Upcoming Shows
Past Shows

Heresy, Sorcery, Royalty and a Witch – The Life and Death of Margery Jourdemayne – Deborah Hyde

May 26, 2022 @ 19:00 (next week, check your local time)

Heresy, Sorcery, Royalty and a Witch - The Life and Death of Margery Jourdemayne - Deborah Hyde
In 1441, Margery Jourdemayne was burned alive at Smithfield. She was a commoner cunning-woman – or witch – yet her social group contained the highest in the land. Join us […]

The Grand Unified Theory of Bullshit – Tom Curry & Cecil Cicirello

May 12, 2022 @ 19:00 (5 days ago, check your local time)

The Grand Unified Theory of Bullshit suggests that no matter where it’s from, all bullshit smells the same. From Alternative Medicine to the insurrection in Washington, the underlying cognitive biases […]

Beyond the Hype: The Inside Story of Science’s Biggest Media Controversies – Fiona Fox

April 28, 2022 @ 19:00 (3 weeks ago, check your local time)

The Director of The Science Media Centre, Fiona Fox, examines some of the stories that hit the headlines for the wrong reasons – Frankenfoods, Climategate and more – but tells […]

Hate thy Neighbour: Economic inequality, status, and violent crime – Jaye McLaughlin

April 14, 2022 @ 19:00 (last month, check your local time)

Many studies have shown that where there is more economic inequality, there is often more violent crime. Some evolutionary psychologists have suggested that violence may be a functional response for […]

Off The Edge: Flat earthers, conspiracy culture, and why people will believe anything – Kelly Weill

March 24, 2022 @ 19:00 (last month, check your local time)

Since 2015, the long-running conspiracy theory of a flat Earth – that we live on a flat plane, under a flat dome, or on a planet circled by a ring […]

Racing Green: How Motorsport Science Can Save the World – Kit Chapman

March 10, 2022 @ 19:00 (March 2022, check your local time)

Racing Green is a fascinating exploration of how science in motorsport extends its reach far beyond the track. The efforts of engineers to go a hundredth of a second faster […]

How ideas clash on social media – Imran Ahmed

February 24, 2022 @ 19:00 (February 2022, check your local time)

Social media is not an even playing field. It is a commonly held misconception among rationalists that scientific fact and reasoned argument should win out over conspiracy theories in the […]

Examining Moon Hoaxers’ Greatest Hits – Brian Eggo

February 10, 2022 @ 19:00 (February 2022, check your local time)

SPEAKER CHANGE: Unfortunately Kato Mukasa will be unable to join us. We’ve got a (reasonably) decent replacement though:Just over fifty years ago we landed on the moon … or did […]

Science Friction – how surface interactions shaped the world – Laurie Winkless

January 27, 2022 @ 19:00 (January 2022, check your local time)

We are surrounded by stickiness. From the bike tyre that grips the road and the Post-it note that’s become an office mainstay, to your non-stick frying pan, and the ice […]

Inside the White Rose: an anti-vaxx, Covid conspiracy theory ecosystem – Michael Marshall

December 9, 2021 @ 19:00 (December 2021, check your local time)

Featuring: Announcement of the 2021 Ockham Award and Rusty Razor When 2020 brought with it a new strain of coronavirus, the world was plunged into confusion and uncertainty. While most […]

Thinking Better: The Art of the Shortcut – Professor Marcus du Sautoy

November 25, 2021 @ 19:00 (November 2021, check your local time)

You have a choice. There’s the long way: boring, repetitive, hard work. Or the shortcut: a cunning, less intuitive path to your goal. In this talk, Marcus is going to […]

The woos and woes of Wikipedia – An opportunity for skeptical activism or a conspiratory club? – Annika Harrison

November 11, 2021 @ 19:00 (November 2021, check your local time)

Wikipedia is known as an international encyclopaedia. But is it also a worldwide network with secret members, seeking to influence humankind? Or is it a web forum, where one can […]

Star Wars and Critical Thinking; or, Why Must Luke Skywalker Turn off His Targeting Computer to Destroy the Death Star? – Professor Cyrus Patell

October 28, 2021 @ 19:00 (October 2021, check your local time)

Why must Luke Skywalker turn off his targeting computer at the climactic moment of George Lucas’s iconic film Star Wars (1977)? Star Wars is celebrated in part because it started […]

The Art of More: How Mathematics Created Civilisation – Michael Brooks

October 14, 2021 @ 19:00 (October 2021, check your local time)

We have a problem with mathematics. Half of the UK’s adults live with nothing more than the mathematical skills they learned at primary school, and many people experience a tangible […]

The Storm Is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything – Mike Rothschild

September 30, 2021 @ 19:00 (September 2021, check your local time)

Mike Rothschild, a journalist specializing in conspiracy theories, has been collecting stories about the deadly QAnon movement for years, and through interviews with QAnon converts, apostates, and victims, as well […]

The Century of Deception: The Birth of the Hoax in Eighteenth-Century England – Ian Keable

September 16, 2021 @ 19:00 (September 2021, check your local time)

The 1700s was a period when the people of England seemed to be especially gullible. They believed a woman could give birth to rabbits; a man could climb inside a […]

When innocent becomes guilty: The psychology of false confessions – Dr Faye Skelton

September 2, 2021 @ 19:00 (September 2021, check your local time)

It is difficult to imagine admitting to something that you didn’t do, especially something so serious as committing murder. There are however numerous documented cases of innocent people confessing to […]

Bad News: Why the media fall for falsehoods – Michael Marshall

August 19, 2021 @ 19:00 (August 2021, check your local time)

