Welcome

Welcome to Portsmouth Skeptics in the Pub! We are a friendly, informal group, and we 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, at the Florence Arms, Southsea. Meetings are free, but we do appreciate a small donation to cover 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:

Click here for our Facebook page

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How God 'Cures' Alcoholics

Jon Stewart

When?
Thursday, January 8 2015 at 7:45PM

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Where?

18-20 Florence Rd
Southsea
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO5 2NE

Who?
Jon Stewart

What's the talk about?

Alcoholics Anonymous has become a widely accepted and media approved treatment for problem drinkers. Yet while AA’s social worth is rarely challenged its efficacy rate, estimated to be around 5%, appears comparable to that of natural spontaneous remission. Can a non-existent "higher power" really offer meaningful solutions to the debilitating and frequently fatal condition of alcoholism?  If so, then what happens to all the alcoholic atheists and skeptics?  How did AA’s famous 12 steps become the go-to treatment modality for one of the great social health scourges of our age?  It’s the twenty first century, is this really the best we can do?

Jon Stewart was co-founder, guitarist and co-songwriter for platinum-selling Britpop band Sleeper, with whom he enjoyed three UK Top 10 albums and eight UK Top 40 singles from 1993-1998. Jon currently lectures in popular culture and popular music at BIMM Institute, and is a PhD researcher at University of Southampton.  Author of a long-running column in Guitarist magazine, he has also published a wide range of research in peer reviewed journals and edited collections of academic essays.
 
Jon was an active and enthusiastic member of Alcoholics Anonymous for fourteen years, but now campaigns for more up-to-date evidence-based secular treatment options. 
 

How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch

Lewis Darnell

When?
Thursday, February 12 2015 at 7:45PM

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Where?

18-20 Florence Rd
Southsea
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO5 2NE

Who?
Lewis Darnell

What's the talk about?

Maybe it was an asteroid impact, a nuclear war, or viral pandemic. Whatever the cause, the worlds as we know it is over and humanity must start again.  What would you need to know to not only survive in the immediate aftermath, but avert another Dark Ages and accelerate the rebooting of civilisation from scratch? The Knowledge is a grand thought experiment on the behind-the -scenes fundamentals of how our world works, and what drove the progression of civilisation over the centuries.

Dr Lewis Darnell is the author of Life in the Universe: A Beginner's Guide, My Tourist Guide to the Solar System and The Knowlegde: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch.

 

Kevin Friery

When?
Thursday, March 12 2015 at 7:45PM

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Where?

18-20 Florence Rd
Southsea
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO5 2NE

Who?
Kevin Friery

What's the talk about?

 Kevin Friery´╗┐ is a skeptical Psychotherapist. With a background in Psychology and Counselling he has been closely involved with the world of psychological therapies since a time when they hadn't discovered the 'C' in CBT.

One of his claims to fame (Try and stop him talking about it!) is that he has appeared several times on BBC 1's The Big Questions offering the voice of skepticism and reason in the face of some very vocal True Believers.

A Bit Of Slap & Tickle takes a close and skeptical look at some of the 'treatments' for common mental health conditions, and looks at the people who profess themselves to be 'practitioners'. It looks at the meaning of effectiveness and explores our relationship with placebos and comes up with some uncomfortable conclusions.

Ash Pryce

When?
Thursday, June 11 2015 at 7:45PM

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Where?

18-20 Florence Rd
Southsea
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO5 2NE

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

Hydesville. New York. 1848. The young Fox sisters begin communicating with the spirit of a murdered beggar and spiritualism is born. This interactive look at a history of talking to the dead will feature an array of magical treats including levitating tables, ectoplasm manifestation and spirit communication.


Part magic show, part comedy, part rational inquiry this fun show has regularly packed venues at the Edinburgh fringe.

Ouija Boards
Spirit Slates
Spirit Communication
Stopped Pulses
Spewing ectoplasm
And more...


Ash Pryce is a performer, director and occassional magician based in Scotland.  He has written and staged several skeptically themed shows looking at myths & legends, ghosts, psychics and mediumship as well as producing full plays ranging from Faustus to more contemporary original shows in Edinburgh.  He is the founder of Edinburgh Skeptics, the newly started History in the Pub Edinburgh, and runs what is believed to be the worlds first skeptical ghost tour every Fringe.  He lives just outside of Edinburgh with his three Degus, one of which holds a grudge against him.