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Professor Karen Douglas

When?
Wednesday, June 21 2017 at 8:00PM

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Where?

1 Grove Rd,
Eastbourne,
East Sussex,
BN21 4TL

Who?
Professor Karen Douglas

What's the talk about?

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Was 9/11 an inside job? Is climate change a hoax? Was Princess Diana murdered? Millions of people appear to think so, disbelieving official explanations for significant events in favour of alternative accounts that are often called ‘conspiracy theories’. In recent years, psychologists have begun to investigate what makes conspiracy theories appealing to so many people. In this talk, Karen will broadly overview what is known so far, and will outline her own programme of research on the causes and consequences of belief in conspiracy theories.​

Professor Karen Douglas is Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Kent.

Ed Atkinson and Guy Tanner

When?
Wednesday, May 24 2017 at 8:00PM

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Where?

1 Grove Rd,
Eastbourne,
East Sussex,
BN21 4TL

Who?
Ed Atkinson and Guy Tanner

What's the talk about?

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The first talk at our new permanent venue. The Underground Theatre is located under Eastbourne Library.

Burning carbon must be driven from our cheap-energy economy on a global scale - and soon - to stop a looming disaster. But is there a workable way to drive out Carbon? If nations, corporations or individuals ‘do the right thing’ and burn less carbon won’t that just make coal, oil and gas cheaper for everyone else? Just how cheap does installing new solar need to be to make it cheaper than turning on the valves in the Saudi oil fields? 

It is easy to lose hope that change is possible, especially in Trump-World. The USA is the key to change and a group originating in the US 'Citizens Climate Lobby’ (CCL) is doing well there (even with some Republicans). They advocate a policy of a Carbon Fee which is all used to make a Dividend to the populace, thus making for a policy that is effective and politically attractive (most people are made better off). There really is hope. 

In this talk representatives from CCL, Guy Tanner and Ed Atkinson, will outline the policy options and their merits. They’ll include Cap & Trade, subsidising renewables and efficiency measures, divestment, Carbon Taxes and its variant the CCL policy of Carbon Fee and Dividend. Guy and Ed will be delighted to get awkward questions on these policy issues leading to discussion in the SitP group. The science of climate change will not be covered.

 

 

Ulrike Hahn

When?
Wednesday, March 22 2017 at 8:00PM

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Who?
Ulrike Hahn

What's the talk about?

We are very sorry to announce that Ulrike is ill and has had to cancel her talk tonight. There will be no talk this evening.

 The talk describes how and why considerations of rationality matter for understanding human behaviour. Using case studies from recent research on 'unrealistic optimism' as well as so-called 'fallacies of argumentation' it examines why coming to snappy conclusions about human (ir)rationality is hard.

Our speaker:

Ulrike Hahn is professor of psychology at Birkbeck College London. She is presently a member of the Senior Editorial Board for Topics in Cognitive Science and an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Cognitive Science. She has served as an Associate Editor for the Psychological Bulletin & Review, and as Consulting Editor for Psychological Review, as well as contributing occasional reviews to over 30 different journals, and a wide range of national and international funding bodies. In December 2015 she was elected Fellow of the German National Academy of Science, Leopoldina.

Dylan Evans

When?
Wednesday, January 18 2017 at 8:00PM

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Where?

49A Grove Rd
Eastbourne
BN21 4TX

Who?
Dylan Evans

What's the talk about?

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Can we really cure ourselves of disease by the power of thought alone?  Faith healers and alternative therapists are convinced that we can, but what does science say? This intriguing exploration exposes the flaws in the scientific research into the placebo effect and proposes a new theory about how placebos work.

Please note that for this month only we are at The Printers Playhouse.

Our speaker:

Dylan Evans' uncontrollable curiosity has led him in some weird and wonderful directions. He once led an experiment in post-apocalyptic living in the Scottish Highlands. On another occasion he made a film about Princess Diana for British TV which got banned. He has worked as an interpreter for a Marxist Catholic nun and a Zulu, trained as a Lacanian psychoanalyst in Argentina, and been censured for sharing a scientific paper about fruitbats. He has also taught at various universities around the world, written several popular science books, and set up two companies. He also likes messing around with electronic music.

 

James Williams

When?
Wednesday, December 14 2016 at 8:00PM

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Who?
James Williams

What's the talk about?

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It's that time of the year again, where we have a bit of a party, and this year we also welcome back James Williams to give us another talk.

Pseudoscience like homeopathy is widely known to be nonsense. But did you know that our classrooms are places where some teachers practice pseudoscience without even realising it? In education we call them “edumyths”.

