Previous year >>

When?
Tuesday, December 13 2016 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Wiston Terrace
Reading
RG1 1DG

Who?

What's the talk about?

Reading is a great place to be a nerd. We're very lucky to have so many local groups giving geeks like us a chance to meet, socialise and indulge our interests. So we are celebrating with the Reading Geek Xmas Gathering, a chance to have a drink with new and familiar faces from Reading Geek Night, BCS Berkshire, PHP Berkshire, Reading Skeptics and rlab.

RSVP at PHP Berkshire's event page.

Join us for a think

When?
Tuesday, November 29 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Wiston Terrace
Reading
RG1 1DG

Who?

What's the talk about?

No formal talk, no agenda, just some skeptics eating, drinking and putting the world to rights.

Adam Rutherford

When?
Wednesday, October 19 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

110-117 Friar Street
Reading
RG1 1EP

Who?
Adam Rutherford

What's the talk about?

A sprawling saga of the history of humankind is packed inside our cells, written in 3 billion letters of DNA, and in the last few years we’ve learnt how to read it. Our genomes are packed with culture, war, disease, migration, murder, kings and queens, race, and a whole lot of quite deviant sex.

Geneticist, writer and broadcaster Adam Rutherford wields the latest addition to the historian’s toolbox, to unscramble the myths and the story of us, and what DNA can – and can’t – tell us about the epic human journey.

Sub89 is wheelchair friendly and accessible with a lift and disabled toilets. Guide dogs are welcome. 14-17 years old will be admitted only if accompanied by an adult.

No Turn Unstoned: The harms and benefits of recreational drugs

Suzi Gage

When?
Monday, September 19 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Wiston Terrace
Reading
RG1 1DG

Who?
Suzi Gage

What's the talk about?

*** Apologies. We hope to rearrange this talk for another time soon ****

 

The media love to sensationalise the dangers of illicit drug use, whilst downplaying or even ignoring the harms from legal drugs. Suzi takes us on a trip through the current scientific understanding of the harms, and also potential benefits of recreational drugs, both illegal and legal.

Dr Suzi Gage is an Epidemiologist at the University of Bristol, investigating associations between substance use and mental health. When not staring at spreadsheets full of ones and zeros she writes the Sifting the Evidence blog on the Guardian website, and has a small obsession with synthesizers.

Apologies to the younger skeptics. Evening admission to Walkabout is strictly for over 18s only.

What Your Head Is Really Up To

Dean Burnett

When?
Monday, August 15 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Wiston Terrace
Reading
RG1 1DG

Who?
Dean Burnett

What's the talk about?

*** Please note the change of venue ***

Dr Dean Burnett, author of the Guardian's hugely popular Brain Flapping science blog, returns to Reading SITP to talk about his new book The Idiot Brain, a surprising, funny and mind-bending examination of how and why the brain sabotages our behaviour.

Dean Burnett has spent nearly two decades studying the human brain, the most complex, mysterious object in the known universe. In the same way that flaws begin to show when you spend too much time with one person, over time Burnett has come to learn that the human brain can be quite unreliable.

The Idiot Brain explores the many ways in which the brain does things inefficiently, illogically or just plain stupidly, and how these regularly end up influencing our everyday lives and the world around us.

From attention mechanisms to memory processing, the neuroscience of sleep and the psychology of superstition, The Idiot Brain highlights all manner of ways in which the brain is flawed or shoddy, how these impact on our lives in countless ways, and how it’s OK to laugh at all this regardless.

Join us for a think

When?
Wednesday, August 3 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

53 Belgrave Street
Reading
RG1 1PZ

Who?

What's the talk about?

No formal talk, no agenda, just some skeptics eating, drinking and putting the world to rights.

The psychology of conspiracy theories

Dr Mike Wood

When?
Monday, July 18 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

11 Castle St
Reading
RG1 7SB

Who?
Dr Mike Wood

What's the talk about?

Conspiracy theories are everywhere – and, arguably, always have been. What influences us to believe or reject them? Why do some events give rise to more conspiracy theories than others? What does the prevalence of conspiracy theories say about us as a society? And how is The Simpsons like an ancient Babylonian sheep’s liver? This whirlwind tour through conspiracy theory psychology will focus particularly on how suspicion, paranoia, and ambiguity help us to make sense of an uncertain world.

