Skeptics in the Pub, Reading

Thinking and drinking, humour and debate. Monthly talks and challenging discussions for people interested in science, skepticism, rationalism and critical thinking.

The meetings are open to all, no matter what your prior beliefs. We ask that you come along with a willingness to be challenged in your beliefs and we provide an opportunity for you to challenge others - and to enjoy a drink or two.

We meet each month at The Outlook (formerly Copa), 76-78 Kings Road, Reading, RG1 3BJ. [map]

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Lynn Murphy

When?
Thursday, May 15 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

76-78 Kings Road, Reading, RG1 3BJ

Who?
Lynn Murphy

What's the talk about?

Lynne Murphy (Reader in Linguistics at Sussex University) takes you on a grammatical tour of transatlantic prejudices, and challenges what you think you know about Americanisms and their effect on the Mother Tongue.

Lynne moved to the south coast of England in January 2000, having lived in the US most of her life and in South Africa for 4 years in the 1990s. While in the UK she has been teaching and researching in the fields of semantics, pragmatics and psycholinguistics.

As her alter-ego Lynneguist, she also writes the Separated by a Common Language blog. You can follow lynneguist on Twitter.

... and other things about online romance

Dr Martin Graff

When?
Thursday, June 19 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

76-78 Kings Road, Reading, RG1 3BJ

Who?
Dr Martin Graff

What's the talk about?

Are there gender differences in attraction? Can you really find true love on the Internet? How do people actually portray themselves online? Can you have a virtual affair?

In this talk Martin Graff will examine all of these issues, drawing on current empirical evidence from studies of online relationships, and will cover some of the major research work on the online disinhibition effect, which suggest that we disclose more personal information, and do this more quickly, in online environments. Dr Graff will also give some factual advice on how to construct dating site profiles, and the way to approach an online liaison with a potential dating partner. With the explosion in the provision of online dating sites, including those dedicated to finding partners for affairs, this will also draw on some of the speaker’s own research on online infidelity, asking whether it is possible to have a virtual affair.

Dr Martin Graff is Reader and Head of Research in Psychology at University of Glamorgan, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Chartered Psychologist.

Prof Chris Rhodes

When?
Thursday, July 17 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

76-78 Kings Road, Reading, RG1 3BJ

Who?
Prof Chris Rhodes

What's the talk about?

Across the world, 30 billion barrels of crude oil are produced each year, not only for fuel but to make products ranging from plastics to pharmaceuticals. Nearly all our food also depends on oil.

However, world oil production is set to decline within 5 years. If we continue as we are, Western civilisation will collapse. Our salvation requires a re-adaptation of how we live, from the global to the local; to a world of small communities far less dependent on transportation. Technology will not save us, unless we cut our energy use and particularly our demand for oil. Fracking is being hailed as the solution. Is this the case?

Professor Chris Rhodes is Director of Fresh-lands Environmental Actions and is based in Reading. He has written numerous scientific articles and recently published his first novel, University Shambles, a black comedy on the disintegration of the British university system.