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Ben Hardwidge

When?
Thursday, January 17 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

29-35 Niddry Street
Edinburgh
EH1 1LG

Who?
Ben Hardwidge

What's the talk about?

 According to some nutritionists and practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, sharks don’t get cancer. It’s a myth that’s not only brought false hope to sufferers of one of the world’s horrific diseases, who are told that consuming shark cartilage can cure cancer, but it’s also contributed to a recent acceleration in demand for shark cartilage, which has had devastating impact on the world’s shark populations. In fact, it’s estimated that 38 million sharks are slaughtered every year.

After millions of years serving as the oceans’ main apex predator, many shark species are now on the brink of extinction following just a few decades of indiscriminate fishing. People often ask ‘where the harm?’ when it comes to using alternative medicine, and this talk will explain the very real and costly price of relying on unregulated, bogus medicine to treat cancer.

In this talk, marine conservation enthusiast Ben Hardwidge will explore the theories behind using medicines derived from sharks and rays, and explain the devastating impact that overfishing them is having on our marine ecosystem. As well as this, he will also introduce the ideas behind a new scepticism campaign in development, which aims to raise awareness about medicines based on shark cartilage, while appealing to major retailers to stop stocking them.

 

Edinburgh Skeptics in the Pub takes place on the 3rd Thursday each month in the Banshee Labyrinth.  The event starts at 7:30 sharp, with a talk for an hour or so. There’s a short break to recharge glasses followed by a Q & A session.

New Conspiracy Theories

David Aaronovitch

When?
Thursday, December 20 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

29-35 Niddry Street
Edinburgh
EH1 1LG

Who?
David Aaronovitch

What's the talk about?

David Aaronovitch became intrigued about why otherwise pragmatic people will buy into a conspiracy theory, preferring complex and unsubstantiated explanations to the simpler and usually well substantiated facts. 

His book Voodoo Histories is not just a critique of familiar and less familiar conspiracy theories, it also looks at why so many people find them so compelling. 

This talk promises to provide some thought-provoking and entertaining insights into what is meant by having "an open mind". 

Unfortunately Steve Williamson cannot make it

Ash Pryce

When?
Thursday, November 15 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

29-35 Niddry Street
Edinburgh
EH1 1LG

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

Ash Pryce - How to Talk to the Dead

Hydesville. 1848. Three sisters stumble across something otherworldly: an ability to communicate with the dearly departed. The Fox Sisters took their séance on tour and are the people most responsible for the Medium and Spiritualist craze that continues to this day.

What tricks and deceits did the Fox Sisters employ and what of the Ouija Board or Spirit Slates? What about levitating objects and people? Mumler’s Spirit Photography? Ectoplasm? What of the last woman imprisoned for Witchcraft- if indeed she was?

Ash Pryce brings a collection of tools and toys and will recreate elements of a Victorian style séance and reveal just how they did it. As a group you will take part in a theatrical experiment- just how convincing were those Victorian tricks and will they still convince today?

Golden Duck Awards

After the break, we will be voting for the Golden Duck Awards.

The Golden Duck is to be awarded each year to the person (or organisation) that has supported or practiced pseudoscience in the most ludicrous, dangerous, irrational or irresponsible manner. It is designed to raise awareness of quackery, with similar awards working well for this purpose in countries such as Australia, The Netherlands and Finland.

In this, the inaugural year, the award is a lifetime achievement for services to quackery. The decision is based on nominations by the public, followed by short listing and then finally (and here’s where you come in) a vote among skeptic groups. Nominations were asked for online during September and the Good Thinking advisory panel (Prof Edzard Ernst, Sid Rodrigues and Caroline Watt) narrowed the entries down to the three short-listed entries.

Good Thinking is a charity founded by Simon Singh. It has and will be continuing to initiate some modest projects aimed at highlighting quackery, encouraging good journalism and supporting grassroots activity.

The air guitar of medicine

Keir Liddle

When?
Thursday, October 18 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

29-35 Niddry Street
Edinburgh
EH1 1LG

Who?
Keir Liddle

What's the talk about?

Homoeopathy is a 200 year old German medicine that has never worked, will never work and would require everything we know about physics, chemistry and medicine to be wrong.

NHS Lothian are currently conducting a consultation to determine if they should still fund this debunked mysticism. Edinburgh Skeptics are devoting this months SitP meeting to spread the word about the consultation and encourage and inspire those with an interest in Evidence based medicine to make their voices heard.

Julian Baggini

When?
Friday, October 5 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

29-35 Niddry Street
Edinburgh
EH1 1LG

Who?
Julian Baggini

What's the talk about?

 

Come along to the Edinburgh Skeptics for a talk on philosophy and sketpicism.

Julian Baggini is the author of several books about philosophy written for a general audience. He is the author ofThe Pig that Wants to be Eaten and 99 other thought experiments (2005) and is co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Philosophers’ Magazine. He was awarded his PhD in 1996 from University College London for a thesis on the philosophy of personal identity. He contributes to a variety of newspapers, magazines and BBC radio.

