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Simon Singh

When?
Tuesday, March 4 2014 at 7:00PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Simon Singh

What's the talk about?

Simon Singh, author of Fermat's Last Theorem and Big Bang, talks about his latest book, which explores mathematical themes hidden in The Simpsons. Everyone knows that The Simpsons is the most successful show in television  history, but very few people realise that its team of mathematically gifted writers have used the show to explore everything from calculus to geometry, from pi to game theory, and from infinitesimals to infinity. Singh will also discuss how writers of Futurama have similarly made it their missions to smuggle deep mathematical ideas into the series.

"This is a joint CAMRA and Nottingham Skeptics In the Pub event."

Vicky Stiles

When?
Tuesday, February 11 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Vicky Stiles

What's the talk about?

The Third Reich was a large, complex, modern state with a thriving mass media, diverse population, and fruitful trade and cultural links with the rest of the world. The ideology behind National Socialism drew upon well-established strands of nationalist and racialist thinking as well as centuries-old anti-Semitism, and the Nazi Party and its government used cutting-edge technology and techniques to give these ideas the broadest possible audience and appeal. All too often, this baffling web of networks, policies and overlapping interest groups, which changed constantly over the twelve years the Third Reich lasted, gets reduced to the ideas and actions of just one man. From the top of the ivory tower, to the very bottom of the bottom half of the internet, this talk will explore what Adolf Hitler means to all of us, and how our obsession with him is sucking the meaning out one of our most potent historical symbols: the Holocaust.

Victoria Stiles is a final-year PhD student at the University of Nottingham, as well as a member of Greater Manchester Skeptics. She is writing a thesis titled "Reading the Enemy: German Publications on British Imperialism, 1933 - 1945" and occasionally blogs about her sources and what it means to "do" history at tattyjackets.blogspot.com.  She has started a new history podcast: "1066 Wasn't All That". It is for PhD students in history and related fields to talk about their research, and the website is http://1066podcast.blogspot.co.uk.

 

Sera Baker, Dave Farmer and Christian Perrin

When?
Wednesday, January 22 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

12 – 14 Queensbridge Road
Nottingham.
NG2 1NB.

Who?
Sera Baker, Dave Farmer and Christian Perrin

What's the talk about?

At each event, 3 PhD/EngD/EdD students, and post-docs, from any academic discipline, will explain their work to an audience of laypeople in exchange for a pint or two.

Sera Baker is a doctoral researcher in Archaeology at The University of Nottingham. She studies the small shops of Roman Pompeii before they were destroyed by the AD 79 volcanic eruption of Vesuvius. She can also be found on Twitter @SeraECBaker.

Dave Farmer is a PhD student at the University of Nottingham. He spends his time studying the elastic properties of polymer films. He does this by hitting them with a stick and watching them wobble; the neat thing is that the stick is actually a table-full of laser and the films are 1000 times smaller than a human hair.

Christian Perrin works in the domain of forensic psychology. Broadly, Christian is investigating the question: what can be changed about prisons to make them more effective in terms of reducing re-offending? More specifically, he is looking at meaningful and purposeful activity in prisons (i.e. peer support volunteer roles) and exploring how such activity can impact on a prisoner’s life in prison and in the community after release.

 Gordon Ward

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

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Where?

12 – 14 Queensbridge Road
Nottingham.
NG2 1NB.

Who?
Gordon Ward

What's the talk about?

Gordon became a born-again Christian at the age of 11 and spent much of his teenage years praying and studying the Bible. Intending to become a minister in the church, he went to Durham University and studied theology. Whilst there, he became involved in the charismatic movement – preaching, healing and speaking in tongues.

Gordon’s favourite verse in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13:1 “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” and he is happy to report that, at the age of 24, he put away childish things and became an atheist.

He is concerned about the effect that fundamentalist Christianity is having in the States, in Africa and even here in the UK. His hypothesis is that one of the few ways of tackling fundamentalist thinking is to use the bible to challenge the bible. In order to explore this hypothesis Gordon attended one and a quarter Alpha courses. He will report on what he heard, what he learnt and what questions the course raised for him.