Dr Mike Wood is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Winchester, where he teaches social psychology, political psychology, and research methods, and conducts research on conspiracy theories and the future of methodology and statistical practice in empirical psychology. He has been interviewed on NPR, Newsweek, Der Spiegel, and Slate, and blogs irregularly at ConspiracyPsychology.

...to prevent modern medicine meltdown?

Dr John Broughall

When?
Monday, June 20 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

11 Castle St
Reading
RG1 7SB

Who?
Dr John Broughall

What's the talk about?

John Broughall will discuss the issue of why the antibiotic development pipeline has dried up: what are the problems and why the pharmaceutical industry is not investing in research and development to produce new compounds. Multi-drug antibiotic resistance has been recognised as a global threat to health yet the solutions to this issue are not obvious, the current commercially driven pharmaceutical process does not appear fit for purpose. The charity that John is representing tonight, Antibiotic Research UK, is proposing a new approach to overcome this impasse, he will discuss their plans and the science behind their proposal.

John is a PhD microbiologist who has spent most of his career in the diagnostics industry including the development of rapid and automated methods for use in microbiology laboratories. Latterly he has worked in the medical departments of two major pharmaceutical companies focusing on both antibiotics and also new oncology compounds. He now runs his own consultancy business but is also a volunteer for Antibiotic Research UK.

Martin Poulter

When?
Monday, May 16 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

11 Castle St
Reading
RG1 7SB

Who?
Martin Poulter

What's the talk about?

Scientology has been described in the States as “ruthless, litigious and lucrative” and in this country as “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”, yet it boasts global success and has made hundreds of millions of dollars. Thanks to the Internet, it now faces an unprecedented global opposition. The scary secrets of Scientology and its recruitment methods will be exposed in this talk. It will be useful for anyone wanting to set up their own lucrative cult.

Martin Poulter first encountered skepticism while a teenager. He has a Philosophy and Psychology degree from Oxford University and a PhD in Philosophy of Science from the University of Bristol. He has been a Scientology-watcher since 1995, when he was threatened with legal action over material he posted online. He is an ordained minister in the Church of the SubGenius, which offers eternal spiritual salvation or triple your money back.

Simon Singh

When?
Wednesday, April 27 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

11 Castle St
Reading
RG1 7SB

Who?
Simon Singh

What's the talk about?

Science writer Simon Singh looks back at his 20 years as a science writer, discussing topics ranging from mathematics to cosmology, from alternative medicine to cryptography. In the Q&A, Simon will be answering questions about his books, and there will also be an opportunity to ask questions about his skeptical work and the successful campaign for libel reform.

What Your Head Is Really Up To

Dean Burnett

When?
Monday, April 18 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

11 Castle St
Reading
RG1 7SB

Who?
Dean Burnett

What's the talk about?

Dr Dean Burnett, author of the Guardian's hugely popular Brain Flapping science blog, returns to Reading SITP to talk about his new book The Idiot Brain, a surprising, funny and mind-bending examination of how and why the brain sabotages our behaviour.

Dean Burnett has spent nearly two decades studying the human brain, the most complex, mysterious object in the known universe. In the same way that flaws begin to show when you spend too much time with one person, over time Burnett has come to learn that the human brain can be quite unreliable.

The Idiot Brain explores the many ways in which the brain does things inefficiently, illogically or just plain stupidly, and how these regularly end up influencing our everyday lives and the world around us.

From attention mechanisms to memory processing, the neuroscience of sleep and the psychology of superstition, The Idiot Brain highlights all manner of ways in which the brain is flawed or shoddy, how these impact on our lives in countless ways, and how it’s OK to laugh at all this regardless.

Ongoing adventures in the world of pseudoscience

Michael Marshall

When?
Monday, February 15 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

11 Castle St
Reading
RG1 7SB

Who?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

It’s easy to think of pseudoscience existing in a glass case at a museum – something to be examined and critiqued from a safe distance, but not something to touch and to play with. Using examples taken from his own personal experiences in skepticism, Michael Marshall will show what happens when you begin to crack the surface of the pseudosciences that surround us – revealing the surprising, sometimes-shocking and often-comic adventures that lie beneath.

Michael Marshall is the Project Director of the Good Thinking Society and the Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. He regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast. His work has seen him organising international homeopathy protests and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Statesman.