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Various

When?
Thursday, August 4 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Various

What's the talk about?

We have a full set of speakers for our Open Mic night on Thursday with one in reserve for mishaps, thanks Sam Hogarth.


They are as follows:

Reece Hanrahan (Must speak first, double-booked)
Chris Diboll
Sue Whitmore
Thez Alan
Adam Baker
Ian Glendinning

They will each speak for 10 minutes on any subject of their choice followed by a 5-minute question & answer session.

If there is time we can finish on general rant session with 2-minute rants followed by 1 minute Q & A. Always good fun.

Michael Marshall

When?
Thursday, July 7 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

Homeopathy is one of the most widely debunked form of alternative medicine – yet homeopathic remedies adorn the shelves of respected pharmacies and are funded by taxpayers on the NHS. How big of a problem is this? Using information and personal experiences gathered during his last 6 years of campaigning against homeopathy, Michael Marshall will highlight how much money is spent on homeopathic remedies, how this gives undeserved credibility to homeopathy, how such remedies can lead to genuine harm and what you can do to help.

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 and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Statesman.

This is a free event, although donations to help fund Teesside Skeptics in the Pub events are appreciated. We suggest £3, or whatever you can afford.   O'Connells is 5 minutes walk from the Bus station and 10 minutes from the Railway station.  There is parking in the street outside the pub and when that is full there is more in the next street.

Margaret Corvid

When?
Thursday, June 2 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Margaret Corvid

What's the talk about?

Margaret Corvid will give you an introduction to BDSM and how the culture and community works in the UK.  She will cover the various different kinds of kink - from foot fetish to whips - BDSM relationships, negotiation and consent, as well as BDSM and the law.  She'll also debunk lots of myths about BDSM that have populated our culture since "50 Shades of Grey", as well as the recent porn panic laws.  She will explain what it's like to be, or to visit, a professional Dominatrix.


Margaret Corvid is a professional Domme and blogger of the New Statesman writing the column "Power Trip" which covers kink and sex work from both a personal and professional perspective.


This is a free event, although donations to help fund Teesside Skeptics in the Pub events are appreciated. We suggest £3, or whatever you can afford.   O'Connells is 5 minutes walk from the Bus station and 10 minutes from the Railway station.  There is parking outside the pub and when that is full there is more in the next street.

*Note: This talk covers themes of an adult nature. Under-18s are not permitted. ID may be requested by staff.

________________________________________________________________________

Apologies for this change to our schedule. 

We are instead going to go for our first Open Mike night of the year in August and the information below is for the August Open Mic night.

We have time for 6 times 10-minute slots for anybody to fill, talking about any subject they feel needs airing. Each slot is followed by 5 minutes question and answer session.

Please send your requests for a slot to me privately or to the Facebook Group.  Not many slots left. If you intend to use slides then please send them to tpwaites@iee.org at the latest 3 days before the night.

Brian Eggo

When?
Thursday, June 2 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Brian Eggo

What's the talk about?

 Brian is going to do some fun stuff with the Psychic Con Artists.

Brian  runs the Glasgow Skeptics.  More details later.

Kay Price

When?
Thursday, May 5 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Kay Price

What's the talk about?

How common is domestic violence in UK these days?  Why does it still continue?  What services are available for victims and how are they funded?  What protection from their violent partners can victims expect?  How often does the violence result in severe injury or even death?

Our speaker has worked extensively for many years in and around Scunthorpe in support of victims and shelters.  She will talk about the real extent of the problem and the underlying reasons for its persistance.

 

Jonathon McLatchie

When?
Thursday, April 7 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Jonathon McLatchie

What's the talk about?

Introduction:

There are various sources for a description of the idea of
"Intelligent Design".  A good place for Skeptics to start their
research in this area is Wikipedia in that the description there
has a very thorough list of references both to support and rebut
the hypothesis.  For research into Intelligent Design by its
proponents another site to look at would be the Discovery Institute.

Description, Jon McLatchie states:

"There are few topics as contentious and divisive as the question of our origins: Are we the result of the blind and purposeless outworking  of nature, or are we here as the result of the purposeful intent of an intelligent agent? Most people have heard about the approach taken to biological origins known as Intelligent Design.

But with conflicting messages and frequently false representations by the media, people are often left unsure what to think. In this presentation, doctoral student Jonathan McLatchie seeks to clarify and illuminate the key bones of contention that are live in the debate, dispel popular misconceptions about the theory, and answer the most frequent objections. Whatever your current opinion on this topic, this promises to be a challenging and stimulating presentation".


