Skeptics in the Pub is about getting people to come together and to have a relaxed and enjoyable evening while listening to talks given in a friendly manner on a wide range of topics, the idea being that we all prefer to be in a pub than a lecture theatre.

So what is it with the skepticism? It doesn't mean we disbelieve everything, just our viewpoints are based on evidence and hence the desire for talks in pubs to gain a greater understanding of the world. We also like to believe, whatever you believe, that you would feel welcome at such talks with your own views and to relax and listen to others.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or in Google calendar.

 Upcoming events

Paul Ewans

When?
Tuesday, April 25 2017 at 7:00PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Paul Ewans

What's the talk about?

The overwhelming majority of schools in Uganda are religious foundations offering an exclusively Christian or Moslem education to their pupils. By contrast, the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust (UHST) raises money in the UK to support a small number of inclusive charitable schools founded by Ugandan Humanists. These schools provide a liberal secular education to orphans and other needy children, and do not discriminate on grounds of religious, social or ethnic background. They are now giving more than 1000 children from deprived rural areas both a good education and opportunities in life that go beyond subsistence farming on the family plot. 

Paul Ewans, a UHST trustee, will describe the progress the schools havemade to date and outline what remains to be done to make the schools self-sufficient and secure their future. 

Stuart Armstrong

When?
Tuesday, May 30 2017 at 7:00PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Stuart Armstrong

What's the talk about?

Stuart Armstrong’s research at the Future of Humanity Institute centres on formal decision theory, general existential risk, the risks and possibilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI), assessing expertise and predictions, and anthropic (self-locating) probability.

He has been working on several methods of analysing the likelihood of certain outcomes and in making decisions under the resulting uncertainty, as well as specific measures for reducing AI risk. His collaboration with DeepMind on “Interruptibility” has been mentioned in over 100 media articles.

His Oxford D.Phil was in parabolic geometry, calculating the holonomy of projective and conformal Cartan geometries. He later transitioned into computational biochemistry, designing several new ways to rapidly compare putative bioactive molecules for virtual screening of medicinal compounds.

Rumit Somaiya

When?
Tuesday, June 27 2017 at 7:00PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Rumit Somaiya

What's the talk about?

Rumit Somaiya has spent the past 25 years touring casinos throughout the world with his team. Their aim is simply to overcome the 'House Advantage' using all cerebral methods available, in order to amass fortunes. Historically 'Blackjack', 'Pontoon' and '21' have been the games of choice. The most well known method is 'card counting' which is surprisingly easy to learn but many other legal methods of 'casino advantage play' will be discussed.

Gina Rippon

When?
Tuesday, July 25 2017 at 7:00PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Gina Rippon

What's the talk about?

Full Talk Title: How Neurononsense Joined Psychobabble To Keep Women In Their Place

There is a long history of debate about biological sex differences and their part in determining gender roles, with the ‘biology is destiny’ mantra being used to legitimise imbalances in these roles. The tradition is continuing, with new brain imaging techniques being hailed as sources of evidence of the ‘essential’ differences between men and women, and the concept of ‘hardwiring’ sneaking into popular parlance as a brain-based explanation for all kinds of gender gaps.

But the field is littered with many problems. Some are the product of ill-informed popular science writing (neurotrash) based on the misunderstanding or misrepresentation of what brain imaging can tell us. Some, unfortunately involve poor science, with scientists using outdated and disproved stereotypes to design and interpret their research (neurosexism). These problems obscure or ignore the ‘neuronews’, the breakthroughs in our understanding of how plastic and permeable our brains are, and how the concept of ‘hard-wiring’ should be condemned to the dustbin of neurohistory.

This talk aims to offer ways of rooting out the neurotrash, stamping out the neurosexism and making way for neuronews.

Gina Rippon is Professor of Cognitive NeuroImaging in the Aston Brain Centre at Aston University. She has a background in psychology and physiology and uses brain imaging techniques such as Magnetoencephalography (MEG), functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate the relationship between patterns of brain activation and human sensory, cognitive and affective processes. Most recently her work has been in the field of developmental disorders such as autism. She has served as President of the British Psychophysiology Society (now the British Association of Cognitive Neuroscience).

She also writes and speaks on the use of neuroimaging techniques In the study of sex/gender differences, recently featured in the BBC Horizon programme “Is your Brain Male or Female?”. She is additionally involved in activities around the public communication of science, particularly in challenging the misuse of neuroscience to support gender stereotypes, and in work to correct the under-representation of women in STEM subjects. She has recently been appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association.

Kevin Precious

When?
Tuesday, September 26 2017 at 7:00PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Kevin Precious

What's the talk about?

In between the various comedic activites, Kevin Precious attends his local humanist group - he's an agnostic, folks - where he loves a good old debate about the big questions in life. 

Expect jokes and stories then, about his time as an RE teacher, being a humanist, the God-Shaped Hole, and the philosophy of religion... and you can ask him a few questions of your own afterwards, if you wish.

Kevin Precious is a former RE teacher turned stand-up comedian and promoter. Besides having played many of the top clubs in the land, he also promotes shows in arts centres and theatres under the Barnstormers Comedy banner. He has previously toured the country with a stand-up show entitled 'Not Appropriate', dedicated to the business of teaching.

Hayley Stevens

When?
Tuesday, October 31 2017 at 7:00PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

Who?
Hayley Stevens

What's the talk about?

A Skeptic’s Guide to Ghost Hunting offers an entertaining, funny and at times scary introduction to the world of modern paranormal research. Audiences have laughed, gasped and even cried...


Lifting the lid on sham ghost-hunting claims, showcasing the latest not-so-amazing paranormal evidence, and exposing the tricks of the trade, Hayley Stevens will show how not all is what it seems when it comes to things that go bump in the night. 

Described as ' ... the Scully end of the Mulder-Scully X-Files spectrum' by The Times, Hayley Stevens has been investigating ghosts and monsters cases for over a decade, ever since she was a teenager. She has entertained audiences all across Europe with her talks on the paranormal and her writing can be found in Skeptical Inquirer, The Skeptic, Paranormal Magazine and on her award-winning blog, 'Hayley is a Ghost'.

'Knows what [she] is talking about,' Dr Steven Novella.

Paul Duncan McGarrity

When?
Tuesday, November 28 2017 at 7:00PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Paul Duncan McGarrity

What's the talk about?

An archaeologist and comedian (same person, Paul Duncan McGarrity) sits in a room and answers your questions on any subject as honestly as possible. Could be rude, probably crude. Be prepared to talk candidly with the protection of context.

'Like a very tall, funny, excited child' (Scotsman)