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).

How to be a Mathematical Charlatan

Barney Maunder-Taylor

When?
Wednesday, December 13 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Barney Maunder-Taylor

What's the talk about?

The rise of the pocket calculator in the 1970’s led very quickly to the demise of a once ubiquitous mathematical skill: that of the Human Calculator. As a result of this, easy tricks that speed up mental calculations are now little known, allowing amateur mathemagicians to “bluff it” very easily with a few simple techniques.

Concurrently, the curtain has come down on the cheerful “wink at the camera” magicians of the 1980’s, some of whom now seem twee by today’s cultural standards. Instead, the last two decades have seen the rise of a new brand of psychological magician, with the likes of David Blaine, Derren Brown, and others presenting their tricks as feats of Mentalism rather then as conjuring tricks to be enjoyed for what they are. 

While genuine “human calculators” are still treading the boards, these changing times have created an ideally fertile breeding ground for performers who wish to pass themselves off as a genius, together with a public eager to enjoy tricks which are presented as feats of extreme mental agility. From a sceptical viewpoint, how can we tell the difference between real and fake human calculators?

In this entertaining talk Barney Maunder-Taylor will lift the lid on some of the mathematical gimmicks and shortcuts popular with magicians, entertainers and genuine mathemagicians, including a step-by-step guide to convincing someone you are a mathematical savant. The evening will demonstrate some simple maths behind the performing of apparently superhuman feats of mathematical dexterity and mind-reading, but all with minimal effort. Whether you wish to share these secrets with others or keep them to yourself and pose as a mathematical charlatan is up to you.

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Barney Maunder-Taylor MA (Oxon) is a freelance mathematical enrichment speaker, the “Guild of Jesters” Jester of Bournemouth, and a former Champion of Countdown (season 62).

Are We Nearly There Yet?

Alice Howarth

When?
Wednesday, January 10 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Alice Howarth

What's the talk about?

One in two of us will suffer with cancer in our lifetime and almost all of us have some experience of the disease. But do we really know what cancer is and how we can work towards a cure? Is a cure even possible? And how can we arm ourselves with the right information to help us prevent and treat cancer?

In this talk, Alice Howarth will discuss what cancer is, how it works and just how we are working towards understanding and curing the disease. She will talk about the complexities of research and some of the big success stories that relate directly to some of the many types of cancer. Only when we understand the difficulties we face can we discern between bogus cancer treatment claims and genuine scientific advancement in this field.

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Alice is a researcher who has worked in the Institute of Translational Medicine at the University of Liverpool with both non-profit and for-profit organisations. 

Stories from the Frontline of the Future

Mark Stevenson

When?
Wednesday, February 14 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Mark Stevenson

What's the talk about?

Our systems are failing. Old models – for education, healthcare, government, food production and energy supply – are creaking under the weight of modern challenges. As the world’s population heads towards 10 billion, it is clear we need new approaches. 

Futurologist Mark Stevenson sets out to find them, uncovering an enthralling picture of what can be done to address the world’s most pressing dilemmas, a journey that offers a much needed dose of down-to-earth optimism. It is a window on (and a roadmap to) a different and better future.

Mark will be fitting as much as possible into his talk - this is a 100 mile-an-hour tour into the future, but fear not, there will be a time for questions and answers in the second half and for unpacking some of his ideas more fully!

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Mark Stevenson is a writer, entrepreneur, broadcaster, reluctant futurologist and founder of The League of Pragmatic Optimists. He has written for Radio 4, the Times, Sunday Times, Wall Street Journal, Telegraph, Guardian and New Statesman, and is the author of the critically acclaimed An Optimist’s Tour of the Future.

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