Society talks in London

Jan
9
Wed
What every parent needs to know about Steiner schools – w/@lecanardnoir
Jan 9 @ 7:30 pm

The last decade has seen several ‘new religious movements’ create publicly funded Free Schools. Maharishi and Steiner Schools are perhaps the most prominent. It is timely to look closely at the origins and beliefs of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the occult movement of Anthroposophy. Steiner was a mystic who believed he had direct clairvoyant access to cosmic knowledge. As such he developed an esoteric belief system based on karma, reincarnation, astrology, homeopathy and gnomes. His visions gave insights into architecture, art, dance, agriculture, medicine, education, science and diet. His racial hierarchy of spiritual development resonated in Germany in the early 20th Century turning a personal belief into a worldwide movement. Today we find hundreds of anthroposophically inspired organisations in the UK alone: everything from Steiner Schools, Biodynamic farms to banks, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies, charities and cheese makers.

Andy Lewis has been trying to lift the veil on the inner secrets of the movement and will discuss how this secretive movement has direct impact on public life.

 

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/

Lab Rats: Why Modern Work Makes People Miserable
Jan 15 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Lab Rats: Why Modern Work Makes People Miserable @ Conway Hall | England | United Kingdom

Personality tests. Desktop surveillance. Acronyms. Diminishing job security. Dan Lyons, bestselling author of Disrupted and writer on the HBO series Silicon Valley, deliciously roasts the new work climate, while asking what can be done to recoup some sanity and dignity for the expanding class of middle-class serfs.

First, you are lucky to be here. Also, we do not care about you. We offer no job security. This is not a career. We provide no training or career development. We will pay you as little as possible. You will work long hours under constant pressure and with no privacy. We will read your email. HR will not help you. Your managers may not know what they are doing. They also may be abusive. If you file a complaint you may be fired. You may be fired even though you’re doing a good job. You may be fired for no reason at all. We do not offer day care. There are snacks and beer in the kitchen.

Personality tests. Team-building exercises. Forced Fun. Desktop surveillance. Open-plan offices. Acronyms. Diminishing job security. Hot desking. Pointless perks. Hackathons.

If any of the above sound familiar, welcome to the modern economy. In this hilarious, but deadly serious book, bestselling author Dan Lyons looks at how the world of work has slowly morphed from one of unions and steady career progression to a dystopia made of bean bags and unpaid internships. And that’s the ‘good’ jobs…

With the same wit that made Disrupted an international bestseller, Lyons shows how the hypocrisy of Silicon Valley has now been exported globally to a job near you. Even low-grade employees are now expected to view their jobs with a cult-like fervour, despite diminishing prospects of promotion. From the gig economy to the new digital oligarchs, Lyons deliciously roasts the new work climate, while asking what can be done to recoup some sanity and dignity for the expanding class of middle-class serfs.

Dan Lyons is an author, journalist, and screenwriter. He has co-produced and written for the HBO series Silicon Valley, was technology editor at Newsweek and was the creator of the ground-breaking viral blog “The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs” (AKA “Fake Steve Jobs”). His first book, Disrupted, was a New York Times Bestseller.

Jan
29
Tue
Looking Forward: The Next Ten Years
Jan 29 @ 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

 

What key aspects of our lives are predicted to shift radically over the next ten years?

As Bloomsbury celebrates ten years of outstanding publishing as Bloomsbury Academic, we’ve invited some of our most fascinating authors to fill us in on the opportunities, challenges and biggest changes coming to our lives in the next ten years.

Come along as our experts present their most ground-breaking ideas in the Humanities and Social Sciences in a series of short talks, and group discussion, to tell us what lies ahead. Their collective years of research and writing means we’ll all benefit from their educated insights into the future of our world.

Covering sustainability, terrorism, geopolitics, gender, religion, education and philosophy – what are the key issues and how can we prepare for the changes and challenges that lie ahead? Come with us as we aim beyond the regular predictions and leave you thinking differently about our shared future.

