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Dr Peter Milligan

When?
Tuesday, January 8 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

12 – 14 Queensbridge Road
Nottingham.
NG2 1NB.

Who?
Dr Peter Milligan

What's the talk about?

Scottish-born, Dr. Peter Milligan, is Business Development Executive in Nanotechnology, Physics and Astronomy at the University of Nottingham. "Creationism 101" is an introduction to Creationist views of the development of life on Earth, and will explain the differences between Old Earth Creationism, Young Earth Creationism and Intelligent Design. He is a doughty and formidable fighter for the teaching of science and scientific method in our schools and against the force-feeding of creationist 'bad-science' to children in 'Faith Schools'.

 

Mark Henderson

When?
Wednesday, December 5 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

12 – 14 Queensbridge Road
Nottingham.
NG2 1NB.

Who?
Mark Henderson

What's the talk about?

There are 650 MPs in the House of Commons. 158 have a background in business, 90 have been political advisers or organisers, and 86 are lawyers. Only one of them is a scientist. Is it any wonder that politics so often lets science down, and fails to exploit its skeptical methods to design policies that are fit for purpose?

In the Geek Manifesto, to be published by Bantam Press in May 2012, Mark Henderson explores this disconnect between science and politics, and charts the emergence of a new force that is promising to mend it. From the Simon Singh libel case to the sacking of David Nutt and the Science is Vital campaign, people who care about science are starting to stand up to be counted. The geeks are coming -- and our country needs us.

 

Trailing homeopaths in East Africa

Martin Robbins

When?
Tuesday, November 6 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

1 Castle Road,
Nottingham,
NG1 6AA.
UK.

Who?
Martin Robbins

What's the talk about?

Martin Robbins, of the Guardian's Lay Science blog, reports on dangerous pseudo-medical practices outside the Western world, from homeopaths in East Africa to flat earthers and anti-vaccine campaigns in Nigeria.

As part of this talk, Martin will be showing video clips of his recent visits to homeopathic projects in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, shot for a film he is making with Michael Story, with support from the Wellcome Trust.

Martin Robbins is a writer, podcaster and journalist covering science, pseudoscience and evidence-based politics. Besides the Guardian, he has written for the Times, the Telegraph, the Independent and New Scientist. He also hosts the Strange Quarks podcast with Michael Marshall.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/layscience

When?
Tuesday, October 2 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

54 Canal Street,
Nottingham.
NG1 7EH.

Who?
Anyone

What's the talk about?

Since we do not have a speaker in October and the room is booked, thought we might try an experiment.  Lets have an open mic night.  Will provide projector, screen, speakers and a laptop and we see if anyone wants of get up and talk for 10-15 minutes.  If anyone wants  to take part please email us at sitp dot Nottingham at gmail dot com or make your self known on the Nottingham SITP facebook group.

 

Tannice Pendegrass

When?
Tuesday, September 4 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

54 Canal Street,
Nottingham.
NG1 7EH.

Who?
Tannice Pendegrass

What's the talk about?

Autism is a fascinating subject, steeped in rumour, mystery, misconceptions and myths. Tannice firstly aims to take you through different definitions of autism, cultural representations and the results of her survey, asking over 700 people about their perceptions of what causes and treats autism (spoiler: we don't know and, currently, nothing).

The second part of the talk focuses on 'the bad' and 'the ugly'. The part most skeptics will probably be most interested in. Tannice will briefly cover the MMR scandal, but this is not the main focus of her 'bad' or 'ugly' section: the subject that Tannice reserves the most ire for is the toxic and sometimes downright dangerous treatments many children must endure. Asking the question 'what's the harm?' has never been more important.

The third part of the talk is for 'the good' - it focuses on ABA or Applied Behavioural Analysis; the gold standard in Autism treatment. Through a whirlwind journey (to fit in the format of a SitP talk) Tannice will explain what ABA is, how it's used and the evidence behind it. From Kim Peek (the inspiration for rain man) to Jenny McCarthy (an anti-vaccination campaigner), this talk will give you a broad overview of Autism, Autism treatments and why cultural representations of Autism are usually wrong. You’ll also find out why a horse died when he was being treated in a chamber normally reserved for divers suffering from the bends.

A brief introduction into skeptical and secular history, the problems with history portrayed in the popular culture and how to spot it

Liz Lutgendorff

When?
Tuesday, August 7 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

54 Canal Street,
Nottingham.
NG1 7EH.

Who?
Liz Lutgendorff

What's the talk about?

History is used often as an argument for authority or policy but how accurate are many of the examples mentioned in the news?  Diving back into skepticism's past, Liz will tell us about the tools used by skeptics and secular activists from the 19th and 20th centuries, the campaigns they fought and also how we can continue that legacy today.  

Her love of European history and castles brought her over to the UK in 2006 and the beer, skepticism and doing an MA has made her stay. If you've ever heard Liz talking about History, you'll be familiar with her enthusiasm and extensive knowledge, which she'll be treating us to with a lesson in skeptical history.

Liz has a BA (hons) in History from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and a MA in history from Birkbeck College, University of London in London.

In the meantime, listen to 'The Pod Delusion': a weekly news magazine podcast about interesting things! Highly recommended. The Pod Delusion is a submission-based podcast. If you have something interesting to say, we're sure they'd love to hear from you.

