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Anthroposophy and spiritual science

Andy Lewis

When?
Wednesday, May 22 2013 at 8:00PM

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Where?

39 Ditchling Road
Brighton
BN1 4SB

Who?
Andy Lewis

What's the talk about?

With Michael Gove and the coalition approving new Steiner Schools to open under the Free School Programme, 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 developmental resonated in Germany in the early 20th Century turning a personal belief into a worldwide movement. Today we find hundreds of anthroposphically inspired organisations in the UK alone: everything from Steiner Schools, Biodynamic farms to banks, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies, charities and cheese makers.

Andy Lewis runs The Quackometer - a blog dedicated to investigating quackery, health beliefs and pseudoscience. In this talk he'll reveal his findings after looking into the inner secrets of the secretive Anthroposophy movement, and analysing its direct impact on public life.

Tickets for this event are now available from the venue's website.

Robert says no

Robert Llewellyn

When?
Tuesday, April 9 2013 at 8:00PM

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Where?

39 Ditchling Road
Brighton
BN1 4SB

Who?
Robert Llewellyn

What's the talk about?

Electric cars? They're rubbish aren't they?! Nothing but glorified golf carts that take forever to charge and then run out of power on the way to the shops. Try finding somewhere to charge them. They cost a fortune to buy and another fortune to replace the battery when its range drops to half. You don't want to believe all that nonsense about them being environmentally-friendly. They are actually worse than petrol-powered cars because the batteries are made from dirty lithium and use electricity made from dirtier coal. There isn't even enough lithium in the world to make all the new batteries we'd need anyway. Electric cars are just rubbish. Aren't they? - Robert says no. This evening he'll tell us why he thinks we need to put away our prejudices and think seriously about electric vehicles as the future of transport.

Robert Llewellyn is an actor, writer, comedian, TV presenter and self-described wishy-washy liberal best known for playing the android Kryten in the long-running BBC sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf. He presented Scrapheap Challenge for 10 years and these days he can be seen on TV presenting the shows Car-Pool on Dave and How Do They Do It? on Channel 5. He is probably the UK's most prominent advocate of electric vehicles (EV) and presents a YouTube-based show called Fully Charged which documents current developments in the electric vehicle industry. He also writes a column for the EV website The Charging Point. He has been notably critical of BBC Top Gear's position on electric vehicles -  a case in point being the Top Gear "review" of the Tesla V in 2008 which is currently the subject of a lawsuit by Tesla. This February he debated the motion "This House Believes Electric Cars are the Future of Transport" at the Oxford Union. The motion was carried.

This is event is now sold-out sorry. We will not have any spaces available on the door.

Inside the Weird World of Scientology

John Sweeney

When?
Tuesday, March 12 2013 at 8:00PM

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Where?

39 Ditchling Road
Brighton
BN1 4SB

Who?
John Sweeney

What's the talk about?

Celebrities such as Tom Cruise say the Church of Scientology is a force for good. Others disagree. Award-winning journalist John Sweeney investigated the Church for more than half a decade. During that time he was intimidated, spied on and followed and the results were spectacular: Sweeney lost his temper with the Church's spokesman on camera and his infamous 'exploding tomato' clip was seen by millions around the world.

In his new book, The Church of Fear, Sweeney tells the full story of his experiences for the first time and paints a devastating picture of this strange organisation, from former Scientologists who tell heartbreaking stories of families torn apart and lives ruined, to its current followers who say it's the solution to many of mankind's problems. In this talk, Sweeney, who has been branded a 'liar and perjurer' by the Church of Scientology, and 'genuinely evil' by scientologist bloggers, will discuss some of his experiences with the Church of Scientology, as one of the very few reporters who've been brave enough to take it on.

 Tickets (£2) available here.

Deborah Hyde

When?
Tuesday, February 12 2013 at 8:00PM

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Where?

39 Ditchling Road
Brighton
BN1 4SB

Who?
Deborah Hyde

What's the talk about?

The werewolf is an enduring motif. Though there are many good werewolves in folkore, the prevalent type is the ravaging, insatiable beast. The werewolf so often stands for the heart of darkness of the human soul. This talk will explore how the motif was used during one of Europe's darkest eras - the Great Witch Hunt of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

 

Deborah is the Managing Editor of The Skeptic Magazine and also blogs as Jourdemayne

You can also follow her on Twitter

 

Anne Marie Waters

When?
Tuesday, January 8 2013 at 8:00PM

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Where?

