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Dr Claire Garabedian

When?
Wednesday, October 10 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Dr Claire Garabedian

What's the talk about?

 Dr Claire Garabedian is an Associate Researcher within the Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester, a professional cellist, and a Certified Music Practitioner (trained in playing music for people with various health conditions including dementia and end of life care). Her PhD (University of Stirling 2015) focused on the impacts of individualised live and recorded music for care home residents with dementia nearing the end of life, and their carer. Based on her practitioner and research experience, Claire will discuss creative approaches to helping people with dementia to live well.

This is a free event, but a donation of £3 is suggested to help us pay for our speaker's expenses.

Michael Marshall

When?
Wednesday, September 12 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

 In 2013, when Michael Marshall first interviewed the Vice President of the Flat Earth society for his show Be Reasonable, people could scarcely believe that anyone would genuinely think the Earth was flat. 

Five years later, Flat Earth belief has gone mainstream, spawning thousands of hours of YouTube videos, gaining widespread international media coverage, and attracting countless followers.

How did we get here? 

In this talk, Marshall will take us through his experiences of the Flat Earth movement, have a look at the leaders and some of their reasoning, and report back from the weekend he spent at the UK's first ever Flat Earth convention. 

Michael Marshall is the Project Director of the Good Thinking Society and the Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. He regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast. 

His work has seen him organising international homeopathy protests, going undercover to expose psychics and quack medics, and co-founding the popular QED conference. 

He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Statesman.

This is a free event, but a donation of £3 is suggested to help us cover our speakers expenses.

The Non-Believing Religious Studies Teacher

Kevin Precious

When?
Monday, July 30 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Kevin Precious

What's the talk about?

 Having previously performed at Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub in 2016, Kevin Precious was very well received and we're delighted that he returns once more, honing his efforts in preparation for an Edinburgh Festival run. His Humanist perspective is welcome and his stories of teaching RE as a non-believer are right on target for a Skeptical audience.

Expect jokes and stories about teaching Religious Studies, being a Humanist, the God-Shaped Hole, little bits - here and there - relating to the Philosophy of Religion, and - ultimately - a suggestion that a secular approach to teaching the subject is the way forward.

Kevin has had something of a long and varied career, making his first tentative foray into the world of entertainment as a teenage bass playing dirt bag in the working men's clubs in his native city of Hull. Venturing South, he continued his musical adventures in the Big Smoke, playing in all manner of different outfits, the culmination of which saw him perform at the legendary Ronnie Scott's on a couple of occasions.

Kevin set up a 'Pop Quiz' in a trendy boozer in Camden, which rapidly became laden with celebrities and culminated in him being asked to organise and compere the NME's first national pop quiz. It was these events that would later inspire a move into comedy.

Ash Pryce

When?
Monday, June 18 2018 at 8:00PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

 “A naturally funny guy and won’t allow his audience to be bored” - edfringereview.com

“I would highly recommend ... you won’t be disappointed!” -Durham University Psychology Society

“Hilarious throughout... Anyone who sees his show will be amazed” Lancaster Uni Humanists

“Has the entire audience laughing” - Bath Skeptics

“A Great showman” - NottinghamLive

 

Roll up! Roll up! Roll up! Gather ye round the traveling caravan, as Snake Oil Salesman Ash Pryce demonstrates the miraculous curative abilities of psychic surgery, taught to your humble trickster by a wise man in the Philippines. See with wonder of the telekinetic forces at work as you learn how to move objects with your mind, psychically predict the outcome of the historic Zener Cards and read the minds of your peers.

 

This show will take a look at the more magical side of psychic claims, whereas the sister show How to Talk to the Dead looked specifically at spirit communication in the past, this show will look at some of the more incredible claims that persist today. The types of demonstrations that blur the line between the honest deception of magic, and the dishonesty of those hoping to make a quick buck out of your deep rooted beliefs.

 

An interactive, skeptical, how to guide to a whole host of psychic scammery. Warning to those on the front row… there will be blood!

 

Part of a UK Tour 2018

Tickets £5.00 available on the door of from the link above (98p handling fee per ticket)

Generation Right

Stephen Farral

When?
Wednesday, June 13 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Stephen Farral

What's the talk about?

Generation Right explores the rise, immediate and long term effects of 'Thatcherite' social and economic policies on UK society. 

The film, which uses a mix of archive material and interviews with politicians and social policy experts, explores both the wider impacts of these policies as well as drilling down into the impacts on crime and the criminal justice system. 

Generation Right has won a number of awards at UK and International documentary film festivals and was directed by Michelle Coomber. 

The film showing is followed by a Q&A session with Professor Stephen Farrall who commissioned the film.

This is a free event but we suggest a donation of £3 to help cover speakers expenses.

What can be done?

Professor Laura Piddock

When?
Wednesday, May 9 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Professor Laura Piddock

What's the talk about?

Antibiotic (antibacterial drug) use has brought huge changes to the world, especially in expectations of survival of children into adulthood, and underpins all areas of modern medicine. For this reason, antibiotic resistance threatens our modern way of life and is ‘as big a threat to human health as climate change’.

Is this statement true? If so, what does it mean for the way we treat infections and will drugs be effective in future?

What can we do to help resolve the antimicrobial resistance crisis? Laura will discuss appropriate antibiotic use (do GPs overprescribe?), the level of resistance (is it the same in the UK as in other countries?) and the pathogens that we should really be concerned about.

Laura will also briefly discuss how bacteria become drug resistant, and what can be done to resolve the issue of resistance.

