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

Rebecca Fox

When?
Thursday, January 11 2018 at 7:30PM

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

Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Rebecca Fox

What's the talk about?

Most of us weren't born reasonable. We were born into a superstitious culture with only our ramshackle primate brains to try and figure out what’s going on. Reason, an appreciation for evidence and critical thinking skills are virtues that most of us had to fight for and that we have to work hard to keep up in difficult situations.


Rebecca is no exception, she grew up believing many strange things and has had to train herself to think critically. Instead of being embarrassed by our former beliefs Rebecca thinks it is important to have compassion for and interest in what we used to believe and why we believed it. Instead of feeling shame for having been wrong, we should be proud that we had the courage to overturn beliefs that proved to be wrong.


In this talk Rebecca will discuss who she was before, and after she ‘became reasonable’ and overturn the myth that there is such a thing as ‘perfectly reasonable’ we are all, after all, a work in progress.


Rebecca is passionate about skeptical education because she has found the tools of skepticism to be profoundly empowering. Learning to think clearly has made her safer, more confident and happier. Drawing on her experience as a skeptical educator and comic book artist she will present some ideas that will help you improve your critical thinking skills and the way you think about how you think.

Johno Pearce

When?
Thursday, February 8 2018 at 7:15PM

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

Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Johno Pearce

What's the talk about?

 Johno Pearce is back with a new talk on what it means to be human. More talk details tbc

£3 on the door

Jim Al-Khalili 

When?
Thursday, March 8 2018 at 7:15PM

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

Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Jim Al-Khalili 

What's the talk about?

We welcome back our Honorary President Professor Jim Al-Khalili with What's next?

Tickets @ £3 each will go on sale at our January and February talks, any remainders will then go on-line.

Predicting what the future will look like is not new. It is also a notoriously unreliable enterprise. Science fiction writers and Hollywood movies constantly paint imaginative pictures of future worlds, but what does today’s cutting-edge science tell us about the way we will actually be living in the decades to come? In this talk, based on his book What’s Next?, Jim Al-Khalili looks at the challenges facing humanity and what science can do to tackle the biggest of them. By considering the impact of such fields as nanotechnology, genetic engineering and artificial intelligence, he argues that the world not likely to be all shiny utopian marvels – nor is it going to be a dystopian hell. Along with the the known ‘knowns’ (technologies based on today’s scientific advances) and the known ‘unknowns’ (such as predictable advances in healthcare, transport or robotics) are there going to be any unknown ‘unknowns’ (utterly unexpected and fantastical breakthoughs that no one has yet dared imagine)? Probably, yes – whatever it holds, the future is bound to surprise us. But we need to prepare for it and examine the possible implications, ethical or otherwise, of these scientific advances.


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)

Tony Curran

When?
Thursday, April 12 2018 at 7:15PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Tony Curran

What's the talk about?

 In this interactive SitP session human impact on the environment will be explored along three themes: 

1. What are we doing to the planet that is not sustainable?
2. What impacts will we see? How will they affect earth, humans and other species?
3. What solutions can we come up with?

The audience will play a quiz throughout the session to learn about each aspect of sustainability.

About Tony:

"The shows and workshops I run stem from my PhD and post-doctoral research in environmental science. I am also a member of the Public Engagement with Research team at the University of Southampton."