Teesside Skeptics
"Skepticism is the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity. It's the process of finding a supported conclusion, not the justification of a preconceived conclusion". (Brian Dunning).

Tom Williamson

When?
Thursday, May 1 2014 at 7:00PM

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Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?
Tom Williamson

What's the talk about?

Tom graduated with a PhD in Systems Biology from the University of Manchester in June 2010, nominated for best paper from a Manchester FLS postgrad in the same year and has given several Skeptic talks on the scientific method.

Tom is a Humanist, Skeptic and Norwich City fan.

As well as starring in some Sceptic podcasts he writes the blog: Skeptic Canary

He will present an introduction to the scientific method, how science gets done (research, peer review process, etc).  Then he will cover various scientific frauds where the scientific method was abused and how the scientific method was used to uncover them, important information about self-correction.

The talk includes a live demo of how seemingly meaningless data can be spun in favour of a chosen conclusion.  A common method used by pseudoscience advocates.

Another free talk, open to the public (donations accepted to cover expenses).  Please let your intention to attend be known by visiting Eventbrite here:

Eventbrite Free Tickets

Bring a friend and lets give Tom a warm welcome after his trip from across the Pennines.  Easy free parking outside the pub and 5 minute walk from bus and train stations.

Visit us at:

Facebook Group - TeessideSitP

Twitter -  @teessidesitp

 

 

Vicky Forster

When?
Thursday, June 5 2014 at 7:00PM

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Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?
Vicky Forster

What's the talk about?

Debunking the conspiracies

Millions of pounds is poured into cancer research and drug development every year and although cure rates for many forms of cancer have improved dramatically in the last fifty years, some remain exceptionally hard to treat. An increasing number of passionate cancer conspiracy theorists claiming that ‘the cure’ has already been found and is being suppressed and that unproven alternative therapies are better than conventional therapies, are threatening the health of cancer patients and the reputation of cancer charities, doctors and researchers.

This talk will aim to address misunderstandings about the basic biology of cancer, look for any evidence behind the most popular touted ‘alternative cancer therapies’ and hopes to stimulate discussion as to why there are a growing number of people who believe in these largely-unfounded conspiracies.

Dr. Vicky Forster is a cancer research scientist at Newcastle University, and a survivor of childhood cancer. She is also passionate blogger for a large cancer charity and tweets a lot about her own work and demanding evidence for alternative cancer treatments and therapies.

When?
Tuesday, July 1 2014 at 7:00PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?

What's the talk about?

Replacement Speaker to be confirmed.

 

 

Charles Veitch

When?
Thursday, August 7 2014 at 7:00PM

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Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?
Charles Veitch

What's the talk about?

Details TBC:

Charles Veitch (aka. Charlie Veitch) is an anarchist protester and YouTuber who rather dramatically turned away from the 9/11 truth and conspiracy theory movement, and thus caused members of said movement to collectively foam in paranoid anger about how he's really an agent sent by the CIA (or some similarly shadowy cabal) to perform cognitive infiltration.


I think because the government has lied about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians have been killed, we do suspect foul play when other terrible events [happen] … and if governments can lie and kill half a million people, why wouldn't they lie about killing 3,000? It doesn't take an incredible leap of fantasy or faith or gullibility. We're not gullible, we're just truth seekers. And the 9/11 Truth movement is trying to find out the truth about what happened. … [But you should] not hold onto religious dogma. If you're presented with new evidence, take it on, even if it contradicts what you or your group might be believing or wanting to believe. You have to give the truth the greatest respect, and I do.

Following Veitch's disavowal of conspiracy theories, he has had his website hacked, his family harassed, and accusations have been made by conspiracy theorists that he's actually a paedophile, when in reality he's just rather a boring anarchist protester with a YouTube channel.

 

 

When?
Thursday, September 4 2014 at 7:00PM

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Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?
Guy Otten

What's the talk about?

Details to follow.

When?
Thursday, October 2 2014 at 7:00PM

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Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?
Dr Mike Sutton

What's the talk about?

Perhaps the most persistant and intransigent myths and legends are those produced by trusted experts in the field.  Mike Sutton experiences resistance to acceptance of new evidence regularly in his role as Super Mythbuster.  Sometimes from trusted Academics and Sceptics.  Details to follow

Glen Carrigan

When?
Thursday, November 6 2014 at 7:00PM

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Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?
Glen Carrigan

What's the talk about?

Glen is a Neuropsychology Researcher at the University of Central Lancashire specialising in moral psychology, youth engagement and with an interest in all things science! Coming from a military background – where still non-religious personnel struggle to be recognised - Glen’s interest in psychology and morality was piqued when living and working in Afghanistan, Pakistan and many other nations after experiencing myriad world views, different group behaviours and the strife that often results when they clash. It is therefore his passionate aim to usher in a more enlightened form of thinking where equality as a species, compassion and consequentialism help to uplift us in place of tribalism, religious moral absolutism, and the wanton disregard for the scientific facts that humans have so far revealed in this a beautiful and rich universe.

This is an introduction to a morality where God is not at its centre. Using the 4 S’s of science, skepticism, sarcasm and satire whilst employing neuropsychological research and a humanistic world view, we’ll look at what the alternatives are to a pious moral code and why people and groups might make the decisions they do.   We will seek to highlight that the debate about morality should not be conducted in a vacuum but should take place in the real world and focus on understanding how our actions affect our fellow creatures, rather than desperately trying to cling to ancient axiomatic standards and justify them with scriptural tenets that many today rightfully find inadequate and may in fact have lead us to develop a socially acceptable sense of moral blindness.

Most recently Glen has aided in the development of a new Brain Imaging Lab (Electroencephalograph) at UCLan, a facility that features heavily in his research. Other talks have included presenting Genetics and Neuropsychology at The Big Bang hosted by Liverpool’s World Museum combining sweets, DNA extraction and cortical slices; sounds tricky and gruesome but it’s all risk assessed, no really! Further public engagement activities centre on teaching children through interactive classes to appreciate team work, higher education and the importance of science and critical thinking in the modern world. In addition Glen has blogged and taken part in political and social activism: reform section 5, equal marriage, no to gender segregation and recently highlighting from a personal point of view, how under-represented non-believers are in the UK Armed Forces.

This talk is free and open to the Public (donations for expenses gratefully accepted).  It is a 5 minute walk from the train or bus stations and there is ample free parking outside the pub. Please register your attention to attend here:

 

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Will Moy

When?
Thursday, March 5 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?
Will Moy

What's the talk about?

October 2011: A dodgy news report leads to questions in Parliament, a Government U-turn and ill-informed changes to the law on knife crime.

Is this just politics as usual, or can we change the way those in power use facts and information?

Will Moy runs Full Fact, the UK's only independent fact checking organisation and will be speaking about its work.