obscure people from History. As a skeptic, Iszi has found a few that will peak your interest. Expect woo, violence, sex and death. And a competition. The show is also a podcast with guest interviews from Jon Ronson, Griff Rhys Jones, Natalie Haynes, Neil Denny, Richard Herring etc. You can find it on iTunes at itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-z-list-dead-list/id915778702?mt=2 or go to the website www.zlistdeadlist.com

Jenny Freeman

When?
Tuesday, April 14 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Jenny Freeman

What's the talk about?

The ability to understand data and evidence is becoming increasingly important in today’s data-driven world. This talk discusses some elements of statistical literacy and what are the key questions to ask when presented with data and evidence.

During this talk Jenny will provide a brief overview of why it is important that we all start to think more statistically, illustrated by some recent, and not so recent examples, and by the end you will be just a little clearer on what are the key questions that you should ask when presented with statistics. You should be more confident and less bamboozled than when we started.

Jenny is an associate professor of Medical Statistics at the University of Leeds, and currently Vice President of the Royal Statistical Society with responsibility for the External Affairs brief. For most of her working life Jenny has been an academic statistician, with the exception of time out to study for a degree in Embroidery at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Jenny graduated with a BSc in Economics (Statistics) from the London School of Economics, and an MSc in Medical Statistics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. For her PhD she worked on the 1990 child growth reference centiles for UK children (the ones in the red book given to all new parents). She really enjoy communicating with people about statistics and over the years has received several awards for my teaching, including two Senate Awards from the University of Sheffield and the Keith Boddy Prize from the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine for the best educational article in their Journal, SCOPE.

Andrew Copson

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

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Andrew Copson

What's the talk about?

At this event, Andrew Copson will give an overview of humanism: what it is, what it is not, its history and its long association with skepticism.

Andrew will also talk about the British Humanist Association: their aims and the work that they do.

Andrew Copson is the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association. Andrew became Chief Executive in January 2010 after five years coordinating the BHA's education and public affairs work. His writing on humanist and secularist issues has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, The Times and New Statesman as well as in various journals and he has represented the BHA and Humanism extensively on television news on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, as well as on television programmes such as Newsnight, The Daily Politics and The Big Questions. He has also appeared on radio on programmes from Today, Sunday, The World at One, The Last Word and Beyond Belief on the BBC, to local and national commercial radio stations.