One of the most persistent edumyths is learning styles – the idea that there are a number of styles of learning, such as visual, aural or kinaesthetic – and that certain children respond better if teaching is directed towards their preferred learning style. Another used to be ‘brain gym’ – the idea that rubbing key parts of your body could wake your brain up or drinking water gives you energy.

Lots of other edumyths abound – but why do people believe in nonsense? Why have we rejected Father Christmas but cling on to the idea that we only use 10% of our brains? In this talk we begin to explore what we believe, why we believe and how sometimes even direct evidence isn’t enough not to believe.

James Williams graduated in Geology from the University of London and trained as a science teacher at Chelsea College, Centre for Science and Maths Education, University of London. He taught science in North London (Enfield), South London (Croydon) and Surrey.
In 2006 he filmed a six-part TV history/reality series for Channel 4 called 'That'll teach 'em taking the role of the deputy head and housemaster in the fictional Charles Darwin school teaching 30 teenagers 1950s style.
His research interests currently revolve around teachers and their knowledge and understanding of 'The Nature of Science' and 'The Scientific Method'. In particular, what do trainee teachers understand about these concepts and ideas in science. This leads to work on a better understanding of the 'Working Scientifically' approach in the new National Curriculum an public examinations. Linked to this work he also does research on the teaching of Evolution in science and the issues surrounding Creationism in a school based context. Other research interests involve the publication of the Theory of Evolution by means of Natural selection by Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin.

Scarlett McNally

When?
Wednesday, November 23 2016 at 8:00PM

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Where?

Who?
Scarlett McNally

What's the talk about?

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The NHS is creaking. How to we reduce our need for it, as individuals and as a community? The new normal is to spend our final decades with multiple conditions, including dementia. The NHS and medical research is built on single conditions, yet 70% of hospital beds are now full with people with multiple, often preventable conditions and social needs. 75% of NHS spending is on long-term conditions. Future generations of older people won’t have large property windfalls that currently bankroll £1000+ per week either in a nursing home or with a package of care at home, for frailty that might have been preventable.

Scarlett McNally is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon who lives and works in Eastbourne. She was lead author for a major 2015 report from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges ‘Exercise: the miracle cure’. 75% of illness is caused by ‘lifestyle factors’: smoking, diet, alcohol and exercise. 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise reduces a person’s risk of diabetes, dementia, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease and breast cancer, each by 30%. Most of the UK population do so little exercise they are making themselves ill. Exercise helps with primary prevention (never getting it) and secondary prevention (reducing complications when you have a condition, including recurrence of cancer). It helps get people back to work. Why is it not mainstream?

She will demonstrate the vast inequalities in health (mostly around social class). We all need to help everyone to be healthier. She will show how behaviour change is best when fitted into an individual’s schedule. We need to build safer active communities, change culture so that exercise is normal and give people who are cycling or walking a bit more space and time. We cannot afford not to.

Mrs Scarlett McNally qualified as a doctor in 1989, and has three other degrees in Anthropology, Management in the health service and Clinical Education. She is on the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons; she has done (voluntary) work with the BMA, Brighton University and Women in Surgery and lectured in Australia on preventing bullying. She was previously Chair of the cycle group Bespoke. She is speaking in a personal capacity. She is passionate about getting people to be the best they can be, education as empowerment and making health accessible to everyone.

Professor Susan Bewley

When?
Wednesday, October 26 2016 at 8:00PM

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Who?
Professor Susan Bewley

What's the talk about?

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Professor Susan Bewley qualified as a doctor in 1982. She has a degree in medical law and ethics, was the first woman trained in Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the UK and worked as an obstetrician with pregnant women for almost 30 years.

Her main research interests are severe maternal morbidity and violence in pregnancy. She has observed the much-hyped successes and much less well recognised harms of assisted reproduction and IVF over the past four decades. She was a member of the NICE Fertility Guideline Group and chaired the recent Intrapartum Guideline Development Group.

Her talk gives a brief explanation about biology, why people are having children older and how this worsens outcomes. She describes how technology has contributed to this trend and why we need to take a public health approach to the health of the next generation

 

Jane Ogden

When?
Wednesday, September 21 2016 at 8:00PM

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Where?

Who?
Jane Ogden

What's the talk about?

'Do no harm’ underpins medical practice yet much has been written about medical iatrogenesis. Health psychology explores the links between psychology and physical health. This talk analyses research exploring medication adherence, help seeking, screening and behaviour change to argue that all interventions have the potential for both benefit and harm.
Accordingly, health psychology may have inadvertently contributed to psychological harms (eg lead times, anxiety, risk compensation, rebound effects), medical harms (eg. Medication side effects, unnecessary procedures) and social harms (eg. financial costs, increased consultations rates).
Such harms may result from medicalization or pharmaceuticalisation. They may also reflect the ways in which we manage probabilities and an optimistic bias that emphasises benefit over cost. Or they may reflect a change in the way we understand mortality and a belief that even death can be controlled, or even avoided, by the individual.

