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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

March Megamix!
The Casa, 29 Hope Street
March Megamix!

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.

We don't have any confirmed speakers yet, in fact we're looking for some! If you have a topic you would like to talk about, please speak to us at one of our socials or talks, or e-mail us at contact@merseysideskeptics.org.uk

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.

Recent Talks

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!

Chris Atkins - Time After Time: Repeat Offenders - The Inside Stories
The Casa, 29 Hope Street

British prisoners have to endure the most inhumane and barbaric conditions imaginable, so why do so many of them keep going back? Former inmate and documentary-maker Chris Atkins has spent the last six years tracking the fortunes of a dozen repeat offenders to understand why the state fails to keep them out of trouble.

From Simon who escaped from a high security prison by pretending to be his twin brother, to Alex who spent nine months living in a string of elite hotels masquerading as the Duke of Marlborough, to Josh who was recalled to prison indefinitely for not attending a party, Time After Time feature funny, wild and poignant stories about our creaking probation system. Chris’s unprecedented access to the criminal underworld explains why the system actually makes reoffending all but inevitable for ex-prisoners.

Merseyside Skeptics Society @ QEDcon in Manchester
Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel, Portland Street

UPDATE: There are now fewer than 50 QED in-person tickets remaining, but online streaming tickets are now on sale, costing £39.

Join members of the Merseyside Skeptics Society in attending QEDcon, the UK's leading science and skepticism convention, which takes place in Manchester each year.

For those who aren't familiar, QEDcon is a two-day celebration of science, reason and critical thinking. It's an event where 600 skeptics from around the world gather in a hotel in Manchester to enjoy a mix of fascinating speakers, lively panel discussions, interactive workshops, and live podcast recordings. It’s a great social event, and it’s always a huge amount of fun.

Whether this is your first QED or your tenth, we’re sure you’ll enjoy attending – it’s a great opportunity to learn, share ideas, and foster discussions, in a fun, social environment.

Speakers at QED will include: Professor Pragya Agarwal / Colin Angus / Lucy Cooke / Knowledge Fight's Dan Friesen / Dr Debbie Ging / Dr Alice Howarth / Dr Joe Ondrak / Dr Cara Santa Maria / Dr Kirsty Sedgman / Andrew Smyth / Professor Anna Williams, and our MC, comedian Bec Hill.

Alongside the mainstage line-up of speakers, there will be lively panel discussions, interactive workshops, including: * Fairies, Folklore and Forteana * Hot women in your area - why everyone needs to know about menopause * How to Read a Scientific Paper * How to Test the Paranormal * How To Write Skeptically * Social Media Marketing for Skeptics

Plus live podcast recordings: * Knowledge Fight * Skeptics with a K * Inkredulous * Embrace the Void * Talk Nerdy

Plus an evening of comedy and entertainment from: * Ahir Shah (Edinburgh Comedy Award-winner 2023) * Siân Docksey * Helen Arney

Tickets for QED are available at qedcon.org/tickets, priced £149 (or £129 for students).

There will also be a free one-day Skepticamp event taking place at the hotel on Friday 22nd September, where speakers from the audience will present a series of short talks on a wide variety of subjects. For more details, visit sitp.online/skepticamp.

There will be plenty of Merseyside Skeptics Society members there, so we look forward to you joining us!

Older Talks

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'
How to make an apple pie from scratch - Dr Harry Cliff
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
Daniel Artus – Vaccine Hesitancy, Confidence and Empathy
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