Laura Piddock is Professor of Microbiology at the University of Birmingham. However, she is currently seconded for 75% time to the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP https://www.gardp.org/) as their Head of Scientific Affairs. GARDP, a joint initiative of DNDi and the WHO, aims to develop and deliver new treatments for bacterial infections where drug resistance is present or emerging, or for which inadequate treatment exists.

Stevyn Colgan

When?
Wednesday, April 11 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Stevyn Colgan

What's the talk about?

 Given the bewildering variety of life on Earth – all stemming from one self-replicating molecule – can we really predict what life on other worlds is like? Maybe not. But we can imagine what it isn’t like.

Stevyn Colgan has been involved with aliens for three decades. He’s held Jabba the Hutt’s face, helped sculpt creatures for Bruce Willis to shoot at and had a script accepted for 'Doctor Who' in the 1980s. In this entertaining talk you’ll hear about feuding gangs of scientists, the unlikelihood that any visiting aliens will be humanoid, film directors with less imagination than children, fractal nose worms and the perils of concrete poo.

You’ll also come to realise that if we really are intelligently designed, the designer needs their head examined.

‘I've found a new genius. Amazing speaker, fantastic stories’ – Ayd Instone, Eldamar Ltd

‘A brilliant talk. So much common sense’ – Simon Raymonde, Bella Union and ex-Cocteau Twins

(Stevyn would like to make it clear that he has never been abducted, nor had anything or anywhere probed.)

Simon Edge

When?
Wednesday, March 14 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Simon Edge

What's the talk about?

The Real Junk Food Project Central is a local branch of a global, organic network of Pay As You Feel concepts, based in Birmingham and the Black Country. They take surplus edible food destined for waste and make it accessible for human consumption. Food is shared and distributed in communities across Birmingham and the wider West Midlands via community cafes, food boutiques and pop-up events.

Simon will be talking about his work, food waste and sustainablity.

The Real Junk Food Porject will also be bringing food to buy on a pay what you want basis.

This is a free event but we suggest a donation of £3 to help cover speaker's expenses.

Liam Brierley

When?
Wednesday, February 14 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Liam Brierley

What's the talk about?

We’re constantly threatened by outbreaks of new viral diseases, such as SARS and Ebola. This show, first performed at the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, is an interactive pandemic scenario that explores whether humanity is really at risk of extinction from the next viral outbreak. The room is quarantined because of the discovery of a new virus and we'll need the audience's help as we race to understand where this virus might have come from, whether it could go global, and how we could fight to stay one step ahead.

Liam Brierley is a statistician and epidemiologist with specialised interests in emerging infectious diseases and teaching methodologies in statistics. He is currently a lecturer with sigma, the Mathematics and Statistics Support Centre at Coventry University.

Danny Chambers

When?
Wednesday, January 10 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Danny Chambers

What's the talk about?

You may be surprised to hear that the anti-vaccination movement is not restricted to human medicine - animal owners are increasingly turning their back on conventional medicine and seeking out unproven alternatives, often at the detriment of their animal's health. You might be even more surprised to learn about the myriad other forms of pseudoscience animals are subjected to, including the common practice of ‘horse psychics’. 

Danny Chambers will discuss the use of psuedoscience in veterinary practice and the implications this has on human health and wellbeing, including the campaign he has led to prevent vets from prescribing homeopathy for animals. 

Danny Chambers grew up on a farm in Devon, graduated from Liverpool Vet School and has since worked as a vet across the UK, as well as in New Zealand, Africa, India and Iraq. Earlier this year he was appointed to the council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, running on a platform of evidence-based veterinary medicine.

Dave Alnwick

When?
Wednesday, December 6 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Dave Alnwick

What's the talk about?

 NOTE: This event is the first Wednesday of December, not the usual second!

After a sell-out run at Edinburgh Fringe and fresh off the back of hosting QED 2017, Skeptic regular Dave Alnwick tours his new show 'Literally the Best Magician'.

Is Dave Literally the Best Magician?  He certainly thinks so and intends to spend an hour proving it.  Working through every genre of Magic, Dave hopes to 'one up' the classics of conjuring. 

Ok, enough of this third person charade.  I'm doing a Magic show.  It'll be really good, you should totally come.  In the past I've focused on mentalism (y'know that Derren Brown mind reading business) but I thought I'd step away from that and have a go at old school stuff.  It's not easy making tricks with rope, tissues and post-it notes interesting but I'm pretty sure I've smashed it.

“He is the kind of performer who could probably make reading the dictionary into an entertaining show” – WorldMagicReview.com

I'll even do a talk after the show about Magic.  I'll teach you a trick.  We'll do a Q&A.  Maybe have a drink.  It'll be dope. 

See you there.

Philip Moriarty

When?
Wednesday, November 8 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

48 John Bright Street
Birmingham
B1 1BN

Who?
Philip Moriarty

What's the talk about?

There is no doubt that quantum physics embodies mind-blowing concepts that force us the question the very nature of reality. And if there’s a contender for our current best “theory of everything” then quantum mechanics wins hands down.

But, far too often, the word “quantum” signals the worst type of vacuous pseudoscientific gobbledegook. It’s exploited by those who are entirely clueless about the underlying physics — or, worse, should know better — to evoke a misplaced mysticism about the ‘holistic’ nature of the universe. Moreover, when consciousness and quantum collide, the nonsense factor goes through the roof…

Philip Moriarty will aim to tease out the science from the mysticism and show that while quantum physics certainly has its weird and wacky aspects, it’s at heart a theory of waves. That means we can very often easily interpret what’s happening at the quantum level in terms of the everyday world around us – he’ll take a look at what coffee cups, drums, and a SlinkyTM can tell us about the broader nature of the universe (and Deepak Chopra’s place in it).

Philip Moriarty is a professor of physics at the University of Nottingham.

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