Skeptics in the Pub, Oxford

Thinking and drinking. That is the unlikely goal of our meeting. Each month we invite a speaker to talk about an area of belief and to invite critical debate. We encourage sceptical thought and we enjoy challenging discussions. We also welcome humour and we intend to have a good time.

The meetings are open to all, no matter what your prior beliefs. We ask that you come along with a willingness to be challenged in your beliefs and we provide an opportuity for you to challenge others - and to enjoy a drink or two.

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Our next topic is...

Alice Sheppard

When?
Wednesday, October 5 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Alice Sheppard

What's the talk about?

Almost everybody wants to know about space, but while the news is full of it, a lot of the basic science isn't available to those who don't know where to look. This has left the door open for some unpleasant elitism in astronomy and a flood of myths that cloud our perception of the skies. Some of these are harmless fun, some are linked with poor understanding of science, some are potentially harmful and some are just frankly extremely sad.

Alice Sheppard, a long-time space addict and ambassador of citizen science, will take you on a tour of some of our most-misunderstood destinations in the Solar System and beyond, and in ourselves as people and potential astronomers. By the end of the evening, you should feel much more equipped to understand what's beyond our planet, and to get this fascinating area of science moving forward.

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Alice Sheppard co-founded Cardiff and Hackney Skeptics in the Pub, ran the Galaxy Zoo forum for five years and has given several SITP talks about astronomy and citizen science. She has a postgraduate diploma in Astrophysics and wrote the chapter on Cecilia Payne for the first Ada Lovelace Day book. She now writes the Citizen Science column at the Society for Popular Astronomy magazine.

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Adam Rutherford

When?
Wednesday, November 2 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Adam Rutherford

What's the talk about?

A sprawling saga of the history of humankind is packed inside our cells, written in 3 billion letters of DNA, and in the last few years we’ve learnt how to read it. Our genomes are packed with culture, war, disease, migration, murder, kings and queens, race, and a whole lot of quite deviant sex.

Geneticist, writer and broadcaster Adam Rutherford wields the latest addition to the historian’s toolbox, to unscramble the myths and the story of us, and what DNA can – and can’t – tell us about the epic human journey.

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Jenny Josephs

When?
Wednesday, November 30 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Jenny Josephs

What's the talk about?

By 2050 the global population will reach 9 billion and this will put ever increasing pressure on food and environmental resources. It will be a challenge to ensure global food security without further damaging the environment with intensified farming practices.

One UN backed solution is to focus on alternative sources of protein, such as insects for food and animal feed. About 2 billion of us already include insects in our diets, though it is still a growing trend in the west.

Insects are described as having a variety of different flavours, from mushroomy to pistachio or pork crackling. They are comparable to beef in protein and contain beneficial nutrients like iron and calcium. Their environmental impact is also minimal, requiring far less water and feed than cattle, and releasing fewer emissions.

During this talk, Jenny will explain how insects might replace some of the meat in our diets and also give some tips on how to cook them. You will be invited to sample some tasty bug snacks after the talk!

Bio: After completing a PhD in Visual Cognition at the University of Southampton, Jenny changed course and started The Bug Shack - a business promoting and selling edible insects. Jenny is a regular speaker at Skeptics events and science festivals and she recently returned from a trip to research attitudes towards eating and farming insects in Thailand and Laos.

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