Due to unforeseen circumstances Mike Rothschild is unable to join us for this event, so we will be bringing him back at a later date. Instead we have our very […]

Where alien worlds are born: exoplanets and their formation environments – Dr Cass Hall

August 5, 2021 @ 19:00 (August 2021, check your local time)

We have now discovered thousands of exoplanets around stars that are not our Sun, and we have now realised that our own solar system may be far from the norm. […]

Too Hot to Handle: The Science and Technology of Antimatter – Dr Sameed Muhammed

July 22, 2021 @ 19:00 (July 2021, check your local time)

Despite being as old as matter itself, antimatter remains a mystical subject for many and is a hot topic in science fiction. In this talk, we will separate fact from […]

Resisting the Knowledge Dementors: The Truth about “Post-Truth” – Professor Stephan Lewandowsky

July 8, 2021 @ 19:00 (July 2021, check your local time)

We are said to live in a “post-truth” era in which “fake news” has replaced real information, denial has compromised science, and the ontology of knowledge and truth has taken […]

Inkredulous Podcast: Live! – Andy Wilson and guests

July 1, 2021 @ 19:00 (July 2021, check your local time)

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 […]

Cancer Cures – Are We Nearly There Yet? – Dr Alice Howarth

June 24, 2021 @ 19:00 (June 2021, check your local time)

One in two of us will suffer with cancer in our lifetime and almost all of us have some experience of the disease. But do we really know what cancer […]

Why patients want bad medicines – Dr Mícheál De Barra

June 17, 2021 @ 19:00 (June 2021, check your local time)

For most of human history, an average patient meeting an average doctor was probably harmed rather than helped. This talk will explore how medical treatments can persist for decades – […]

How the Evolutionary Psychologist Got His Hypothesis (And Other Just So Stories): Sense and Nonsense in Evolutionary Psychology – Dr Lindsey Osterman

June 10, 2021 @ 19:00 (June 2021, check your local time)

While evolution acceptance is generally high among the skeptically-minded, evolutionary psychology is far less widely accepted. Lindsey explores some of the good scientific work in this area, as well as […]

Life lessons from laughing babies and murderous philosophers – Dr Caspar Addyman

June 3, 2021 @ 19:00 (June 2021, check your local time)

What is the meaning of life? I once wrote to every philosopher in the UK to ask them. Their answers were meagre and dispiriting. One even included a death threat. […]

The Truth About The Satanic Panic… and how it could happen again – Professor Chris French

May 27, 2021 @ 19:00 (May 2021, check your local time)

Back in the 1980s, alarm spread throughout the world with respect to claims that Satanic abuse was not only real, it was widespread. Fuelled largely by pressure groups and the […]

When It is Darkest: Why People Die by Suicide and What We Can Do To Prevent It – Prof Rory O’Connor

May 20, 2021 @ 19:00 (May 2021, check your local time)

Based on his new book, Professor Rory O’Connor will try to dispel myths around suicide and to describe the complex set of factors that can lead to it, drawing from […]

Project STELLA: From Higgs to Healthcare in Challenging Environments – Prof Manjit Dosanjh

May 13, 2021 @ 19:00 (May 2021, check your local time)

If you have cancer and you live in a low or middle-income country, you’re unlikely to have access to the radiotherapy treatments that patients in higher-income countries take for granted. […]

The End of Policing: an introduction to the concepts of police defunding and police abolition – Alex Vitale

May 6, 2021 @ 19:00 (May 2021, check your local time)

an introduction to the concepts of police defunding and police abolition, with Alex S. Vitale, professor of sociology at Brooklyn College and author of The End of Policing.This summer’s protests […]

How to become an online conspiracy agony aunt: reporting on the disinformation front-line – Marianna Spring

April 29, 2021 @ 19:00 (April 2021, check your local time)

The BBC’s first-ever specialist disinformation and social media reporter, Marianna Spring, has spent the past year down the online conspiracy rabbit hole, investigating the real-world impact of disinformation being shared […]

Communicating statistics to the media: highs and lows during the pandemic (so far) – Professor David Spiegelhalter

April 22, 2021 @ 19:00 (April 2021, check your local time)

The current pandemic is notable for the vast traffic in official and unofficial information and claims. David will offer some personal insights into the challenges of trying to bring some […]

How to make an apple pie from scratch – Dr Harry Cliff

April 15, 2021 @ 19:00 (April 2021, check your local time)

In the 1980 smash-hit science documentary series Cosmos, Carl Sagan quipped that “if you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe”. Particle physicist […]

How to Hunt Russian Spies from the Comfort of Your Own Home – Eliot Higgins

April 8, 2021 @ 19:00 (April 2021, check your local time)

Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins explains how Bellingcat investigators uncovered the real identities of the Skripal suspects, linked their team to another European assassination attempt, uncovered Russia’s secret Novichok programme, exposed […]

InKredulous Live – Andy Wilson and Guests

April 1, 2021 @ 19:00 (April 2021, check your local time)

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 […]

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

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

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 […]

The Vampire of Croglin Grange – Deborah Hyde

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

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 […]

The End of Denialism? – Dr Keith Kahn-Harris

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

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 […]

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

March 4, 2021 @ 19:00 (March 2021, 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 […]

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

February 25, 2021 @ 19:00 (February 2021, 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 […]

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 (February 2021, 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 […]

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

February 11, 2021 @ 19:00 (February 2021, 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 […]

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

February 4, 2021 @ 19:00 (February 2021, 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 […]

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

January 28, 2021 @ 19:00 (January 2021, 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 […]

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

January 21, 2021 @ 19:00 (January 2021, 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 […]

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

January 14, 2021 @ 19:00 (January 2021, 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]