Simon Singh - The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets

We're delighted to welcome back Simon Singh to Portsmouth Skeptics. On June 12th he'll be talking about his new book, The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets. Tickets will be on sale, for £3.50 each, at our April and May talks.

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:

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The social history & future developments in the science of lie detection

When?
Thursday, May 8 2014 at 7:45PM

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Where?

18-20 Florence Rd
Southsea
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO5 2NE

Who?
Will Watling

What's the talk about?

For generations, people have tried to find ways of testing whether someone is lying. From highly dubious tests for a witch, to the invention of the polygraphs used by the CIA and the new covert phonic detection algorithms and sophisticated truth serums of today. Will explores their development, whether it's really possible to beat them & demonstrates them with a live interrogation.

Will Watling runs Cheltenham SitP which he started in Nov 2010. When he's not designing wealth management software, he's running kids from A to B, or walking his two Cocker spaniels. He did a joint honors degree in RE and Science and has a keen interest in topics like evolution vs creation and the phenomenon of belief, especially cults. He also speaks at SitP on "The Omega Course - how to decommit from Christianity" and "An Intro to 3D photography & film making". He loves adrenaline sports and has a) shark dived with 8ft greys, b) skydived, c) raced Formula Renault at Thruxton  & d) built a 1 man helium airship to take photos of landmarks from a birds eye view...  which one hasn't happened yet?

 

Simon Singh

When?
Thursday, June 12 2014 at 7:45PM

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Where?

102 Milton Rd
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO3 6AR

Who?
Simon Singh

What's the talk about?

We are delighted to welcome back Simon Singh to Portsmouth Skeptics.

Simon Singh, author of Fermat's Last Theorem and Big Bang, talks about his latest book, which explores mathematical themes hidden in The Simpsons.

 

Everyone knows that The Simpsons is the most successful show in television history, but very few people realise that its team of mathematically gifted writers have used the show to explore everything from calculus to geometry, from pi to game theory, and from infinitesimals to infinity. Singh will also discuss how writers of Futurama have similarly made it their missions to smuggle deep mathematical ideas into the series.

Tickets will go on sale at our April and May talks, at a price of £3.50 each.

 

How quackery corrupts real science

Professor David Colquhoun

When?
Thursday, July 10 2014 at 7:45PM

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Where?

18-20 Florence Rd
Southsea
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO5 2NE

Who?
Professor David Colquhoun

What's the talk about?

 

One of the UK's most outspoken and well-qualified opponents of alternative medicine and bad science, pharmacologist David Colquhoun runs the DC's Improbable Science blog, which is devoted to criticism of scientific fraud and quackery. It has a particular focus on alternative medicine, including homeopathy, Traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine and other practices, which he calls 'pure gobbledygook'.

In addition to his outspoken disapproval of alternative medicine in academia, Colquhoun frequently speaks against misrepresentation of alternative medicine as science in the media, and against governmental support of it. His blog discusses also wider problems in science, medicine and Higher Education. It was listed among the 100 best blogs in 2009. It was blog of the week in the New Statesman (30 May 2010). And in 2012 it was co-winner of the first UK Science Blog Prize, awarded by the Good Thinking Society.

Professor Colquhoun will also touch on the bad advice around diets and health, based on his article online.

Colquhoun was a member of the Conduct and Competence Committee of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), a regulatory body for alternative medicine in the UK. Colquhoun has stated he was surprised at being accepted for the position. However, he was dismissed in August 2010.

Colquhoun, FRS is a British pharmacologist at University College London (UCL). He has contributed to the general theory of receptor and synaptic mechanisms of single ion channel function. He previously held the A.J. Clark chair of Pharmacology at UCL, and was the Hon. Director of the Wellcome Laboratory for Molecular Pharmacology. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1985 and an honorary fellow of UCL in 2004. Colquhoun runs the website DC's Improbable Science, which is critical of pseudoscience, particularly alternative medicine, and managerialism.

 

Katie Tucker

When?
Thursday, September 11 2014 at 7:45PM

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Where?

18-20 Florence Rd
Southsea
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO5 2NE

Who?
Katie Tucker

What's the talk about?

Details of talk to follow.

Dr Katie Tucker is a Human Osteologist and Archaeologist with many years of professional experience in excavation and the analysis of human remains.

Katie graduated from the University of Bristol in 2001, completing her MSc in Human Osteology and Palaeopathology at the University of Bradford in 2003 and completing her PhD on the osteology and archaeology of human decapitation in Britain at the University of Winchester in early 2012.

She works in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Winchester and also conducts research through the Department’s consultancy arm, ARCA. Katie has worked as a Human Osteoarchaeologist on projects including the medieval leper hospital at the St Mary Magdalen Hill site.

Her research interests include Roman and medieval cemetery assemblages, peri-mortem trauma in skeletal remains, non-normative burial practices and the archaeology and osteology of leprosy.

Previously, she has worked on material from the Mesolithic through to the post-medieval period, from single inhumations to large cemetery sites, cremations and disarticulated/commingled remains, in the UK, Europe and Africa.

Bob Nichol

When?
Thursday, October 9 2014 at 7:45PM

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Where?

18-20 Florence Rd
Southsea
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO5 2NE

Who?
Bob Nichol

What's the talk about?

Bob Nichol is a Professor of Astrophysics at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) at the University of Portsmouth. He is presently Spokesperson for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS;www.sdss3.org) and has been involved with this digital survey of the Heavens for over 15 years. Since locating back in the UK after 12 years in the US, Bob has received both a Marie Curie Excellence Chair and Marie Curie Award (2007) from the European Commission for his cosmological research.

...and other things about online romance

When?
Thursday, November 13 2014 at 7:45PM

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Where?

18-20 Florence Rd
Southsea
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO5 2NE

Who?
Dr. Martin Graff

What's the talk about?

Details TBA.

When?
Thursday, December 11 2014 at 7:45PM

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Where?

Who?

What's the talk about?