Law & Justice talks in London

Jan
15
Tue
Justice delayed or justice denied? Investigating non-recent sexual allegations (w/ Gary Pankhurst)
Jan 15 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

Sexual crime remains a matter of deep public concern and has received considerable scrutiny over the years. A pivotal event was the unprecedented reporting of sexual allegations that followed a TV documentary in October 2012 about the late Jimmy Savile leading to the Metropolitan Police forming Operation Yewtree. This talk seeks to place these events in context, to understand the factors that can impact upon the investigation and how it continues to shape the police approach to allegations reported sometimes years after the events. These types of allegation will always raise strong opinions among commentators. Some believe that such a serious crime as child abuse should always go before the courts regardless of time passed. There are others who state it is an affront to natural justice and that such prosecutions are unsafe. We will explore whether delays in reporting can secure safe and ethical prosecutions or inevitably lead to justice denied for the accused or the complainant.

Gary is currently a PhD Candidate at Newcastle University, having recently retired (2015) after completing a 30-year career with the Metropolitan Police. He worked as a Detective on major and complex crime investigations both within the UK and overseas. He has specific expertise in the investigation of sexual offences and offences against children. He worked on many high profile investigations including the Jimmy Savile Enquiry (Operation Yewtree) working as the interview adviser and case officer for a number of the widely reported cases.

He has an operational and academic interest in the structure and conduct of investigative interviews with witnesses and suspects. He is a member of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iIIRG) and is researching the elicitation of information in interviews with suspected sex offenders.

This event is jointly hosted with Goldsmiths’ Forensic Psychology Unit.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Jan
29
Tue
Pseudoscience, public health and the justice system (w/ Pamela Radcliffe)
Jan 29 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

This talk presents an overview of pseudoscience within therapeutic contexts in the twenty-first century, juxtaposed with the risks posed to public health and the criminal justice system. It identifies the adverse outcomes that may arise from specific psychotherapeutic treatments and popular pseudo-scientific beliefs. The justice response and published cases are briefly explored. This talk concludes by advancing the case for increased therapeutic regulation and justice safeguards.

Pamela Radcliffe is a senior barrister, Lead Editor of Witness Testimony in Sexual Cases: Evidential, Investigative, and Scientific Perspectives, OUP (2016), and Visiting Research Fellow at Portsmouth University, Psychology Department.

Called to the Bar in 1979, Pamela’s legal practice has spanned all aspects of family and criminal law (defending). She conducts independent case reviews and has assisted university innocence networks where miscarriages of justice are alleged or suspected. Pamela’s academic interest lies in the interdisciplinary nature of the law, and the nexus between medicine, psychology and law, especially the justice challenges posed by non-recent sexual complaints and controversial psychotherapeutic treatments. Pamela delivers lectures and workshops to universities and to justice and health professionals on witness testimony related issues.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Feb
5
Tue
Torture – Does it work and can it ever be justified? (w/ Jo Kenrick)
Feb 5 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

What if there was a dirty bomb hidden somewhere in the UK and you had to get a suspect to tell you where it was and how to disable it, what lengths would you go to? Recent revelations in the media about the UK government’s role in cooperating with the CIA torture programme have re-opened the debate on what is and is not acceptable when innocent lives are at stake. The President of the United States has declared that torture ‘absolutely works’ but the CIA’s own reports state that torture techniques “do not produce intelligence” and “will probably result in false answers”. This talk examines the ethical arguments for and against torture and reviews the science behind what techniques do and don’t work in eliciting information in high-pressure situations.

Jo Kenrick is a member of the Forensic Psychology Unit and an Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths where she is researching the development of deceptive skill for her PhD. She has a wide range of research interests as you can see by her previous dissertation topics  –“Let the traffic policeman wear black cotton gloves”: Why traditional rituals of death matter to modern people (BA, Religious Studies), One born every minute: A target selection hypothesis of deception abilities in Machiavellian personalities (BSc, Psychology) and The influence of information channels on attributions for Domestic Violence against Women in Sweden, Bulgaria and the UK (MSc, Research Methods).