The Speaker:

Jonathan McLatchie is a Christian writer, speaker and debater. He holds a Bachelor’s degree (with Honors) in Forensic Biology, a Masters (M.Res) degree in Evolutionary Biology, and a second Master's degree in Medical and Molecular Bioscience. Currently, Jonathan is a PhD student in cell biology. He is a proponent of the scientific theory of intelligent design (ID), about which he has written extensively on Evolution News & Views, and is also involved with the Centre for Intelligent Design UK.

Between 2012 and 2013, he served as an employee Discovery Institute Center for Science & Culture in Seattle, Washington. In addition, Jonathan is also a contributor to various apologetics websites, including CrossExamined.org and the Christian Apologetics Alliance.
 
Jonathan has also been interviewed on podcasts and radio shows including "Unbelievable?" on Premier Christian Radio, "Apologetics315","Theology Matters with the Pellews", the "Solid Reasons Morning Show", "Dogma Debate", and Spice FM's Islamic "Eye on the East" program (airing in Tyneside, England). He has also been a featured guest multiple times on ABN’s Trinity channel.

Jonathan has participated in several radio debates with both atheists and Muslims, and has also engaged in public formal debates. As a Christian, a scientist, and an apologist, he strongly believes that beliefs ought to be defensible by rational argument, and that all ideas, without exception, should be placed on the intellectual chopping block for examination and scrutiny.

We start at 7.30pm with news and notices.  Food is served in O'Connells Pub until 6.30pm. There is ample parking outside the pub and we are 5 minutes walk from the bus station, 10 minutes from the Railway Station.  There is a break after the talk followed by a Q & A session.  Entrance is free but donations on the night to help pay for the speakers expenses would be much appreciated.

Myles Power

When?
Thursday, March 3 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Myles Power

What's the talk about?

For decades now, we have been told by organisations like Greenpeace, GM-Freeze, and Friends of the Earth that genetical modified (GM) food is dangerous and has been shown to be harmful to humans.

They have done a great job at convincing the population of their dangers by quoting scientific literature that claims GM-food has been shown, among other things, to cause cancer, leukaemia, and stomach inflammation; but is there really any truth to this? What do the papers these organisations are promoting really say, and do they have any flaws? Or, in actual fact, are GMOs going to kill us all?

In Myles' talk he is going to critique several highly referenced anti-GM papers, looking past their veneer of good science, and discovering what they really say about GMOs and the people who promote them.

Myles Power runs the educational YouTube channel powerm1985. Originally from a small town in the North East of England called Middlesbrough he has spent a large portion of his dult life living in Manchester.  He is a chemist who is currently working in industry, but what little free time he has he spends sharing his love of SCIENCE! through home experiments, visiting sites of scientific interest and recording angry rants at pseudoscience opponents.

He studied chemistry, specialising in organic chemistry at the Universities of Manchester and Toronto. Later in his career, he moved more towards bio-chemistry and worked on projects including synthesising various nucleic acid analogues for non-enzymatic transcription and controlling gene expression using a mutant riboswitch. He has over 7 years of experience working in a research lab, which has given him the skills he needs to research and debunk virus psuedoscience theories. Some of the theories he has discussed on his YouTube channel including AIDS denialists, 9/11 truthers, the anti-vaccination movement and homeopathy.  In addition to being one of the founding members of the podcast The League of Nerds, he is also an original and stauch member of Teesside Skeptics-in-the-Pub.

More about Myles here:  https://mylespower.co.uk/about-myles/

Maeve Hanan

When?
Thursday, February 4 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Maeve Hanan

What's the talk about?

The World is full of advice about food and dieting. Much of it is conflicting, misleading, based on pseudoscience and anecdotes and fuelled by celebrity culture and the media. Despite this abundance of dietary information, much of the Developed World is undergoing an epidemic of obesity and diabetes. So how do we know which dietary advice to believe? What should we be eating to maximise our health? What other factors are important as part of a healthy lifestyle?

Maeve Hanan is a registered Dietitian (a protected title for a health professional qualified to give dietary advice to individuals and the public). She will attempt to guide us through the minefield of the modern diet, and separate the facts from the fads.

 

Andy Dean

When?
Thursday, January 7 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Andy Dean

What's the talk about?

Like Neo in The Matrix, we all have a choice about the reality we see and choose to believe in. On the one hand we can attempt to be skeptical researchers, take the red pill and try to engage with the world based on what it is, or on the other hand take the blue pill and stay in a dream world and fantasy.

Unfortunately, as humans we appear to like fantasy a little too much, meaning that many of us live in a world that is quite damaging and fantasy-based. I will argue that at some level radicalization and other extreme social phenomena are examples of this waking fantasy. 

