What is Skeptics in the Pub?

Skeptics in the Pub (SitP) is a monthly event where people can meet and discuss science, skepticism, rationalism and critical thinking. At each event a speaker is invited to present a topic of interest, which is followed by a discussion in a relaxed and friendly pub atmosphere. There are now about 30 towns and cities throughout the UK & Ireland hosting Skeptics in the Pub events.

For more information about the idea behind Skeptics in the Pub please look at this BBC Report and this Wikipedia entry.

If you would like more information about Tunbridge Wells Skeptics in the Pub or would like to volunteer in any way please send a message using the form in the "Contact us" section or send a tweet to @TWSkeptics. We also have a Tunbridge Wells Skeptics Facebook group.

Tickets

Entry to the talks is £3 payable on the door. Entry and seating is on a first come basis.

 

Iszi Lawrence

When?
Thursday, August 6 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

39 Mount Ephraim
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
TN4 8AA

Who?
Iszi Lawrence

What's the talk about?

Skeptic, comedian and voice of the Skeptics Guide To The Universe, Iszi Lawrence is out to delight and inform with her new show The Z List Dead List. The Z List Dead List is a live comedy show about obscure people from History. As a skeptic, Iszi has found a few people from the past that will peak your interest. Expect woo, violence, sex and death. And a competition. The show is also a podcast with guest interviews from Jon Ronson, Griff Rhys Jones, Natalie Haynes, Neil Denny, Richard Herring etc. You can find it on iTunes here: itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-z-list-dead-list/id915778702?mt=2 or go to the website www.zlistdeadlist.com

The NHS and Beyond

Michael Marshall

When?
Thursday, September 3 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

39 Mount Ephraim
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
TN4 8AA

Who?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

Homeopathy is one of the most widely debunked form of alternative medicine – yet homeopathic remedies adorn the shelves of respected pharmacies and are funded by taxpayers on the NHS. How big of a problem is this? Using information and personal experiences gathered during his last 6 years of campaigning against homeopathy, Michael Marshall will highlight how much money is spent on homeopathic remedies, how this gives undeserved credibility to homeopathy, how such remedies can lead to genuine harm and what you can do to help.

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.

Can A Non-Existent God Really Cure Alcoholism?

Jonathan Stewart

When?
Thursday, October 1 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

39 Mount Ephraim
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
TN4 8AA

Who?
Jonathan Stewart

What's the talk about?

In recent years Alcoholics Anonymous has become a widely accepted, media approved treatment for problem drinkers.  Yet while AA’s social worth is rarely challenged its efficacy rate, estimated to be around 5%-10%, appears comparable to that of spontaneous remission.

- Can a non-existent "Higher Power" really offer meaningful solutions to the debilitating and frequently fatal condition of alcoholism? 

- If so, what happens to all those alcoholic atheists and skeptics?

- How did AA become the go-to treatment modality for one of the great social health scourges of our age?

- It’s the twenty first century, is this really the best we can do?  

Jon Stewart was co-founder, guitarist and co-songwriter for platinum-selling Britpop band Sleeper, with whom he enjoyed three UK Top 10 albums and eight UK Top 40 singles.  Jon currently lectures in cultural history at BIMM Institute Brighton on programmes validated and awarded by University of Sussex, and is a PhD researcher at University of Southampton.  Author of a long-running column in Guitarist magazine, Jon has also published widely in peer reviewed journals and books.  An active and sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 14 years, Jon quit the fellowship in early 2014.  His blog "Leaving AA, Staying Sober" is at http://jonsleeper.wordpress.com

How we get science coverage wrong

David Robert Grimes

When?
Wednesday, November 4 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

39 Mount Ephraim
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
TN4 8AA

Who?
David Robert Grimes

What's the talk about?

Science and medicine have transformed our lives immeasurably, and never in history have they been more central to our lives and well-being. Yet despite this, there is often a glaring disconnect between the findings of actual science and media reporting of such topics, and consequently there is often a needless chasm between public perception and the evidence on many contentious topics. This can lead to needlessly adversarial and counter-productive discourse of everything from vaccination to climate-change. In this talk, physicist and science journalist Dr. David Robert Grimes discusses the frequent problems in reporting science from misunderstandings to bad statistics to false balance, and discusses the factors that influence this and how such problems can be remedied.

Dr. David Robert Grimes (@drg1985) is a physicist and writes regular opinion and analysis pieces on scientific issues for the Irish Times and the Guardian science, and is a regular panelist on science issues on radio and television. He is joint-recipient of the 2014 Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science.

Professor Chris Rhodes

When?
Thursday, December 3 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

39 Mount Ephraim
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
TN4 8AA

Who?
Professor Chris Rhodes

What's the talk about?

Across the world, 30 billion barrels of crude oil are produced each year, not only for fuel but to make products ranging from plastics to pharmaceuticals. Nearly all our food also depends on oil.

However, world oil production is set to decline within 5 years. If we continue as we are, Western civilisation will collapse. Our salvation requires a re-adaptation of how we live, from the global to the local; to a world of small communities far less dependent on transportation. Technology will not save us, unless we cut our energy use and particularly our demand for oil. Fracking is being hailed as the solution. Is this the case?

Professor Chris Rhodes is Director of Fresh-lands Environmental Actions and is based in Reading. He has written numerous scientific articles and recently published his first novel, University Shambles, a black comedy on the disintegration of the British university system.