Archive for August, 2011

QED Announces Tickets and Speakers For 2012

Earlier this year, we ran the highly-successful QED conference with our friends over at the Greater Manchester Skeptics. It was such fun that we’ve decided to do it again, in March 2012. Tickets are on sale now, and what follows is a formal announcement from the full QED team:

QED Tickets: On Sale Now!


With the next ‘QED: Question. Explore. Discover.’ taking place in March 2012, the QED team are pleased to reveal eight of the speakers lined up to feature on the bill for our second ever weekend celebration of science and critical thinking, hosted once more in The Piccadilly Hotel, Manchester on March 10th-11th, 2012. The exciting program of speakers will include:


  • Joe Nickell, one of the most widely-respected and experienced paranormal researchers of all time, with a phenomenal investigative history include discovering the techniques behind the making of the Turin Shroud and uncovering the true story behind the Amityville house.
  • Recently retired from his post as Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, Edzard Ernst has long been a tireless and diligent researcher into all manner of alternative modalities, admirably exposing the pseudoscience at their core – not least of which in his book Trick Or Treatment, co-authored with 2011 QED speaker Simon Singh.
  • Maryam Namazie is a human rights activist, commentator and broadcaster. Spokesperson for both the One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, in 2005 Maryam was named Secularist of the Year by the National Secular Society and has campaigned tirelessly on secular issues.
  • David Aaronovitch is an author, broadcaster, and journalist who has enthralled audiences up and down the country with his thorough debunking of conspiracy theories – a topic comprehensively covered in his 2009 book, Voodoo Histories.
  • Recently-appointed Managing Editor of The Skeptic magazine, Deborah Hyde has been writing about the supernatural for nearly two decades. A makeup effects coordinator in the film industry by day, Deborah’s extensive knowledge of the macabre and esoteric folklores of cultures around the world has thrilled Skeptics in the Pub groups across the country.
  • Steve Jones is former Head of the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London and has written and lectured about science to a general audience for over fifteen years. Steve also recently led the BBC Trust review of impartiality and accuracy in the BBC’s coverage of science, concluding the media often offers undue weight to fringe beliefs.
  • Sarah Angliss is trained in electroacoustics, music and robotics, combining all three to create original sound installations, exhibits and live performances that mix cutting-edge science with vintage sound technology and stories from the history of science.
  • Ian Ridpath has been a full-time writer, editor, broadcaster, and lecturer on astronomy and space for almost 30 years. With over 40 books to his name, Ian has an encyclopaedic knowledge of UFO folklore, and in 1986 was commended in the British Science Writers Awards for his investigation and explanation of Britain’s most famous UFO case in Rendlesham Forest.
This list is of course by no means complete, and further guests will be announced in the coming weeks, as will our program for the break-out room – which proved highly popular at the first event.


You can book your place at QED 2012 now, with tickets a very-reasonable £89 (or £68 with a valid student ID). Once more, we’ll also be offering a limited number of places for our exclusive gala dinner, where you can dine with our fantastic speakers for just £45.


For those with altruistic tendencies, there is also the option of paying a £10 voluntary donation directly to good causes, bringing the ticket price to the same as for QED 2011 and adding a little extra cash into the charity pot, which will once again be split between two great causes: Sense About Science and the National Autistic Society.


After the huge amount of fun we had hosting the first QED, we’re all hugely excited about what 2012 has in store – so book your ticket now, and we’ll see you there!


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Skeptics with a K: Episode #053

Featuring muesli, CDT, nightmares and sniffer dogs. Plus cheese, cancer, creationism and controls. Shamelessly name dropping, it’s Skeptics with a K.



Skeptics with a K: Episode #052

Skeptics with a K celebrates two years on the air, with a special episode which was streamed live on the evening of Monday August 8th 2011. Featuring Mr Sulu, Eight Legged Freaks, Internet Explorer 6 and touching guitars. Not numbers, but free men… it’s Skeptics with a K!



Skeptics with a K: The 2-year Anniversary Live Show

I’m sure we can all remember the momentous events of August 1st, 2009.

  • The Pope announced plans to release his first album (a trance-inspired collection of old-school anthems and breaking new beats, with pumping anti-abortion, pro-child-abuse, pro-men-in-dresses-condemning-homosexuality basslines).
  • The Quaker church agreed to begin performing same-sex marriages (sparking a trigger-happy rampage in which 10 Quaker ministers went on a same-sex-marrying spree, leaving six innocent bystanders legally tied, and wedding the entire QPR first team in a complicated polygamous tryst, which ironically boosted team spirits so much they achieved promotion to the top division the following season).
  • And, perhaps most importantly of all, three men and a microphone (in a somewhat disappointing prequel to the 80s classic movie) gathered in a dinosaur-wallpapered bedroom to talk pithy nonsense. Those three men went on to become joint Time magazine ‘Man of the year’ for 2047, controversially beating newly-elected US president Justin Bieber after a hideous accident left them fused at the hip and legally classified as a single entity. But back in 2011, they were three separate, discrete and clearly-defined individuals, with a podcast and a giant book of nonsense.

And so, for the second time ever, you can catch these men live, unedited and wildly-underprepared in their hastily-thrown-together second anniversary live show.

To catch the live 52nd episode of Skeptics with a K live video feed simply visit after 6.45pm TONIGHT. Plus you can join in the show with heckling and insults via the Twitter hashtag #SwaKlive. See you there!

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