Previous year >>

With a magical introduction from Mark Edward

Susan Gerbic

When?
Thursday, April 18 2019 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

75 George St
York
YO1 9PT

Who?
Susan Gerbic

What's the talk about?

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TALK IS NOT IN OUR USUAL FOURTH MONDAY OF THE MONTH SLOT!

Tired of fighting trolls online? Tired of fake news? Want to do something that actually fights back? Susan Gerbic will be explaining why the answer is to join her project, Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW). She will explain why improving the pages for Science and Scientific Skepticism on the 4th most popular website improves education world-wide.

GSoW works to support the people and organizations that do the research, write the books, organize the conferences and take the heat from the anti-science and paranormal world.  GSoW gives them the best possible Wikipedia pages possible, while following all the rules of Wikipedia. GSoW has had a large impact on education around the world since 2010. GSoW has written and rewritten over 850 Wikipedia pages in many languages.

All training is done online, self-paced and with a personal trainer. All GSoW members join the "Secret Caba"l hidden away on Facebook where new recruits learn the secret handshake. Previous pages include; Spontaneous Human Combustion, Facilitated Communication, Chris French, Skeptics with a K (English & Dutch), Deborah Hyde (English, Polish & Dutch), Edinburgh Skeptics (English & Dutch), European Skeptics Podcast, Glasgow Skeptics (English & Dutch),  Caroline Watt, Camp Quest UK (English & Dutch), Richard Wiseman (English, Portuguese, Spanish) and so many more.

The talk will also feature an introduction, featuring mentalism, by Susan's partner, Mark Edward.

Mark Edward and Susan Gerbic travel as a team. Both are acknowledged science activists who promote critical thinking, while at the same time spreading the word on Guerilla Skepticism, a more focused and direct activist agenda.

Susan is affectionately called the Wikipediatrician as the founder of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW) and Monterey County Skeptics. A Skeptical Inquirer contributor, Susan is a fellow of CSI and winner of the James Randi Foundation award for 2017. In 2018, Susan founded and manages About Time a non-profit organization focusing on scientific skepticism and activism. While her particular focus has been “Grief Vampires” (psychics), her activism encompasses all areas of skepticism.

Mark is one of only five specially chosen and trained “psychic mediums” in the history of Hollywood's famed Magic Castle, where he performed fifteen years of séance performances that helped him perfect the role of spirit medium and psychic entertainer. As a writer he has written books on these subjects and lectures extensively as a teacher of magic, mentalism and psychic fraud. He has most recently appeared on television as both primary consultant and on-air performer on truTV’s “Adam Ruins Everything,” National Geographic’s “Brain Games,” “Inside Edition,” and “Nancy Grace.” Over the years he worked on screen in “A & E's Biography: Houdini, the Great Escape," NBC's "The Other Side" and "Psychic Secrets Revealed," The Sci-Fi Channel's "Mysteries, Magic and Miracles," The Discovery Channel's "Forces Beyond," and The Learning Channel's "Exploring the Unknown." His featured segment as a spirit medium on the pilot episode of Showtime's "Penn & Teller's Bullshit!" entitled; "Speaking with the Dead" helped secure an Emmy Award nomination for that episode in 2002. He continues to be consulted by the media for his knowledge of spiritualism, psychic scams and ghost lore.

And how do we pick who gains and who loses?

Mark Sculpher

When?
Monday, March 25 2019 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

75 George St
York
YO1 9PT

Who?
Mark Sculpher

What's the talk about?

The NHS is not the only health care system in the world that struggles to meet the demands placed on it by an ageing population and the growing availability of treatments.  No system has access to infinite resources, so the challenge is to establish an acceptable way to judging between the claims to health care of different groups of patients.  This is particularly the case when assessing whether new pharmaceuticals should be made available, and at what price they are affordable.  The talk will suggest a set of principles by which such decisions can be taken, focussing on the importance of evidence regarding the additional health benefits offered by new treatments, but also their additional costs and what these imply regarding the health benefits that other types of patients will not enjoy if the treatment is funded.  The extent to which these principles are followed by organisations like the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will be considered, and the implications for the health of the population of their not doing so assessed.

