24th May – Women, Wellness and Woo – Alice Howarth

We all want to be well, right? Whether you’re a bit run down and just need a pick me up to get through the next working week, you’re suffering symptoms of a long-standing condition that you just can’t figure out or you’re reaching an age where you want security in your long-term health.

The wellness industry has become ever more popular in an age where chronic illnesses can go undiagnosed for years and access to medical support for mental ill-health is either prohibitively expensive or subject to long wait times. Women and other marginalised people are sometimes dismissed or overlooked in healthcare – where resources are already stretched and spending time really listening to a patient can be difficult even without biases.

To fill the gap, we often turn to the wellness industry; an amorphous, indefinable collection of well doers, businesses and practitioners who offer patients control over their health, empowerment to make medical choices that suit their needs and the gentle ear of a practitioner who’s always willing to listen.

But does the wellness industry really provide answers? Are women really empowered by the range of choices available to them? Is there really a solution to “wellness”?

Bio

Dr Alice Howarth is a scientist and skeptic who is also disabled and chronically ill. She’s spent years navigating the healthcare system while trying to learn how to manage her health conditions at the same time as working in academia and juggling a bunch of roles in the skeptical community.

As a podcaster with Skeptics with a K and writer for The Skeptic, Alice has researched a wide variety of wellness industry hacks and products and practitioners, and the reasons people might feel encouraged to make use of them.

Standard Stuff

Talks are usually on the 4th Wednesday of every month,  at 7:00 for 7:30, at The Winchester Club in Winchester.  Please take a look at the FAQs for more info.

Admission is £5 which also gives you an entry in the book raffle. We take cash and major cards (cards preferred).

The event is in two parts – the talk and then a Q&A after the interval. We encourage you to support the venue by indulging in the available drinks before and during the event.

You are also welcome to join us for a drink in the bar after the event.

 

26th April – Dean Burnett – Lost and Found in the Science of Emotion

Why can’t we think straight when hungry? What’s the point of nightmares? And why can’t we forget embarrassing memories?

Emotions can be a pain. After losing his dad to Covid-19, Dean Burnett found himself wondering what life would be like without them. And so, he decided to put his feelings under the microscope – for science.

In this talk, Dean takes us on an incredible journey of discovery, stretching from the origins of life to the end of the universe. Combining expert analysis, brilliant humour and powerful insights into the grieving process, Dean uncovers how, far from holding us back, our emotions make us who we are.

Brief Bio

Dean Burnett, neuroscientist, lecturer, author, blogger, podcaster, pundit, science communicator, comedian and numerous other things, depending on who’s asking and what they need. Previously employed as a psychiatry tutor and lecturer at the Cardiff University Centre for Medical Education, Dean is currently an honorary research associate at Cardiff Psychology School, as well as a Visiting Industry Fellow at Birmingham City University.

Standard Stuff

Talks are usually on the 4th Wednesday of every month,  at 7:00 for 7:30, at The Winchester Club in Winchester.  Please take a look at the FAQs for more info.

Admission is £5 which also gives you an entry in the book raffle. We take cash and major cards (cards preferred).

The event is in two parts – the talk and then a Q&A after the interval. We encourage you to support the venue by indulging in the available drinks before and during the event.

You are also welcome to join us for a drink in the bar after the event.

Wed 26th March – Evolutionary perspectives on religion – Dr Kat Ford

From an evolutionary perspective, religion presents something of a challenge. It is ubiquitous but in some cases religious cognition and behaviour can be costly and even dangerous while (to some) serving no obvious function. So why is religion found in every corner of the globe? Is it just a collection of highly successful memes or a “mind virus” as some dismissively label it?  is it the inevitable but largely benign by-product of minds highly evolved for social living? Or are there some real evolutionary benefits to religious cognition?

In this talk Kat will discuss existing perspectives from evolutionary perspectives on religion and discuss some of the new directions this field might explore.

Brief Bio

Dr Kat Ford is a board member of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and recently completed her PhD at The Centre for Culture and Evolution at Brunel University London.

Standard Stuff

Talks are usually on the 4th Wednesday of every month,  at 7:00 for 7:30, at The Winchester Club in Winchester.  Please take a look at the FAQs for more info.

Admission is £5 which also gives you an entry in the book raffle. We take cash and major cards (cards preferred).

The event is in two parts – the talk and then a Q&A after the interval. We encourage you to support the venue by indulging in the available drinks before and during the event.

You are also welcome to join us for a drink in the bar after the event.

AGM / Skeptics of the Round Table – Wed 8th March

Skeptics of the Round Table takes place on the second Wednesday of each month from 7:00 pm.

Please join us if you can at the Bishop On The Bridge in Winchester for some informal Skeptical chat, food and drinks

This one will include our AGM. Please join us to hear about our plans. We’d love to hear your suggestions and your feedback!

Ask at the bar (booked by Clio or Skeptics), or look out for sign /name badges to find us.