Michael Merrifield

When?
Tuesday, December 3 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

12 – 14 Queensbridge Road
Nottingham.
NG2 1NB.

Who?
Michael Merrifield

What's the talk about?

Although Christmas is not a time that many people associate with science, there is plenty of science to be found around it.  This talk will touch on just a few of the scientific underpinnings of our celebration, such as the time of year we hold it, the nature of the Star of Bethlehem, and more unusual topics such as why Christmas trees are Christmas-tree shaped.  With a rich seasonal mix of chemistry, astronomy, biology, physics, psychology and even a little law, plus the definitive calculation as to how fast Father Christmas really has to travel, what better way could there be to get into the Christmas spirit?

Michael Merrifield is professor of astronomy at the University of Nottingham.  His primary area of research involves trying to understand the formation and evolution of galaxies by studying the motions of stars in nearby systems.  He is a frequent speaker in schools, astronomical societies, Cafes Scientifiques, etc, and is also regularly to be seen in the “Sixty Symbols” and “Deep Sky Videos” series on YouTube.  If you are still trying to find gifts for Christmas, he also runs a company that makes scientifically-accurate sculptures of astronomical objects called “Crystal Nebulae.” 

a palaeontologist's perspective.

Dr Adam Smith

When?
Tuesday, November 5 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

12 – 14 Queensbridge Road
Nottingham.
NG2 1NB.

Who?
Dr Adam Smith

What's the talk about?

The Mesozoic Era was the age of the reptiles. While dinosaurs dominated the land a spectacular variety of aquatic reptiles ruled the ocean. Perhaps the most unusual of all were the plesiosaurs. Many questions have been raised surrounding these mysterious animals. Why did they have such long necks? What did they eat? How did they swim and reproduce? How did they become extinct? And how do we know? All these questions will be explored.

Or, perhaps plesiosaurs aren't extinct at all. Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster? We'll approach the living plesiosaur hypothesis from a palaeontological perspective, to assess how our understanding of plesiosaur anatomy, evolution and behaviour, has a bearing on the case.

Dr Adam Smith is a palaeontologist and curator at the Nottingham Natural History Museum, Wollaton Hall. He has degrees in palaeobiology from the Universities of Portsmouth and Bristol, and a PhD in palaeontology from University College Dublin. His research specialism is plesiosaurs and other fossil marine reptiles and he has named several new species.

He also runs the The Plesiosaur Directory (http://plesiosauria.com/) and the Dinosaur Toy Blog (http://www.dinotoyblog.com/)"

 

Sarah Grant (plus others from the team!)

When?
Tuesday, October 15 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

12 – 14 Queensbridge Road
Nottingham.
NG2 1NB.

Who?
Sarah Grant (plus others from the team!)

What's the talk about?

*This is a free event*

In January 2013, comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans founded The Sunday Assembly in London - the godless congregation that has been labelled 'The Atheist Church'. The Sunday Assembly has spread like wild-fire across the globe, answering a latent need for community without god. It is already established in London, New York, Melbourne, Bristol and Brighton.

Sunday Assembly Nottingham is due to start in December and for this event we will be joined by Sarah Grant and others from the team to hear about their plans. Sarah will give us a short talk, but the main focus of the evening will be to answer your questions.

Sarah is one of the organising team for SA Nottingham and an avid community loving non-believer. She works at City hospital as a clinical trial coordinator in stroke medicine and she loves research. Sarah's background is in psychology and she has a general interest in people, community and society. She is hoping that a Sunday Assembly in Nottingham could inspire a whole community to come together and celebrate the one wonderful life we get!

Stevyn Colgan

When?
Tuesday, October 1 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

12 – 14 Queensbridge Road
Nottingham.
NG2 1NB.

Who?
Stevyn Colgan

What's the talk about?

Stevyn Colgan is a former member of the Met Police Problem Solving Unit, which developed creative and innovative approaches to issues that did not respond to traditional policing methods. He is an expert on problem-oriented policing and has lectured extensively on the subject throughout the UK and US.


