Archive for September, 2021

Skeptics with a K: Episode #311

This week Alice talks about the website Healthline and their evidence review of mistletoe-based alternative therapy iscador. Meanwhile, Mike talks about ivermectin and the claims that it leaves people sterile.

Mixed and edited by Morgan Clarke.

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Alice Howarth – The Vagina Mystery: Science, Pseudoscience and Sales

When:  Thursday, September 16th 2021, 7.30pm – 11.00pm

Where: The Casa Bar, 29 Hope Street

In 2013 when Alice Howarth joined the Merseyside Skeptics Society’s podcast, Skeptics with a K, to talk about unsubstantiated or pseudoscientific claims in the media, she quickly realised the volume of claims made about the vagina are insurmountable. Over the past five years she’s considered countless claims from a variety of different types of people about how exactly you “should” care for a vagina, should you ever encounter one. These claims might seem light and fun, but they can have damaging consequences for people who have vaginas and the wider society. In this talk Alice will take us through some of these claims, the sources they come from and the wider impact of those claims.

Dr Alice Howarth is a scientist and skeptical advocate who has been a board director of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and podcaster at Skeptics with a K for over five years. She’s a researcher in clinical and molecular pharmacology at the University of Liverpool and has written for publications such as The Guardian.

More information:

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**COVID Security**

This is our first event back in public and we take the threat of COVID very seriously.

Here are some things you could do to help look after yourself and our other attendees (if you like):

• If you have access to a lateral flow test, why not take a test before you join us? If it’s positive for COVID-19, please stay at home.
• If you have new symptoms of COVID-19, even if a lateral flow test is negative – we’d prefer you stay at home. We’ll have other social events in the future that you can join in when you’re feeling better.
• If you feel comfortable and able to wear a mask while moving around the venue then please do wear one. We’ll bring some spares if you’d like to wear one but forgot to bring one.
• We’ll also bring some hand sanitiser that you’re free to use any time you want to.
• Please be respectful of other people’s boundaries. Give each other plenty of space and be considerate. If you need to cough or sneeze, cough into your elbow or a tissue and throw the tissue away before sanitising your hands.

**NHS COVID Pass trial**
For our first event back, we are trialling use of the NHS COVID Pass and we would really appreciate our attendees help in this trial. In order to ready your NHS COVID Pass there are a number of steps you can follow.

1) Download the NHS app on your smartphone. This is a separate app the NHS Covid app. Once you are registered with the NHS app your COVID pass can be viewed under “Get your NHS COVID Pass” – click continue, then domestic. This will show a QR code that we can scan.

2) From the NHS app you can also download a PDF copy or receive a copy by email in case you do not have access to the internet from your smartphone.

3) If you do not wish to install the NHS app, or you do not have a smartphone – you can get a paper copy of your COVID Pass by mail by following this link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-pass/get-your-covid-pass-letter/ the paper copy will take at least 5 days to arrive.

The COVID Pass will confirm to us that you have either: had two COVID vaccines, had a positive antigen test within the previous 6 months, or that you have conducted a lateral flow test within the preceding 48 hours and the test was negative (for the online COVID pass only). We will not be informed which of these is the case for you.

If you have conducted a lateral flow test in the 48 hours before the event, you will need to register it with the NHS. To do so, you can follow the instructions at this link: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

Please try to make sure you have your NHS COVID Pass ready to scan before you enter the venue so we can minimise delays to entry.

When we scan your NHS COVID Pass, we will retain no information from you – we are only using it as a pre-event check.

Thank you for helping us keep our attendees safe!

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Skeptics with a K: Episode #310

In this bumper episode, Alice talks about the documentary ‘Sickness and Lies’, which claims social media influencers are faking chronic illness for attention and notoriety, and Marsh discusses the question mark over the authorship of the book ‘The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism’. Meanwhile, Mike takes up axe throwing and goes to see Free Guy.

Mixed and edited by Morgan Clarke

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