Wed 22nd Feb – Inside Extinction Rebellion – Bors Hulesch

Can An Imperfect Movement Save The World?

In this talk, Bors will talk about the evidence provided by climate science. He’ll also cover the historical precedents of successful non-violent resistance movements and the early successes of modern climate change mass movements such as Extinction Rebellion. What legacy will humans leave on the planet?

Bors trained as a social scientist and later as a climate scientist. For his day job, he runs a small research agency, Brains & Cheek. His evening job is Extinction Rebellion, where he is the lead editor of XR’s flagship talk: ‘Heading for Extinction (and what to do about it).’

His job is to keep the talk up-to-date, as well as to regularly deliver it to a range of audiences both online and live. When on XR protests, his favourite jobs are outreach and de-escalation. You’ll find him on the edge of protest marches and occupations, engaging with passers-by and angry motorists. He has been with XR since March 2019, and has no intention of stopping until the job is done.

Bors is a father of 3 boys, and wants to leave a liveable planet for them, and to his descendants, to the 7th degree.

He has stopped eating beef, pork and lamb, and drives an electric car, which he charges with his solar panels. He has stopped flying for business as well as for personal travel, and has offset all of the residual CO2 emissions of his family and his business, since 2010.

Standard Stuff

Talks are usually on the 4th Wednesday of every month,  at 7:00 for 7:30, at The Winchester Club in Winchester.  Please take a look at the FAQs for more info.

Admission is £5 which also gives you an entry in the book raffle. We take cash and major cards (cards preferred).

The event is in two parts – the talk and then a Q&A after the interval. We encourage you to support the venue by indulging in the available drinks before and during the event.

You are also welcome to join us for a drink in the bar after the event.

Wed 25th January – Britain’s Missing Museum – Liberty Melly

Britain has a long and complex migration history, and migration consistently appears as a talking point in politics and the news. Yet the story of Britain is the story of comings and goings, it is a story that underpins our language, economic systems, traditions and cultures. Join Liberty from the Migration Museum to hear more about the institution Britain’s cultural landscape is missing; a vibrant museum that illuminates the central role migration – both to and from – has played in the national story. A space where people can come together to discuss, reflect and understand our shared migration stories.

Brief Bio

Liberty works at the Learning Manager at the Migration Museum, which she joined in early 2017 from a background in the heritage sector. Following her undergraduate studies in History at the University of Nottingham, she worked for the Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands and volunteered for the National Trust and Hackney Museum. She also has an MA in Museums, Galleries, and Contemporary Cultures from the University of Westminster, during which her dissertation explored the representation of migration in the UK cultural heritage sector.

In her role at the museum she oversees the education programme, building connections with teachers, lecturers and educational organisations to promote the teaching of migration across the UK. To date the Migration Museum has engaged over 22,000 students in its exhibitions, workshops, walking-tours and outreach work.

Standard Stuff

Talks are usually on the 4th Wednesday of every month,  at 7:00 for 7:30, at The Winchester Club in Winchester.  Please take a look at the FAQs for more info.

Admission is £5 which also gives you an entry in the book raffle. We take cash and major cards (cards preferred).

The event is in two parts – the talk and then a Q&A after the interval. We encourage you to support the venue by indulging in the available drinks before and during the event.

You are also welcome to join us for a drink in the bar after the event.

Tuesday 13th December– James Williams – Alfred Russel Wallace

There is no talk scheduled for November, and this one will be on Tuesday 13th December.

James Williams, Lecturer in Education, University of Sussex will talk about Alfred Wallace who famously sent Charles Darwin an outline of the theory of evolution by natural selection before Darwin had completed his major treatise on the subject. This prompted the publication of Origin of Species.

Did Darwin really steal the idea from Wallace? Was Wallace even aware of Darwin’s work on species and how does history see the two men? In this talk, James will examine the facts surrounding Wallace’s work on evolution and some of the more interesting episodes in Wallace’s life that saw him oppose Darwin in an infamous case of spiritualist fraud that ended in the Old Bailey.

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) was a man of many talents – an explorer, collector, naturalist, geographer, anthropologist and political commentator. Most famously, he had the revolutionary idea of evolution by natural selection entirely independently of Charles Darwin.

Brief Bio

James is a senior lecturer in science education at the University of Sussex. His PhD looked at the development and inclusion of the Nature of Science in the UK National Curriculum for science from 1988 – 2010. He is an elected member (FGS) of The Geological Society of London, a member of the Association for Science Education (ASE), where he chairs the Publications Specialist Group. He is also a member of the Society of Authors and a member of the Editorial Board – School Science Review. He has appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live Investigates

He has written extensively for The Conversation, for Tes (formerly known as the Times Educational Supplement) and for local newspapers. He has research expertise in Creationism and Evolution in Education, History and Philosophy of Science, Initial Teacher Education, Science Education, Teaching ‘the nature of science’ & ‘the scientific method’, as well as Teaching and Learning.

