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Talks

We hold regular speaking events each month in central Liverpool. Talks take place on the third Thursday of the month, starting from 7.30pm. Check the event listing to find the venue. Whether you're a seasoned skeptic or just curious, our talks are not to be missed. If youʼre planning to attend, why not let us know via our Meetup page?

You donʼt need to be a member to attend; if you want to come down and see what weʼre about, youʼll be made welcome.

Our Next Talk

Alistair Coleman - Disinformation, Dictators and Propaganda
The Casa, 29 Hope Street
Alistair Coleman - Disinformation, Dictators and Propaganda

Join BBC journalist Alistair Coleman as He guides us through the world of fake news and its consequences, and how the corporation separates fact from fiction. And hear about countries where the news is so tightly controlled at the whim of ruling dictators that citizens only ever hear one voice, be they North Korea's Kim, Turkmenistan's Berdimuhamedovs or - of course- Russia's Putin.

Safety & Comfort

We aim to be an inclusive organisation, welcoming attendees from all backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders. The directors reserve the right to remove any attendee whose continued presence represents a real or perceived threat to the smooth running of our events, or the security and comfort of other attendees. Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

More Upcoming Talks

Colin Angus - A healthy relationship with alcohol?
The Casa, 29 Hope Street

Alcohol is something of a national obsession - deeply ingrained in many aspects of British culture and available on almost every street corner. Yet we are regularly faced with conflicting messages about the impact alcohol has on our health - will a glass of wine a day keep the doctor away, or give you cancer? Deaths caused by alcohol have increased sharply in recent years, yet young people are drinking less than ever. In this talk Colin will examine the data behind the health impacts of alcohol, the evidence behind drinking guidelines and try and make sense of recent changes in our relationship with the demon drink.

Merseyside Skeptics Society August Talk
The Casa, 29 Hope Street

Join us for our monthly talk with our exciting guest speaker.

We haven't announced who will be joining us yet, but please look back at our previous events for examples of our excellent previous speakers.

If there's anyone you'd like to see speak for us, or any topic you'd like covered, why not contact us (https://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/contact) to let us know.

Merseyside Skeptics Society September Talk
The Casa, 29 Hope Street

Join us for our monthly talk with our exciting guest speaker. We haven't announced who will be joining us yet, but please look back at our previous events for examples of our excellent previous speakers. If there's anyone you'd like to see speak for us, or any topic you'd like covered, why not contact us (https://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/contact) to let us know.

Merseyside Skeptics Society November Talk
The Casa, 29 Hope Street

Join us for our monthly talk with our exciting guest speaker.

We haven't announced who will be joining us yet, but please look back at our previous events for examples of our excellent previous speakers.

If there's anyone you'd like to see speak for us, or any topic you'd like covered, why not contact us (https://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/contact) to let us know.

Recent Talks

Michael Marshall - Using data to counter quackery and alternative medicine
The Casa, 29 Hope Street

As skeptics, it's easy for us to warn people about the harms of alternative medicine at an individual level, but what can we do when quackery is being pushed by authorities, or when the problem is to widespread for a one-on-one approach? From NHS homeopathy to midwifery alt-med, via quack charities and dubious overseas cancer clinics, professional skeptical investigator Michael Marshall will explain how a dogged approach to analysing publicly-available data can help us understand what we're up against, and provide the media with the evidence they need to publish stories that make a difference.

March Megamix!
The Casa, 29 Hope Street

Join us for another of our annual multiple speaker events, featuring some people you may have heard talk before (about different subjects), some you will have never heard speak.

How to Be Insufferable – Robert Green and His Guide to Being Obnoxious Bob Brady Have you ever wished you could command the awe and respect of your lessers? Wield the power of nations and have women swoon at the mention of your name? Then Robert Greene has the answers for you, and all you need to do... is buy his books, apparently.

AC/DC History Ian Harrison For over 100 years AC won the battle of the currents, but with newer technology is that now changing? How an understanding the history of AC vs DC might help guide our future.

Phineas Gage - The lesser known facts of a well known case Kat Ford The story of Phineas Gage is one of the most well known medical case studies, taught the world over to students of psychology and neuroscience, but the story of Phineas' injury and subsequent recovery is often told full of myths and inaccuracies. So what really happened to Phineas, and what can his story tell us about the human brain?

#Triggered? Lana Donaghy Buckle up snowflakes, we're delving into the complexities surrounding PTSD and online culture wars. From one side the appropiation of 'triggered' has rendered a serious condition a joke, while from the other is the dismissal of PTSD by those who prioritize 'facts over feelings'. Let's explore the scientific approach to PTSD, the efficacy of content warnings, and other methods of managing the condition.

Why we love to hate Liz Shaw Oxytocin is colloquially known as the love hormone, bringing us bonding, a love of cuddles, not wanting to eat our children, and a sense of belonging in a community. So why does it also make us despise one another?

A Boney M to pick: debunking Rasputin Tom Williamson In 1978, Boney M. released their single Rasputin. Finally, their lies and propaganda will get a thorough debunking, and the true story of Grigory Rasputin and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna will be told.

The Actual Dangers of AI Phil Armstrong When we talk about the dangers of AI, you're likely to picture Skynet, but there are far more pressing and immediate dangers we should be more concerned with.

Mystery Talk Alice Howarth ???

