The Hampshire Skeptics Society is a non-profit organisation for the promotion of science, reason and critical thinking, humanism and a secular life. We run the Winchester Skeptics group who meet at 7:30pm on the last Thursday of every month at the The Winchester Discovery Centre.
Winchester SitP meetings are open to all regardless of beliefs and each months talk will be followed up with a challenging Q&A session and social. We suggest a £3 donation to cover our speaker’s expenses. We also have a raffle just before the break so hang onto your ticket and you might (except Martin of course) win a great book !
Winchester Skeptics Guest Speakers Charter
Click here to find out how to get to the Winchester Skeptics meetings at the Winchester Discovery Centre.
Click here for Previous Events
Thursday 31st July 2014 – Jonny Scaramanga: Inside Britain’s Creationist Schools
Jonny Scaramanga attended a fundamentalist Christian school in the ’90s where he learned that the Loch Ness Monster disproved evolution, God disapproved of the NHS, and homosexuals were an abomination to God. He has since discovered that almost all he learned at school was wrong.
In his talk, Jonny will give an insight to what life is like in an Accelerated Christian Education school and about what students learn in these schools today. There are sixty of these fundamentalist institutions in the UK, which teach Young Earth Creationism as fact. The Bible is taught as an infallible authority, and alternative viewpoints are not discussed or even considered. Jonny also makes some suggestions about what we should do when the parent’s right to freedom of religion conflicts with the child’s right to a sound education.
Jonny is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Education, where he is researching student experiences in Britain’s 50 Accelerated Christian Education schools. He has written for the Guardian, the Times Education Supplement, New Humanist, and Liberal Conspiracy. His broadcast appearances include BBC Radio 4, BBC2, BBC local radio, and Channel 4′s 4Thought TV.
Thursday 28th August 2014 – Michael Marshall: Lifting The Lid – Ongoing Adventures in the World of Pseudoscience
It’s easy to think of pseudoscience existing in a glass case at a museum – something to be examined and critiqued from a safe distance, but not something to touch and to play with. Using examples taken from his own personal experiences in skepticism, Michael Marshall will show what happens when you begin to crack the surface of the pseudosciences that surround us – revealing the surprising, sometimes-shocking and often-comic adventures that lie beneath.
Michael Marshall is the Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and Project Director of the Good Thinking Society. He regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast. His work with the MSS has seen him organising international homeopathy protests and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Scientist and you can keep up with Marsh on Twitter @MrMMarsh.
Thursday 25th September 2014 – Aubrey de Grey: Regenerative Medicine For Ageing: Can it be Comprehensive Enough?
Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Foundation, a California-based charity dedicated to combating the ageing process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest impact peer reviewed journal focused on intervention in ageing. He received his BA and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000 respectively.
Aubrey will explain why therapies that can add 30 healthy years to the remaining lifespan of a typical 60 year old may well arrive within the next few decades and secondly, why those who benefit from those therapies will very probably continue to benefit from progressively improved therapies indefinitely and will thus avoid debilitation or death from age related causes at any age.
It may seem premature to be discussing the elimination of human ageing as a cause of death when so little progress has yet been made in postponing it. However, two facts undermine this assessment. The first is that ageing happens throughout our lives but only causes ill-health after middle age. This shows that we can postpone that ill-health without knowing how to prevent ageing completely, by molecular and cellular repair. The second is that the typical rate of subsequent, incremental refinement of big technological breakthroughs is usually fast enough (so long as public enthusiasm for them is strong) to change those technologies almost beyond recognition within a natural human lifespan.
So. Do you want to live forever ?
Thursday 30th October 2014 – TBA
Thursday 27th November 2014 – Simon Singh: The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets
Simon Singh, author of Fermat’s Last Theorem and Big Bang, talks about his latest book, which explores mathematical themes hidden in The Simpsons.
Everyone knows that The Simpsons is the most successful show in television history, but very few people realise that its team of mathematically gifted writers have used the show to explore everything from calculus to geometry, from pi to game theory, and from infinitesimals to infinity.
Simon will also discuss how writers of Futurama have similarly made it their missions to smuggle deep mathematical ideas into the series.
After completing a PhD in particle physics, Simon Singh MBE joined the BBC and worked as a director and producer on programmes such as Tomorrow’s World and Horizon. He has also presented programmes on Radio 4, BBC4 and Channel 4.