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Carl Heneghan

When?
Wednesday, November 29 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Carl Heneghan

What's the talk about?

Carl Heneghan is Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford and has been analysing evidence used for approval of the riskiest medical devices – those implanted in the body.

Metal, hips, breast implants, mesh, sterilisation implants have created considerable harm and have been made available often with little, or no, evidence. How can this be? It’s because current regulation permits it.

Carl has worked undercover with the Telegraph and Dutch TV to test approval, with the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show he highlighted failings in the Essure implant, he is an All Parliamentary Mesh group member calling for a ban on mesh and with the BMJ and Panorama he is working on the failing device regulation system.

If you are interested in how you can turn a tangerine net into a viable implantable mesh device product then this skeptics talk is for you.

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Kevin Precious

When?
Wednesday, November 1 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Kevin Precious

What's the talk about?

In between the various comedic activites, Kevin Precious attends his local humanist group - he's an agnostic, folks - where he loves a good old debate about the big questions in life.

Expect jokes and stories then, about his time as an RE teacher, being a humanist, the God-Shaped Hole, and the philosophy of religion... and you can ask him a few questions of your own afterwards, if you wish.

Kevin Precious is a former RE teacher turned stand-up comedian and promoter. Besides having played many of the top clubs in the land, he also promotes shows in arts centres and theatres under the Barnstormers Comedy banner. He has previously toured the country with a stand-up show entitled 'Not Appropriate', dedicated to the business of teaching.

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https://www.facebook.com/events/635587716640721/

Danny Dorling

When?
Wednesday, October 4 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Danny Dorling

What's the talk about?

Political opinion in the UK in 2017 changed at a faster rate than it has changed in many decades. This statement is true if the measure of opinion used is voting intension in polling in May, or the swing in the general election held in June. The Labour Party raised the issue of economic inequality repeatedly during the election campaign. The Conservative election manifesto advocated meritocracy as a solution, maintaining inequalities but trying to ensure that those who deserve the most get the most. So who are the special people, and does rewarding them much more than others really benefit all? Or has the UK become an example of political incorrectness gone mad? As it is now the European country with the widest income inequalities of them all.

Danny Dorling is a Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford. He has also worked in Sheffield, Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds and New Zealand, went to university in Newcastle upon Tyne, and grew up in Oxford. He has published over forty books including many atlases and Injustice: Why social inequalities still persist in 2015; A Better Politics: How government can make us happier in 2016; and The Equality Effect in 2017.

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Charlotte Lydia Riley

When?
Wednesday, September 6 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Charlotte Lydia Riley

What's the talk about?

The British Empire was the largest empire in modern history. At its height, it covered a quarter of the world's surface and encompassed a fifth of the world's population. For centuries, Britannia ruled the waves; from Ireland to India, from Ghana to Guiana, the union flag flew high over British territory. Britain tells this story as a story of triumphs: a small island coming proudly to dominate the world, with the empire cast both as a sign of military might and as a humanitarian mission, bringing peace and civilisation to the wider world. But the reality was very different; the British empire was built on violence and exploitation, the populations under British rule rejected and resisted imperialism, and the British at home had a very ambivalent relationship to 'their' empire. This talk will look at some of the key myths of empire, and will explore why the British still have such a complicated understanding of their imperial past, and how the popular memory of empire still influences culture, politics and society today.

Charlotte Lydia Riley is a lecturer in twentieth century British history at the University of Southampton. She writes about the British empire and decolonization, aid and humanitarianism, and the Labour Party; her book explores all of these things to examine the connections between empire and the British metropole in the late twentieth century. She lives in east London and spends a lot of time on trains.

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Angela Saini

When?
Wednesday, August 2 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Angela Saini

What's the talk about?

Did you know Darwin believed that women were intellectually inferior to men? Science has long had a problem with the female of our species, and in this talk I will explain why and how. I'll also explore new research that is correcting these old mistakes and attempting to paint a more accurate, and more empowering, portrait of women. From primates to patriarchy, I'll describe how easy it is for scientific research to be infected by sexism.

Angela Saini presents science programmes on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service, and her writing has appeared all over the world, including in New Scientist, the Guardian, Science, and Wired. She is the winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Kavli Science Journalism (2015) and the Association of British Science Writers’ award for best news story (2012). Her latest book is Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story. Follow her on Twitter @AngelaDSaini

Copies of Angela Saini's new book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story, will be on sale at the event.

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Carmen D’Cruz

When?
Wednesday, July 5 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Carmen D’Cruz

What's the talk about?

  • Ever wondered how to make non-science people see how great science, technology, and critical thinking can be?
  • Why are events like Skeptics in the Pub, Cafe Scientifique and Science Showoff filled with people who already have science degrees instead of the people who could gain the most from them?
  • How can the science community and the general public work together to get more people coming to things like this and encourage the nation as a whole to embrace critical thinking?

Carmen D’Cruz is one of the organisers and co-hosts of London Skeptics in the Pub, an award winning monthly event. We cover science, technology, history, philosophy and related current affairs. She has worked with groups from all over the world on evidence based campaigns and events, giving talks about critical thinking and the wonders of science for beginners and would-be experts alike. She lives and works in London as a project management director, not a scientist.

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Aaron Dale and Henry Drysdale

When?
Wednesday, June 7 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Aaron Dale and Henry Drysdale

What's the talk about?

Outcome switching is a serious problem in clinical trial reporting that can exaggerate the benefits and downplay the harms of new drugs and therapies. We established COMPare (The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine Outcome Monitoring Project) to track this problem in real time in the world’s top 5 leading medical journals. In doing so we aimed to understand why this simple and well recognised problem still exists, and to determine if the self-correcting mechanisms of science work when it really matters. You can see our results and read about what happened when we tried to correct the record on 67 misreported trials on our website (compare-trials.org).

