Welcome to Eastbourne Sceptics in the Pub.

At Sceptics in the Pub local and national experts in their field present and then discuss a topic in a friendly and relaxed environment...a pub!

The common theme for all the talks is scepticism (or skepticism if you prefer), which in broad terms means bringing a scientific, evidence based approach to examine common beliefs and misconceptions. You can find out more about skeptics here.

Tickets

We charge £3.00 for tickets to cover running costs and speakers travel expenses. Tickets go on sale online (with an additional booking fee) a few weeks before the next event  or may be purchased at the door on the night.

We hope you will come and have a drink with us.

STOP PRESS

For the duration of the BBC series "Bang goes the Theory", Sceptics events will be listed on the BBC activities website. See the relevant link for each individual talk.

A Sceptics at the Festival event

Simon Singh

When?
Thursday, April 24 2014 at 8:00PM

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Where?

1 Grange Road
Eastbourne
BN21 4EU

Who?
Simon Singh

What's the talk about?

Some have seen philosophy embedded in episodes of The Simpsons; others have detected elements of psychology and religion. Simon Singh, bestselling author of Fermat's Last Theorem, The Code Book and The Big Bang, instead makes the compelling case that what The Simpsons' writers are most passionate about is mathematics.

He reveals how the writers have drip-fed morsels of number theory into the series over the last twenty-five years; indeed, there are so many mathematical references in The Simpsons, and in its sister program, Futurama, that they could form the basis of an entire university course.

Using specific episodes as jumping off points - from 'Bart the Genius' to 'Treehouse of Horror VI' - Simon Singh brings to life the most intriguing and meaningful mathematical concepts, ranging from pi and the paradox of infinity to the origins of numbers and the most profound outstanding problems that haunt today's generation of mathematicians. In the process, he introduces us to The Simpsons' brilliant writing team - the likes of Ken Keeler, Al Jean, Jeff Westbrook, and Stewart Burns - who are not only comedy geniuses, but who also hold advanced degrees in mathematics. This eye-opening talk will give anyone who sees it an entirely new mathematical insight into the most successful show in television history.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Simon Singh is a science journalist and TV producer. Having completed his PhD at Cambridge he worked from 1991 to 1997 at the BBC producing Tomorrow's World and co-directing the BAFTA award-winning documentary Fermat's Last Theorem for the Horizon series. He is the author of Fermat's Last Theorem, which was a no 1 bestseller in Britain and translated into 22 languages. In 1999, he wrote The Code Book which was also an international bestseller and the basis for the Channel 4 series The Science of Secrecy.

BBC link:

www.bbc.co.uk/thingstodo/activity/matt-groening-and-his-mathematical-secrets

A Sceptics at the Festival event

David Colquhoun

When?
Wednesday, April 30 2014 at 8:00PM

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Where?

1 Grange Road
Eastbourne
BN21 4EU

Who?
David Colquhoun

What's the talk about?

 One of the UK’s most outspoken and well-qualified opponents of alternative medicine and bad science, pharmacologist David Colquhoun runs the DC’s Improbable Science blog, which is devoted to criticism of scientific fraud and quackery. It has a particular focus on alternative medicine, including homeopathy, Traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine and other practices, which he calls ‘pure gobbledygook’.

In addition to his outspoken disapproval of alternative medicine in academia, Colquhoun frequently speaks against misrepresentation of alternative medicine as science in the media, and against governmental support of it. His blog discusses also wider problems in science, medicine and Higher Education. It was listed among the 100 best blogs in 2009. It was blog of the week in the New Statesman (30 May 2010). And in 2012 it was co-winner of the first UK Science Blog Prize, awarded by the Good Thinking Society.

Colquhoun was a member of the Conduct and Competence Committee of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), a regulatory body for alternative medicine in the UK. Colquhoun has stated he was surprised at being accepted for the position. However, he was dismissed in August 2010.

Colquhoun, FRS is a British pharmacologist at University College London (UCL). He has contributed to the general theory of receptor and synaptic mechanisms of single ion channel function. He previously held the A.J. Clark chair of Pharmacology at UCL, and was the Hon. Director of the Wellcome Laboratory for Molecular Pharmacology. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1985 and an honorary fellow of UCL in 2004. Colquhoun runs the website DC’s Improbable Science, which is critical of pseudoscience, particularly alternative medicine, and managerialism.

www.dcscience.net/

BBC link:

www.bbc.co.uk/thingstodo/activity/how-quackery-corrupts-real-science

..and thanks to Neil Davies at caricatureclub.co.uk/ for the caricature.

