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Thursday, 30 November

Jonathan M.S. Pearce - Do we have free will?

Next Social Event

Wednesday December 13th

Skeptics of the Round Table at the Overdraft in Winchester from 7pm, for some informal Skeptical chat, food, drinks
#WinSotRT

(The Overdraft is at 5 Jewry Street)

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Thursday, 30 November – Jonathan M.S. Pearce – Do we have free will?

Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry St. 7.00 for 7.30pm

This talk is a fine introduction into the age-old philosophical debate as to whether we have free will, or whether we live determined lives.

Pearce approaches the subject in a lively manner, explaining terms clearly and using anecdotes to break down some of the heavier philosophy so that it is available to the popular audience. Now that we are understanding our genetic heritage and our neurology better, can we account for all our characteristics and decisions? The author also looks at how theories of free will and determinism integrate with religion, particularly Christianity. If we live under the illusion of free will, do religions need reassessing? How does free will work when God knows what we are doing in advance? Does God have free will? How does prophecy interfere with free will? How is our justice system affected if we know exactly why people commit crimes?

These and other crucial questions are investigated with a deft touch and uses recent and important scientific findings to support the thesis supplying a valuable overview to the subject.

Jonathan M.S. Pearce is a teacher from south Hampshire, UK, who has dedicated many years to studying all manner of things philosophical and theological. Having studied for a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Wales, TSD, he also holds a degree from the University of Leeds, and a PGCE from the University of St Mary’s, Twickenham. As a founder member of the Tippling Philosophers, a friendly group of disparate believers and non-believers (and sort-of believers) based in Hampshire, he is a big advocate of casual philosophy groups meeting over pints of good ale. He lives with his partner (and twin boys) and wonders how she puts up with him.

Thursday 26th October Dr Mike Wood -Sense, nonsense, and everything in between: The psychology of conspiracy theories

Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry St. 7.00 for 7.30pm

Conspiracy theories are everywhere – and, arguably, always have been. What influences us to believe or reject them? Why do some events give rise to more conspiracy theories than others? What does the prevalence of conspiracy theories say about us as a society? And how is The Simpsons like an ancient Babylonian sheep’s liver? This whirlwind tour through conspiracy theory psychology will focus particularly on how suspicion, paranoia, and ambiguity help us to make sense of an uncertain world.

Dr Mike Wood is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Winchester, where he teaches social psychology, political psychology, and research methods, and conducts research on conspiracy theories and the future of methodology and statistical practice in empirical psychology. He has been interviewed on NPR, Newsweek, Der Spiegel, and Slate, and blogs irregularly at ConspiracyPsychology.com.

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Thursday 28th September – Carmen D’Cruz: “How to get more people interested in science”

Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry St. 7.00 for 7.30pm

Have you ever wondered how to inspire non-science people with science, technology, and critical thinking?

Despite aspirations to attract people from outside science, events like Skeptics in the Pub, Cafe Scientifique and Science Showoff are typically filled with people who already have science degrees rather than the people who could potentially gain the most from them.

This talk explores how the science community and the general public can work together to get more people coming to events 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. Like other Skeptics in the Pub groups, they cover science, technology, history, philosophy and related current affairs. Carmen 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.

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Thursday 31st August – Prof Chris Lintott: “From Penguins to Peas: Ten years of Galaxy Zoo”

Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry St. 7.00 for 7.30pm

Chris Lintott is a Professor of Astrophysics in the Department of Physics at Oxford University. He is involved in a number of popular science projects aimed at bringing astronomy to a wider audience. He is probably best known as the main presenter of the BBC series, The Sky At Night.

Zooniverse is a citizen science web portal, home to some of the internet’s largest, most popular and most successful citizen science projects. The organization started out as the Galaxy Zoo project and now hosts a wide range of projects which allow members of the public to volunteer and participate actively in scientific research. Zooniverse has it headquarters at Oxford University and the Adler Planetarium.

Since evolving out of the Galaxy Zoo, Zooniverse projects have covered astronomy, ecology, cell biology, humanities, and climate science.

Join us on the 31st August to see “From Penguins to Peas: Ten years of Galaxy Zoo”, where Chris Lintott will be talking about the interesting and weird things that citizen scientists using the Zooniverse have found.

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QED Con 2017

Question, Explore, Discover.

QED is a two-day science and skepticism convention taking place at the Mercure Piccadilly Hotel in Manchester from the 14th-15th October 2017

Fantastic speakers from the worlds of science and entertainment will be joining us for a weekend celebration of science, reason and critical thinking.

Latest Update

Tickets for QED 2017 are now on sale, priced £109 or £75 for students and under-18s. Buy yours now

About North West Skeptical Events

QED is organised by North West Skeptical Events Ltd, a volunteer-owned, non-profit organisation. Each year we aim for QED to break even, spending all funds raised by ticket sales on creating the best event possible. Any surplus is reinvested in future events or donated to good causes.

Thursday 27th July – Colin Stuart – “13 Journeys Through Space and Time”

 Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry St. 7 for 7.30pm

 

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.

This event is also part of Winchester Science Festival 2017

Website: http://www.colinstuart.net

Twitter: @skyponderer