Event Speakers:

  • Rachel Reeves MP
  • Kerry Brown
  • Julia Ebner
  • Dr. Leslie Davis Burns
  • James G. Crossley
  • Constantine Sandis
  • Viv Ellis

Our speakers will each deliver a short talk and then take part in a live Q&A panel, hosted by Jamie Bartlett, author of Radicals and The People vs. Tech, tech blogger and Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media for cross-party think-tank Demos in conjunction with The University of Sussex.

We hope to see you there. Take advantage of places for just £8.00 if you book your place before Friday, November 30th

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
24
Wed
The Politics of American Conspiracy Theories (w/ Prof. Joe Uscinski)
Jul 24 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

NB: Please be aware that this Greenwich Skeptics in the Pub talk is not held at its usual time of the first Wednesday of the month.

Particularly since 2016, conspiracy theories became a mainstay of American political debate. Not only did conspiracy theories affect major political decisions (i.e., the election of Trump), but conspiracy theories have become the currency of mainstream political debate. Why has this happened, and what are the measurable effects? What are the dangers of this turn toward dark and disturbing narratives? Professor Uscinski will bring to bear a wealth of polling data from the US to explain how, when, and why conspiracy theories will affect political debate and decision-making. The surprising findings address the following questions: Who believes in conspiracy theories and why? Why are some conspiracy theories more popular than others? What are the dangers of conspiracy theories? Are conspiracy theorists prone to violence? How did conspiracy theories affect the 2016 and 2018 elections? What can conspiracy theories in the United States tell us about conspiracy theories in the United Kingdom?

Joseph Uscinski is associate professor of political science at University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL. He is co-author of American Conspiracy Theories (Oxford, 2014) and editor of Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them (Oxford, 2018).

 

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/

 

Nov
6
Wed
The Truth About Fat – Why obesity, weight gain and health are more complex than everyone thinks (w/ Anthony Warner)
Nov 6 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

We are getting fat and sick in increasing numbers and it’s placing a devastating burden on our healthcare systems. Scientists in every field are desperate to explain this epidemic and stave off a modern health disaster. But what’s to blame? Carbs, fat or sugar? Gut microbes or genes? Laziness or poverty? In this talk, Anthony Warner will scrutinise the explanations of experts in every field, laying out the best evidence available. But most of all, he will rail against quack theories preying on the desperate and consider whether we are blaming our own bodies for other people’s ignorance and cruelty. What remains is the unvarnished truth about one of the great preoccupations of our age.

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/

 

Dec
4
Wed
The psychology of conspiracy theories (w/ Dr. Dan Jolley @DrDanielJolley)
Dec 4 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Conspiracy theories are associated with almost every significant social and political event, including the theory that the U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, that the U.K Government murdered Diana, Princess of Wales, or that the pharmaceutical industry deliberately concealed the fact that the MMR vaccine causes Autism. Belief in these types of conspiracy theories is blooming in the 21st century; millions of people subscribe to them.

A basic understanding of logic, rationality, and probability tell us, however, that most of these conspiracy claims are probably false. So why then do so many people believe them? What makes them so attractive and compelling to people? And, anyway, what’s the problem, aren’t they just harmless fun?

In this talk, Dr Daniel Jolley will take you through the psychology of conspiracy theories. You will learn why people subscribe to conspiracy theories and discuss some of the misconceptions (including whether all conspiracy believers are paranoid!).  He will also uncover some of the potentially damaging consequences of conspiracy theories; maybe they are not just harmless after all, before discussing ongoing research into tools to combat the negative harm of conspiracism!

Dr Daniel Jolley is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Staffordshire University.  He is a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society, where he is a member of the Executive Committee of the Social Psychology Section.  Jolley’s main area of research is the psychology of conspiracy theories.  He is particularly interested in using experimental methods to examine the social consequences of exposure to conspiracy theories and has co-authored articles in outlets such as PLoSONE, the British Journal of Psychology and Political Psychology.  He blogs at conspiracypsychology.com and tweets @DrDanielJolley.

 

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/