Upcoming Shows
Past Shows

The End of Denialism? – Dr Keith Kahn-Harris

March 11, 2021 @ 19:00 (this Thursday!, check your local time)

The End of Denialism? - Dr Keith Kahn-Harris
Covid denialism is currently a global threat, but denialism has been around for years: Holocaust denial, global warming denial, anti-vaxxers, 911 conspiracism, creationism and more. Recently though Covid denialism and denial of Trumps election loss have become mainstream Debunking denialist claims is essential – yet also rarely effective. In this talk, Dr Keith Kahn-Harris will […]

The Vampire of Croglin Grange – Deborah Hyde

March 18, 2021 @ 19:00 (next week, check your local time)

The Vampire of Croglin Grange - Deborah Hyde
In 1875, a flame-eyed creature picked at the lead in a window pane to let himself in to a remote farmhouse in Cumberland. Thus started a campaign of menace against a young woman: a campaign which only stopped when her brothers tracked the creature down to its resting place in a local crypt. The Beast […]

Ban this sick filth! Behind the scenes at the British Board of Film Classification – Jim Cliff

March 25, 2021 @ 19:00 (in 3 weeks, check your local time)

Ban this sick filth! Behind the scenes at the British Board of Film Classification - Jim Cliff
For over a hundred years, a small, secretive group of people in Soho have decided what you can see in UK cinemas and, more recently, on video and DVD. Who are they, how do they make their decisions, and why was Monty Python’s Life of Brian banned in Torquay until 2008? Jim Cliff explains the […]

Mommy Dearest: The Myth of the Maternal Instinct – Professor Maryanne Fisher

March 4, 2021 @ 19:00 (4 days ago, check your local time)

Evolutionary perspectives of mothering create a dilemma. One side suggests that women invest so heavily in their children that there may be an ‘instinct’ that drives their maternal behavior. The other side supports viewing women as strategists who constantly must maximize opportunities to find quality mates and have healthy children, even at the cost of […]

First Light: Switching on Stars at the Dawn of Time – Dr Emma Chapman

February 25, 2021 @ 19:00 (2 weeks ago, check your local time)

Astronomers have successfully observed a great deal of the Universe’s history, from recording the afterglow of the Big Bang to imaging thousands of galaxies, and even to visualising an actual black hole. There’s a lot for astronomers to be smug about. But when it comes to understanding how the Universe began and grew up we […]

The science of mental health; how it goes wrong, how it’s treated, and the many misunderstandings in between – Dr Dean Burnett

February 18, 2021 @ 19:00 (3 weeks ago, check your local time)

Mental health awareness is a very big concern in 2021, particularly with the impact of the pandemic and lockdown. But while being aware that mental health can and does go wrong is important, very little attention is paid to how and why this happens. In his new book, Psycho Logical, neuroscientist, author, and former Psychiatry […]

Born to dance? The evolutionary origins of music making – Dr Jacques Launay

February 11, 2021 @ 19:00 (4 weeks ago, check your local time)

What’s the point in making music? Is there a point? Although music surrounds us for a large proportion of our time it doesn’t seem to serve an obvious purpose, and this talk will explore that problem. Darwin suggested music could be involved in sexual selection, used to flaunt genetic fitness to potential partners, but there […]

Dangerous Products: In The Home & In Our Stomachs – David Frank and Virginia Ng

February 4, 2021 @ 19:00 (last month, check your local time)

The societal and scientific consensus says only irrational people fear things like WiFi, artificial sweeteners, and fluoridated water, but there have been legitimately dangerous products sold as safe in the past. ​Flammable, toxic, radioactive and generally bad for you, we’ll look at products throughout history that killed, injured and poisoned, and the marketing campaigns that […]

Resisting Incarceration: Prisons, Activism and Abolition – Professor Phil Scraton

January 28, 2021 @ 19:00 (last month, check your local time)

