Society talks in London

Sep
4
Wed
Hyperloop UK – the next transport revolution?
Sep 4 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Public railways have been with us since 1825 and mass-produced motor cars since 1909. Is it time for a new transport revolution? On Wednesday 4th September PubSci welcomes architect and urban designer Simon Kaufman, to talk about the groundbreaking Hyperloop UK transport project.

Image © Hyperloop UK

Hyperloop simulation ©Hyperloop UK

Hyperloop is a futuristic, green transportation system, championed by Space-X founder Elon Musk, that moves people and freight through frictionless tubes at airliner speeds on demand. In 2016 a UK consortium bid to host the world’s first Hyperloop route, supported by Friends of the Earth and the Department for Transport amongst others. Simon, who led the interdisciplinary engineering team for the Hyperloop UK proposal, will present the case for a Hyperloop network in Britain and discuss the challenges and opportunities of pioneering such a cutting edge transport technology here.

Full details at https://pubsci.info/

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/

 

Oct
3
Thu
In the archives: Social Biology and Eugenics at LSE
Oct 3 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

An exploration of why a social biology department was set up at LSE, the influence of and reaction to eugenic ideas through archive documents from the 1920s and 30s.

Curator Indy Bhullar and Learning Officer Debbie Challis will be on hand to explain the history of the documents, their context and hear thoughts on them.

This is part of Decolonising the LSE Week, which is organised by staff and students.

Versailles 1919: return of the dangerous women (film screening)
Oct 3 @ 6:00 pm – 6:45 pm

This documentary tells the story of the women who met to protest the terms of the Versailles Peace Treaty in 1919. Drawing from the international campaign to get the vote, they wanted to prevent all future wars. They became the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom (WILPF) which is still working today.

Versailles 1919: Return of the Dangerous Women is a short documentary (20 minutes) directed by Charlotte Bill and made by Clapham Film Unit, a collective of filmmakers working with communities to tell stories not told elsewhere and funded by the European Commission. It was researched by and features volunteers from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). The film will be introduced by the director followed by a question and answer with the director and volunteers.

Oct
5
Sat
Stories of Hope: Seeking Change in an Unjust World w/@wsvarghese
Oct 5 @ 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Stories of Hope: Seeking Change in an Unjust World w/@wsvarghese @ St Paul's Cathedral

In London, as in many cities, extreme wealth co-exists alongside extreme poverty. How do we as Christian communities and people of faith respond to the reality on our doorsteps, and how do we make a difference? And when the path seems too difficult, where do we draw our strength from?

In this workshop, Winnie Varghese will share some of her experience of working for justice amongst homeless people, the elderly and people with mental illnesses as a part of her ministry in New York City.  Using scripture, story-telling and poetry as well as drawing on our own lived experiences, she will help us together to frame a richly varied response for action in the world. And in doing so we will hope to unearth something of the beauty and power that lies within us, and which often emerges, surprisingly, through this counter-cultural struggle for justice.

The Revd Winnie Varghese is a priest on the Strategic Clergy Team at Trinity Church on Wall Street, New York City: a church located in a city of immense inequality, engaged in social justice with the poor and marginalised. She is a blogger and author of numerous articles on social justice and the church, and much in demand as a speaker about social justice all over the world.

Nov
5
Tue
William Beveridge and Social Biology at LSE
Nov 5 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
William Beveridge and Social Biology at LSE @ Wolfson Lecture Theatre, New Academic Building LSE

Chris Renwick (University of York) will speak on the history of sociology in Britain and why William Beveridge was interested in the role of biology within social science in the 1920s and 30s.

Dr Renwick’s first book, British Sociology’s Lost Biological Roots: A History of Futures Past(2012), recovered the forgotten history of British sociologists’ engagement with biology during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He is currently exploring how biologists and social scientists were brought together by a shared interest in topics such as intelligence, fertility, nutrition, and poverty, as well as funding bodies such as the Rockefeller Foundation, in a set of debates about the nature of society and social structure.

Chris Renwick is a historian of Britain since the early nineteenth century. His main area of expertise is the relationship between biology, social science, and politics, in particular how the interaction of the three has shaped the way we think about, study, and govern society. His work on these subjects has received international and interdisciplinary recognition. While his first book was shortlisted for the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Prize in 2013, his most recent book, Bread for All: The Origins of the Welfare State, has been long listed for the Orwell Book Prize and short listed for the Longman-History Today Book Prize in 2018.

Professor Mike Savage is Martin White Professor at the Department of Sociology and Director of International Inequalities Institute, LSE.

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/