For more about Dr Baggiani, see his website: microphilosophy.net

 Marc Abrahams

When?
Tuesday, October 2 2012 at 8:00PM

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Where?

Queen Street
Edinburgh

Who?
Marc Abrahams

What's the talk about?

 

Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, offers an addictive,wryly funny expose of the oddest, most imaginative, and just plain improbable research from around the globe. He looks into why books on ethics are more likely to get stolen, the best way to slice a ham sandwich (mathematically), and what time of month generates highertips for Vegas lap dancers. Abrahams' tour through these unlikeliest investigations of animals, plants, and minerals (including humans) will first make you laugh, then make you think about the world in a new way.

Marc Abrahams is editor and co-founder of Annals of Improbable Research, and originator and emcee of the annual Ig Nobel Prize celebration. He was formerly editor of the Journal of Irreproducible Results.

Find out more at http://www.improbable.com/about/people/MarcAbrahams.html

His latest book is just out and will be for sale on the night: 

This is Improbable: Cheese String Theory, Magnetic Chickens, and Other WTF Research ISBN-13: 978-1851689316

This is a ticketed event, please buy your tickets at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4319058420  All tickets £5 plus booking fee.

 

Skeptics on the Mile

When?
Thursday, September 27 2012 at 8:00PM

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Where?

Royal Mile
Edinburgh

Who?

What's the talk about?

A skeptical ghost tour of the city.

Edinburgh claims to be the most haunted city in Europe but what does the evidence say?  Join your guide as you embark on a  journey into the draker side of the Old Town and find out just what is causing the ghostly goings on.

Terry Rodgers

When?
Thursday, September 27 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Who?
Terry Rodgers

What's the talk about?

Terry Rodgers will do a countdown of the claims skeptics tend to rally against, from Xenomorphs and homeopathy to Captain Pugwash(!?)

NA

When?
Thursday, August 30 2012 at 8:00PM

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Where?

38 West Nicolson Street
Edinburgh
EH8 9DD
http://www.counting-house.co.uk/

Who?
NA

What's the talk about?



Its been a long three weeks. A fun three weeks. A truly amazing three weeks.

We've had 22 speakers (At the time of writing we still have one to go!), two walking tours and three shows staged by Chimaera Productions looking at Psychic Trickery.

What is a good skeptic to do after such a megaload of a month?

Why, have a party of course!

We'll be holding a Fringe party at The Counting House on West Nicholson Street (Where we hold our monthly cafe socials) this coming Thursday at 8:00pm till late.

Come along and feel free to bring like minded friends. We'll have a great night with music and partying, as well as showing some videos of this months talk in the snug. The bar is open till 3 and is a perfect way to wind down.

We invite all of you who came as well as those who couldn't make it along, in fact, we invite all like minded people to help us party away the night.

Also, we promise to try and keep Ash from doing audience participation games. He's been eyeing an apple bobbing tank more suspiciously than we'd like :D
 

The Beginners' Guide to Psychic Trickery Part 3

Ash Pryce

When?
Saturday, August 25 2012 at 10:45PM

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Where?

West Richmond Street
Edinburgh

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

SHOW RUNS FROM AUGUST 18TH TO AUGUST 25TH INCLUSIVE

 
Hydesville.  1848.  Three sisters stumble across something otherworldly: an ability to communicate with the dearly departed.  The Fox Sisters took their séance on tour and are the people most responsible for the Medium and Spiritualist craze that continues to this day.
 
What tricks and deceits did the Fox Sisters employ and what of the Ouija Board or Spirit Slates?  What about levitating objects and people?  Mumler’s Spirit Photography? Ectoplasm?  What of the last woman imprisoned for Witchcraft- if indeed she was?
 

Ash Pryce brings his collection of tools and toys and will recreate a Victorian style séance and reveal just how they did it.  As a group you will take part in a theatrical experiment- just how convincing were those Victorian tricks and will they still convince today? 

Beyond the Fringe of Reason

Paul Zenon

When?
Saturday, August 25 2012 at 6:30PM

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Where?

Queen Street
Edinburgh

Who?
Paul Zenon

What's the talk about?

Paul Zenon recently had a public run-in with alleged psychic Sally Morgan relating to implications that she may be be cheating during her lucrative stage shows. The master magician will reveal some of the tricks of the trade that could be used to replicate the feats of stage psychics. 

He will discuss his involvement with the recent press articles concerning Sally's shows, and the antics of those who have sought to demonstrate once and for all whether, she's for real or if it's "for entertainment purposes only".  Paul Zenon has long been one of the UK's most recognisable magicians, with sell out runs at festivals across the world and countless TV appearances under his belt. He was one of the pioneers of street magic in the UK, and has long been an outspoken critic of exponents of the paranormal.

At the Fringe of Reason

Frank Swain

When?
Friday, August 24 2012 at 8:30PM

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Where?

29-35 Niddry Street
Edinburgh
EH1 1LG

Who?
Frank Swain

What's the talk about?

Science writer Frank Swain shows you how to make your own zombie, using the real life science of resurrection and mind control