Welcome to Portsmouth Skeptics in the Pub

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. Meetings are free, but we do appreciate a small donation of £2 - 3 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 pagehere for our Twitter feedhere for our Google+ community 

Part of British Science Week 2016

Hartmut Blank

When?
Thursday, March 10 2016 at 7:30PM

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

Where?

1 Lord Montgomery Way
Portsmouth
PO1 2AH

Who?
Hartmut Blank

What's the talk about?

After the event (or after having learned a new fact), we’re not only wiser but also often fall prey to the illusion that this was knowable before, with subtle but important consequences for learning from experience, decision making and judging others’ decisions and actions: If I believe that I knew something all along, why would I take reality feedback on board? If I think that others should have foreseen a negative outcome, I might be more likely to blame them for it, etc. I will give an introduction to hindsight bias research including my own research that explores the idea that distinct aspects of hindsight (impressions of foreseeability and inevitability, as well as memory distortions) work in different ways, i.e. involve different psychological processes and functions. I will also discuss ways of reducing hindsight bias.

Short biography: After briefly studying geophysics and training as a heating installator, I studied psychology and received my doctoral degree at the University of Konstanz. Later I worked as a lecturer (teaching social psychology) at the University of Leipzig. I joined the University of Portsmouth in 2005, where I mainly teach research methods and statistics. My research is on hindsight bias, social memory (including eyewitness suggestibility) and lately also meta-analysis.  

 

This talk is part of British Science week 2016

 

Sense About Science

When?
Thursday, April 14 2016 at 7:30PM

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

Where?

Who?
Sense About Science

What's the talk about?

This isn’t just a simple talk; it’s a call to arms. Every day, we hear claims about what is good for our health, bad for the environment, how to improve education, cut crime, and treat disease. Some are based on reliable evidence and scientific rigour. Many are not. These claims can’t be regulated; every time one is debunked another pops up – like a game of whack-a-mole. So how can we make companies, politicians, commentators and official bodies accountable for the claims they make? If they want us to vote for them, believe them, or buy their products, then we should ask them for evidence, as consumers, patients, voters and citizens.

 

The Ask for Evidence campaign has seen people ask a retail chain for the evidence behind its MRSA resistant pyjamas; ask a juice bar for the evidence behind wheatgrass detox claims; ask the health department about rules for Viagra prescriptions; ask for the studies behind treatments for Crohn’s disease, and hundreds more. As a result, claims are being withdrawn and bodies held to account.

 

This is geeks, working with the public, to park their tanks on the lawn of those who seek to influence us. And it’s starting to work. Come and hear what the campaign is going to do next and how you can get involved.

 

 

Sense About Science challenge many misleading claims about scientific and medical evidence. They are launching a public campaign, ‘Ask for Evidence’, to bring about wider, more lasting change. When people come across dubious scientific claims, they want someone to go to with their questions. The campaign will encourage everyone to take up claims they think are misleading, both by reporting dodgy science claims and by getting involved in tackling claims themselves, to help stop the spread of misinformation in public discussion.

 

http://askforevidence.org/

Ash Pryce

When?
Thursday, June 9 2016 at 7:30PM

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

Where?

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

 

Roll up! Roll up! Roll up! Gather ye round the traveling caravan, as Snake Oil Salesman Ash Pryce demonstrates the miraculous curative abilities of psychic surgery, taught to your humble trickster by a wise man in the Philippines. See with wonder the telekinetic forces at work as you learn how to move objects with your mind, psychically predict the outcome of the historic Zener Cards and read the minds of your peers.


Whereas the sister show How to Talk to the Dead looked specifically at spirit communication in the past, How to be a Psychic Conman will look at the more incredible, magical side of psychic claims that persist today. The types of demonstrations that blur the line between the honest deception of magic, and the dishonesty of those hoping to make a quick buck out of your deep rooted beliefs.

The show is an interactive, skeptical, how to guide to a whole host of psychic scammery. Warning to those on the front row… there will be blood!

www.ashpryce.co.uk