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).

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.

Fighting Back Against Criminal Graphs

Colin Beveridge

When?
Wednesday, April 8 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Colin Beveridge

What's the talk about?

There’s no such thing as an innocent graph. Almost by definition, any representation of data omits some details, and glosses over others. That’s to be expected.

But innocence is a sliding scale and political graphs are often at the dirty end of it. With a general election coming up, it’s vital to be wise to the tricks they’ll use to convince you they’re the only sensible candidate to vote for - from selective use of data, to playing about with axes, to more subtle techniques… and to outright making things up (sorry, ‘informal polling’).

This talk uses examples from election literature to warn you about these sneaky tactics - and give you questions with which to harangue the candidates when they canvass for your vote.

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Colin is the author of Basic Maths For Dummies and the Flying Colours Maths Blog (where the Maths Police hang out). When not holding politicians’ feet to the fire, he looks after baby Bill and helps students figure out A-level maths. He lives in Weymouth in a house with the same kind of sea view as Fawlty Towers.

@icecolbeveridge

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How To Rebuild Our World From Scratch

Lewis Dartnell

When?
Wednesday, May 13 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Lewis Dartnell

What's the talk about?

Maybe it was an asteroid impact, a nuclear war, or a viral pandemic. Whatever the cause, the world as we know it is over and humanity must start again. What would you need to know to not only survive in the immediate aftermath, but avert another Dark Ages and accelerate the rebooting of civilisation from scratch? The Knowledge is a grand thought experiment on the behind-the-scenes fundamentals of how our world works, and what drove the progression of civilisation over the centuries.

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Dr Lewis Dartnell is a research fellow at the University of Leicester, working in the field of astrobiology and the search for life beyond Earth. He has written three books: Life in the Universe: A Beginner's GuideMy Tourist Guide to the Solar System and The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch.

@lewis_dartnell

An amble through vaccination and those who dangerously preach against it

Michael Head

When?
Wednesday, June 10 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Michael Head

What's the talk about?

Smallpox is eradicated, polio has nearly gone the same way and in most countries diphtheria is rare. That’s due to vaccination. Yet headlines are often fixated on measles outbreaks on both sides of the Pond, or the ‘dangers’ of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine. There are too many who are just not fussed about vaccines or worse, actively preach and campaign against them, with more than the occasional dollop of an absence of morality.

Plus there’s the desperate search for an ebola vaccine that, at best, will come two years too late, the imperfections of the tuberculosis vaccine, the waning immunity over time of the pertussis (whooping cough) immunisation, that HIV vaccine that just won’t come, and the annual guesswork that is the composition of the influenza vaccine. It’s a complicated business, alright.

This presentation will walk you through some facts and figures, highlight the new vaccines in the pipeline and provide an insight into the public health danger posed by those who try and tell you MMR gives your child autism (it doesn’t, by the way).

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Michael Head is a research associate in infectious diseases at University College London and a visiting academic in the Faculty of Medicine at University of Southampton. He has been working in infectious disease research since 2004, has published widely in peer-reviewed journals including Lancet and Nature journals, and for some reason spends far too much of his spare time reading about ‘bad science’ on the web.