Standard Stuff

This talk is on a Tuesday, but are usually on the 4th Wednesday of every month,  at 7:00 for 7:30, at The Winchester Club in Winchester.  Please take a look at the FAQs for more info.

Admission is £5 which also gives you an entry in the book raffle. We take cash and major cards (cards preferred).

The event is in two parts – the talk and then a Q&A after the interval. We encourage you to support the venue by indulging in the available drinks before and during the event.

You are also welcome to join us for a drink in the bar after the event.

 

26th October – Kevin Precious – The Reluctant Teacher

As the first talk at our new venue, The Winchester Club, ‘A work-in-progress show’ as former-teacher turned stand-up-comedian Kevin Precious likes to call it, takes a backward glance towards his former profession, and looks ahead to Edinburgh 2023. Expect anecdotes and observations aplenty, as well as the odd polemical interjection regarding the parlous state of the profession.

‘Kevin’s stage charisma and poise set him head and shoulders above the previous acts’ (Times). ‘Instantly recognisable stage presence and boundless wit’ (Leicester Mercury at the Leicester Comedy Festival).

‘Kevin’s stage charisma and poise set him head and shoulders above the previous acts.’ – The Times

More on Kevin

Kevin has had something of a long and varied career in the business of show, making his first tentative foray into the world of entertainment as a teenage bass playing dirt bag in the working men’s clubs in his native city of Hull. Venturing South, he continued his musical adventures in the Big Smoke, playing in all manner of different outfits, the culmination of which saw him perform at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s on a couple of occasions.

He also managed to gain experience playing abroad in places as far flung as New York and Reykjavik, as well as an extensive tour of Japan. In the 1990’s, Kevin set up a ‘Pop Quiz’ in a trendy boozer in Camden, which rapidly became laden with celebrities and culminated in him being asked to organise and compere the NME‘s first national pop quiz. It was these events that would later inspire a move into comedy. Sometime thereafter he took the plunge.

Combining the life of a mature student and comedy, Kevin organized and promoted various events in conjunction with Brighton University. He was also involved in the organisation and compering of two series of ‘House of Fun’ for Meridian TV. Added to this, he MC’d the Sussex heat of the BBC New Acts Competition for four consecutive years. Working full-time as a teacher and head of department (Religious Studies), Kevin continued his comedy pursuits performing full weekends at notable venues such as Rawhide in Liverpool, the Glee in both Birmingham and Cardiff, and the Frog and Bucket in Manchester… as well as renowned London gigs such as the Banana Cabaret and Downstairs at the Kings Head, amongst others.

It was during this time that Kevin co-founded the promotions agency, Barnstormers Comedy. In 2005, Kevin finally went full-time / professional.

To date, he has done paid weekends for Jongleurs, Comedy Cafe, the Stand Edinburgh, and The Laughter Lounge Dublin as well as work for agents such as CKP, the Comedy Company, the Comedy Club and Mirth Control.

In 2008, he compered the ‘Loaded Lafta’ awards presenting awards to none other than Jimmy Carr, Adam Buxton, Paul Kaye, and Harry Enfield, to name but a few.

In 2014, he provided the warm-up for a night dedicated to Dennis Skinner which also featured the author and commentator Owen Jones. He has also performed at a number of European shows in places as diverse as Amsterdam, Maastricht, Budapest, Bucharest and Ibiza.

More recently, Kevin has been performing his one man stand-up comedy show about teaching ‘Not Appropriate’ at a variety of arts centres, theatres, festivals and conferences.

He is currently working on his new show, which he will be bringing to us in advance of the Edinburgh Festival. It combines his experiences as an RE Teacher, and his orientation towards Humanism.

Standard Stuff

Talks are on the last Wednesday of every month,  at 7:00 for 7:30, at The Winchester Club in Winchester.  Please take a look at the FAQs for more info.

Admission is £5 which also gives you an entry in the book raffle. We take cash and major cards (cards preferred).

The event is in two parts – the talk and then a Q&A after the interval. We encourage you to support the venue by indulging in the available drinks before and during the event.

You are also welcome to join us for the traditional post-talk curry.

New Venue

Our new venue is the Winchester Club.Highfield Lodge, Worthy Ln, Winchester SO23 7AB

We’ve enjoyed our stay in the Winchester Discovery Centre, now rebranded as the Arc. It has been our home since January 2012 where our 1st talk (and Winchester Skeptics 25th) was by Simon Singh. We had just moved from the Roebuck which we outgrew. It has served us exceedingly well and the staff have been particularly supportive through the years. We’re sure we’ll still be working with them from time to time.

Sadly the pandemic has dented our numbers (rising fortunately!), and that combined with significantly rising costs has nudged us into looking around. We’re delighted to have found a new home, also in Winchester and quite close.

So, as from October, Winchester Skeptics in the Pub will be presenting talks in the Winchester Club.

They’ve been most welcoming and we look forward to working with them.

We’ve prepared a little FAQ which we hope will answer any questions you may have. There will be a copy of these on our website, and we’ll try to keep it up to date with additional questions you may have.