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Michael Marshall

When?
Tuesday, August 5 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

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 Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society, and regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast. His work with the society has seen him organising international homeopathy protests and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Scientist.

Dr Kimberley Wade

When?
Tuesday, July 1 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Dr Kimberley Wade

What's the talk about?

Suggestive techniques can lead people to remember wholly false childhood events such as being lost in a shopping mall or being hospitalised overnight. Although most false memory research has relied on some form of verbal suggestion to influence what people recall, recent research shows that photographs—both genuine and doctored—can create havoc in memory too. I will discuss the extent to which images and videos can influence memory for significant, recent experiences, and show that people might even confess to, or testify about, events that never happened if they are confronted with fabricated evidence. I will also discuss new research on people with highly superior autobiographical memories. These people demonstrate incredibly detailed and robust memories, but are they immune to memory errors?  Probably not.
 
Dr Kim Wade is an Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Warwick. She is a cognitive psychologist specialising in autobiographical memory and memory distortions, best known for her research demonstrating the power of doctored images to produce false memories.  Kim is especially interested in the mechanisms that drive the development of false memories, and in refining the theories that explain false memory phenomena. Her research is published in many high-impact journals, and appears frequently in the media, in undergraduate texts, and in books for the educated layperson.

Mark Lynas

When?
Tuesday, June 10 2014 at 7:00PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Mark Lynas

What's the talk about?

Adapted from his website:

Mark Lynas is the former climate change advisor to the President of the Maldives, visiting fellow at Cornell University's Office of International Programs at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, member of the advisory board of the science advocacy group Sense About Science, author and speaker on climate change, biotechnology and nuclear power.

John Martin

When?
Tuesday, May 6 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
John Martin

What's the talk about?

Dinosaurs have been the popular face of palaeontology for almost as long as the science has existed - over 150 years. They have 'big, fierce and extinct' appeal, but the main way dinosaurs have captured the public's imagination is that they have been, and still are, 'brought to life' in illustrations and other kinds of art. This is where science meets art meets popularisation.

Dinosaur 'reconstructions' have a special power, however - they don't only enthuse the public (and hopefully encourage children into careers in science); they also seem to influence the way palaeontologists themselves study, and publish supposedly rigorous scientific papers about, the fossils on which dinosaur science is based.

How are the reconstructions made? How 'correct' are they? Do they reveal as much about human nature as they do about life in the past? As someone who has spent half a lifetime studying, interpreting and drawing dinosaurs and other extinct animals, John brings the insights of an insider to these questions.

From 1974 John was curator of geology at Leicestershire Museums, then managing curator of New Walk Museum, Leicester. He specialised in vertebrate palaeontology, and in exhibitions, interpretation and design. In 2001 in moved into interpretation full-time, working for a firm designing and building museums and other heritage attractions all over the world. He's now 'retired', which means self-employed but relaxed - still doing interpretation and a bit of dinosaur work.

Hayley Stevens

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

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Where?

48-52 Canal St
Nottingham
NG1 7EH

Who?
Hayley Stevens

What's the talk about?

During her talk Hayley will explain everything a person could need to know about the modern day ghost hunting scene from the perspective of someone who used to believe and no longer does, but still continues to actively investigate and explain reported ghostly phenomena.

Hayley Stevens has addressed international audiences about researching the paranormal as a non-believer. She is one of Britain’s most vocal skeptical paranormal researchers and has been actively investigating ghosts and monsters since her teens when she used to believe that such things existed.

She is at the Scully end of the Mulder-Scully X-Files Spectrum” – The Times

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!