Skeptics in the Pub is about getting people to come together, whatever their background, to have a relaxed and enjoyable evening, hopefully leaving with a little extra knowledge! We'll hear talks given by experts in their fields and explore a wide range of topics finishing with all the weird, wonderful and somewhat revealing questions that pop into our heads. 

Come on, we'd all rather be in a pub than a lecture theatre, right?

Join Us for a Pint and some Science

When?

Usually, the last Tuesday of every month.

Where?

Usually, The Blue Moon, Norfolk Street, Cambridge, CB1 2LF.

What Time?

Most talks start promptly at 7:30pm, finishing between 9:15 - 9:30pm.

Do I Have To Be A Member?

Nope. Any member of the public is free to come along. Just turn up.

How Much?

Tickets are usually £3.00 in advance (+ booking fee) or £5.00 on the door. Occasionally we run special events, so please check event details for information.

 

        

 

Skeptic or Cynic?

So what is it with the skepticism? No, we're not negative or cynical people, quite the opposite! We're just asking questions to build a better understanding of the world. What better way to do that then ask the experts themselves?

If you want to more, you can read our more in-depth explaination here.

Whatever you believe, whether you consider yourself a skeptic, or think that skeptics are close-minded invididuals, you are more than welcome to come and join the discussion and fuel the debate!

Upcoming Events

with Natalie Bennett of the Green Party

Natalie Bennett

When?
Tuesday, February 27 2018 at 7:30PM

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

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Natalie Bennett

What's the talk about?

Natalie Bennett was the leader of the Green Party from 2012-2016. Over that time she and the party became known as champions of the policy of universal basic income - a guarantee that people's basic needs will be met by an unconditional payment to meet their essential needs. She argues that it is a guarantee of the basic human right to life, a way of providing people with the chance to use their talents well, and ends benefit traps. No one would be left penniless, as far too many are being left now by zero-hours contracts and swingeing benefit sanctions. And it might mean that sewer cleaners are paid more than bankers - as they probably should be. Trials are underway now in Finland, Holland, Canada, the US and Kenya - it is an idea that is catching on fast, in part because of fears about the impact of automation on jobs.

TICKETS SOLD OUT

    

Useful Links:
sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk

in partnership with the Cambridge Science Festival 2018

Professor Richard Wiseman

When?
Tuesday, March 20 2018 at 7:00PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

Old Metallurgy Annex
New Museums Site
Pembroke Street
University of Cambridge
Cambridge
CB2 3RA

Who?
Professor Richard Wiseman

What's the talk about?

Professor Richard Wiseman is on a mission to put the world to sleep.

For the past few years, he has explored the new science of sleep and dreaming, conducted experiments into sleep-learning, and assembled the world’s largest archive of dream reports. Join Richard Wiseman as he uncovers the power of the sleeping mind, revealing how you can get the perfect night’s sleep, decode your dreams, and improve your life without moving a muscle.

An inspiring and powerful talk about the power of sleep, dreams and the unconscious.

Richard Wiseman is a Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. He has written several best-selling popular psychology books that have been translated into over 30 languages. He has given keynote addresses to The Royal Society, The Swiss Economic Forum, Google and Amazon. He is a fellow for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and a patron of the British Humanist Association.

Tickets: Free via Cambridge Science Festival
www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk/events/science-sleep
Available from Monday 12th February 2018, 11:00am

Tickets for this event will be managed by the Cambridge Science Festival 2018. Tickets will be free of charge, but limited and on a first-come-first served basis. You will need obtain your free e-ticket to gain entry to the event as tickets are unlikely to be available on the door.

     

Buy the Book:
Night School: The Life-Changing Science of Sleep

Useful Links:
www.quirkology.com

This event is being promoted in partnership with the Cambridge Science Festival 2018:
www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk

Edzard Ernst

When?
Tuesday, March 27 2018 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Edzard Ernst

What's the talk about?

