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John Cossham

When?
Monday, July 24 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
John Cossham

What's the talk about?

John Cossham FRSA is a campaigner, sustainability activist and entertainer who co-founded Frack-Free York in 2011.

He won the Oxfam Carbon Footprint competition in 2008 with the lowest in the UK, and is passionate about compost, polyamory, bicycles and Near Term Human Extinction.
 
His talk covers unconventional gas extraction and climate change, and promises to be both interesting and entertaining.

Dr Andrew Dean

When?
Monday, June 26 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Dr Andrew Dean

What's the talk about?

What is it like to carry out highly unusual and stigmatised research in academia? In this talk, Dr Andrew Dean will discuss the challenges of carrying out research into Nazis, psychedelic drug use, escorting and other areas that are considered deviant. Not surprisingly, the difficulties faced are both methodological and professional. For example, how do we work with Nazis to better understand extremism? Do we validate an individual who claims to be undergoing metamorphosis into a werewolf? Whatever our answer is to these questions is to offend another academic, and potentially the public, where our answer suggests allegiance to certain methodological ideologies, which is no small challenge at a time of 'identity politics'. Problematically, we tend to see that there are methodological issues as we explore these challenges that echo into the professional world, and all create numerous challenges for what research to carry out, how to do it, whether we are funded, and how we are viewed by colleagues and the public. 

 
Dr Andrew Dean has three doctorates, is a biophysicist, psychologist and linguist, and carries out research in all three areas, but has a love for the more unusual aspects of life. 

It Could Be You!

When?
Monday, May 22 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
It Could Be You!

What's the talk about?

 Do you have something you’d like to get off your chest? Is there something evidence or science-based that you’d like to talk to us about? Is there an aspect of critical thinking that you’d like to discuss? Could you talk about it for ten minutes? Our soapbox night is a chance for you to give a ten minute talk with a five minute Q&A on any subject that’s broadly related to evidence, science and critical-thinking. Get in touch with us at YorkSkeptics@gmail.com to book your spot on the night or just come along to see what others have to say.

Kevin Precious

When?
Monday, April 24 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Kevin Precious

What's the talk about?

Kevin Precious is a former RE teacher turned stand-up comedian and promoter. Besides having played many of the top clubs in the land, he also promotes shows in arts centres and theatres under the Barnstormers Comedy banner. He has previously toured the country with a stand-up show entitled 'Not Appropriate', dedicated to the business of teaching. 

In between the various comedic activities, Kevin Precious attends his local humanist group - he's an agnostic, folks - where he loves a good old debate about the big questions in life.

Expect jokes and stories then, about his time as an RE teacher, being a humanist, the God-Shaped Hole, and the philosophy of religion... and you can ask him a few questions of your own afterwards, if you wish.

Sam Hogarth

When?
Monday, March 27 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Sam Hogarth

What's the talk about?

Social media is struggling with an epidemic. Fake news spreads like a virus, with its ludicrous claims and compelling headlines. Some claim it cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency. Some say it has encouraged Britain to drastically alter it's political future. Others think it's just a bunch of opportunists running get rich quick schemes.

 
In a "post-truth" world, where we've had enough of experts and can prove anything with facts; what challenges must we address in order to combat fake news? As a Skeptic community, how does this affect us?
 
Sam is a software developer, Labour Party campaigner and co-organiser of Newcastle Skeptics in the Pub. As the proverbial intersection on the techno-politi-skeptical Venn diagram, he can provide an interesting confluence of perspectives and guide us through the murky maze of fake news. Alas, the answers to this problem are ours to decide. We're a group, let's work it out together.

When?
Monday, February 27 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?

What's the talk about?

 As we don't have a speaker this month we thought we'd try something different: A video jukebox. Rob will come with a list of  skeptically-themed videos, and attendees can choose which we watch and discuss, as well as suggesting others that they think may be of interest. We hope that this will provoke interesting discussions, as well as perhaps giving newer attendees a better idea of the scope of skepticism.

Michael Heap

When?
Monday, January 23 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Michael Heap

What's the talk about?

