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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.

 

Ash Pryce

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

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

Hydesville. New York. 1848. The young Fox sisters begin communicating with the spirit of a murdered beggar and spiritualism is born.

This interactive look at a history of talking to the dead will feature an array of magical treats including
levitating tables, ectoplasm manifestation and spirit communication.

Part magic show, part comedy, part rational inquiry this fun show
has regularly packed venues at the Edinburgh fringe.


Ouija Boards
Spirit Slates
Spirit Communication
Stopped Pulses
Spewing ectoplasm

And more...

"Ash Pryce is a naturally funny guy and won't allow his audience to be bored"
"Very entertaining" - edfringereview

"Go see" - Edinburgh Skeptics


About Ash

Ash Pryce is a performer, director and occasional magician based in Scotland. 
He has written and staged several skeptically themed shows looking at myths & legends, ghosts, psychics and mediumship as well as producing full plays ranging from Faustus to more contemporary original shows in Edinburgh.
 
He is the founder of Edinburgh Skeptics, the newly started History-in-the-Pub Edinburgh, and runs what is
believed to be the worlds first skeptical ghost tour every Fringe.  He lives just outside of Edinburgh with
his three Degus, one of which holds a grudge against him.

Various

When?
Thursday, August 6 2015 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?

Got a subject you know about that is not well understood by the public?  Now is the time to come to O'Connell's and hold court for ten minutes!  After each presentation there will be a 5 minute Question & Answer session.  

There are a total of 6 slots available so send your subject heading and your details to me on Facebook, Twitter (@teessidesitp) or at tpwaites@iee.org

A laptop/projector/PA system will be available.  If you have slides please send to me by attachment to email/cloud access and bring a memory-stick backup.

Any subject is acceptable within reason.  We are looking forward to some eye-opening, myth-busting talks from anybody out there interested.

 

 

 

Iszi Lawrence

When?
Thursday, July 2 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Iszi Lawrence

What's the talk about?

Skeptic, comedian and voice of the Skeptics Guide To The Universe, Iszi Lawrence is at Teesside Skeptics-in-the-Pub with her new show The Z-List Dead List.
The Z-List Dead List is a live comedy show about obscure people from History. As a skeptic, Iszi has found a few that will peak your interest. Expect woo, violence, sex and death. Oh, and a competition! 

The show is also a podcast with guest interviews from Jon Ronson, Griff Rhys Jones, Natalie Haynes, Neil Denny, Richard Herring etc. You can find it on iTunes.
 
Iszi is a fully established skeptical comedian with a great eye for the difficult grey areas between reality and fairyland.  So you think you make your own decisions in times of crisis?  You may have to think again!
.

Richard Burdett

When?
Thursday, June 4 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
Richard Burdett

What's the talk about?

This talk looks at advertising from both the consumer’s and the advertiser’s perspective. Can consumers trust what they’re seeing, reading, hearing and clicking on? And, in an increasingly fragmented and fractured media environment, can advertisers trust the data on which they’re making multi-million pound investment decisions?

Richard Burdett began his career at Saatchi & Saatchi, spending eleven years working with clients such as BA, BP, Cadbury Schweppes and Sainsbury’s. He then moved from advertising to the fledgling world of multi-channel television, initially as Head of Ad Sales for The Discovery Channel and subsequently as Head of Marketing for UKTV. Next stop was Vice Chairman of CIA (now MEC) one of the world’s largest media buying agencies.

In 2003 he became Head of 4Creative, Channel 4’s in-house ad agency, working on shows such as Lost, Desperate Housewives, Shameless and Jamie’s School Dinners as well as the launches of More4 and Film4.

Richard is currently MD of Horse & Country TV, a thematic channel which does exactly what it says on the tin. The channel has brought over fifty new advertisers on to TV and was one of five nominees for Best Factual Channel in this year’s Broadcast awards, up against BBC3, BBC4, Discovery and History. Follow Richard on Twitter @rgburdett

John Issit

When?
Thursday, May 7 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

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

Who?
John Issit

What's the talk about?

Jeremiah was a London radical and freethinker. He and his many associates gave themselves to the cause - a cause that was always dangerous and compromised.

Whilst his efforts received no dividend in his lifetime today we are in his debt - we enjoy the freedoms for which he risked his life.
When the Bastille fell in 1789 English radicals like Jeremiah saw the promise of freedom but by early 1793 the French Revolution had turned into madness as Robespierre and the guillotine produced a blood bath of self destruction.

In England the fear that the revolution might spread across the channel provoked reactionary responses and the years of William Pitt’s terror began. Radicals were hunted down. Some found themselves in Botany Bay, others charged with sedition or treason, languished in Newgate and the Tower.

John Issit is a National Teaching Fellow and Provost of Langwith College. He has taught in schools, prisons, further education colleges and with the Open University for many years. He teaches extensively on the undergraduate programme at the University of York and supervises students at Masters level as well as teaching a programme for gifted and talented youth. He develops innovative approaches to learning in higher education particularly in collaborative writing and peer assessment.