Since Michael Howard’s pronouncement that ‘Prison Works’ the prison population in the UK has doubled with the current Government planning to build several more multi-occupancy ‘Titan’ prisons to incarcerate thousands more men and women. This reflects an ill-founded commitment to what became a cross-party mantra. In what sense does ‘prison work’? Does the claim stand […]

Pseudo-Archaeology: Fake news and new fakes – Mirko Gutjahr

January 21, 2021 @ 19:00 (last month, check your local time)

Light bulbs in antiquity? UFO landing sites in Peru? Giant pyramids in the Balkans? Authors like Erich von Däniken or TV shows like “Ancient Aliens” accuse archaeologists of hiding important discoveries and masking the truth. According to them the monumental buildings of the past were created not by our ancestors but by aliens or extradimensional […]

Too dangerous to publish? Navigating the high-stakes nature of AI research – Rosie Campbell

January 14, 2021 @ 19:00 (last month, check your local time)

As AI becomes increasingly advanced, it promises many benefits but also comes with risks. How can we mitigate these risks while preserving scientific inquiry and openness? Who is responsible for anticipating the impacts of AI research, and how can they do so effectively? What changes, if any, need to be made to the peer review […]

The Human Cosmos – Dr Jo Marchant

December 10, 2020 @ 19:00 (December 2020, check your local time)

For most of human history, we have led not just an earthly existence but a cosmic one. Celestial cycles drove every aspect of our daily lives. Our innate relationship with the stars shaped who we are – our religious beliefs, power structures, scientific advances and even our biology. But over the last few centuries we […]

A Crisis of Faith: How Religion Ruined America’s Pandemic Response – Noah Lugeons

December 3, 2020 @ 19:00 (December 2020, check your local time)

POSTPONED Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Noah Lugeons will not be able to give a talk this evening. In place of his talk, past speaker Angela Saini has very kindly give us permission to rebroadcast her talk from July, which proved to be one of our most popular events The details for Noah’s talk were […]

Planetary Protection: Guardians of the Galaxy or lame science-party poopers? – Dr Jennifer Wadsworth

November 26, 2020 @ 19:00 (November 2020, check your local time)

What is planetary protection? Is it even important? Because it sounds like it’s either an incredibly exciting space battle strategy from Independence Day or an exceedingly dull health and safety class that future generations will be subjected to. In reality it’s kind of both (except that thankfully it’s not from Independence Day). I’m a space […]

Pixie Turner/Ockham Awards Double Bill

November 19, 2020 @ 19:00 (November 2020, check your local time)

This is a special show as not only do we have Pixie Turner talking for us, we will also be hosting The Ockham Awards on behalf of The Skeptic. The Ockham Awards Michael Marshall will be hosting the Ockham Awards ceremony, find out who will win the coveted Award for Skeptical Activism and The Rusty […]

Inkredulous Podcast: Live!

November 14, 2020 @ 19:00 (November 2020, check your local time)

As part of QED 2018… again!, join host Andy Wilson for another live-streamed episode of the skeptical-themed panel show InKredulous. InKredulous, a production of the Merseyside Skeptics Society, is the long-running comedy podcast where skeptics from across the world are put through their critical-thinking paces and challenged to entertain as well as inform.

Dr Steve Barrett – Unidentified Flying Objects: Are there any images that require an extraterrestrial explanation.

November 12, 2020 @ 19:00 (November 2020, check your local time)

As a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Physics, my research interests span all aspects of imaging, image processing and image analysis. This includes medical imaging (biophysics), scanning probe microscopy of atoms, molecules and surfaces (nanophysics), microscopy of earth materials (geophysics) and astrophotography.

How to Make the World Add Up – Ten Rules for Thinking Differently About Numbers – Tim Harford

November 5, 2020 @ 19:00 (November 2020, check your local time)

When was the last time you read a grand statement, accompanied by a large number, and wondered whether it could really be true? Statistics are vital in helping us tell stories – we see them in the papers, on social media, and we hear them used in everyday conversation – and yet we doubt them […]

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!

