Archive for January, 2016

Be Reasonable: Episode #035 – Paul Byrne

Joining me today is Dr Paul Byrne. Paul is a paediatrician and prominent campaigner against organ donation, who has consistently written rejecting the existence of brain death.

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Skeptics with a K: Episode #165

Quantum Bioinformation, cannabinoids, Ruth Rendell, and crystal meth. Plus happy cells, online shopping, Dumfries, and LL Cool J. On all-new equipment, it’s Skeptics with a K.

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Merseyside Skeptics Society raises £260 for Young Legal Aid Lawyers Liverpool

Emma McClure, on the subject of forensic faux pas (Photo Credit: Chris Malburn)

Emma McClure, on forensic faux pas

Last night, Merseyside Skeptics Society member and prison lawyer Emma McClure gave a fascinating, funny and frightening talk on the way forensics can be misused or mishandled by police investigations, and the terrible miscarriages of justice that can occur as a result. It was a brilliant talk, in front of a packed audience, and a hugely enjoyable evening.

Given that Emma is one of our own members, and therefore had minimal expenses, we decided to use our normal collection as an opportunity to fundraise for a worthy cause: Young Legal Aid Lawyers Liverpool.

Young Legal Aid Lawyers Liverpool is an organisation close to Emma’s heart, campaigning to ensure justice is accessible for all, not just for those who can afford it. Due to the generosity of our members and attendees at last night’s event, we are able to donate £260 to the group.

We are delighted to support this important cause, and would like to thank once again everyone who donated last night.

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Heresy to Witchcraft: Politics and the Creation of the Witch as an anti-social outsider – Deborah Hyde

When:  Thursday, April 21st 2016, 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Vines, 81 Lime St, Liverpool

946151_934486896637426_1658153012147983915_nWitchcraft became big news in the 16th and 17th centuries. Torrents of learned discussion turned to action, and the corpses piled high. But where did the legal infrastructure for such a mass persecution arise? Had this power already been tested and used? Deborah will discuss totalitarianism, paranoia and yearnings for empire in the making of a very bloody delusion.

Deborah has been writing about the supernatural for nearly two decades. She blogs on ‘Superstition, Religion and Being Human’ as ‘Jourdemayne’ but often suffers from mission creep. She’s also Editor-in-Chief of the Skeptic Magazine. Her daytime, grown-up job is a makeup effects coordinator in the film industry.

Our speaker events have wheelchair access, via a portable ramp which can be installed on-demand. If possible, please let us know you’re coming through contact@merseysideskeptics.org.uk so we can make sure the ramp is ready.

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Herding Hemingway’s Cats: how do our genes work? – Kat Arney

When:  Thursday, August 18th, 2016, 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Vines, 81 Lime St, Liverpool

kat-arneyThe language of genes has become common in the media. We know they make your eyes blue, your hair curly or your nose straight. We’re told that genes control the risk of cancer, heart disease, alcoholism or Alzheimer’s. The cost of DNA sequencing has plummeted from billions of pounds to a few hundred, and gene-based advances in medicine hold huge promise.

There are 2.2 metres of DNA inside every one of your cells, encoding roughly 20,000 genes. These are the ‘recipes’ that tell our cells how to make the building blocks of life, along with all the control switches ensuring they’re turned on and off at the right time and in the right place. But rather than a static string of genetic code, this is a dynamic, writhing biological library. With the help of cats with thumbs, fish with hips and wobbly worms, Kat will unpack some of the mysteries in our DNA and explain the latest thinking about how our genes work.

Dr Kat Arney is a science writer and broadcaster whose work has featured on BBC Radio 4, the Naked Scientists and more. She has just published her first book, Herding Hemingway’s Cats, about how our genes work.

Our speaker events have wheelchair access, via a portable ramp which can be installed on-demand. If possible, please let us know you’re coming through contact@merseysideskeptics.org.uk so we can make sure the ramp is ready.

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Skeptics with a K: Episode #164

Fire in Dubai, scalar energy, herpes simplex, and laminine supplements. Plus blacksmiths, St Bernadette, and Killer Daltons. Well heeled and well bred, it’s Skeptics with a K. And apologies for the poor sound quality. Again.

Support the MSS, our work, and all of our podcasts by making a monthly contribution via Patreon.

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