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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.

Michael Story

When?
Monday, July 25 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Michael Story

What's the talk about?

Since 2011, a team of 200 civilians has been predicting the future more accurately than US intelligence agencies. Formed five years ago under the auspices of IARPA (the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, informally known as 'DARPA for spies'), the Good Judgement Project's 'Superforecaster' teams have been forecasting the specifics of North Korean missile programmes, the movement of Russian troops and the longevity of Robert Mugabe, achieving a 50% lower error rate than the previous state of the art. This talk will cover who makes these forecasts, how they are doing it, and some techniques shown to make nearly anyone more accurate when predicting the future.

Graham Smith

When?
Monday, June 27 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Graham Smith

What's the talk about?

Most of us rely on reading the news or other information in newspapers or online. How do we know if this information is being represented correctly? How can we assess the validity of any claim? Graham will use examples from various sources to ask if the information is misrepresented. This talk will be interactive and engage you critical thinking.

Dr Graham Smith has spent over 20 years working in scientific research for the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs collecting, analysing and interpreting data on wildlife problems. He has a keen interest in critical thinking and has given talks around the country on different aspects the subject. He is a regular attendee at York Skeptics who has helped with organisation since our first meeting.

It Could Be You!

When?
Monday, May 23 2016 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.

Emma McClure

When?
Monday, April 25 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Emma McClure

What's the talk about?

We've all seen it: A renegade detective pores over the scene of a grizzly murder. They find an overlooked clue; a hair, a footprint, a shell casing. Detailed forensic analysis matches the clue to the bad guy, and the bad guy goes to jail. This is how modern day forensics are portrayed in shows such as 'CSI' and 'Silent Witness'; forensic evidence is seen as conclusive when it comes to catching suspects and deciding if someone is guilty in a criminal trial. But, at a time when shows like Serial and Making a Murderer have brough miscarriages of justice to international prominence, Emma McClure will explain how the traces left behind at a crime scene can sometimes lie.

The science in areas such as DNA collection has progressed enormously in recent decades allowing for breakthroughs in many old and cold cases. However, we have also seen many high profile exonerations of those previously convicted of the most serious of crimes on seemingly 'conclusive' forensic evidence. This has lead to increasing scrutiny of the way it is analysed, interpreted and presented in the courtroom.

In this talk, prison lawyer Emma McClure examines the issues with forensic techniques, highlighting the amusing, confusing and sometimes tragic consequences of failing to take a skeptical approach to evidence in the field of forensic science.

Or will they?

Myles Power

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

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Myles Power

What's the talk about?

For decades now, we have been told by organisations like Greenpeace, GM-Freeze, and Friends of the Earth that genetically modified (GM) food is dangerous and has been shown to be harmful to humans. They have done a great job at convincing the population of their dangers by quoting scientific literature that claims GM-food has been shown, among other things, to cause cancer, leukaemia, and stomach inflammation; but is there really any truth to this? What do the papers these organisations are promoting really say, and do they have any flaws? Or, in actual fact, are GMOs going to kill us all? In his talk, Myles is going to critique several highly referenced anti-GM papers, looking past their veneer of good science, and discovering what they really say about GMOs and the people who promote them.

Myles Power runs the educational YouTube channel powerm1985. Originally from a small town in the North East of England called Middlesbrough he has spent a large portion of his adult life living in Manchester. He is a chemist who is currently working in industry, but what little free time he has he spends sharing his love of SCIENCE! through home experiments, visiting sites of scientific interest and recording angry rants at pseudoscience opponents.

He studied chemistry, specialising in organic chemistry at the Universities of Manchester and Toronto. Later in his career, he moved more towards bio-chemistry and worked on projects including synthesising various nucleic acid analogues for non-enzymatic transcription and controlling gene expression using a mutant riboswitch. He has over 7 years of experience working in a research lab, which has given him the skills he needs to research and debunk virus psuedoscience theories. Some of the theories he has discussed on his YouTube channel including AIDS denialists, 9/11 truthers, the anti-vaccination movement and homeopathy. In addition to being one of the founding members of the podcast The League of Nerds, he is also an original and stauch member of Teesside Skeptics-in-the-Pub.

