QED: 9 great speakers & a spectacular price!


QED: Question. Explore. Discover.

QED: Question. Explore. Discover.’ proudly announces 9 of the spectacular speakers who are taking to the stage in front of 500 skeptics and fans of science in The Piccadilly Hotel, Manchester (UK) on the 5th and 6th of February, 2011.

In addition to George Hrab’s unique abilities as host, the following exciting and original speakers span an eclectic, diverse line-up covering issues such as alternative medicine and health, religion, media, conspiracy theories, scams, psychology and the sciences: a body of topics and personalities that will convince and energize all skeptics and critical thinkers:

Given the recent controversy around faith schools including anti-science and anti-evolution in their curriculums, Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the US National Center for Science Education, is a perfect voice of critical reason on some of the most pressing issues in the UK today.

Jon Ronson is the former, sometime keyboard player in Frank Sidebottom’s band, manager of The Man from Delmonte and more recently an investigative journalist and documentary maker, with fame both nationally and internationally. His work includes The Men Who Stare At Goats, a book, documentary and most recently a hugely successful Hollywood film that charts Jon’s experiences with surreal elements of the US Army. At QED Jon will be revealing never-before-seen material from his upcoming book.

Co-host of the recent C4 web series The Science of Scams, Kat Akingbade is a passionate communicator of science and educator in the public arena whose history has included posts at Oxford University, The World Health Organisation as well as working with the BBC for both TV and radio.

Bruce Hood, director of the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre, is a well-known skeptic and psychologist whose work with superstitions led to the publication of Supersense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable and his most recent work The Science of Superstition: How the Developing Brain Creates Supernatural Beliefs.

The co-founder and twice editor of The Skeptic magazine, blogger and journalist Wendy Grossman is an exciting addition to the festival from the founding of the skeptical movement in the UK. Speaking about ‘policy-based evidence’, Wendy will to show the danger of letting ideology lead the research.

Director of both BAFTA nominated Taking Liberties and the 2009 tour-de-force Starsuckers, Chris Atkins is a clear voice in accessibly exposing how the public are manipulated through the real-world motivations of the media in creating and perpetuating news and celebrity. As the perpetrator of the recent ‘Urban Fox Hunter’ hoax, Chris demonstrated the ease by which the national and international media can be fooled.

Next up: Juggling. Or, specifically, science and mathematics explained by Colin Wright via the medium of juggling. This is a unique talk, comically covering what are often thought of as dull subjects in an incredibly engaging and enjoyable way. Having been around the world and beloved by all who see it, now it’s time for QED!

Simon Singh is the particle physicist and former producer of Tomorrow’s World who has published several outstanding books, including Fermat’s Last Theorum, The Code Book and Big Bang. These excellent works have recently been outshone by the legal maelstrom that surrounded his work with Edzard Ernst in Trick or Treatment and the Guardian article that developed those themes with regard to chiropractic: Beware The Spinal Trap. After almost losing his house in the lottery of a libel trial and touring the country to campaign for libel reform, Simon is taking to our main stage in February – to talk about the subjects he’s passionate about, putting aside the horrors of libel!

Last but not by no means least, is the star of 3 science series on BBC TV during 2010 Jim Al-Khalili. His easy style and clear explanations are making science and the history of science, including Islam’s major, but often overlooked influence, ever more accessible to both young and old.

The above list is enough to sate the needs of any hungry rationalist, while the bar will take care of their thirst… but this newly established feature of the skeptical and science festival calendar has one more, unique feature to introduce to the thousands of people who are already keenly following what QED has to offer: The amazing price.

  • Standard: £99
  • Students: £75
  • Gala Dinner with Celebrity Special Guests: £45

QED is affordable by all, easily accessible from every part of the country by road, rail or air and, even with the cost at an incredibly low level, it will raise a significant sum for two amazing causes that are much in the minds of anyone with an interest in science, rationalism and skepticism: Sense About Science and the National Autism Society.

Tickets can be purchased from the QED website from: http://www.qedcon.org/tickets/

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  1. #1 by Tom W on August 26, 2010 - 09:41

    You guys have really outdone yourselves. I’d be happy just with Eugenie Scott!

  2. #2 by David Smith on August 27, 2010 - 12:50

    I thought the female speaker was Jan Leeming when I saw the pic.

  3. #3 by Ronald Franklin on November 10, 2010 - 18:10

    Autism is one disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. Others also exhibit sensory processing deficits, as well as symptoms related to aggression, attention, hyperactivity, and speech.

    In my research for an answer to this problem I have come to more closely to that idea of one lack of oxygen being that primary problem. Autism affects information processing in that brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood. These signs all begin before one child is three years old.

    – Ronald Franklin

(will not be published)