Homeopathy has often been criticised for being implausible and unproven, but rarely by someone who has been brought up on this therapy, trained as a homeopath, researched the subject for 25 years and published > 150 papers on it. Prof Edzard Ernst has become homeopathy's best-informed and most outspoken critic. His talk has the same title as his latest book: HOMEOPATHY, THE UNDILUTED FACTS.

Edzard Ernst is an academic physician and researcher specializing in the study of complementary and alternative medicine. He was formerly Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, the first such academic position in the world.

Ernst served as chairman of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR) at the University of Vienna, but left this position in 1993 to set up the department of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter in England. He became director of complementary medicine of the Peninsula Medical School (PMS) in 2002. Ernst was the first occupant of the Laing chair in Complementary Medicine, retiring in 2011. He was born and trained in Germany, where he began his medical career at a homeopathic hospital in Munich, and since 1999 has been a British citizen.

Ernst is the founder of two medical journals: Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies (of which he is currently editor-in-chief) and Perfusion.Ernst's writing appeared in a regular column in The Guardian, where he reviewed news stories about complementary medicine from an evidence-based medicine perspective.Since his research began on alternative modalities, Ernst has been seen as "the scourge of alternative medicine" for publishing critical research that exposes methods that lack documentation of efficacy.In 2015 he was awarded the John Maddox Prize, sponsored jointly by Sense About Science and Nature, for courage in standing up for science.

Tickets: £3.00 advance / £5.00 on the door

      

Buy the Book:
Homeopathy - The Undiluted Facts

Useful Links:
edzardernst.com

in partnership with Cambridge and Ely Humanists

Andrew Copson

When?
Tuesday, April 10 2018 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Andrew Copson

What's the talk about?

Secularism is an increasingly hot topic in public, political, and religious debate across the globe. It is embodied in the conflict between secular republics – from the US to India – and the challenges they face from resurgent religious identity politics; in the challenges faced by religious states like those of the Arab world from insurgent secularists; and in states like China where calls for freedom of belief are challenging a state-imposed non-religious worldview.

In this book Andrew tells the story of secularism, taking in momentous episodes in world history, such as the great transition of Europe from religious orthodoxy to pluralism, the global struggle for human rights and democracy, and the origins of modernity.

Andrew is Chief Executive of Humanists UK (formerly the British Humanist Association). He became Chief Executive in 2010 after five years coordinating Humanists UK’s education and public affairs work. Andrew is also President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU).

Together with A C Grayling, Andrew edited the Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Humanism (2015). His new book, Secularism: Politics, Religion, and Freedom, was published in September 2017 by Oxford University Press. He writes widely across the media and appears often in broadcast media representing a humanist point of view.

Tickets: £3.00 advance / £5.00 on the door

      

Buy the Book: 
Secularism: Politics, Religion, and Freedom

 

Useful Links:
humanism.org.uk
cambridge.humanist.org.uk
ely.humanist.org.uk

Tim Morley

When?
Tuesday, April 24 2018 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Tim Morley

What's the talk about?

Ignored or mocked by some as a utopian fantasy, Esperanto has nonetheless attracted over a million learners on Duolingo.com alone in the last couple of years, but who are they? What's the attraction? What's it for?

This entertaining talk includes a taster of the language itself as well as some insight into what motivates people to learn it and the sometimes unexpected uses that they find for it.

Tim Morley has spent the last 20 years teaching and learning languages. He taught Esperanto in Cambridge primary schools for seven years and is a regular at the Summer Esperanto School, an annual nine-day residential event in Slovakia.

Tickets: £3.00 advance / £5.00 on the door
(tickets not yet on sale)

      

Useful Links:
Learn Esperanto First: Tim Morley at TEDx

Dr. David Luke

When?
Tuesday, May 22 2018 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Dr. David Luke

What's the talk about?

