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

How to be Skeptical about Logic and Evidence

Bob Churchill

When?
Thursday, May 11 2017 at 7:15PM

Download iCalendar file
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Where?

1 Lord Montgomery Way
Portsmouth
PO1 2AH

Who?
Bob Churchill

What's the talk about?

Think you are rational?

In this SitP Bob Churchill will tell us all: You Suck at Rationalism - How to be Skeptical about Logic and Evidence

Bob Churchill will tackle some lesser known problems faced by those committed to the use of reason. Not boring problems like relativists and post-modernists think there are, but proper philosophical problems, explained so almost anyone can understand them. Bob will air challenges to rationalists and skeptics that you may never have heard before and which are often downplayed or overlooked by philosophers themselves. He will show that a smarter, leaner rationalism can survive this attack and why it should be the true philosophy of skepticism.

Bob Churchill works in policy ...and communications at the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), having previously worked at both the British Humanist Association and the Uganda Humanist Association. He studied philosophy at the University of Warwick and Queen's University, Canada, and has long-standing interests in secularism, Humanism, and epistemology. And skepticism and pubs. He has appeared as a spokesperson on the likes of BBC News and Al Jazeera and as a speaker at Skepticon, the Institute of Fundraising Technology, the Conway Hall Ethical Society, and the European Humanist Youth Days.

 £3 on the door

 General arrival - 19:00-19:20

 Presentation - 19:30

 Drinks break - 20:30

 Q&A session 20:45 until around 21:30

 (Approximate timings only)

 

Jess Spurrell

When?
Thursday, June 8 2017 at 7:15PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

1 Lord Montgomery Way
Portsmouth
PO1 2AH

Who?
Jess Spurrell

What's the talk about?

Cryogenics is cool – seriously cool – typically working with liquid nitrogen (-196 degrees C or 77 K) and liquid helium (-268.8 degrees C or 4.2 K). Down at these temperatures, all sorts of unusual things can happen – electrical resistance can disappear, almost anything, from frogs to surfers, can levitate, liquid can climb out of its container, biological processes can be slowed almost to a halt. With some deft application of science, some clever calculations and some ingenious engineering, all of this is possible and more – yet for some reason, whenever you say you work in cryogenics, the first thing people ask is, “Do you freeze dead people? Or aliens?”

Join us for an evening of ‘Frozen Aliens and Superpowe...rs’ as we uncover some of the incredible things that Cryogenics can do – and already has done – for you. We won’t be freezing any dead people but we will explain why it’s currently not a particularly sensible idea – and we may freeze an alien or two…

Jess is about to submit her thesis on Cryogenic Engineering & Superconductivity at the University of Southampton. This is almost entirely unrelated to her MEng degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering with European Studies, which she studied also at the University of Southampton and at the SupAéro institute in Toulouse, France (because if there’s one way to make ‘Rocket Science’ harder it’s to do it in French – she can confirm, it was much harder!). This was also only loosely related to her third year research project about a Wave Energy Converter so she is an expert in not taking the direct path. It was through an accidental summer work placement at Air Products that she discovered that cryogenics is cool – seriously cool…

After discovering that other people are also excited by freezing things in liquid nitrogen and the science behind it, she has given over 30 talks, workshops and demonstrations around the UK including at Winchester and Brighton Science festivals, Science Show-off, Researchers’ Café, The Science Room @ the Art House and more. In the true spirit of procrastination, in 2015 she co-founded Bright Club Southampton and was an accidental performer at the first show. Since April 2016 she was also managing the RCUK-funded Talk to US! school-university partnership initiative and since January 2017 this role has morphed into the university’s first School-University Partnership Officer.

£3 on the door

General arrival - 19:00-19:20

Presentation - 19:30

Drinks break - 20:30

Q&A session 20:45 until around 21:30

(Approximate timings only)