Dr Melanie Thomson - Medical Gaslighting: From Hysteria to Post Exercise malaise
The Casa, 29 Hope Street

Ever wonder what happens to people who seek medical care for ailments that evidence-based medicine has failed to study in-depth? Or to provide treatments or ‘cures’? They are at the mercy of the ‘appeal to authority’ fallacy, perpetuated by the medical profession as it stands. Come and find out if you are at risk of misdiagnosis and medical gaslighting!

Dr Liam Brierley - War, Pestilence, Death, and ...Statistics?
The Casa, 29 Hope Street

Often portrayed as the most deceptive and most disliked of the mathematical sciences, statistics gets a tough deal. It’s no surprise then that statistics is interwoven throughout all things morbid, including disease, conflict, and death. In this talk Liam will review some statistical fallacies through grim tales from history and show how they’re more relevant than ever before. Liam will also discuss the challenge of public perceptions of statistics and demo some techniques he uses to help people cast a more critical eye over the swathes of numbers we now meet in everyday life.

November Megamix
The Casa, 29 Hope Street

EVENT UPDATE - Four speakers to replace Dr Matt Kneale's scheduled event

Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control, Matt Kneale won't be able to join us as scheduled tomorrow night, but don't worry we've gathered a handful of skeptics to keep you entertained tomorrow night. We're busy rearranging for Matt to join us in 2024 so keep an eye out for that too!

We didn't think it was possible either but you can have a megamix in November. Replacing Dr Matt Kneale, we will have four short talks:

How I met pure blooder - Phil Armstrong Do you have what it takes to date in the modern world? Join me as I venture into the world of “off-grid” dating in a very on-grid Facebook. What do antivaxxers look for in a potential partner and how do they advertise themselves?

On the Run - A Very Practical Guide to Prison Escape - Emma McClure Prison escapes are regularly the subject of TV shows and films and stories of ‘escaped’ prisoners often make national news. The reality of the modern prison system means that such escapes almost never happen in practice, however fear of them and inflammatory reporting often leads to very damaging policy changes for those who remain in custody. In this talk Emma will be talking through the reality of prison escape in England and Wales with a combination of statistics and tales from her job representing those who have tried, failed, and succeeded at being unlawfully at large.

The case for historical skepticism - Tom Williamson When we hear the word “skepticism”, what subjects spring to mind? Science? The paranormal? Debunking alternative medicine? Skepticism is already a broad church, but what about history? Although the past is set is stone, our perception of it is anything but. History is abound with myths, tall tales and falsehoods, and it’s the job of historians to separate fact from fiction. The subject is ripe for skeptical investigation, with historial revisionism and pseudohistory to debunk.

Antivaxxers with influence - Michael Marshall Throughout the last few years, we've seen the antivaccine movement, centred around the Covid vaccine growing and thriving online in places like Telegram and Rumble. But not all vaccine scaremongering happens in the darker corners of the internet - some of the most prominent vaccine misinformation in the UK has been spread by a qualified, and amplified by an elected member of parliament. Michael Marshall, President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and long-term investigator of the antivax movement, will examine the antivax rhetoric of Dr Aseem Malhotra and Andrew Bridgen MP, and look at what can be done when medical misinformation is spread by seemingly authoritative sources.

Hope to see you there!

Older Talks

Merseyside Skeptics Society @ QEDcon in Manchester
Prof Kimberley Wade - Doctored memories
March Megamix!
Lynne Murphy - How America Saved the English Language
Brian Eggo - Putting the Meta into Metastasis
Deborah Hyde - Heresy, Sorcery, Royalty and A Witch
Mike Hall - The Placebo Myth
Evolutionary perspectives on Religion
'Unidentified Flying Objects'
InKredulous Podcast: Live!
The End of Denialism? - Dr Keith Kahn-Harris
The science of mental health - Dr Dean Burnett
The Human Cosmos - Dr Jo Marchant
Pixie Turner and The Ockham Awards Double Bill
Unidentified Flying Objects - Steve Barrett
The bloody work of naturopaths - Britt Hermes
Who really runs the internet? - James Ball
How to Build a Healthy Brain - Kimberley Wilson
Say Why to Drugs - Dr Suzi Gage
InKredulous Podcast: Live!
REBEL CELL - A New View of Cancer - Dr. Kat Arney
How to Argue with a Racist - Dr Adam Rutherford
Talking Nerdy, with Cara Santa Maria (SitP Online)
Karen Masters - 30 Second Universe (SitP Online)
Jim Al-Khalili - The World according to Physics
Natalie Bennett - Universal Basic Income
Alex Clegg - Ask for Evidence: The 12 claims of Christmas
Anthony Warner - The Truth About Fat
Dr Clare Allely - The Psychology of Mass Shooters
Marlon Solomon - Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard's Tale
Rebecca Fox - How to Change Minds
Tom Chivers - The AI does not hate you
Brexit Night: What we know, and what we don’t know
Matt Lodder - 'Not Just for Sailors!'
James Crossland - Fake News is Old News
Mark Stevenson: The Future and What to Do about it
Pixie Turner - Never Mind The Nutribollocks
Robin Ince: Pragmatic Insanity
March MegaMix 2018
Alice Howarth: Cancer cures: are we nearly there yet?
Edzard Ernst: A Scientist in Wonderland