Unfortunately Steve Williamson cannot make it

Ash Pryce

Thursday, November 15 2012 at 7:30PM

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29-35 Niddry Street

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.