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Pixie Turner

When?
Thursday, July 11 2019 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Pixie Turner

What's the talk about?

Despite a wealth of information at our fingertips there are still so many things we get wrong about our health, and with a new diet book out every other day it’s no wonder people are confused. What should we be eating? When? How often? Just how important is food when it comes to our overall health?

Humans have always been a bit weird around food. We’re told eating certain foods are the key to living longer, some foods are ‘sinful’ or ‘bad’, that ‘you are what you eat’, and that we must seek to obtain health at all costs. All this means we follow crazy diets that make things worse rather than better, and have a population where most of us dislike our bodies.
Pixie Turner will unpack why diet and nutrition misinformation is so problematic, on social media, in mass media, and on a public health level, and why we could all benefit from taking a moment to assess our personal relationship with food. Expect some mythbusting, diet rants, and lots of fully-referenced evidence-based science.

Doors: 7pm
Talk 7:30pm
£3 on the door

David Warden

When?
Thursday, June 13 2019 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
David Warden

What's the talk about?

David Warden from Bournemouth Humanists will give a talk on 'The Science and Psychology of Happiness'

 

Happiness is a much-misunderstood concept. Many people think that it's self-indulgent or frivolous to pursue happiness and that we should pursue other goals instead, like meaning and purpose. David will argue that a meaningful life is, to a large extent, a happy life and therefore these goals should be seen as complementary rather than contradictory. Happiness is not only good for you. It's also good for everyone around you. David has studied the science and psychology of happiness for many years and he will suggest some techniques and practices you can adopt to enhance your experience of happiness and subjective wellbeing. Why would you not want to be happier?

 

£3 on the door

Doors 7pm 

Sean Slater

When?
Thursday, May 9 2019 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Sean Slater

What's the talk about?

We nearly all now carry around in our pockets something which just 15 years ago would have seemed utterly miraculous. From this little slab of light, and for a few £ a month we can touch a glass sheet and interact with most of the world’s population. We can share opinions, memories, hopes, fears, dreams and experiences as they happen and from almost anywhere on the planet, we have access to the sum of the world’s information just about whenever and wherever we want. Social media would likely not exist as it does without the smartphone. It’s probable that the huge changes in the political landscapes over the past 5 years would not have happened without it.

 

But do you even know how it works? Is having a microwave transmitter right next to your brain or in your pocket a bad thing? Can your mobile actually be killing you?

 

Sean Slater is the Vice-Chair of Edinburgh Skeptics Society and has worked in the mobile phone industry for nearly 25 years; seeing it grow from an expensive businessman’s toy to the ubiquitous consumer necessity it is now.

£3 on the door

Doors 7pm

Talk 7:30pm

Special guests on UK tour

Susan Gerbic & Mark Edward

When?
Wednesday, April 10 2019 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Susan Gerbic & Mark Edward

What's the talk about?

 Special guests on UK tour Susan Gerbic & Mark Edward.

Please note change to Wednesday session this month.

 

Talk details TBC

 

'Mark Edward is a professional mentalist specializing in magic of the mind. His amazing mind reading techniques make a statement about our limited powers of observation and our refusal to believe manipulation can easily happen to the best of us. He has performed as a psychic entertainer at the Hollywood hot spot Magic Castle as well as world-class venues, nightclubs and corporate events. His television appearances include A&E's Houdini the Great Escape, NBC's The other Side, two episodes of TLC's Exploring the Unknown, Emmy nominated, Penn & Teller: Bullshit! Talking to the Dead, and most recently he was the guest Medium on the season finale of Last Comic Standing. '

 

'Susan Gerbic is an American skeptical activist...co-founder of Monterey County Skeptics, founder of Skeptic Action...and leader of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW) project, a recurring contributor to the Skepticality podcast, a regular contributor to Skeptical Inquirer, and a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

Gerbic has focused much of her skeptical activism on people claiming to be "clairvoyant mediums", such as Sylvia Brown and Tyler Henry, whom she calls "Grief Vampires"'

£3 on the door

Doors:7pm

Talks: 7.30pm

Part of British Science Week 2019

James Williams

When?
Thursday, March 14 2019 at 7:15PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
James Williams

What's the talk about?