While our ability to work out what is real and what is fantasy is often difficult for us, new advances from several disciplines are giving us new ways to explore our place in the world, and the reality we create and live in. It is pivotal that we engage with these new findings and learn how to differentiate between all of the confusing messages we get, such as "vaccines will kill me!" or "vaccines will save me". 

In this talk, I will examine several culturally relevant themes including Nazis, GMOs, vaccines and people who believe they are werewolves to better understand how we are often not rational and make bizarre decisions, as well as how the identities we use can be pivotal for what we believe about the world. 

Finally, while philosophy has spent much time asking about how we know whether we are awake or dreaming, I suggest that a bigger problem is that we are awake but engaging with fantasy, or living in a waking dream. 

This will be an interactive talk, where everyone is encouraged to ask questions and engage with these topics, as we try to answer the question “is reality whatever we can get away with?”

Andy Dean visits us from the University of Durham, and he is deep into some of the new investigations into this area. He will be hoping to show us that to be true skeptics we may need to review the way we think about ourselves first before we can make sound judgements about the evidence presented by others.

Chris Hassall

When?
Thursday, December 3 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Chris Hassall

What's the talk about?

Climate change has been described as one of the biggest threats facing the world, but international action to mitigate the impacts of human activities on the climate is moving slowly (if at all). Why is there continued reluctance to act, and why do some people refuse to believe that climate change is even happening despite the high degree of confidence expressed by scientists?

Chris will outline briefly the science behind climate change and the tangled web of special interests that have sought to muddy the waters over a range of important scientific topics from tobacco smoke to the ozone layer. He will also discuss his role as a “skeptical activist” in investigating the extent of climate change denial at a Canadian University, and discuss the importance of skeptical involvement in education.

The talk will conclude with a discussion of the similarities across various different types of science denial, and some recent research that skeptics can use to guide their efforts to promote science in hostile communities.

Chris is a Lecturer in Animal Biology at the University of Leeds, with particular expertise in the biological impacts of environmental change. He graduated with a BSc in Zoology from the University of Liverpool and his PhD research, also conducted at Liverpool, investigated the impacts of climate change using dragonflies and damselflies as a model system. He then moved to Carleton University in Canada for three years as a Research Fellow before returning to the UK to take up a faculty position at the University of Leeds in 2012. He continues to work on large-scale patterns in ecology and evolution, with a focus on environmental change, predator-prey interactions, and freshwater science.

This event is open to all and entrance is free, however kind donations will be accepted in order to pay the speakers expenses.  There will be time after the event for Q & A and discussion and the Irish Traditional Musicians are available for entertaining listening afterwards.

 

Graham Smith

When?
Thursday, November 5 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Graham Smith

What's the talk about?

What does the evidence say? And why do different groups look at the same evidence but reach different conclusions?

Dr Graham Smith, Co-organiser York Skeptics and Head of Wildlife Epidemiology and Modelling at the Animal and Plant Health Agency, takes a skeptical look the Bovine TB crisis and the response to it by the government and the different advocacy and pressure groups.

Bovine tuberculosis costs us about £100m as British taxpayers each year, as well as the cost to individual farmers when their cattle contract TB. Badgers also catch TB, and badger management is a highly divisive issue. England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic all manage the issue differently but mostly rely on a similar evidence base.

Graham will start by discussing some of the reasons why we all interpret data differently. He then looks at how government treats evidence, and the data relating to bovine TB. He presents the facts of the issue and invites us in the audience to make up our own minds and test our conclusions against the biases in the first part of the talk.

Dr Graham Smith has spent over 20 years working in scientific research for the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs collecting, analysing and interpreting data on wildlife problems. He has worked on a number of disease issues including many years on badgers and bovine tuberculosis. His main work concentrates on producing computer models to help decision makers interpret the available data and predict the consequences of different option. This relies heavily on understanding the uncertainty associated with all parts of the system.
 

 

 

Martin Poulter

When?
Thursday, October 1 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Martin Poulter

What's the talk about?

Summary

Scientology has been described in the States as “ruthless, litigious and lucrative” and in this country as “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”, yet it boasts global success and has made hundreds of millions of dollars. Thanks to the Internet, it now faces an unprecedented global opposition. The scary secrets of Scientology and its recruitment methods will be exposed in this talk. It will be useful for anyone wanting to set up their own lucrative cult.

Biography

Martin Poulter first encountered skepticism while a teenager. He has a Philosophy and Psychology degree from Oxford University and a PhD in Philosophy of Science from the University of Bristol. He has been a Scientology-watcher since 1995, when he was threatened with legal action over material he posted online. He is an ordained minister in the Church of the SubGenius, which offers eternal spiritual salvation or triple your money back.