Stevyn is also an author, artist, songwriter, and oddly-spelled Cornishman. He is one of the QI Elves and co-writes its sister show, The Museum of Curiosity for BBC Radio 4.
He is the author of "Joined-Up Thinking" (Pan Macmillan 2008) and "Henhwedhlow: The Clotted Cream of Cornish Folk Tales" (Kowethas 2010).
His latest book, "Constable Colgan's Connectoscope" (Unbound, 2013), will be published in paperback on 5th October 2013.

He stops inordinately frequently for tea.

Twitter: @stevyncolgan
Web: www.stevyncolgan.com
Blog: http://colganology.blogspot.com

Suzanne Elvidge

When?
Tuesday, September 3 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

12 – 14 Queensbridge Road
Nottingham.
NG2 1NB.

Who?
Suzanne Elvidge

What's the talk about?

Pseudoscience is defined in Wikipedia as “a body of knowledge, methodology, belief, or practice that is claimed to be scientific or made to appear scientific, but does not adhere to the scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, or otherwise lacks scientific status.”

Pseudoscience stories in the press range from matter orientation system machines to find people from traces of their DNA to QLink pendants to help your body deal with poor nutrition, pollutants, stress and electrical currents. Come along and find out how to separate the wheat from the guff.


Suzanne Elvidge is a freelance science, biopharma, business and health writer with more than 20 years of experience. She is editor of Genome Engineering, a blog that monitors the latest developments in genome engineering and that aims to educate (and sometimes to entertain!) and has written for a range of online and print publications including European Life Science, the Journal of Life Sciences (now the Burrill Report), In Vivo, Life Science Leader, Nature Biotechnology, PR Week and Start-Up. She specialises in writing on pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, healthcare, science, lifestyle and green living, but can write on any topic given enough tea and chocolate biscuits. She lives just beyond the neck end of nowhere in the Peak District with her second-hand bookseller husband and two second-hand cats.

Jonny Scaramanga

When?
Tuesday, August 6 2013 at 7:15PM

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Where?

12 – 14 Queensbridge Road
Nottingham.
NG2 1NB.

Who?
Jonny Scaramanga

What's the talk about?

Jonny Scaramangan  attended a fundamentalist Christian school in the '90s where he learned that the Loch Ness Monster disproved evolution, God disapproved of the NHS, and homosexuals were an abomination to God. He talks about what students learn in these schools today, and what we should do when the parent's right to freedom of religion conflicts with the child's right to a sound education. 

Jonny is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Education, where he is researching student experiences in Britain's 50 Accelerated Christian Education schools. He has written for the Guardian the Times Education Supplement, New Humanist, and Liberal Conspiracy. His broadcast appearances include BBC Radio 4, BBC2, BBC local radio, and Channel 4's 4Thought TV.

His blog is at leavingfundamentalism.com

Megan Whewell

When?
Tuesday, July 2 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

12 – 14 Queensbridge Road
Nottingham.
NG2 1NB.

Who?
Megan Whewell

What's the talk about?

Did Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin really land on the Moon in 1969? Yes!

There have been many conspiracy theories proposed over the years since 1969 that insist Neil and Buzz didn't land on the Moon's surface. Buzz’s famous response to a conspiracy theorist was to punch them, but Megan Whewell will take you through some of the more popular theories and explain how you can respond using less violence and more science.

Megan Whewell works at the National Space Centre in Leicester, and as part of her job she presents public talks during school holidays. Over one holiday those talks asked the question "Did the moon landings really happen?". She considers these talks a wholehearted success because she got, on average, one ‘conversion’ a day from conspiracy theorist to believing in the Apollo programme.

When?
Wednesday, June 19 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

12 – 14 Queensbridge Road
Nottingham.
NG2 1NB.

Who?

What's the talk about?

After the success of the past couple of social nights decided to hold another one.  Simple meet up the bar at Vat & Fiddle, come along and have a drink, a bit of food and discuss the topics skeptical and otherwise of the day.  All are welcome