Part of British Science Week 2019

James Williams, Lecturer in Education, University of Sussex will talk about Alfred Wallace who famously sent Charles Darwin an outline of the theory of evolution by natural selection before Darwin had completed his major treatise on the subject. This prompted the publication of ‘Origin of Species’. Did Darwin really steal the idea from Wallace? Was Wallace even aware of Darwin’s work on species and how does history see the two men? In this talk, James will examine the facts surrounding Wallace’s work on evolution and some of the more interesting episodes in Wallace’s life that saw him oppose Darwin in an infamous case of spiritualist fraud that ended in the Old Bailey.

'Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) was a man of many talents - an explorer, collector, naturalist, geographer, anthropologist and political commentator. Most famously, he had the revolutionary idea of evolution by natural selection entirely independently of Charles Darwin.' via NHM

£3 on the door

Doors & arrival - 7 - 7:15pm

Talk 7:30pm

 

The Dark Side of Romance

Dr Diana Fleischman

When?
Thursday, February 14 2019 at 7:15PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Dr Diana Fleischman

What's the talk about?

Often people are attracted to one another for reasons of moral virtue. Romantic signals usually indicate generosity and selflessness. But what happens when attraction goes bad? In this talk I’ll be discussing how men and women engage in risky behaviour in order to attract mates and the attractiveness of psychopathy and deception. 

Dr Diana Fleischman grew up in in the Southern United States in a religious and conservative area where evolution was not taught in school. At 12 Diana earned the moniker “monkey girl” for fervently endorsing evolution to teachers and peers. Attending both Catholic church and synagogue further formed the foundation of a sceptical perspective on religion. During a formative year at the LSE shortly after the September 11th attacks, Diana read Dawkins and other evolutionists extensively, kindling an obsession with atheism and evolutionary psychology.

As an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Portsmouth, Diana teaches and researches many different topics including disgust, human sexuality and biological bases of behaviour. Involvement with effective altruism, a movement that aims to use evidence to accomplish the most good in terms of human and nonhuman wellbeing, prompted Diana to more deeply consider human morality its evolution and shortcomings, the topic of this Darwin Day talk. Diana is a sentientist, someone who prioritizes the capacity to suffer as the basis for moral consideration; Find her on Twitter @Sentientist.

£3 on the door

Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives

Johno Pearce and Alan Duval

When?
Thursday, January 10 2019 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Johno Pearce and Alan Duval

What's the talk about?

Johno Pearce brings the philoposhy of morality to the table, and this is sometimes supported and sometimes challenged by psychology, as shown by Alan Duval. Together, the two tackle the minefield of morality and in an evocitiver manner. From trolleys to monkeys, and God to inquiring murders, does morality exist in the fabric of the universe, or is it all just in our minds?

Johno Pearce is a philosopher, author, blogger, public speaker and teacher from Hampshire in the UK. He specialises in philosophy of religion, but likes to turn his hand to science, psychology, politics and anything involved in investigating reality. He is the author of several popular books including ‘The Nativity: A Critical Examination’, ‘Free Will? An investigation into whether we have free will, or whether I was always going to write this book’, and ‘The Little Book of Unholy Questions’. As an interlude from writing about philosophy and theology, he has also written a book of advice for dads of twins; Twins: A Survival Guide for Dads. He is a founder member of the Tippling Philosophers, a friendly group of disparate believers and non-believers based in Hampshire, and is also a founder author for the Skeptic Ink Network (SIN), an online community of skeptic writers, bloggers, academics, thinkers and activists.

Alan Duval was born in New Zealand to English parents. His early career was in systems and database administration, though with a nearly 20-year side line in DJing (mostly pop and retro). He maintains a broad taste in music, from acid jazz to death metal.  In his mid-30s, having recently been divorced Alan moved to London (from Wiltshire), and took on a degree in psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London. The decision to take psychology was due, in no small part, to his son’s autism. Having secured a first class honours, and a distinction for his dissertation on moral psychology, Alan went on to do a Masters in psychological research methods, in which he will, again, be focusing on moral psychology. In the meantime Alan works for two ethically oriented start-ups; CoGo (Connecting Good), the London launch of the Conscious Consumers app that has been running in New Zealand for a while, and his own , recently funded start-up, Social Consumer (a value comparison site for the household energy market). As of November 15, Alan is also a Countdown Octochamp.

