Welcome to Portsmouth Skeptics

Honorary President: Professor Jim Al-Khalili 

We are a friendly, informal group who meet to enjoy talks on science, pseudo-science, philosophy, religion (and more), and to chat about these subjects over a drink. You can find details of our upcoming meetings below.

We usually meet on the second Thursday of each month. £3 door charge covers speakers’ expenses.

What can you expect at our events? Interesting talks, lively debate, a chance to hang with people who have a rational outlook, and people willing to listen to you and answer your questions. 

To keep up with future events, you can sign up to our mailing list (below, in the sidebar to the right), or follow us on social media: Facebook pageTwitter feedGoogle+ community, MeetUp group

Cerys Bradley

When?
Thursday, September 12 2019 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Cerys Bradley

What's the talk about?

For decades, science has been fascinated by the LGBTQ community. What makes gay people gay? How does sexuality affect one's behaviour, appearance, or ability to raise children? These are the questions that science has asked and the answers have had an impact not only within the scientific world, but also on public policy and the rights of LGBTQ citizens. Given the highly politicised nature of the topic, it is perhaps not surprising to discover biases and prejudices hidden in the construction, conduction, and conclusions of these studies but are they still valuable contributions to science? 

 

Join scientist Cerys Bradley, a part time comedian and full time gay, as they look at the science conducted in answer of these questions. 

 

£3 on the door 

Doors 7pm 

Talk 7:30pm

New Show

Ash Pryce

When?
Wednesday, October 2 2019 at 7:00PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

 'The Psychic Conman Show' is a spiritual sequel to 'How to be a Psychic Conman'. It is a full, two act structured show developed especially for skeptic, humanist and critical thinking groups and audiences. In the first half of the show, Ash will talk about a history of the supernatural, he’ll look at mediumship and the role it played in helping create his own area of performance – mentalism. He’ll also look at some of the more bizarre psychic claims out there such as using smell and taste to interact psychicly!

New material looking at the areas of the supernatural world that neither 'How to be a Psychic Conman' or 'How to Talk to the Dead' had time to fit in! In the second half Ash will put these into practical use with his five star Edinburgh Fringe show 'Ash Pryce Mind Reader: Live' which takes the skills and claims of the first half, and applies them in a fun, mind-blowing demonstration of psychic entertainment.

Please note not our usual Thursday

£3 on the door

Doors 7pm

Keith Kahn-Harris

When?
Thursday, November 14 2019 at 7:00PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Keith Kahn-Harris

What's the talk about?

 Denialism What’s the Alternative? Who? Keith Kahn-Harris

What's the talk about?

One of the most challenging and frustrating questions for scientists is how to combat denialism: Holocaust denial, global warming denial, anti-vaxxers, 911 conspiracism, creationism and more. Debunking denialist claims is essential - yet also rarely effective. We are now living in a world where even the most apparently basic truths are routinely contested. In this talk, Keith Kahn-Harris, author of Denial: The Unspeakable Truth, argues that to really understand denialism, we have to face up to what he calls 'the deniers alternative'. Denialism emerges when this alternative is so 'unspeakable' that denialism becomes a preferable option. In thinking about how to combat denialism, we also have to consider whether a world without it might not be a truth-filled utopia, but something even worse. --------------------

Dr Keith Kahn-Harris is a sociologist and writer. Denial: The Unspeakable Truth is his fifth book. His badly-designed website can be found at kahn-harris.org and he tweets irregularly at @KeithKahnHarris

image Pixabay License Free for commercial use No attribution required

£3 on the door

Doors 7pm

Talk 7.30pm

Not our usual Thursday

Dr Richard Rawlings

When?
Monday, December 16 2019 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Dr Richard Rawlings

What's the talk about?

Patients in the UK spend more than £1.68 billion per year on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM, or ‘camistry’). The NHS funds nearly ten per cent of this. Americans spend more than $34 billion a year on camistry; Canadians - $6.4 billion on ‘natural health products’; the French - €279 million on homeopathic remedies alone.

Is this wise? Are resources being wasted? Could available funds be better spent on improving conventional care or providing counselling? Are patients being misled? Are funders being defrauded?

In this talk, Richard Rawlins combines his insights as a magician with experience a doctor to expose how alternative medicine works – and how patients can avoid being quacked and defrauded. He reflects on the views of HRH Prince Charles that ‘There is much more that can be done to foster and enhance those age-old qualities of kindness and compassion’ - but takes issue with the development of ‘integrated (or integrative) healthcare’ which undermines attempts to foster evidence-based medicine. Richard endorses Dr David Gorski’s view that ‘mixing apple pie with cow pie does not make cow better, it makes apple pie worse.’

£3 on the door

Doors 7pm

Talk 7:30pm

Image: Pixabay