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

 

 

 

Meirion Jones

When?
Wednesday, January 14 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Meirion Jones

What's the talk about?

He’s jailed for 10 years now but how did a British conman sell bogus bomb detectors to Iraq for $85 million? A lack of skepticism cost the lives of an estimated 2,000 people in Baghdad. Meirion Jones tells, with the help of video clips and secret recordings, how Jim McCormick and his chums worked the scam around the world and how whistleblowers and a Newsnight team exposed the scandal. This is about multi-million-dollar bribes in Baghdad, and UK PLC turning a blind eye to boost exports, but this is also about the lethal consequences of not basing policy on evidence. Meirion will demonstrate two real bogus bomb detectors as sold by the hoaxers for up to $40,000 each and show you how to make one that works every bit as well for less than a pound. 

Meirion Jones is a BBC producer who is in the unusual position of winning the 2013 Scoop of the Year award for a programme which was never broadcast - his exposure of Jimmy Savile as a paedophile. He also won the Daniel Pearl International Award for Investigative Journalism in 2010 for his reports on toxic waste dumping by Trafigura in Africa. He has exposed everything from the fixing of the 2000 US election, to how Britain helped Israel get the atom bomb, from corrupt politicians to the affair of Mark Stone and the undercover cops, as well as homeopaths and healers.

When?
Tuesday, January 27 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Temple Court,
115, Corporation St,
Birmingham,
West Midlands,
B4 6PH

Who?

What's the talk about?

It’s our regular irregular Skeptics in the Pub social. The days rotate between Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to give more people the chance to come along, but the concept always stays the same; meet good people and have interesting conversations.

Talk nights are great but sometimes there isn’t the time to get to the nitty gritty of a topic or just to socialise. Well here’s your chance.

You’ll find us at the back of the Square Peg on Corporation Street where there is plenty of space. If you haven’t been before drop us a line of Twitter, Facebook or just email us (birminghamskeptics[at]gmail.com) and we’ll look out for you.

 

We hope to see you there.

Jon Butterworth

When?
Wednesday, February 11 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Jon Butterworth

What's the talk about?

The discovery of the Higgs boson made headlines around the world. Two scientists, Peter Higgs and François Englert, whose theories predicted its existence, shared a Nobel Prize. The discovery was the culmination of the largest experiment ever run, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. But what really is a Higgs boson and what does it do? How was it found? And what will the LHC do next? Jon Butterworth, a leading member of the ATLAS experiment, will talk about all this and more.

Jon Butterworth is also Head of the Department of Physics & Astronomy at UCL, and writes for the Guardian.

When?
Wednesday, February 25 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?

What's the talk about?

 Join us for a fun but challenging general knowledge quiz. There'll be all kinds of rounds and, for those that came to the last one, an all new foolproof scoring system!

It'll be social, it'll be enjoyable and we know it'll be competitive.

Maximum team size is six but if you haven't got a team turn up  anyway and we bet you'll find some others to join.

As well as the bragging rights that would come with victory - there will be prizes!

Entry is £1 per person and all money collected on the night will be donated to Medicins Sans Frontieres.

If you want more information contact us at birminghamskeptics(at)gmail.com

Cheers and see you at the quiz!

Dr Kimberley Wade

When?
Wednesday, April 8 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

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 hospitalized 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.

Isabel Behncke

When?
Wednesday, May 13 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Isabel Behncke

What's the talk about?

Nature is often portrayed as being “red in tooth and claw” but Isabel spends much of her time with “a community that holds the secret to human survival. It’s a place where women run the show, have sex to say hello, and play rules the day.” 

Born and raised in Chile, Isabel was educated in animal behaviour and evolutionary anthropology in Cambridge and Oxford. For her PhD work, she studies the social behaviour (and play behaviour in particular) of wild bonobos in DR Congo. 

“Bonobos are, together with chimpanzees, our living closest relatives; however we know very little about them -- mostly through captive work. In Wamba, a most remote jungle location, I have observed unique aspects of bonobo lives (from imaginary play and laughter to inter-group encounters to accidents and death) that challenge and illuminate our understanding of human evolution. I aim to link the play of adult bonobos to insights on human laughter, joy, creativity and our capacity for wonder and exploration.”

When?
Wednesday, May 27 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?

What's the talk about?

Here's your chance for fifteen minutes of skeptical fame!

 

We have a stage, we have a mic, we even have lights and a projector - now all we need is you.

 

Previous years have seen talks on cancer quackery, skeptical charity giving and paganism; as well as songs, comedy and stories to challenge our sense of morality. If you've got an idea that fits in with the broad themes of our group we want you ro tell us about it... within a fifteen minutes timeframe.

 

Slots are limited so the sooner you  get your ideas to us the sooner we'll reserve your  space.

 

Let us know at birminghamskeptics(at)gmail.com

 

Do it now!

 

 

 

 

The psychology, art and science of detecting lies and deceit

Dr Mike Drayton

When?
Wednesday, June 10 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Dr Mike Drayton

What's the talk about?

 This talk uses the latest research from the behavioural and psychological sciences to explore the question: is it possible to spot lies?  Mike Drayton uses video clips, examples from literature and audience participation to inform inspire and entertain.

Dr Mike Drayton is an organisational development consultant, a clinical psychologist and expert in negotiation.  He has a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Birmingham and a BSc in Social Psychology from LSE.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.  Mike lectures regularly at at the University of Birmingham and the University of Warwick.

Hayley Stevens

When?
Wednesday, July 8 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Hayley Stevens

What's the talk about?

 'A Skeptic’s Guide to Ghost Hunting' will offer some unique insight into modern paranormal research. Hayley Stevens will introduce you to the bizarre world of modern ghost-hunting, explain how to spot sham ghost-hunting claims, and how all is not what is seems when it comes to things that go bump in the night... 


Described as ' ... the Scully end of the Mulder-Scully X-Files spectrum' by The Times, Hayley Stevens is one of the UK's most vocal skeptical paranormal researchers and has been investigating ghost cases for over a decade, ever since she was a teenager. Her writing can be found in Skeptical Inquirer, The Skeptic, Paranormal Magazine and more and she regularly speaks across Europe about investigating the paranormal as a non-believer.

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