39 Ditchling Road
Brighton
BN1 4SB

Who?
Anne Marie Waters

What's the talk about?

Anne Marie Waters is spokesperson for the One Law for All Campaign. She campaigns against Sharia and religious Laws as she believes they represent a sacrifice of the rights of women in the name of legal and cultural relativism. She is a law graduate with a strong interest in family law and human rights, and the interaction of the two. She has written various papers and articles on secularism, the rights of women in family law, and on human rights internationally. She is a council member and campaigner for the National Secular Society.

Advance tickets are available @ £2 + 50p P&P from the venue's website

Tracking homeopaths in East Africa

Martin Robbins

When?
Tuesday, December 11 2012 at 8:00PM

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Where?

39 Ditchling Road
Brighton
BN1 4SB

Who?
Martin Robbins

What's the talk about?

 Martin Robbins reports on dangerous pseudo-medical practices outside the Western World, including the AIDS denialism and anti-vaccination movements in Africa and Asia.

Martin presentation will include video excerpts from a film he is currently making with Michael Story and the support of the Wellcome Trust in which he examines homeopathic projects in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Martin Robbins is a writer, podcaster and freelance journalist covering science, pseudoscience and the role of science in politics. He edits theLay Scientist blog in The Guardian and has also written for The TimesThe Daily TelegraphThe Independent and New Scientist magazine. He hosts the Strange Quarks podcast with Michael Marshall.

Advance tickets are available @ £2 + 50p P&P from the venue's website

What can atheists learn from the church?

Simon Clare

When?
Tuesday, November 13 2012 at 8:00PM

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Where?

39 Ditchling Road
Brighton
BN1 4SB

Who?
Simon Clare

What's the talk about?

 The Alpha course runs in 169 countries and has been attended, according to their website, by 19 MILLION people.

Over a 10 week period, students are guided through Christian theology in an attempt, ostensibly, to “Explore the meaning of Life”.

In 2011, Simon Clare, a full-on atheist and organiser of Horsham Skeptics in the Pub, signed up to his local Alpha Course in Brighton, wondering if he would end up converted. Spoiler: He wasn’t converted but learnt some surprising things about humans and about faith.

The Alpha Course is living proof that organised religion is far from dead and that it knows how to adapt. Can atheists adapt in the same way, or has the church stolen a march on them?

In this talk, Simon will take you through the entire course, fairly but critically, in 45 minutes.

Simon Clare is an opinion columnist for The Resident, Horsham's local paper. He lives in Hove and has been running Horsham Skeptics in the Pub for one year. 

You can follow him @faithlesseye on Twitter, or read his newspaper opinion columns online, usually on page 6, here

Advance tickets are available @ £2 + 50p P&P from the venue's website

Lynne Murphy

When?
Tuesday, October 9 2012 at 8:00PM

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Where?

39 Ditchling Road
Brighton
BN1 4SB

Who?
Lynne Murphy

What's the talk about?

 Lynne Murphy (Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at Sussex University) takes you on a grammatical tour of transatlantic prejudices and challenges what you think you know about Americanisms--and their effect on the Mother Tongue. 

Lynne moved to the south coast of England in January 2000, having lived in the US most of her life and in South Africa for 4 years in the 1990s. While in the UK she has been teaching and researching in the fields of semantics, pragmatics and psycholinguistics.

As her alter-ego Lynneguist, she also writes the Separated by a Common Language blog. You can follow lynneguist on Twitter.

Advance tickets are available @ £2 + 50p P&P from the venue's website 

 

Important notice: the kitchen at the Carolineof Brunswick  is closed temporarily while they recruit a new chef, please eat before you come.

 

Tracy King

When?
Tuesday, September 11 2012 at 8:00PM

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Where?

39 Ditchling Road
Brighton
BN1 4SB

Who?
Tracy King

What's the talk about?

This event is cancelled due to illness sorry. If you have bought tickets please contact us.

