Archive for category Skeptics in the Pub

Inside the Weird World of Scientology

by John Sweeney

When: Thursday, January 16th, 2014 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Head of Steam, 7 Lime Street, Liverpool

John Sweeney

Tom Cruise and John Travolta say the Church of Scientology is a force for good. Others disagree. Award-winning journalist John Sweeney investigated the Church for more than half a decade. During that time he was intimidated, spied on and followed and the results were spectacular: Sweeney lost his temper with the Church’s spokesman on camera and his infamous ‘exploding tomato’ clip was seen by millions around the world.

John Sweeney tells the story of his experiences for the first time and paints a devastating picture of this strange organisation, from former Scientologists who tell heartbreaking stories of families torn apart and lives ruined to its current followers who say it is the solution to many of mankind’s problems.

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The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets

by Simon Singh

When: Thursday, December 12th, 2013 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Head of Steam, 7 Lime Street, Liverpool

Please note that this event is on the second Thursday of the month, rather than our normal third Thursday of the month slot.

Simon Singh

Simon Singh, best-selling author of ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’ and ‘The Code Book’, will discuss his forthcoming book ‘The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets’. He will explain how a team of mathematically gifted writers have covered everything from calculus to geometry, from pi to game theory, and from infinitesimals to infinity in various episodes of The Simpsons. Singh will also discuss how the writers of Futurama have similarly made it their mission to smuggle deep mathematical ideas into the series.

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The Skeptical Bobby

by Stevyn Colgan

When: Thursday, November 21st, 2013 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Head of Steam, 7 Lime Street, Liverpool

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Stevyn Colgan is a former member of the Met Police Problem Solving Unit, which developed creative and innovative approaches to issues that did not respond to traditional policing methods. He is an expert on problem-oriented policing and has lectured extensively on the subject throughout the UK and US.

Stevyn is also an author, artist, songwriter, and oddly-spelled Cornishman. He is one of the QI Elves and co-writes its sister show, The Museum of Curiosity for BBC Radio 4.

His latest book Constable Colgan’s Connectoscope (Unbound, 2013) is published in paperback on 5th October 2013.

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A Skeptic’s Guide to Ghost Hunting

by Hayley Stevens

When: Thursday, October 17th, 2013 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Head of Steam, 7 Lime Street, Liverpool

Hayley Stevens

Described as ‘one of the sharpest and best skeptical commentators out there’, Hayley Stevens has addressed international audiences about researching the paranormal as a non-believer. She is one of Britain’s most vocal skeptical paranormal researchers and has been actively investigating ghosts and monsters since her teens when she used to believe that such things existed.

During her talk Hayley will explain everything a person could need to know about ghost hunting, from making ghosts forget their name, to the important role Play-Doh has in modern paranormal investigation. Riveting stuff that you simply cannot afford to miss.

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Alien Mummies, Monsters and Mermaids: Challenging the Mystery Mongers

by Paolo Viscardi

When: Thursday, September 19th, 2013 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Head of Steam, 7 Lime Street, Liverpool

Paolo Viscardi

From mummified aliens in deserts and monsters washed up on beaches to mermaids and holy fish, there is an interest in the unusual that can whip up a storm of speculation and spectacle. But cutting through hype, assumptions and misinformation is essential when you’re trying to uncover the truth. Join Paolo Viscardi in exploring some weird objects from the past and present – using scientific methods and museum collections to get beneath the surface of aliens, monsters, mermaids and the hype they have inspired.

Paolo Viscardi is a Natural History Curator at the Horniman Museum in Southeast London. He is a fellow of the Linnaean Society and a representative of the Natural Sciences Collections Association. In his spare time Paolo blogs about identifying bones at Zygoma and helps run an online biology Q&A site called ‘Ask A Biologist’. He organises and hosts monthly science communication events called PubSci and regularly lectures to a variety of audiences on topics ranging from Darwin to mermaids.

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What Every Parent Needs To Know About Steiner Schools

by Andy Lewis

When: Thursday, July 18th, 2013 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Head of Steam, 7 Lime Street, Liverpool

With Michael Gove and the coalition approving new Steiner Schools to open under the Free School Programme, it is timely to look closely at the origins and beliefs of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the occult movement of Anthroposophy. Steiner was a mystic who believed he had direct clairvoyant access to cosmic knowledge. As such he developed an esoteric belief system based on karma, reincarnation, astrology, homeopathy and gnomes. His visions gave insights into architecture, art, dance, agriculture, medicine, education, science and diet. His racial hierarchy of spiritual developmental resonated in Germany in the early 20th Century turning a personal belief into a worldwide movement. Today we find hundreds of anthroposphically inspired organisations in the UK alone: everything from Steiner Schools, Biodynamic farms to banks, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies, charities and cheese makers.

Andy Lewis has been trying to lift the veil on the inner secrets of the movement and will discuss how this secretive movement has direct impact on public life. He is the developer of the web site quackometer.net, which explores the pseudo-medical claims of alternative medicine web sites and their impact on society.

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