In this follow up talk, Henry and Aaron from the COMPare team will report on Phase 2 of the project, what we have learned about why outcome switching persists, and how our real time feedback approach might be adapted to correct systematic problems in other areas of science.

Henry and Aaron helped start the COMPare project as medical students along with Ben Goldacre at the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine. They will begin work as junior doctors this August.

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Lewis Dean

When?
Wednesday, May 3 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Lewis Dean

What's the talk about?

A charity in America is campaigning to get chimpanzees recognised as ‘persons’, giving them basic human rights. But with rights come responsibilities. Could a chimp ever be guilty of a human crime? Join primatologist Lewis Dean to examine what we know about the mental abilities of our closest evolutionary cousins.

Lewis Dean is a science communicator and primatologist. His research has focussed on the evolution of culture in humans and other animals. He has worked with a variety of primates, including chimps, capuchins, lemurs and human children.

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https://www.facebook.com/events/841633872641617/

Colin Stuart

When?
Wednesday, April 5 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Colin Stuart

What's the talk about?

Tim Peake's recent visit to the International Space Station has placed a fresh spotlight on the latest developments in space exploration. But space travel is still a pretty new area of human endeavour and our ideas about what and who might be out there have constantly shifted over the years. One place this is particularly apparent is in the famous Christmas Lectures held by the Royal Institution each year.

Last year Colin was lucky enough to rummage around in their archives and write a book about 13 of the lectures devoted to space and time. The first was delivered way back in 1881. The last was the 2015 lectures featuring a message from Tim from orbit. And how our ideas have changed. In this talk Colin will be sharing some of the stories from the lectures, along with some of his favourite anecdotes about digging through the archives including finding Carl Sagan's immigration form and Dewar's radioactive notebooks.

Strap in for more than 100 years of astronomical discovery.

Copies of Colin's book will be on sale, so be sure to bring some extra cash so you can pick one up!

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Professor Alison Woollard

When?
Wednesday, March 1 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Professor Alison Woollard

What's the talk about?

The search for the elixir of youth has been a fantasy through the ages, but is it possible to live much longer, or desirable? Most babies born in 1900 did not live past 50, but life expectancy at birth now exceeds 83 years in parts of the world. Will this almost-doubling of human lifespan happen again in the next 100 years? Why do organisms age? and why do different creatures have such different life expectancies, from a few hours to hundreds of years? Come with me on the quest for eternal youth, as I introduce you to my favourite creature, the tiny nematode C. elegans, and reveal how this humble worm is letting us into the secrets of a long and healthy life.

Alison leads a research team working on the developmental genetics of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Her current work concerns molecular mechanisms of cell fate determination during C. elegans development, trying to unpick the complex mechanisms by which cells become different from one another as an organism develops from egg to adult. She also has a strong interest in the biology of ageing and in neurodegenerative disease.

Alison is also strongly committed to Public Engagement, believing that science should be more strongly embedded in society as an important cultural ambition, as well as a crucial driver of economic competitiveness and improved healthcare. She presented the 2013 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures series “Life Fantastic”, broadcast on BBC4 during the Christmas period, and since then has taken part in a diverse range of Public Engagement activities, from the Green Man Festival in the mountains of Wales to regular appearances on the science comedy circuit.

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https://www.facebook.com/events/381244702236832/

Mark Lynas

When?
Wednesday, February 1 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Mark Lynas

What's the talk about?

Pro-science campaigner Mark Lynas reviews the evidence in these three controversial areas and asks us to try to overcome political tribalism and consider issues rationally. In a supposedly post-truth age we need evidence-based thinking more than ever, he concludes.

Mark Lynas is the author of three major popular science environmental books: High Tide (2004), Six Degrees (2008) and The God Species (2011), as well as the Kindle Single ebook Nuclear 2.0 (2012). Six Degrees won the 2008 Royal Society science books prize and was made into a documentary film voiced by Alec Baldwin by National Geographic channel. He was advisor to the President of the Maldives on climate change from 2009 until the coup in 2012. He has contributed extensively to global media, writing for the Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, Bangkok Post, Philippines Inquirer, Daily Nation (Kenya) and numerous others. He is a visiting fellow at the Cornell Alliance for Science, Cornell University, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Helen Czerski

When?
Wednesday, January 11 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

108 St Aldate's
City Centre
Oxford
OX1 1BU

Who?
Helen Czerski

What's the talk about?

When we hear about physics, we often hear about the weirdness of the tiny quantum world or the bewildering vastness of the cosmos. But there's a lot in the middle, and it's time someone starting talking about it. In this talk, Helen Czerski will take us through some of the little everyday oddities that shed light on some of the most important science and technology of our time. This is the physics that is woven into our lives - it's what makes the cream rise to the top of the milk, it dictates how tall a tree can be and it makes magnets stick to the fridge. But the same principles also explain how the ocean conveyer belt moves, how modern insulin tests work, and they open the door to the technologies that will power our future. Once the patterns are visible, a new perspective on the world beckons. 

Helen is a physicist, oceanographer and broadcaster with a passion for science, sport, books, creativity, hot chocolate and investigating the interesting things in life. She currently works in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University College London, and is a science presenter for the BBC.

Helen's book "Storm in a Teacup - The Physics of Everyday Life" is available from November 2016 (UK & Commonwealth), and January 2017 (US). Copies will be on sale at this event.

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