Welcome to the York Skeptics homepage. We are a group dedicated to the promotion of science, rationalism and critical thinking in North Yorkshire. Every month we meet up for a friendly discussion and a talk from a speaker about a subject relating to science and critical thinking. Meetings take place every fourth Monday of the month at 7:30pm in The Phoenix Inn.

We now have a blog, which you can find at yorkskeptics.blogspot.co.uk.

An Introduction to Nazism, Godwin's Law and Holocaust Denial

Victoria Stiles

When?
Monday, April 28 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

www.thephoenixinnyork.co.uk

Please note that The Phoenix doesn't accept cards so you'll need some cash if you want to buy a drink!

Who?
Victoria Stiles

What's the talk about?

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" - George Santayana

Although written forty years before the Holocaust, similar words are often used to express the importance of this event as a "warning from history", but what exactly is that warning? What is the "lesson" of Nazi Germany which will help us to avoid a repetition of its horrors? This talk explores some of the meanings ascribed to this period of history and argues that the way in which it is so often symbolised by one man - Hitler as the ultimate embodiment of evil - open the door to all manner of strange interpretations, manipulations, and to outright denial. The meaning of the Holocaust has become everything and nothing.

Victoria Stiles is a final-year PhD student at the University of Nottingham, as well as a member of Greater Manchester Skeptics. She is writing a thesis titled "Reading the Enemy: German Publications on British Imperialism, 1933 - 1945" and occasionally blogs about her sources and what it means to "do" history at tattyjackets.blogspot.com. She has recently started a new history podcast: "1066 Wasn't All That", for PhD students in history and related fields to talk about their research.

Exploring the limits of human perception

Paul Hopwood

When?
Monday, May 26 2014 at 7:30PM

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

Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

www.thephoenixinnyork.co.uk

Please note that The Phoenix doesn't accept cards so you'll need some cash if you want to buy a drink!

Who?
Paul Hopwood

What's the talk about?

After the success of his SiTP talk, the award-winning ‘You know less than you think’, Paul Hopwood is back for the sequel!

Based around his Cognitive Psychology studies, the first talk focused on the different stages of information processing in the human brain. By looking at research into the brain’s ability to acquire, store, retrieve and use information; the talk highlighted that humans have a tendency to severely overestimate their ability to perform these tasks.

This second talk moves away from how good we believe our cognitive toolkit is: and instead looks at how well we think we use it. Through looking at various examples of human perception; the audience will be engaged to think about such matters as ‘Is Common Sense that common and does it make that much sense?’, ‘Does looking backwards help us to look forwards?’, ‘How much attention should we pay to randomness?’ and ‘Are you an idiot or a genius?’

Paul Hopwood is an active member of the Skeptic Community, who has received widespread praise for the enthusiastic and enlightening nature of his public talks. His first SiTP talk was awarded ‘The Worfolk Lecture 2012’ by The Chris Worfolk Foundation; having being adjudged by the Foundation’s committee to be the best talk for improving the public understanding of science that year.

He is a regular guest on ‘The Skeptic Canary Show’ each Wednesday night at 7pm; and is a very keen amateur chess player. He is also, to his knowledge, the only person to ever successfully solve a Rubik’s Cube during a SiTP Q+A.

Ongoing adventures in the world of pseudoscience

Michael Marshall

When?
Monday, June 23 2014 at 7:30PM

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

Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

www.thephoenixinnyork.co.uk

Please note that The Phoenix doesn't accept cards so you'll need some cash if you want to buy a drink!

Who?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

After his well received talk about bad PR last year, York Skeptics is delighted to be able to welcome back Michael Marshall for a discussion of another side of his many-faceted skeptical career - his investigations into pseudoscience.

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