Tracy King is a producer, consultant and writer who co-runs the animation and game development company KerShoot. She produced the BAFTA-longlisted Tim Minchin’s Storm movie, now at 1.7m YouTube views, and the viral marketing for Richard Wiseman’s huge hit The Colour-Changing Card Trick. Tracy speaks on a range of topics, including viral marketing and advertising psychology. She’s also a gaming and comics geek, and she writes a monthly column for Custom PC magazine.

Tracy tweets @tkingdoll

 

This event is cancelled due to illness sorry. If you have bought tickets please contact us.

Tannice Pendegrasss

When?
Tuesday, August 14 2012 at 8:00PM

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Where?

39 Ditchling Road
Brighton
BN1 4SB

Who?
Tannice Pendegrasss

What's the talk about?

Autism is a fascinating subject, steeped in rumour, mystery, misconceptions and myths. Tannice firstly aims to take you through different definitions of autism, cultural representations and the results of her survey, asking over 700 people about their perceptions of what causes and treats autism (spoiler: we don't know and, currently, nothing).

The second part of the talk focuses on 'the bad' and 'the ugly'. The part most skeptics will probably be most interested in. Tannice will briefly cover the MMR scandal, but this is not the main focus of her 'bad' or 'ugly' section: the subject that Tannice reserves the most ire for is the toxic and sometimes downright dangerous treatments many children must endure. Asking the question 'what's the harm?' has never been more important.

The third part of the talk is for 'the good' - it focuses on ABA or Applied Behavioural Analysis; the gold standard in Autism treatment. Through a whirlwind journey (to fit in the format of a SitP talk) Tannice will explain what ABA is, how it's used and the evidence behind it. From Kim Peek (the inspiration for rain man) to Jenny McCarthy (an anti-vaccination campaigner), this talk will give you a broad overview of Autism, Autism treatments and why cultural representations of Autism are usually wrong. You’ll also find out why a horse died when he was being treated in a chamber normally reserved for divers suffering from the bends.

Advance tickets are available @ £2 + 50p P&P from the venue's website 

Important notice: the kitchen at the Carolineof Brunswick  is closed temporarily while they recruit a new chef, please eat before you come.

Dr. Graeme Archer

When?
Tuesday, July 10 2012 at 8:00PM

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Where?

39 Ditchling Road
Brighton
BN1 4SB

Who?
Dr. Graeme Archer

What's the talk about?

Graeme Archer will explain why he believes the modern demand for 'evidence-based politics' is insufficient by itself as a framework for a rational political discourse; evidence is necessary, but it is not sufficient. He will introduce the two main competing schools of thought on how to answer the central problem of inductive inference (how to evaluate evidential support for competing hypotheses) - Bayesianism and frequentism - and explain why the latter theory (dominant in the social sciences) is wholly incapable of supporting any sort of evidence-based approach to policy making.

Graeme Archer is a PhD statistician who works in the pharmaceutical industry. He spends as much time in Brighton as possible, and writes a weekly political column in Saturday's Daily Telegraph. He was also the 2011 winner of the George Orwell Prize for political blogging.

Advance tickets are available @ £2 + 50p P&P from the venue's website and include a voucher for £2 off any main meal in the pub on the day of the event.

Hayley Stevens

When?
Tuesday, June 12 2012 at 8:00PM

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Where?

39 Ditchling Road
Brighton
BN1 4SB

Who?
Hayley Stevens

What's the talk about?

Allow skeptical paranormal investigator Hayley Stevens to introduce you to the often confused & somewhat scary world of paranormal research. From Sham ghosts and paranormal politics to cursed houses and things that go bump in the night. Oh, and ghosts. Don’t forget the ghosts.

You’ll have the chance to get hands on with gadgets that are supposed to detect paranormal presences, and experience the latest evidence for an afterlife. Don’t get too excited now…

Hayley Stevens is one of Britain’s most vocal skeptical paranormal investigators and describes herself as ‘a ghost geek’, she has been actively investigating ghosts and monsters since 2005. Hayley is the co-host of the Righteous Indignation Podcast, blogs at ‘Hayley is a Ghost’, is the founder of ‘Project Barnum’, likes cake, and has spoken to many audiences around the world about many allegedly interesting things. Did we mention the cake?

Advance tickets are available @ £2 + 50p P&P from the venue's website and include a voucher for £2 off any main meal in the pub on the day of the event.