 

Citizen Science for Skeptics

Alice Sheppard

When?
Tuesday, July 3 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

54 Canal Street,
Nottingham.
NG1 7EH.

Who?
Alice Sheppard

What's the talk about?

Astronomy has been the subject of wonder and speculation for as long as historical records exist. As with all science, people got some things right and, even with the best methods available, other things wrong.

Since 2007, Alice Sheppard has run the Galaxy Zoo Forum, the discussion area for an online astronomy project with 300,000 members worldwide. Galaxy Zoo has so far produced 21 papers, whose authors and acknowledged contributors include several ordinary citizens. Some of its findings were a direct result of questions or collections of objects created by the users, who became "Citizen scientists".

Alice takes us through some of the best and worst of astronomical history, and what ancient and modern mistakes are made today. We will hear the questions people have come to Galaxy Zoo with, the ways in which biases were found and dealt with by the scientists and participants, the beautiful and inspiring projects created by untrained people and the scientific thinking they learnt for themselves to apply.

We also take a look at citizen science in general, how Galaxy Zoo taught large numbers of people to understand and use science, and explore what this might mean for skepticism.

Alice is one of the founders of both Cardiff and Hackney Skeptics In The Pub. She has just moved to London to start an MSc in Astronomy. By night she writes about science and astronomy at aliceingalaxyland.blogspot.com

In the meantime, why not classify a few galaxies for yourself at www.galaxyzoo.org

Steve Haigh

When?
Tuesday, June 5 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

54 Canal Street,
Nottingham.
NG1 7EH.

Who?
Steve Haigh

What's the talk about?

Some medicines are excellent, some are worse than useless. How do we sort the wheat from the chaff?
 
Steve Haigh is a Medicines Information Pharmacist whose day job is to help to keep the chaff out of Nottinghamshire NHS hospitals.
 
The talk goes through the history of medicines, the design of clinical trials to work out what works best, and the fascinating problem of the placebo effect.
 
And what discussion of Bad Medicine and the placebo effect wouldn’t touch on the King of Nonsense, homeopathy?

Crispian Jago

When?
Tuesday, May 15 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

54 Canal Street,
Nottingham.
NG1 7EH.

Who?
Crispian Jago

What's the talk about?

Crispian Jago is one of the founding members of the Hampshire Skeptic Society, and co-founder & co-organiser of Winchester Skeptics in the Pub.

He was recently longlisted for the 2011 Orwell Prize for his satirical skeptic blog Science, Reason and Critical Thinking, where he "hurls ad hominem attacks at passing woo mongers and takes random pot shot at supernatural, paranormal and pseudoscientific bullshit."

How to Point and Laugh at Irrational Nonsense will review many of the topics covered in the Science, Reason and Critical Thinking blog over the past couple of years and ponder whether or not ridicule is an appropriate method for sceptical activism.

In his day job, Crispian is a freelance IT consultant specialising in the design and management of software test strategies in order to ensure the successful deployment of complex IT systems.

Dr Chris French

When?
Tuesday, April 3 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

54 Canal Street,
Nottingham.
NG1 7EH.

Who?
Dr Chris French

What's the talk about?

One of the greatest strengths of the human species from an evolutionary
perspective is our ability to perceive meaningful patterns and cause and
effect relationships in our surroundings. Our cognitive systems have
evolved to allow us to make relatively quick decisions that are right most
of the time as opposed to slower, more reflective, decisions that are
right slightly more often. In terms of the evolutionary cost-benefit
analysis, our cognitive systems are optimised for biological survival not
for apprehending “Truth”.  One consequence of our evolutionary history is
that we are prone to a number of cognitive biases that may well underlie
our predisposition towards supernatural and paranormal beliefs. Because we
are poor at recognising randomness and often see meaning and significance
where there is none, it is not surprising that such beliefs are so
prevalent and persistent.

or is there room for kindness in the struggle for existence?

Mary Langridge

When?
Monday, March 12 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

54 Canal Street,
Nottingham.
NG1 7EH.

Who?
Mary Langridge

What's the talk about?

Explaining social behaviours such as cooperation and altruism is one of the greatest challenges facing the biological and social sciences. Darwin's theory of natural selection provides an excellent framework within which to examine theories across the disciplines. This talk will lead you through the basic theories in this area and how people make decisions, explaining how benefits to our relatives, our reputation and our self-concept lead us to perform bizarrely altruistic acts; from giving money to charity, to donating blood or laying down our life for others - acts which appear to be detrimental to our own reproductive success. Homo Economicus is dead.

Mary Langridge is an Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam university, co-found of Psychology in the Pub Sheffield and a PhD student at the University of Nottingham. Her research aims to unify theories across economics, biology and psychology in order to understand cooperation, costly punishment and how our moral and religious values influence our moral decisions.

When?
Wednesday, February 15 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

54 Canal Street,
Nottingham.
NG1 7EH.

Who?
Anyone

What's the talk about?

How would like an excuse to go on a Wednesday night and have a drink and a gossip with like minded people. Then look no further that SITP Nottingham Social evening.  A chance to sit back have a beer or two and talk about the lastest happenings in the skeptical world.