Hypnosis has always been the subject of much confusion, controversy and scepticism.  For as long as anyone can remember the story has been that the mystery and confusion has been clearing and we now have much better understanding of hypnosis from a rational and scientific standpoint.  Perusal of most books on hypnosis currently populating the shelves of major bookstores, not to mention what is thrown up by internet search engines, suggests that this is far from the case.  Yet the accumulated results of well-controlled laboratory research has confirmed hypnosis as an authentic psychological phenomenon that can be investigated in an objective manner in normal individuals and about which plausible theories have been developed based on mainstream neuropsychology.  The speaker will discuss one major reason for this discrepancy and what, if anything, can be done about it.  
 
Michael Heap is a clinical and forensic psychologist and former lecturer at the University of Sheffield.  As well as having extensive experience as a practitioner of clinical hypnosis he has written and taught widely on the subject and has been involved as an expert witness in many civil and criminal cases that have involved hypnosis and related practices.

When?
Tuesday, December 13 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?

What's the talk about?

PLEASE NOTE THAT AS EVERY YEAR OUR DECEMBER MEETING IS EARLIER IN THE MONTH THAN USUAL TO AVOID CLASHES WITH CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES.

Our third annual midwinter quiz will feature the usual mix of questions anout science and skepticism in the last year and throughout history, including whatever audiovisual fun and related themed rounds Rob can come up with. The last two have been fun and we hope this will be even better!

Stevyn Colgan

When?
Monday, November 28 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Stevyn Colgan

What's the talk about?

Are aliens visiting us? And if they are, what’s the likelihood of them looking human? 

Stevyn Colgan has been involved with aliens for three decades. He’s held Jabba the Hutt’s face, helped sculpt creatures for Bruce Willis to shoot at, and had a script accepted for Doctor Who in the 1980s. In this entertaining talk, you’ll hear about feuding gangs of scientists, film directors with less imagination than children, and the perils of concrete poo.
 
Stevyn Colgan is an author, artist, songwriter, speaker and oddly-spelled Cornishman. He is one of the ‘Elves’ that research and write the popular BBC TV series ‘QI’ and co-writes its sister show, ‘The Museum of Curiosity’, for BBC Radio 4.
 
Stevyn's previous talk "The Skeptical Bobby" was one of the best recieved in our history, and we are delighted to welcome him back for this, our fifth anniversary meeting.

Dr Tom Dugmore

When?
Tuesday, October 25 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Dr Tom Dugmore

What's the talk about?

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TALK IS ON A TUESDAY INSTEAD OF OUR USUAL MONDAY.
 
For decades crude oil has been the feedstock source of choice for our society.
 
Many things from fuels, plastics, cosmetics and clothing fabrics can all be derived at some point from crude oil. However with dwindling reserves, political insecurity in oil-producing regions and increasing concern over the environmental impact of crude oil utilisation an alternative, more sustainable feedstock is clearly needed.
 
This talk will explore the difference between "renewable" and "sustainable" and look to the use of our waste products from food processing to provide an alternative source for our fuels and beyond.
 
Dr Tom Dugmore is a Training, Education & Networks Associate at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence at the University of York.
 
Dr Dugmore carried out his MChem in Chemistry, Resources and the Environment at the University of York, graduating in 2006.
 

Maeve Hanan

When?
Monday, September 26 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Maeve Hanan

What's the talk about?

The World is full of advice about food and dieting. Much of it is conflicting, misleading, based on pseudoscience and anecdotes and fuelled by celebrity culture and the media. Despite this abundance of dietary information, much of the Developed World is undergoing an epidemic of obesity and diabetes. So how do we know which dietary advice to believe? What should we be eating to maximise our health? What other factors are important as part of a healthy lifestyle?

Maeve Hanan is a registered Dietitian (a protected title for a health professional qualified to give dietary advice to individuals and the public). She will attempt to guide us through the minefield of the modern diet, and separate the facts from the fads.

(And Other Lies)

David Frank

When?
Monday, August 22 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
David Frank

What's the talk about?

Marketer David Frank goes through his favourite marketing techniques, psychological tricks, and human brain exploits that are used on us on a daily basis. From the origins of snake oil to sneaky cigarette companies, this talk pulls back the curtain on marketing like a magician exposing tricks. And maybe, just maybe, you'll be able to spot the tricks being used on you, & can resist.

We're delighted to welcome David back after his well-recieved Sex, Love and Marketing talk last year.