This event is jointly hosted with Goldsmiths’ Forensic Psychology Unit.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Mar
5
Tue
“I see what the killer sees”: An examination of Psychic Criminology (w/ Ciaran O’Keeffe @ciaranokeeffe)
Mar 5 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

There is a disconnect between the proliferation of psychic detectives throughout media who claim successful involvement in criminal investigations and the experimental work on psychic detection that consistently finds little evidence that would warrant their involvement. There is, however, a paucity of scientific work in this domain, with the main sceptical rebuttals being confined to arguments around cold (or hot) readings or florid exaggeration of the claims. Critical evaluation of psychic detection, then, must come from detailed post-hoc investigations and in recognising how different police forces respond to volunteered information from a psychic. This talk encapsulates all of the above points, highlighting key famous cases in the domain, and bringing together two normally disparate sub-disciplines of Psychology: Investigative Psychology and Parapsychology.

Dr O’Keeffe is Associate Head of School at Bucks New University where he is responsible for Psychology, Sports Science, Social Sciences, Education and Sports Therapy. He is also programme leader for two crime degrees, BSc. (Hons) Criminological Psychology and BSc. (Hons) Psychology & Criminology, which build upon his professional and research experience in Forensic Psychology (risk assessment of violent young offenders; Investigative Psychology consultancy; anti-FGM campaigner, RJ advocate). His parapsychology research, however, has focused on testing mediums and psychics in the lab and also fieldwork examining ghostly experiences. Additional research has included psychic criminology, UFOs, Alien Abduction and ‘Christian’ parapsychology (i.e. exorcism, miracles & stigmata). It has been reported in The Psychologist, The Times, The Independent, in addition to various TV documentaries, and docutainment programmes, on a number of channels (BBC, ITV, C4, C5, Living TV, Yesterday, Travel Channel, Discovery etc.). He has also provided accounts of his daily activities in order to inform the lead (Andrew Lincoln, now on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) in a popular ITV paranormal drama, Afterlife. Ciaran also provides a sceptical voice to various paranormal shows (e.g. Living’s Most Haunted, and Jane Goldman Investigates) in addition to providing expert input on Applied Psychology. He has been involved in many unusual projects: physiological effects of infrasound (Royal Festival Hall); ghost investigation of Hampton Court Palace; an exorcism ‘training day’; and lie detecting for the film Spy Game.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Mar
26
Tue
The Gendered Brain: The Neuroscience that Shatters the Myth of the Female Brain
Mar 26 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Gendered Brain: The Neuroscience that Shatters the Myth of the Female Brain @ Conway Hall

The new neuroscience that shatters the myth of the female brain. This is not feminist science – it’s just science

Reading maps or reading emotions? Barbie or Lego? We live in a gendered world where we are bombarded with messages about sex and gender. The twenty-first century world is one which seems determined to magnify ‘essential’ differences between men and women’s brains, from (or even before) the moment of birth. This comes via clothes, books, through schools, the workplace and the influence of social media.

Where do these supposed differences come from and how ‘essential’ are they?

Taking us back through centuries of sexism in science, The Gendered Brain shows how we arrived at the idea of an inferior, female brain and how cutting-edge breakthroughs in neuroscience can liberate us from this outdated understanding of what our brains can do. Gina Rippon shows us the reality behind much of the data that is used to justify the gender gap, and explains how major breakthroughs in neuroscience will help us dispel these stereotypes and ‘neurotrash’.

Gina Rippon is the author of The Gendered Brain: an accessible and polemic popular science book with huge repercussions for the gender debate, for education, for parenting and for how we identify ourselves. This is not feminist science – it is science.