More about Myles here: https://mylespower.co.uk/about-myles/

Robin Tudge

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

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Robin Tudge

What's the talk about?

Robin Tudge is a writer based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who has lived and worked in Chicago, Moscow, Hanoi, Beijing and Pyongyang. He has visited North Korea several times since 2001 and led tours there in 2013 and 2015 for the leading tour company, Koryo Tours. He is to present an illustrated talk on travelling to that impoverished, surprising country, to show what can really be seen beyond the Potemkin illusion.

Sense About Science

Jessica Taylor

When?
Monday, January 25 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Jessica Taylor

What's the talk about?

Every day, we hear claims about what is good for our health, bad for the environment, how to improve education, cut crime, and treat disease. Some are based on reliable evidence and scientific rigour. Many are not. These claims can't be regulated; every time one is debunked another pops up – like a game of whack-a-mole. So how can we make companies, politicians, commentators and official bodies accountable for the claims they make? If they want us to vote for them, believe them, or buy their products, then we should ask them for evidence, as consumers, patients, voters and citizens.

The Ask for Evidence campaign has seen people ask a retail chain for the evidence behind its MRSA resistant pyjamas; ask a juice bar for the evidence behind wheatgrass detox claims; ask the health department about rules for Viagra prescriptions; ask for the studies behind treatments for Crohn's disease, and hundreds more. As a result, claims are being withdrawn and bodies held to account.

This is geeks, working with the public, to park their tanks on the lawn of those who seek to influence us. And it's starting to work. Come and hear what the campaign is going to do next and how you can get involved.

Jess is a PhD student researching personalised medicine strategies for cancer at the University of Manchester. She has a passion for making science more accessible and wants to encourage everyone to ask questions, especially when it concerns their health.

Test your knowledge of science and skepticism

When?
Tuesday, December 8 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?

What's the talk about?

PLEASE NOTE THE EARLIER THAN USUAL DATE.

We enjoyed the quiz so much last December that we've decided to make it an annual event. Come along and test your knowledge of science and skepticism, from the past year and beyond! If you fancy, why not stay around for a chat afterwards?

Dr Vicky Forster

When?
Monday, November 23 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Dr Vicky Forster

What's the talk about?

Billions of pounds is donated to cancer research worldwide every year. How much of an impact has this research made on cancer survival and what’s next? What have been the major breakthroughs? Will we ever cure cancer completely? Why do some people believe so passionately in alternative cancer cures and is there any evidence behind any of these proposed ‘cures’? This talk will discuss these points from the unique perspective of a cancer research scientist and long term survivor of childhood cancer with the hope of inspiring discussion and debate.

Dr Vicky Forster is a postdoctoral research scientist at Newcastle University. Her projects include looking at errors in DNA which cause cancer in the first place, finding new less-toxic drug combinations to treat leukaemia and investigating the side effects of childhood leukaemia treatment. She is also a 20 year survivor of childhood leukaemia and shares her experience to raise awareness of childhood cancers, treatment and long-term implications of treatment. She has done a range of science outreach events and activities including writing for The Times on a British Science Association Media Fellowship, a TED talk and was recently awarded the Cancer Research UK Research Engagement and Brand Ambassador prize for her efforts.

Controversial Cartooning in History

'Polyp'

When?
Monday, October 26 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
'Polyp'

What's the talk about?

An exploration of the history of controversial cartooning, and the story of its relationship to free speech, by long time Manchester pen dipper 'Polyp'.

From Roman times through to this year’s shocking revenge attacks in Paris, cartoonists have always been the focus of outrage, censorship and conflict. What is it about this often trivialized art form that evokes such powerful reactions from people on both sides of the political spectrum?
 
'Polyp' is a professional political cartoonist and an active member of the skeptics movement.