The traditional use of psychoactive plants in spiritual and shamanic rituals has continued for thousands of years, apparently, while the use of these substances recreationally, scientifically and therapeutically in the developed world has also grown steadily in the last century as ever more plants are discovered and new synthetic chemicals are created. Since the earliest clinical, anthropological and anecdotal reports of the use of these powerful psychoactive substances they have been associated with all manner of strange and anomalous experiences, ranging from the mystical to the downright weird. With the recent return to academic research of these substances with humans after a 40-year hiatus the question arises as to what to make of these highly prevalent anomalous experiences and what can be gained from studying them clinically, psychologically, neuroscientifically, and indeed ontologically. 

Dr David Luke is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich where he has been teaching an undergraduate course on the Psychology of Exceptional Human Experience since 2009. His research focuses on anomalous experiences and altered states of consciousness, especially via psychedelics, having published more than 100 academic papers in this area, including seven books, such as Otherworlds: Psychedelics and Exceptional Human Experience (2017) and the co-authored textbook Anomalistic Psychology (2012). David is also director of the Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness salon at the Institute of Ecotechnics, London, and is a cofounder and director of Breaking Convention: International Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness. He has given over 200 invited public lectures and conference presentations, won both teaching and research awards, organised numerous festivals, conferences, seminars, retreats and expeditions, has studied techniques of consciousness alteration from South America to India, and he lives life on the edge, of Sussex.

Tickets: £3.00 advance / £5.00 on the door
(tickets not yet on sale)

     

Buy David's Book: 
Otherworlds: Psychedelics and Exceptional Human Experience

Dr. Anil Awesti

When?
Tuesday, June 19 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Dr. Anil Awesti

What's the talk about?

Brexit is the single biggest change in UK politics post-1945.  Leaving the EU will affect every aspect of UK public policy from agriculture and local development to foreign policy and international relations, and everything in between.  However, despite Theresa May’s assertion that “Brexit means Brexit”, many questions remain unanswered.  What will Brexit look like?  Will the EU give the UK a good deal?  What are the costs and opportunities of Brexit for the UK and EU?  Will Brexit lead to the break-up of the UK?  What impact will Brexit have on the UK’s place in the world?

The answers to these questions will be influenced by the outcomes of the UK-EU negotiations.  Through an analysis of the ongoing discussions, this talk explores the contemporary political, economic, legal and social issues surrounding the UK’s departure from the EU.  It examines the politics and process of leaving the EU, key policies that will be affected, and contentious debates that have emerged.  In doing so, the talk analyses this historic period in British politics.

Dr Anil Awesti is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Warwick.  He has researched and published in the fields of EU governance, the history of the EU and Britain and the EU.  He is currently teaching an innovative ‘Politics of Brexit’ course analysing ongoing UK-EU negotiations.

Tickets: £3.00 advance / £5.00 on the door
(tickets not yet on sale)

     

Mark Stevenson

When?
Tuesday, July 31 2018 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Mark Stevenson

What's the talk about?

Our systems are failing. Old models – for education, healthcare and government, food production, energy supply – are creaking under the weight of modern challenges. As the world’s population heads towards 10 billion, it’s clear we need new approaches. Futurologist Mark Stevenson sets out to find them, across four continents.

From Brazilian favelas to high tech Boston, from rural India to a shed inventor in England’s home counties, We Do Things Differently travels the world to find the advance guard re-imagining our future. At each stop, he meets innovators who have already succeeded in challenging the status quo, pioneering new ways to make our world more sustainable, equitable and humane.

Mark has also written for The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Intelligent Life, The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, The Daily Telegraph, and The New Statesman. His key skill is an ability to take complex or abstract concepts and make them understandable by non-specialists without trivialising the subject matter.

Mark is also an occasional comedy writer. His work has been performed on Radio 4 and his play (co-written with Jack Milner) Octopus Soup comes to London in January 2018.

