Archive for May, 2022

Skeptics with a K: Episode #329

Part two of Alice and Marsh talking about their experiences at the Great Awakening Tour in Birmingham, where the event turned to Gematria, cryptocurrency, soul contracts, and the bizarre predictive power of the movie Back to the Future.

Mixed and edited by Morgan Clarke

Note: we made an edit to the show after publication to remove some comments about a statue that was made by a problematic sculptor (which we did not realise until after publication).

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Skeptics with a K: Episode #328

Marsh and Alice present part one of their experiences at the Great Awakening Tour in Birmingham, a nexus of conspiracy theories, anti-vaccine activism, sovereign citizens, and amateur poetry. Meanwhile, Mike is excited for the casting of the new Doctor.

Mixed and edited by Morgan Clarke

Note: we made an edit to the show after publication to remove some comments about a statue that was made by a problematic sculptor (which we did not realise until after publication).

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Mike Hall – The Placebo Myth

When:  Thursday, June 16th 2022, 7.30pm – 11.00pm

Where: The Casa Bar, 29 Hope Street

Mike Hall on stage at QED conference. Mike is a tall, white, bald man who is wearing his tradmark black suit with a white shirt and red tie. He's smiling and holding a mic to his face.

The placebo effect is one of the most powerful medical responses there is. A demonstration of the amazing power the mind has over the body, the placebo effect can help you lose weight, cure your knee pain, or relieve your asthma. It brings you up when you think it’ll bring you up, and sedates you when you think it’ll take you down. It’ll even cure your gastric ulcers.
This isn’t wishy-washy alternative New Age nonsense. The placebo effect really does improve symptoms through our beliefs and expectations. It works in animals, it works in children, and it even works when think it won’t. There seems to be no end to it’s amazing healing power.
So why, then, does the best evidence tell us that none of this is true? Why does the data show that placebos are no better than doing nothing at all? And how can this myth be so deeply ingrained and unquestioned in modern medicine?
Mike Hall is producer and co-host of the long running skeptical podcast Skeptics with a K, a director of The Skeptic, and co-organiser of the popular science and skepticism conference QED. He has a lifelong interest in science, and has been involved in organised skepticism for over twelve years. He has spent most of his career working in technology (but still thinks Bitcoin is a scam) and has a particular special interest in Doctor Who.

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