After completing her PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry Jane Ogden lectured first at Middlesex University then Kings College London. She joined the University of Surrey as Professor in Health Psychology in 2005. She teaches psychology, medical, vet, nutrition and dietician students to think more psychological about physical health. Her research focuses on eating behaviour and obesity management, aspects of women’s health and communication. She has published 6 books and over 170 papers. She is also a regular contributor to the media and writes a regular column for The Conversation.

Jim Killock

When?
Wednesday, July 20 2016 at 8:00PM

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Who?
Jim Killock

What's the talk about?

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Jim Killock is the executive director of the Open Rights Group. Since joining Open Rights Group in January 2009, Jim has led campaigns against three strikes and the Digital Economy Act, the company Phorm and its plans to snoop on UK users, and against pervasive government Internet surveillance. He is working on data protection and privacy issues, as well as helping ORG to grow in size and breadth. He was named as one of the 50 most influential people on IP issues by Managing IP in 2012. In the same year ORG won Liberty's Human Rights Campaigner of Year award alongside 38 Degrees, for work on issues from copyright to the Snooper’s Charter.

Since 2009, ORG has doubled its supporter base, budget and workload, and held its first two activist Conferences, ORGCon.

Jim is a trustee of FreeUKGen, the volunteer project to digitise genealogical records, and sits on the Governance Board of CREATe, the UK's research centre for copyright and new business models in the creative economy. he is on the Advisory Council of the Foundation of Information Policy Research.

Before joining ORG, Jim worked as External Communications Co-ordinator of the Green Party. At the Green Party, he promoted campaigns on open source, intellectual property, digital rights and campaigned against the arms and espionage technologist Lockheed Martin's bid for the UK Census. Lockheed Martin have since been prevented from handling UK Census data as part of their contract. He was also a leading figure in the campaign to elect their first party leader, Caroline Lucas MP. He has a blog at http://jim.killock.org.uk/

Ash Pryce

When?
Tuesday, June 14 2016 at 8:00PM

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Where?

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

Following on from his How to Talk to the Dead show last year, Ash Pryce is returning to expose the tricks of the trade of "psychics", old and new:

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?


Whereas the sister show How to Talk to the Dead looked specifically at spirit communication in the past, How to be a Psychic Conman will look at the more incredible, magical side of psychic claims that persist today. The types of demonstrations that blur the line between the honest deception of magic, and the dishonesty of those hoping to make a quick buck out of your deep rooted beliefs.

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.

Warning to those on the front row… there will be blood!

Tamasin Cave

When?
Wednesday, May 25 2016 at 8:00PM

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Where?

Who?
Tamasin Cave

What's the talk about?

Tamasin Cave will talk about the UK's £2bn lobbying industry and the tactics they use to bend government to their will: how lobbyists' build relationships with government; their manipulation of the media; the way that they use academics, scientists, think tanks, front groups and others to spread their messages; and their attacks on opposition groups. She will talk about how the private healthcare industry has lobbied to open up the NHS to more private operators - and how schools are going the same way; how energy companies have hired a small army of lobbyists to persuade government and local communities to support fracking; how the 'revolving door' works to support the arms industry; and more. 

Tamasin is a writer, campaigner and commentator. Her new book, A Quiet Word: Lobbying, Crony Capitalism and Broken Politics in Britain, co-authored by Andy Rowell, shines a light into one of the darkest and least-understood corners of our political culture: the UK's £2 billion commercial lobbying industry. She is a director of Spinwatch, which investigates corporate PR and lobbying, as well as government spin. Since 2007, she has also led the campaign for transparency regulations for lobbyists.

 

Paul  Zenon

When?
Wednesday, April 27 2016 at 8:00PM

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Who?
Paul Zenon

What's the talk about?

Paul Zenon has long been one of the UK’s most recognisable magicians, with countless TV shows under his belt and numerous sell-out runs at festivals and appearances at corporate events in around forty countries. He was the UK pioneer of ‘street magic’, is the author of three best-selling books about magic, cons and scams, and practical jokes, and has long been an outspoken critic of proponents of the ‘Paranormal’.. 

In this talk he takes an irreverent look at contemporary stage psychics and mediums and their historical counterparts and methods. In keeping with the subject matter, this event is described as being ‘for entertainment purposes only’, taking advantage of the legal loophole which allows psychic practitioners to ply the trade which Harry Houdini described as ‘the filthiest profession in the world’.