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 Tuesday 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).

Shining a light on the autism spectrum

Rachel Moseley

When?
Tuesday, August 13 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road
Charminster
Bournemouth
Dorset
BH8 8PX

Who?
Rachel Moseley

What's the talk about?

The road to understanding autism spectrum conditions (ASC) has been a long and twisting one, with many false turns, but scientists have now come to realise that autism is a neurodevelopmental condition: one that is genetic, lifelong, and has its roots in the structure and function of the brain.

It appears that autistic brains are wired differently, and that this gives rise to a very different way of experiencing the world. How good we are at socialising; how well we communicate; how we experience sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches; all of these ways in which we differ can be traced back to the natural diversity in our brains.

In this talk, Dr Rachel Moseley will explore the brain basis of autism, adding a perspective from brain science to explain some of the differences between autistic and non-autistic people.

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Dr Rachel Moseley is a senior lecturer at Bournemouth University. She completed her PhD and two postdoctoral years in Cambridge, investigating brain differences between autistic and non-autistic people. Since moving to Bournemouth, she has further explored mental health, ageing, sex differences, and aspects of cognitive processing in autistic people.

Jon Butterworth

When?
Tuesday, September 10 2019 at 7:30PM

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

Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road
Charminster
Bournemouth
Dorset
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”.
 

Matthew Tompkins

When?
Tuesday, October 8 2019 at 7:30PM

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

Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road
Charminster
Bournemouth
Dorset
BH8 8PX

Who?
Matthew Tompkins

What's the talk about?

Is seeing believing? Is believing seeing? How can we hope to conduct experiments on things that only exist within our minds, and, on a related note, can scientists ever be trusted to study deception without being deceived themselves? What can scientists learn about the mind from the illusions developed and practiced by professional magicians? Join magician and experimental psychologist Dr. Matthew L. Tompkins, author of The Spectacle of Illusion, for a fascinating talk exploring the psychology of magic.

Everyone's heard, and most of us have told, a story about an uncanny or supernatural seeming experience. Accounts of wondrous and impossible phenomena can be found around the world throughout recorded history. These extraordinary events often seem to be facilitated by extra-ordinary individuals: sorcerers, spiritual mediums, psychic sensitives. Such phenomena have even been reported under 'test conditions', witnessed by scientists—men professionally trained in the practice of empirical observation. To date, such events have not led conventional scientists to embrace the reality of supernatural phenomena- but they have arguably led to scientific breakthroughs how we understand the psychology of illusion.

This talk will feature a mixture of storytelling and magical scientific demonstrations to explore how scientists, past and present, have approached the study of illusion. Matt will discuss how magic played a weird but fundamental role in the in the establishment of psychology as a scientific discipline, and how he and other contemporary researchers have been using magic tricks to create new experiments in order to investigate human memory, perception, and reasoning.

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American magician-turned-psychologist Dr. Matthew L. Tompkins completed his DPhil in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. Previously, he had obtained a BA in Psychology at the State University of New York at Geneseo and an MSc in Psychological Research from Oxford. He is currently a Visiting Academic at The Queen’s College, Oxford and also works as a freelance writer.

His research, which has been featured across various international media outlets, including the Washington Post and BBC Future, focuses on the cognitive psychology of illusions. Matt was working as professional magician before he began his academic career, and his experiences performing continue to influence his work. He is the first member of The Magic Circle to have been admitted on the basis of a peer-reviewed scientific publication. His new book, The Spectacle of Illusion, explores the historical and contemporary relationships between scientists, magicians, and fraudulent mystics. matt-tompkins.com/soi