Archive for June, 2013

Skeptics with a K: Episode #100

The Age of Transparency, the Playstation Generation, prior plausibility and the British X-Files.  Plus education policy, the Queen, laser eyes and blogging a pissy response.  Attempting to communicate peacefully with UFOs, it’s Skeptics with a K.



InKredulous: Episode #021

Episode 21 of our satirical comedy podcast. Look out for the name checking section where we read out the names of some recent InKredulous reviewers.

Your host is Andy Wilson (@InKredulosi) of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and director and co-organiser of QED conference.

Appearing this time are:

  • Sharon Hill, editor of Doubtful News website (@IDoubtIt)
  • Sven Rudloff, All round good egg and blogger at and podcaster (@svenrudloff)
  • Michael ‘Marsh’ Marshall of Merseyside Skeptics Society, Skeptics with a K, Be Reasonable and director and co-organiser of QED conference (@MrMMarsh)

As always, thanks for listening.



Be Reasonable: Episode #006 – Naveena Shine

Naveena Shine recently made the headlines with her 6 month-long ‘Living on Light’ experiment into living without food – an experiment she ended after just 47 days. Marsh spoke to her about Living on Light, and whether she thinks human beings really can survive without food.



How Quackery Corrupts Real Science

by David Colquhoun

When: Thursday, August 15th, 2013 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Head of Steam, 7 Lime Street, Liverpool

David Colquhoun

One of the UK’s most outspoken and well-qualified opponents of alternative medicine and bad science, pharmacologist David Colquhoun runs the DC’s Improbable Science blog, which is devoted to criticism of scientific fraud and quackery. It has a particular focus on alternative medicine, including homeopathy, Traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine and other practices, which he calls ‘pure gobbledygook’.

In addition to his outspoken disapproval of alternative medicine in academia, Colquhoun frequently speaks against misrepresentation of alternative medicine as science in the media, and against governmental support of it. His blog discusses also wider problems in science, medicine and Higher Education. It was listed among the 100 best blogs in 2009. It was blog of the week in the New Statesman (30 May 2010). And in 2012 it was co-winner of the first UK Science Blog Prize, awarded by the Good Thinking Society.

Colquhoun was a member of the Conduct and Competence Committee of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), a regulatory body for alternative medicine in the UK. Colquhoun has stated he was surprised at being accepted for the position. However, he was dismissed in August 2010.

Colquhoun, FRS is a British pharmacologist at University College London (UCL). He has contributed to the general theory of receptor and synaptic mechanisms of single ion channel function. He previously held the A.J. Clark chair of Pharmacology at UCL, and was the Hon. Director of the Wellcome Laboratory for Molecular Pharmacology. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1985 and an honorary fellow of UCL in 2004. Colquhoun runs the website DC’s Improbable Science, which is critical of pseudoscience, particularly alternative medicine, and managerialism.

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That Guilty Look: The Modern Face of Physiognomy

by Kat Ford

When: Thursday, June 20th, 2013 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Head of Steam, 7 Lime Street, Liverpool

The notion that one can judge a person’s character on the basis of their facial appearance is an idea that dates back to the ancient Greeks and for a short period, the practice of physiognomy was considered scientific. Despite the fact that this ancient practice has long been discredited, the idea that one can “read” a person’s character simply by looking at their face still persists within folk psychology. In fact, this belief and our natural tendency to judge people on the basis of facial appearance has a surprisingly pervasive effect on all of our lives.

In this talk Kathryn Ford will look at the modern face of physiognomy trying to answer questions such as; why do we judge people as soon as we see them? How accurate are these judgements? And does facial appearance effect how people are treated within the criminal justice system?

Warning: This talk will involve some discussion of rape.

Kathryn Ford received a BSc in Neuroscience and Psychology from Keele University in 2011 and an MSc in Evolutionary Psychology from Brunel University in 2012.

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Skeptics with a K: Episode #099

Online dating, blood, cruelty and the Watchtower. Plus castles, YHWH, christenings and Coca-Cola. Appearing on the back of a chapati, it’s Skeptics with a K.