Archive for category QED

The QED Skeptics in the Pub forum – topics wanted!

At every QED there has been a Skeptics in the Pub Forum – an open forum to discuss issues around the starting, running and expanding of a local Skeptics in the Pub group.

Whether you are a current organiser looking to share your successes, or want tips on how to expand, or are looking to set up a new group in your hometown, this is the place to be.

This year the forum will be moderated by:

  • Ian Scott – Ian is the founder of Glasgow Skeptics, who in 2014 hosted the largest public debate on Scottish independence of any non-aligned organisation. Ian is also the Acting Chief Executive of the Humanist Society Scotland, and Events Manager at the British Humanist Association.
  • Kash Farooq – Kash is an organiser of Nottingham Skeptics in the Pub and the co-founder of the popular PubhD network.
  • Alice Howarth – Alice is a PhD cancer researcher, co-host of the Skeptics with a K podcast and Secretary of the Merseyside Skeptics Society.

The forum will mainly be an open Q&A session, but if you have any topic that you’d particularly like to be covered, please leave a comment below and we’ll try to make sure it’s included during the discussion.

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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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QED Team Raise £5k for Charity

As the co-organisers of QED, along with the Greater Manchester Skeptics, it’s with great pleasure that we can share the following statement with you:

In February 2011, the first QED conference saw nearly 350 people come together for a weekend celebration of science and critical thinking, in what became a highly successful and entertaining event. Today, the QED team are delighted to announce that as a result of the event, £5,262 was raised – to be split between the charities Sense About Science and The National Autistic Society.

A spokeman for the event said, “It makes us all tremendously proud and thrilled to be able to donate to two great charities. It’s a testament to the popularity and success of the conference that so many people came and had a great time, and that we’ve been able to donate a respectable amount to two great causes is definitely the icing on the cake.

“We’d like to thank everyone who made the event the success it was – from the amazing roster of speakers who so kindly gave up their time to be a part of our event, to everybody who attended and made the weekend a success. From the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve had – and the many not-too-subtle demands to stage a follow-up event – it’s clear that QED was a great weekend for all involved, and we’re delighted to have been able to achieve this”.

Aswell as announcing the sums donated to charity, the team have confirmed that the next QED conference will take place on the weekend of March 10th-11th, 2012. While details of speakers are yet to be confirmed, the event will take place once more in the Ramada Jarvis Piccadilly Hotel, Manchester, and will once again be organised by North West Skeptical Events Ltd, comprising of members of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and Greater Manchester Skeptics.

To stay up to date with the latest information on the next QED and to be first to hear when tickets go on sale, subscribe to updates from the event team.

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QED Vodka: Why Do Things By Halves…?

I’m sure you all saw our QED Vodka footage by now – where we made a batch of homeopathic vodka for the BBC, and then trialled it around the streets of Liverpool. What fun.

What you might not have seen is the full sales pitch, as (for reasons of time) we had to trim a lot of it down. Still, I had a lot of fun coming up with it, crafting a fine line of bullshit-benefits while never straying from what could be tenuoulsy claimed about a) water and b) the placebo effect. Because if you’re going to do something, why do it by halves?

So, to preserve the sheer bullshit I forced myself to come up with, I thought I’d post it all here (as well as giving you it as a PDF so you can see what was on the other side of that clipboard I’m clutching in the footage).

Enjoy! And get your QED ticket now to sample some QED vodka with us in person in February! Read the rest of this entry »

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How To Make Your Own Homeopathy – The 10:23 Way

Back in July, the 10:23 campaign were invited to work on a project with the BBC, as part of a wider documentary on homeopathy. The project involved ‘QED Vodka’ – a new, fictional, homeopathically-prepared vodka-based lifestyle drink.

Unfortunately, given the willingness of homeopaths involved in the documentary to admit to practices which were dangerous and unethical, the piece was dropped. However, all was not lost, and the footage was retrieved and edited – and ahead of an announcement this week of the 10:23 Campaign’s plans for 2011 it’s been released for your viewing pleasure.

The name of the vodka is, of course, taken from the ‘QED conference‘ – the 2 day science extravaganza which will feature as a centrepiece the 10:23 Campaign’s next major protest, details of which will be formally announced on Wednesday. Tickets are still available, and it’s not to be missed.

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Announcing… Robin Ince


The QED team are delighted to announce the fantastic Robin Ince will be joining the line up for the two-day skeptical festival in February 2011.

A legend on the live comedy circuit and co-host of Radio 4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage Robin is one of the UK’s most loved skeptical voices – mixing ascerbic wit and comic fury with a genuine enthusiasm for the world and for the contribution of science. His live shows often feature readings from the very inspiring (Sagan, Feynman) and the… inspiring in an altogether different sense (step forward, Phillips, Moir and Coulter).

Robin’s QED set will form the centrepiece of an evening’s entertainment on Saturday 5th February, taking place after the planned gala dinner, and free for ALL QED ticketholders. Further acts playing throughout the night are yet to be announced.

To book your tickets to see Robin and the 10 other fantastic speakers we’ve announced, visit http://www.qedcon.org/

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