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Stephen Farrall

When?
Monday, June 25 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Stephen Farrall

What's the talk about?

Stephen Farrall is a sociologist interested in the long-term impact of Thatcherite social and economic policies on crime rates in the UK. With colleagues, he commissioned Generation Right to summarise both the findings of his own and others' research into this topic. The film, which is 40min long, includes interviews with Lords Blunkett, Hurd, Tebbitt and Howard as well as those affected by the policies at the time and since, and other researchers.

More information about this research project can be found here:  http://www.shef.ac.uk/law/research/projects/crimetrajectories and the project's twitter feed can be followed here:  @Thatcher_legacy

Dr Graham Smith

When?
Monday, May 28 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Dr Graham Smith

What's the talk about?

This month we will try a different format with an interactive discussion led by Dr Graham Smith.


All we ask is that you turn up with some background information or opinions on the topics. We will start with a discussion on a couple of related subjects which can seem like simple ideas but become more complex on closer inspection:


(1) Pay equality
(2) Universal basic income. 

This is a first attempt at this new format, so depending on how it goes, we may we may move on to other topics such as "Should we manage population size?", or suggestions from the audience.

Ask Pryce

When?
Monday, April 23 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Ask Pryce

What's the talk about?

Roll up! Roll up! Roll up! Gather ye round the traveling caravan, as Snake Oil Salesman Ash Pryce demonstrates the miraculous curative abilities of psychic surgery, taught to your humble trickster by a wise man in the Philippines (or a magicians tool book, whichever sounds more wondrous). See with amazement the telekinetic forces at work as you learn how to move objects with your mind, psychically manipulate your finest silverware and read the minds of your peers. Or maybe, it’s all just a trick?

 
The show will involve demonstrations and explanations of telekinesis tricks, metal bending, psychic surgery and remote viewing as well as look at government funded research into psychic phenomena, and the shoddy protocols that allowed “psychics” to beat the legendary Zener card experiments in the 1930s. 
 
And if that wasn’t enough, interspersed throughout the show will be numerous on stage demonstrations of mentalism to add an extra layer of entertainment to the proceedings. 
 
Stagetime Promotions Magician of the Year 2017, and Edinburgh Horror Festival Sell out performer 2016 and 2017, Ash Pryce brings his crowd pleasing mix of paranormal illusions, comedy and entertainment to the UK as part of a summer tour of 2018. Described as “ a naturally funny guy [who] won’t allow his audience to be bored” (edfringereview.com) and “A great showman” (NottinghamLive), Ash presents a mix of entertainment, scepticism and magical treats.
 
Find Ash on most social media as “Psychic Conman” and check out his website at www.psychicconman.co.uk
 
Warning to those on the front row… there will be blood!

When?
Monday, March 26 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?

What's the talk about?

Sadly we've been unable to arrange a speaker for this month, but we didn't want to let the month go by without a meeting so there'll be a social at The Phoenix. Please do come along for a chat, and if you have any suggestions for future events or want to get involved, feel free to talk to Rob about your ideas.

When?
Monday, February 26 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?

What's the talk about?

 As we were unable to find a slot for a meeting in December, our annual festive quiz has been moved to February. Come along or an evening of questions related to science and critical thinking last year and throughout history.

Darryl Cunningham

When?
Monday, January 22 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Darryl Cunningham

What's the talk about?

Darryl Cunningham is an internationally published cartoonist and writer. His books include Psychiatric Tales (a book based on his experience working on a psychiatric ward, which cuts through the myths and stigma surrounding psychiatric illnesses, this book explains schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, and much more), Science Tales (cartoon essays on controversial science subjects that include: the Andrew Wakefield/MMR/vaccination scandal, homeopathy, chiropractic, evolution, climate change, and gas fracking.), and Supercrash: How To Hijack The Global Economy (an explanation of the 2008 financial crisis). 

 
His latest book, Graphic Science is a series of cartoon essays on overlooked, sidelined, excluded, or discredited men and women who have been or are key figures in scientific discovery. Subjects include Nikola Tesla, Fred Hoyle, and Mary Anning.
 
In his talk he’ll be discussing his various books, with emphasis on the latest, and showing how he’s used his cartooning work to promote science and critical thinking. 
 