October 31, 2020 @ 19:00 (October 2020, check your local time)

Charity! For this event we are going to be raising money for the Centre for Effective Altruism, so please, please give generously and show how amazing our community is. Please spare what you can at https://www.gofundme.com/f/i-aint-afraid-of-no-ghosts As skeptics, we value reason and evidence. We also want to do good in the world. But with so […]

The bloody work of naturopaths – Britt Hermes

October 29, 2020 @ 19:00 (October 2020, check your local time)

Naturopathy is scary! For three years, I practiced as a licensed “naturopathic doctor” in the United States. The overwhelming majority of naturopathic care relies extensively on dubious alternative therapies, rather than established protocols based on medical and scientific research. In this Halloween-themed talk, I share the experiences that led to my interest in natural medicine, […]

Ethical realism in a universe without free will – Aaron Rabinowitz

October 22, 2020 @ 19:00 (October 2020, check your local time)

Skepticism and ethics are both essential features of a life of flourishing, but what should skeptics and critical thinkers know about ethics, and how should those beliefs motivate us to action? Philisopher Aaron Rabinowitz will put forward the case that skeptics should believe that ethics is real and free will is not, and will argue […]

How the sex trafficking panic leads to Qanon conspiracy theorists – Brooke Magnanti

October 15, 2020 @ 19:00 (October 2020, check your local time)

As the US Presidential election draws near, the world has become fascinated with the seemingly new phenomena of Qanon and other wide-ranging conspiracy theories taking over social media and mainstream politics. However, the genesis of these groups is years old and comes from a surprising place: the global anti-sex trafficking movement. Brooke Magnanti discusses what […]

Confessions of a Former Fox News Christian – Seth Andrews

October 8, 2020 @ 19:00 (October 2020, check your local time)

Seth Andrews is best known as host of the popular website, podcast, and online community, The Thinking Atheist. He is a broadcaster, storyteller, author, activist, and public speaker. However, rewind a few years and you’d meet a very different Seth Andrews. As a former evangelical Christian he was once a captive of right-wing media, and Fox News […]

Take the Redpill: Understanding the Allure of Conspiratorial Thinking among Proud Boys – Samantha Kutner

October 1, 2020 @ 19:00 (October 2020, check your local time)

Recent global events have led many to ask how far right groups like the Proud Boys are linked to Qanon, Lockdown Protests, Save The Children, and other disinformation vectors. In “Take the Redpill” her latest publication with @GJIA_Online, Samantha Kutner answers a different question: How does the Proud Boys redpill entry into recruitment make them […]

Suffragettes Vs Velociraptors – How two of the coolest things in history have been misunderstood – Iszi Lawrence

September 24, 2020 @ 19:00 (September 2020, check your local time)

The intriguing title of the talk pretty much speaks for itself, and absolves us of not knowing any more. However, if you’ve ever wondered which of them would win in a fight, then you’ll finally get an answer! Iszi Lawrence is the author of The Unstoppable Letty Pegg (Bloomsbury), presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Making […]

Who really runs the internet? – James Ball

September 17, 2020 @ 19:00 (September 2020, check your local time)

If you believe the rumours, Mark Zuckerberg is about to take over the world, thanks to Facebook’s billions of users and the power of his algorithm. But Facebook is ultimately just one company and just one service – what about the actual internet: the servers, the routers, and the thousands of miles of fibre-optic cables […]

How to Build a Healthy Brain – Kimberley Wilson

September 10, 2020 @ 19:00 (September 2020, check your local time)

Most of us know the basics of how to take care of our physical health, but what about the brain? Brain health is curiously neglected from public health campaigns, especially considering that dementia is now the leading cause of death in the UK and depression is rapidly becoming the leading cause of global disease burden. […]

Say Why to Drugs – Suzi Gage

September 3, 2020 @ 19:00 (September 2020, check your local time)

Dr Suzi Gage is a senior lecturer at the University of Liverpool, researching links between recreational drug use and mental health. In 2016 she started the award-winning Say Why to Drugs podcast with rapper and actor Scroobius Pip, exploring the science around drugs, and busting the myths that exist around them, from alcohol to LSD, […]

Inkredulous Podcast: Live!

