Bournemouth Skeptics in the Pub invite a guest speaker every month to come and discuss something interesting with us. The talks can be about science, reason and critical thinking, conspiracy, the paranormal, cults and so on. Listen, have a drink and ask some questions of our speaker.

We meet on the second Wednesday of each month at The Brunswick Pub, 199 Malmesbury Park Rd, Charminster, BH8 8PX (5 minutes by car or 15 minutes on foot from Bournemouth Station).

Dara Mojtahedi

When?
Wednesday, April 10 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Dara Mojtahedi

What's the talk about?

Would you electrocute a puppy if someone asked you to? How about if you were a soldier during the Nazi regime, would you have followed orders and executed innocent bystanders? Whilst these questions may sound unusual— and frankly, a little odd — they serve a purpose in demonstrating how most individuals perceive the causes of evil behaviour.

When asked such questions, people have often confidently answered ‘no’ due to not considering their selves as being evil. However, what people often forget to account for is to the power that situational factors can have on influencing our actions.

Throughout history, notable cases have demonstrated how easy it is for ordinary individuals to be manipulated by their environment into carrying out unspeakable crimes. This talk will be discussing the situational factors that can turn good people evil.

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Dr Dara Mojtahedi is a lecturer in psychology at the University of Huddersfield.

Rebecca Nesbit

When?
Wednesday, May 8 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Rebecca Nesbit

What's the talk about?

Save the Honeybee stories are never far from the news, but is the species really under threat? And should environmentalists be interested in them at all? Britain has around 250 bee species, yet almost all the attention goes to the domestic honeybee. Queen bees are traded around the world, and honeybee populations are dependent on the work of beekeepers, so should we see them as wildlife

Rebecca Nesbit will explore how we choose which species should be conservation priorities, and therefore whether protecting honeybees is important. She will argue that the evidence for the EU’s widely-publicised ban on neonicotinoid pesticides is not as clear cut as many news outlets would have us believe.

Rebecca is an ecologist and writer with a particular interest in the science and ethics of setting conservation priorities. For her PhD she used radars and flight simulators to study butterfly migration, and she now works in science communication. She has written two books: ‘Is that Fish in Your Tomato?’, looking at the fact and fiction of GM foods, and ‘A Column of Smoke’, a novel.

What's The Alternative?

Keith Kahn-Harris

When?
Wednesday, June 12 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Keith Kahn-Harris

What's the talk about?

One of the most challenging and frustrating questions for scientists is how to combat denialism: Holocaust denial, global warming denial, anti-vaxxers, 911 conspiracism, creationism and more. Debunking denialist claims is essential - yet also rarely effective. We are now living in a world where even the most apparently basic truths are routinely contested. 

In this talk, Keith Kahn-Harris, author of Denial: The Unspeakable Truth, argues that to really understand denialism, we have to face up to what he calls 'the deniers alternative'. Denialism emerges when this alternative is so 'unspeakable' that denialism becomes a preferable option. In thinking about how to combat denialism, we also have to consider whether a world without it might not be a truth-filled utopia, but something even worse. 

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Dr Keith Kahn-Harris is a sociologist and writer. Denial: The Unspeakable Truth is his fifth book. His badly-designed website can be found at kahn-harris.org and he tweets irregularly at @KeithKahnHarris

Jon Butterworth

When?
Wednesday, July 10 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Jon Butterworth

What's the talk about?

Jon Butterworth will explore our current state of knowledge of particle
physics, the so-called standard model, which was completed by the
discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012. This gives us a map of the
invisible world of subatomic physics. But what does the map reveal, what
lies beyond its limits and what are the latest experiments telling us?

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Jon is a physics professor at University College London who works on the
Atlas experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. He won the Chadwick
prize of the Institute of Physics in 2013 for his “pioneering
experimental and phenomenological work in high-energy particle physics,
especially in the understanding of hadronic jets”.