 

Richard Robinson

When?
Wednesday, May 7 2014 at 8:00PM

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Where?

1 Grange Road
Eastbourne
BN21 4EU

Who?
Richard Robinson

What's the talk about?

 

Evolution happens in business as well as in animals. Certain super-sleek corporations bear a striking resemblance to the behaviour of a slime mould, the simplest life form on Earth. Progressing through evolution, from slime mould to sponge, to octopus, to frog, we see more and more parallels until, by the time amphibians are crawling out of their swamps onto dry land, all the necessary conditions for life as a multinational are in place. Yes, global conglomerates are simpler than you ever thought, but like simple organisms, they have a deceptively elaborate crust.

In particular, Richard sees a need to depose the ape as a industry standard. Apes are argumentative, hierarchical, independent. Humans can also be cooperative, empathetic and dependent; we need to realise we have as much in common with ants as with apes. Richard will help you discover your inner ant, and also your inner Portuguese ma'o'war, slime mould, Brussels sprout and assassin bug.

Richard Robinson is the author of twenty books on popular science, including the Science Magic series (Oxford University Press) and the bestselling Why the Toast Always Lands Butter Side Down, which has now been translated into fourteen languages. He is the Director of the Brighton Science Festival. In another life he also co-founded the busker’s pitch in Covent Garden, and Spitting Image.

 

A Sceptics at the Festival event

Dr David Lewis

When?
Wednesday, May 7 2014 at 8:00PM

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Where?

1 Grange Road
Eastbourne
BN21 4EU

Who?
Dr David Lewis

What's the talk about?

David has with great regret had to CANCEL his talk. Please see our replacement talk. We can offer a refund on tickets or they are valid for another event.

Science has made a dramatic leap from the lab - and the effects on us are phenomenal. This is the expert inside story on how companies and brands are using the new mind sciences to find out why we buy and how our rapidly evolving understanding of the brain plays into the advertising, marketing, and retailing industry. In a hyper-competitive market, organisations are delving deep into our brains to detect the hidden triggers that persuade people to consume. The “father of neuromarketing” Dr. David Lewis goes behind the scenes of the ‘persuasion industry’ to reveal the powerful tools and techniques, technologies and psychologies seeking consumers to buy more – often without them consciously realising it.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. David Lewis is a world leader in the application of neuroscience to the buying brain. Dubbed the “father of neuromarketing”, David started his pioneering work back in the late 1980s at the University of Sussex, attaching electrodes to the scalps of plucky volunteers in order to track the electrical responses of their brains to various television commercials. Since these pioneering days, David – and his colleagues at cutting-edge research consultancy Mindlab International – has used increasingly sophisticated technologies to reveal how the human body and mind reacts when we shop. He witnessed the emergence of what is now a multi-million dollar industry, dedicated to exploring and exploiting this knowledge for commercial use. Chairman, co-founder and Director of Research at Mindlab, as well as a Fellow or Associate at numerous professional bodies. David continues to be active in the field. He is a much sought after broadcaster, conference speaker, and workshop presenter, and has worked with Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies. A Chartered Psychologist, David has written bestselling books on many aspects of psychology, including The Soul of the New Consumer: Authenticity – what we buy and why in the New Economy (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2000).

BBC link:

www.bbc.co.uk/thingstodo/activity/when-science-meets-shopping

Dr Catherine Sebastian

When?
Thursday, June 26 2014 at 8:00PM

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Where?

1 Grange Road
Eastbourne
BN21 4EU

Who?
Dr Catherine Sebastian

What's the talk about?

The term 'teenager' is a 20th Century invention, but conceptions of adolescence as a time of emotional upheaval, peer influence and risk-taking can be found throughout history. Recent brain imaging evidence suggests that this might not just be down to 'hormones', as considerable brain development is still taking place during the teenage years. I will start by describing the changes occurring in the brain during this time, and will then talk about how brain development may influence behaviour. I would like to explore the idea that, while adolescence may be a time of vulnerability to mood and behaviour problems, it is also an exciting opportunity for learning and developing adult capacities. How can we best take advantage of this opportunity?

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Dr Catherine Sebastian is a Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she directs the Emotion, Development and Brain Lab. She is interested in how young people learn to regulate or control their emotions, how brain development may contribute to this process, and how this ability relates to wellbeing and mental health.

More info can be found here: www.pc.rhul.ac.uk/sites/edbl/