August 27, 2020 @ 19:00 (August 2020, check your local time)

Join host Andy Wilson for the first ever live-streamed episode of the skeptical-themed panel show InKredulous. InKredulous, a production of the Merseyside Skeptics Society, is the long-running comedy podcast where skeptics from across the world are put through their critical-thinking paces and challenged to entertain as well as inform. InKredulous has been a firm fan […]

Street Epistemology – Conversation Without Chaos – Anthony Magnabosco

August 20, 2020 @ 19:00 (August 2020, check your local time)

Engaging someone on a belief they hold in an effective manner is rarely easy, particularly if that belief is tied to one’s identity. So, imagine approaching strangers in public and attempting to engage them in a calm, respectful exploration of that belief, using a conversational technique known as Street Epistemology. You’ve also got to seek […]

REBEL CELL – A New View of Cancer – Dr Kat Arney

August 13, 2020 @ 19:00 (August 2020, check your local time)

Many of us think of cancer as a contemporary killer, a disease of our own making caused by our modern lifestyles. But that’s not true. Although it might be rare in many species, cancer is the enemy lurking within almost every living creature. Cancer has always been with us. It killed our hominid ancestors, the […]

Food and Sustainability: The Truth About Hunger – Anthony Warner

August 6, 2020 @ 19:00 (August 2020, check your local time)

The production of food has more negative impacts on the planet than any other human activity. Over the next thirty years, we desperately need to make huge changes to the way we produce and consume food, otherwise, the effect on the natural world will be devastating. This talk will explain how misinformation is one of […]

Yes, Debunking Works – Even in a Pandemic! – Tim Caulfield

July 30, 2020 @ 19:00 (July 2020, check your local time)

The spread of harmful misinformation is a defining characteristic of this pandemic. It has led to deaths, financial loss, increased stigma, health policy challenges, and added to the chaotic information environment. We must counter this “infodemic” with evidence-based communication strategies. Despite concerns about the “backfire effect” and debunking works, if done well! Timothy Caulfield is […]

100 Seconds To Midnight: Skepticism and Existential Threats in the Age of Fake News – Andrew Torrez

July 23, 2020 @ 19:00 (July 2020, check your local time)

In an age where fake news and viral videos have gone international, attorney Andrew Torrez helps break down where and why the law still matters. You’ll learn how sharpening the tools in your skeptical toolbox is more important than ever to help us navigate potentially existential threats to human life and flourishing. P. Andrew Torrez […]

How to argue with a racist – Dr Adam Rutherford

July 16, 2020 @ 19:00 (July 2020, check your local time)

Science writer and broadcaster Dr Adam Rutherford will talk about his new book, How to argue with a racist: History, Science, Race and Reality, a vital manifesto for a twenty-first century understanding of human evolution and variation, and a timely weapon against the misuse of science to justify bigotry. In his characteristically robust style, Adam […]

Mormonism and Eugenics: An Experiment in Racial and Religious Purity – Bryce Blankenagel

July 9, 2020 @ 19:00 (July 2020, check your local time)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism) was founded in 1830 by New Englander Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon, the foundational scripture authored by Smith, claims to be a history of Christian Israelites who settled the American continents from 2500 BCE – 420 CE. Within a decade of creation, Mormonism established extensive […]

What the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Can Teach Skeptics About White Supremacy – Kavin Senapathy

July 2, 2020 @ 19:00 (July 2020, check your local time)

Perhaps now more than ever, the skeptics’ movement can’t afford to ignore racism and race pseudoscience. Kavin Senapathy learned this firsthand during her stint with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) and its parent organization the Center for Inquiry (CFI) speaking at its conferences, writing a column, and hosting the Point of Inquiry podcast. As […]

How science denialism is fuelling the covid-19 crisis in Brazil – Dr -Natália Pasternak

June 25, 2020 @ 19:00 (June 2020, check your local time)