Darryl Cunningham went to Leeds College of Art. In 2015 Cunningham was involved with the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation’s Art Of Saving a Life project, as one of 30 world-renowned photographers, painters, sculptors, writers, filmmakers, and musicians to impress urgency on the global community to reach all children with the life-saving vaccines they need. http://darryl-cunningham.blogspot.co.uk

Literally the Best Magician

Dave Alnwick

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

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Dave Alnwick

What's the talk about?

After a sell-out run at Edinburgh Fringe and fresh off the back of hosting QED 2017, Skeptic regular Dave Alnwick tours his new show 'Literally the Best Magician'.

Is Dave Literally the Best Magician?  He certainly thinks so and intends to spend an hour proving it.  Working through every genre of Magic, Dave hopes to 'one up' the classics of conjuring. 

Ok, enough of this third person charade.  I'm doing a Magic show.  It'll be really good, you should totally come.  In the past I've focused on mentalism (y'know that Derren Brown mind reading business) but I thought I'd step away from that and have a go at old school stuff.  It's not easy making tricks with rope, tissues and post-it notes interesting but I'm pretty sure I've smashed it.

“He is the kind of performer who could probably make reading the dictionary into an entertaining show” – WorldMagicReview.com

I'll even do a talk after the show about Magic.  I'll teach you a trick.  We'll do a Q&A.  Maybe have a drink.  It'll be dope. 

Dr Victoria Stiles

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

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Dr Victoria Stiles

What's the talk about?

What exactly are the lessons of history and will we ever learn them? Why are so many histories written from a clearly biased perspective? Why is it so hard for historians to just say what really happened? Recent events suggest that remembering history is not enough to avoid repeating it, so do history and historians still have a purpose?

 
Victoria Stiles is a freelance researcher and consultant in the field of Modern European History and specialises in the portrayal of imperial history and national stereotypes within Nazi Germany. In this talk she will explain some of the ways in which historians use and assess evidence, how they draw parallels between events in different times and places, and how they arrive at an account of the past which they are willing to call “a history”. She is very keen to hear the audience’s thoughts on what they want history and historians to do for them.
 
Is it reasonable to expect the past to teach us anything at all? This talk won’t provide all the answers but maybe together we can formulate some better questions.

Dr Daniel Jolley

When?
Thursday, September 28 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Dr Daniel Jolley

What's the talk about?

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT IS NOT IN OUR USUAL FOURTH MONDAY SLOT.

Conspiracy theories are associated with almost every significant social and political event, such as the suggested theory that the U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, that the U.K Government murdered Diana, Princess of Wales, or that the pharmaceutical industry deliberately conceals the harmful side-effects of vaccines to ensure that they are able to make a profit.

 
Beliefs in these type of conspiracy theories are blooming in the 21st century; millions of people subscribe to them. A basic understanding of logic, rationality, and probability tell us, however, that most of these conspiracy claims are probably false. So why then do so many people believe them? What makes them so attractive and compelling to certain people? And, anyway, what’s the problem, aren’t they just harmless fun?
 
Until recently, psychologists have not explored these questions in great depth but today the psychology of conspiracy theories is flourishing. In this talk, Daniel will provide a brief overview of what we have learned so far about why people subscribe to conspiracy theories, before uncovering some of the potentially damaging consequences of conspiracy theories; maybe they are not just harmless after all.
 
Dr Daniel Jolley is a Lecturer in Psychology at Staffordshire University.  He is a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society, where he is a member of the Executive Committee of the Social Psychology Section and a Committee Member of the Research Board.
 
Daniel’s main area of research is the psychology of conspiracy theories. He is particularly interested in using experimental methods to examine the social consequences of exposure to conspiracy theories and has co-authored articles in outlets such as PLoSONE, the British Journal of Psychology and Political Psychology.
 
Daniel blogs at conspiracypsychology.com and tweets @DrDanielJolley

Dr Alice Howarth

When?
Monday, August 28 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Dr Alice Howarth

What's the talk about?

One in two of us will suffer with cancer in our lifetime and almost all of us have some experience of the disease. But do we really know what cancer is and how we can work towards a cure? Is a cure even possible? And how can we arm ourselves with the right information to help us prevent and treat cancer?

Alice is a researcher who has worked in the Institute of Translational Medicine at the University of Liverpool with both non-profit and for-profit organisations. In this talk she will discuss what cancer is, how it works and just how we are working towards understanding and curing the disease. She will talk about the complexities of research and some of the big success stories that relate directly to some of the many types of cancer. Only when we understand the difficulties we face can we discern between bogus cancer treatment claims and genuine scientific advancement in this field

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.