Dr Michael Brooks

When?
Thursday, December 13 2018 at 7:15PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Dr Michael Brooks

What's the talk about?

Michael Brooks resurrects the extraordinary story of Jerome Cardano. This 16th century Renaissance Italian was a gambler who invented the theory of probability, an astrologer to popes and emperors who taught the public how to map the heavens, a doctor consulted by kings, archbishops and senators, a mathematician who discovered the secrets of imaginary numbers – and a victim of the Inquisition whose punishment was to disappear from history.

In this talk, Brooks will tell the forgotten story of Cardano’s life, and trace the astrologer’s legacy all the way to the frontiers of modern physics, uncovering some extraordinary insights along the way.

Michael Brooks, who holds a PhD in quantum physics, is an author, journalist and broadcaster. He is a consultant at New Scientist, a magazine with over three quarters of a million readers worldwide,and writes a weekly column for the New Statesman. He is the author of At The Edge of Uncertainty, The Secret Anarchy of Science and the bestselling non-fiction title 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense. His writing has also appeared in the Guardian, the Independent, the Observer, the Times Higher Education, the Philadelphia Inquirer and many other newspapers and magazines. He has lectured at various places, including New York University, The American Museum of Natural History and Cambridge University.

 

 

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)

Professor Marika Taylor

When?
Thursday, November 8 2018 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Professor Marika Taylor

What's the talk about?

A quantum computer makes use of the quantum states of subatomic particles to store and process information. Quantum computing has the potential to solve problems faster than standard computers can do, and thus many researchers are working on developing large scale quantum computers. Remarkably, black holes can help us understand how a quantum computer might work: black holes are believed to be the most efficient quantum computers than can exist in nature. In this talk we will explain what black holes might teach us about quantum computing and conversely what quantum theory implies about the fundamental properties of black holes.

Biography: Marika Taylor studied for her PhD with Stephen Hawking in Cambridge. Following research at Cambridge and Harvard, she spent ten years working at the University of Amsterdam. She is currently the Head of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Southampton.

Doors 7pm £3

Please note date and time change

Jamie Bartlett

When?
Thursday, September 6 2018 at 6:45PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Jamie Bartlett

What's the talk about?

The internet was meant to set us free.

Tech has radically changed the way we live our lives. But have we unwittingly handed too much away to shadowy powers behind a wall of code, all manipulated by a handful of Silicon Valley utopians, ad men, and venture capitalists? And, in light of recent data breach scandals around companies like Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, what does that mean for democracy, our delicately balanced system of government that was created long before big data, total information and artificial intelligence? In this urgent polemic, Jamie Bartlett argues that through our unquestioning embrace of big tech, the building blocks of democracy are slowly being removed. The middle class is being eroded, sovereign authority and civil society is weakened, and we citizens are losing our critical faculties, maybe even our free will.

 

Doors 6:45
£3
 

When?
Saturday, July 14 2018 at 7:00PM

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Where?

35 Francis Ave
Portsmouth
Southsea
PO4 0HL

Who?

What's the talk about?

Join us for a mid-year drink and a think. No speaker this month

Jenny Walker

When?
Thursday, June 14 2018 at 7:15PM

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Where?

Goldsmith Avenue
Southsea
Portsmouth
PO4 0AW

Who?
Jenny Walker

What's the talk about?

We've invited computer scientist and president of Robogals Southampton, Jenny Walker, to discuss a range of questions from about how computers and humans relate to each other.

In this event, we'll all get the opportunity to explore, with creativity, history, and scientific insight, our personal answers to the question: "Should we let computers make decisions for us?"

Jenny will discuss the pros and cons of using machines and algorithms to make important decisions. In a world of increasingly big data, it seems that machine learning and efficient data crunching algorithms will be the way of the future, but how much can we trust computer algorithms with decisions in our day to day lives and on a larger scale?

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)