Brazil has surpassed the UK in the number of confirmed cases and deaths of Covid19. Still, the federal government refuses to acknowledge reality and relies on magical thinking and denialism, promoting miracle cures, withholding information, spreading lies and inciting riots. Join Natalia Pasternak for a look at the Brazilian response to the pandemic, and what […]

The Return of Race Science – Angela Saini

June 18, 2020 @ 19:00 (June 2020, check your local time)

As ethnic nationalism and the far-right become stronger, race science is experiencing a revival, fuelled by the abuse of data and science by politically-motivated groups. The story of who humans are and how we evolved is being rewritten to suit their agendas. Even well-intentioned scientists, through their unconscious use of old-fashioned categories, betray some suspicion […]

Talking Nerdy, with Cara Santa Maria

June 11, 2020 @ 19:00 (June 2020, check your local time)

Cara Santa Maria is a Los Angeles Area Emmy and Knight Foundation Award winning journalist, science communicator, television personality, author, and podcaster.Cara is the science correspondent on National Geographic’s popular television series Brain Games as well as the creator and host of the weekly science podcast Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria. In addition to […]

30 Second Universe – Karen Masters

June 4, 2020 @ 19:00 (June 2020, check your local time)

The universe literally encompasses everything we were, are and will be, everything we knew, know and can know. When we decide to understand the universe as a whole, new truths come to light, and unexpected perspectives illuminate our take on life. 30-Second Universe explains all the tantalising concepts, principles and theories that make up our […]

Talk Data to Me: The neuroscience of sexual arousal and desire – Angel Russell

May 28, 2020 @ 19:00 (May 2020, check your local time)

Two of the most pervasive myths that I spend my time deconstructing are (1) that humans have a specific part of their brains devoted to sex and (2) that humans have an innate “drive” to be sexual. Neither of these things are true, and it’s important that people understand that. When folks believe these misconceptions, […]

Spotting science that just doesn’t add up – Dr Nick Brown

May 21, 2020 @ 19:00 (May 2020, check your local time)

The skeptical movement rightly suggests that people should place more faith in peer-reviewed scientific articles than in YouTube videos or written claims made by random people on the Internet. However, science is not always particularly reliable either. In this talk, I will give some examples of how peer-reviewed scientific work that may attract a lot of public […]

How the UK can get to zero carbon – Chris Goodall

May 14, 2020 @ 19:00 (May 2020, check your local time)

The UK has declared a ‘climate emergency’ and pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050. So how do we get there? Drawing on actions, policies and technologies already emerging around the world, Chris Goodall sets out the ways to achieve this. His proposals include: -Building a huge over-capacity of wind and solar energy, storing the […]

The Blinding Light of Sophisticated Pseudoscience – Jonathan Jarry

May 7, 2020 @ 19:00 (May 2020, check your local time)

Alternative medicine proponents have become really good at building a body of research that looks more and more like good science to the casual observer. In the face of positive randomized clinical trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, the skeptic’s approach has to become more sophisticated to crack this façade of believability. We will go through […]

The age of antibiotic resistance – Sian Williams

April 30, 2020 @ 19:00 (April 2020, check your local time)

Cornerstones of modern medicine are at risk due to drug-resistant infections, with routine surgery, common illnesses and minor injuries becoming potentially life-threatening. People are already dying from drug-resistant infections, and as more drugs stop working, more lives will be put in danger. Everyone is at risk. Sian Williams will discuss the causes behind this major […]

How to name your element – Kit Chapman

April 23, 2020 @ 19:00 (April 2020, check your local time)

Join journalist and science historian Kit Chapman on an adventure across chemistry as he shares the bizarre stories behind the names of the building blocks of science. Which element got its name thanks to a D&D monster? Why couldn’t a German team call the discovery after the nearby town? And how did Lemmy from Motorhead […]

The World According to Physics – Jim Al-Khalili

April 9, 2020 @ 19:00 (April 2020, check your local time)

Where does theoretical physics stand at the end of the second decade of the 21st century? Are we finally approaching the end of physics, when the rich tapestry of the universe will be revealed to us and we will finally understand the true nature of reality? If we are honest then we must admit that, […]