Professor Gina Rippon is an international researcher in the field of cognitive neuroscience based at the Aston Brain Centre at Aston University in Birmingham. She is a highly experienced public speaker and a regular contributor to events such as the British Science FestivalNew Scientist Live and the Sceptics in the Pub series and, in 2015, was made an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association for her contributions to the public communication of science. She is also an advocate for initiatives to help overcome the under-representation of women in STEM subjects and belongs to WISE and ScienceGrrl, and is a member of the Speakers4Schools programme.

The Gendered Brain is her first book for a general reader. It will be available on the night from Newham Bookshop.

Jul
3
Wed
Maths, murder, and malaria (w/ Dr. Steven Le Comber @le_comber)
Jul 3 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Geographic profiling (GP) is a statistical technique originally developed in criminology to prioritise large lists of suspects – often in the tens or hundreds of thousands – in cases of serial murder. GP uses the spatial locations of crime sites to make inferences about the location of the offender’s ‘anchor point’ (usually a home, but sometimes a workplace). The success of GP in criminology has led recently to its application to biology, notably animal foraging (where it can be used to find animal nests or roosts using the locations of foraging sites as input), epidemiology (identifying disease sources from the addresses of infected individuals) and invasive species biology (using current locations to identify source populations). In a talk spanning mathematics, Jack the Ripper and great white sharks, Steve will explain how he used geographic profiling to investigate the identity of the artist Banksy and reanalysed a Gestapo case from the 1940s that formed the basis of a famous novel – and how GP can be used to control outbreaks of diseases such as malaria.

Steven Le Comber is a senior lecturer in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London. His work covers a wide range of subjects within evolutionary biology, including mathematical and computer models of molecular evolution and studies of spatial patterns in biology. Steve’s work on the mathematics of spatial patterns ranges from the fractal geometry of African mole-rat burrows to epidemiology.

Steve is passionate about science communication, and has given major talks at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK, at the Internet Festival in Pisa, Italy and at Ratio in Bulgaria. He has appeared on the BBC and his research has been covered around the world.

 

Talks are held on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted. We meet in the Star and Garter pub, 60 Old Woolwich Road, London SE10 9NY. The Star and Garter pub is close to many transport links and is approximately 7 minutes walk from Maze Hill Overground Station, or 10 minutes walk from the Cutty Sark DLR Station. Although the pub does not serve food, there are plenty of excellent restaurants in Greenwich, including several very nearby on Trafalgar Road. Attendance is free (unless otherwise stated) although a small donation to help cover expenses is appreciated. There is no need to book in advance (again, unless otherwise stated).

For further information, visit http://greenwich.skepticsinthepub.org/ or contact Prof Chris French (email: [email protected]).

NB: You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list (run by Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London) to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of speaker, etc.).

Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

 

Oct
2
Wed
Witchcraft and the Law in England (w/ Deborah Hyde @jourdemayne)
Oct 2 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The legal approach to witchcraft in England changed considerably over the course of 700 years, reflecting the philosophy, power struggles and politics of each era. At first deprecated as an ignorant superstition, belief in the power of witchcraft eventually became established – even among the most educated.

Deborah Hyde has been Editor-in-Chief of The Skeptic Magazine for over five years. She speaks regularly at conventions, on podcasts and on international broadcast media about why people believe in the supernatural – especially the malign supernatural – using a combination of history and psychology. She thinks that superstition and religion are natural – albeit not ideal – ways of looking at the world.

Talks are held on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted. We meet in the Star and Garter pub, 60 Old Woolwich Road, London SE10 9NY. The Star and Garter pub is close to many transport links and is approximately 7 minutes walk from Maze Hill Overground Station, or 10 minutes walk from the Cutty Sark DLR Station. Although the pub does not serve food, there are plenty of excellent restaurants in Greenwich, including several very nearby on Trafalgar Road. Attendance is free (unless otherwise stated) although a small donation to help cover expenses is appreciated. There is no need to book in advance (again, unless otherwise stated).

For further information, visit http://greenwich.skepticsinthepub.org/ or contact Prof Chris French (email: [email protected]).

NB: You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list (run by Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London) to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of speaker, etc.).

Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/