Welcome!

Skeptics in the Pub (SitP) exists to provide an opportunity for people who are interested in science, skepticism, rationalism, critical thinking to socialise and discuss matters of interest. Each month we invite someone to come and speak to us, and if there's someone you'd like to hear, let us know!

Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Brum_Skeptics

See also:

Birmingham Skeptics Own Web Page

SitP Birmingham page on Facebook

Birmingham Skeptics Podcast

 Other sites of note for the questioning Midlander

 Cafe Scientifique

Calendar of events at the WMAM site

Birmingham Salon

Lichfield Humanists

Birmingham Humanists

 

 

 

Timandra Harkness

When?
Wednesday, April 12 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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.

We'll get some copies of Timandra's book in so that you have the opportunity to have a signed edition.

This is a free event, although donations to help fund Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub events are appreciated.  Seats are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are unable to stand for the duration of the talk let us know beforehand and we will reserve one for you.

Adam Rutherford

When?
Wednesday, October 11 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Who?
Adam Rutherford

What's the talk about?

A sprawling saga of the history of humankind is packed inside our cells, written in 3 billion letters of DNA, and in the last few years we’ve learnt how to read it. Our genomes are packed with culture, war, disease, migration, murder, kings and queens, race, and a whole lot of quite deviant sex.

Geneticist, writer and broadcaster Adam Rutherford wields the latest addition to the historian’s toolbox, to unscramble the myths and the story of us, and what DNA can – and can’t – tell us about the epic human journey.

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