Mark Sculpher is Professor of Health Economics at the Centre for Health Economics, University of York.  He will discuss how his research in this area has (and has not) been used to guide NHS policy in this challenging area.

Dr Dara Mojtahedi

When?
Monday, February 25 2019 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Dr Dara Mojtahedi

What's the talk about?

Think about the last time you were on holiday, how much do you remember about the journey there? More importantly, how confident are you that the memories you have of your trip were actually witnessed by you? It might sound like a daft question, but researchers have long demonstrated how easy it is for individuals to recall detailed memories that they never actually experienced. The phenomenon of false memories is more common than most think and it can have serious implications when the individual producing the false memory is a crime witness. Eyewitnesses will often play a pivotal role in the identification and conviction of offenders by providing reliable memory reports of criminal events. However, despite the criminal justice system’s high level of reliance on eyewitness evidence, research has demonstrated that eyewitnesses can be easily mislead into reporting unwitnessed information.

Dr Dara Mojtahedi, a lecturer in Psychology at The University of Huddersfield, discusses his research which seeks to explain how and why individuals often confabulate their recollections for events.

Paul Duncan McGarrity

When?
Monday, January 28 2019 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Paul Duncan McGarrity

What's the talk about?

 From the age of sieges and chivalry comes a show about medieval love, adrenaline junkies and an insane quest for glory. Join comedian and archaeologist Paul Duncan McGarrity as he explains how modern life could be so much better if we all take a moment and learn how to attack a castle.

When?
Tuesday, December 11 2018 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

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 fifth annual midwinter quiz will feature the usual mix of questions about science and skepticism in the last year and throughout history, including whatever audiovisual fun and related themed rounds Rob can come up with. Please do come along for a bit of friendly seasonal fun!

Dr Caroline Ward

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

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Dr Caroline Ward

What's the talk about?

Conservation can be magical. Literally. And this complicates things. That is why protesters in Iceland will blockade road building projects which threaten the habitat of the endemic Icelandic elf. And why in some parts of Ethiopia people will protect Hyenas because they eat evil spirits. And why Caribbean owls are endangered because people persecute them because they are witches. 

Dr Caroline Ward of the University of Leeds will explore how beliefs in magic can endanger but also protect species, with important real world impacts. She'll show how this produces complex ethical and practical dilemmas for conservation, and talk about solutions.

It could be you!

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

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

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.

Michael Marshall

When?
Monday, September 24 2018 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

In 2013, when Michael Marshall first interviewed the Vice President of the Flat Earth society for his show Be Reasonable, people could scarcely believe that anyone would genuinely think the Earth was flat. Five years later, Flat Earth belief has gone mainstream, spawning thousands of hours of YouTube videos, gaining widespread international media coverage, and attracting countless followers. How did we get here? 

In this talk, Marshall will take us through his experiences of the Flat Earth movement, have a look at the leaders and some of their reasoning, and report back from the weekend he spent at the UK's first ever Flat Earth convention. 

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, going undercover to expose psychics and quack medics, and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Statesman.

When?
Monday, August 13 2018 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?

What's the talk about?

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT IS NOT ON OUR USUAL FOURTH MONDAY!

In order to help out our venue The Phoenix with a scheduling mix-up for one of their bands, our August meeting will be two weeks earlier than normal. We'll have an informal social, so come along if you want a chat about matters to do with science and critical thinking.

If you can't make it, don't forget that next month in our usual slot we've the ever-wonderful Michael Marshall speaking about his encounters with Flat-Earthers.

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

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

75 George Street,
York,
YO1 9PT

Who?

What's the talk about?

After the success of our previous discussion night, we've decided to bring back the format. This time Dr Graham Smith will lead a discussion that relates to his area of expertise as a wildlife epidemiologist: What do we want to do with our wildlife? In the discussion we'll cover conservation, valuing nature, rewilding and pest management.

Stephen Farrall

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

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

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

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

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.