Tickets: £3.00 advance / £5.00 on the door
(tickets not yet on sale)

     

Buy the Book: 
We Do Things Differently: The Outsiders Rebooting Our World

Useful Links:
markstevenson.org

Hayley Stevens

When?
Tuesday, September 25 2018 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

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, paranormal researcher 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 for over a decade, ever since she was a teenager. She has entertained audiences all across Europe with her talks on investigating 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, Skeptics Guide To The Universe

Tickets: £3.00 advance / £5.00 on the door
(tickets not yet on sale)

     

Useful Links:
hayleyisaghost.co.uk

with The Zombie Institute for Theoretical Studies

Dr. Ian Smith

When?
Tuesday, October 30 2018 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Dr. Ian Smith

What's the talk about?

The Zombie Institute for Theoretical Studies proudly presents: ‘Zombie Science: Genes of the Damned' - the next in the spoof lecture series from the world's leading zombieism research facility.

In this lecture, theoretical zombiologist Dr. Smith asks whether you will know what to do when the Zombie Apocalypse occurs and you find yourself in your own real-life zombie horror film. See how we can learn lessons from disease outbreaks through history. Draw inspiration from today's popular television and film zombie documentaries. Discover who is most likely to be affected and find out how modern medical technology could be used to help the survivors.

It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry, it'll make you think. It'll also make you feel quite ill, possibly.The outcome of the show will be decided by the audience ... how will you deal with the Damned?

Dr. Smith has been giving talks on the science of zombies for many years from Brighton to Unst, informing and inspiring over 20,000 people. When not lecturing, he works for the Zombie Institute for Theoretical Studies, where he and his colleagues prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse. With the motto "love the zombie, hate the zombieism", the group focuses on how the condition could come about and how it could be prevented and treated. He is often asked if he has ever seen a real zombie, but, thanks to the groups preventative measures, none has yet been forthcoming.

After the talk, we will be airing the Zombie-classic: Night of the Living Dead (1968) to mark 50 years since the films release! The film runs for approximately 1hr and 36m, so we will aim to finish by 11pm.

Tickets: £3.00 advance / £5.00 on the door
(tickets not yet on sale)

     

Useful Links:
www.zombiescience.org.uk

with The Angry Chef

Anthony Warner

When?
Tuesday, November 27 2018 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

2 Norfolk Street
Cambridge
CB1 2LF

Who?
Anthony Warner

What's the talk about?

Anthony Warner somehow managed to complete a Biochemistry Degree at Manchester University before deeply disappointing his parents by deciding that the heat of the professional kitchen was the career for him. After ten years in restaurants, hotels and events-catering he became a development chef in the food manufacturing industry and has spent the last 11 years working on some of the UK’s best-known brands and products.

In 2016, driven by frustration at the clearly unscientific messages being spewed out by a new breed of healthy eating celebrities, he started the Angry Chef blog, intended to appeal to a few similarly frustrated food industry professionals. Despite frequent attempts to alienate his readers, the blog has grown in popularity, forcing a middle-aged man to reluctantly engage with social media. Terrified at the prospect of being described as a ‘food-blogger’, Anthony has tried in vain to keep Angry Chef anonymous, but has sadly failed to do so as newspapers and magazines continue to approach him in the hope he might say something controversial about Jamie Oliver.

He now writes regularly for New Scientist, The Pool and the Sunday Times, and his first book, The Angry Chef - Bad Science and the Truth about Healthy Eating was published by Oneworld in July. He has appeared on Inside Science, The Food Programme and was once asked if he would be happy to eat his own dog on The Moral Maze.

Anthony does not have a food philosophy. He is a pretty decent cook, but is not an expert in anything. He is merely curious and determined to get to the truth. He loves food, loves science and is ambivalent about Marmite. He lives in the Nottinghamshire countryside with his wife, daughter and a slightly unbalanced Springer Spaniel.

Tickets: £3.00 advance / £5.00 on the door
(tickets not yet on sale)

     

Buy the Book:
Bad Science and the Truth About Healthy Eating

Useful Links:
angry-chef.com