Posts Tagged QED
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.
QED Tickets: On Sale Now!
- 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.
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.
This Monday will see a very special recording of our Skeptics with a K podcast. For the first, and perhaps only time in the show’s history, we will be streaming the recording session live over the Internet.
Skeptics with a K Live is being sponsored by the QED conference (get your tickets now) who will be providing technical support on the day. Listeners will be able to hear the raw, uncut recording – as it happens – including all the grossly offensive off-colour humour which usually gets cut for reasons of taste and decency.
Not only that, you will be able to interact with the show via twitter. During the show we will be monitoring the #qedcon hashtag, so when Marsh says something outrageous about palladium you can put him right on the spot.
The show starts at 6:45pm on Monday, December 13 – at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/skeptics-with-a-k
Consumer rights activists worldwide are being challenged to participate in a global ‘overdose’ on homeopathic pills, in order to raise public awareness that the remedies are in fact worthless.
The ’10:23 Challenge’, scheduled to culminate worldwide in February 2011, is a follow-up to the protest staged by the 10:23 Campaign in the UK, which saw almost 400 demonstrators take to the streets across UK to voice their concern at the sales of the pills in leading pharmacy ‘Boots’, and the support for such ‘remedies’ on the NHS.
Michael Marshall of the 10:23 Campaign explained the plans for 2011: “This year has been a great year in the UK for raising awareness of homeopathy – with doctors, pharmacists, politicians and – above all – members of the public speaking out against this discredit ‘treatment’.
“However, the case against homeopathy extends far beyond the UK – all around the world, people are being told that homeopathy is a valid form of treatment, and often with tragic consequences. It’s a global problem, and it requires global action.
“This is why we’re announcing the 10:23 Challenge for 2011 – we want to show global unity by gathering protesters from more than 10 countries, and more than 23 cities. Our aim is to have more than 1023 people publicly gathering over the weekend of 5th-6th February, to make a statement: Homeopathy – There’s Nothing In It.
“Of course, safety is our number one concern – not all homeopathy is prepared as honestly and cleanly as the manufacturers state, and can include real ingredients which could be potentially dangerous. With this in mind we urge anyone wishing to get involved to prepare their own homeopathic remedies, or contact the 10:23 Campaign for more information”.
While International participation is yet to be announced, the challenge will culminate in a demonstration in Manchester on February 6th, at the ‘QED: Question. Explore. Discover.’ event, with over 300 protesters participating the largest ever single demonstration against homeopathy.
The 10:23 Campaign is an international movement headed by the Merseyside Skeptics Society, which aims to raise awareness of homeopathy, a multi-million pound industry based on a long-discredited 18th century ritual, selling remedies to the public which have no scientific basis and no credible evidence for their efficacy beyond the placebo effect.
While dispensing sugar pills may seem harmless, in reality the endorsement of homeopathic potions by leading health providers can have grave consequences. In September 2010, a BBC investigation discovered registered homeopaths administering ineffective ‘alternatives’ to the MMR vaccine, and in 2002 9-month old infant Gloria Sam died from serious infections after her eczema – a condition commonly treated by homeopaths – was treated with homeopathic remedies.
Mr Marshall concluded: “Homeopathy has had more than two centuries to prove itself a useful remedy, but the results consistently come back negative. In the meantime, people are being fooled into believing these pills work, often causing genuine harm. This is unacceptable, and on February 5th, we’re going to demonstrate how strongly people feel about this issue.”
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.