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).

Why Do Humans Often Act Against Their Own Best Interests?

James Erskine

When?
Wednesday, May 10 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
James Erskine

What's the talk about?

One common human experience is to formulate an intention to behave in a certain way, for example to only have one drink in the pub, to return the dry cleaning on time or not to talk to the attractive colleague at work.

However it is equally the case that on many of these occasions we not only fail to complete our intention but often do something resembling the complete opposite of the intention. This talk will examine some explanations for why this might be so common and potential ways to regain a degree of measured control.

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Dr James Erskine grew up in many places and has a broad perspective on most issues. His background is in healthcare and university settings. He trained as a psychologist and holds a BSc in psychology, MSc in statistics and research methods, PhD in psychology and a second clinical doctorate in counseling psychology. He has studied and worked in various universities (Hertfordshire, Cambridge, Harvard, Regents, St George’s) and hospitals / GP surgeries (St George’s, Shenley, Harperbury, Kneesworth House, Orford Lodge), as an educator, researcher and clinician. 

In the distant past he worked at other jobs (mail room sorter, hospital porter, kitchen assistant, cleaner, prison officer, writer, personal assistant).

He has published scientific journal articles in the fields of psychology and healthcare. Furthermore he has published poetry in several anthologies. He was married, is now divorced and lives with his daughter in London. He currently runs a therapy centre in London and Hertfordshire providing treatment excellence to private clients and companies.

http://www.londonhertstherapy.com/

http://www.drjameserskine.co.uk/

Rumit Somaiya

When?
Wednesday, June 14 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Rumit Somaiya

What's the talk about?

Rumit Somaiya has spent the past 25 years touring casinos throughout the world with his team. Their aim is simply to overcome the 'House Advantage' using all cerebral methods available, in order to amass fortunes. Historically 'Blackjack', 'Pontoon' and '21' have been the games of choice. The most well known method is 'card counting' which is surprisingly easy to learn but many other legal methods of 'casino advantage play' will be discussed.
 
Rumit will also discuss other forms of gambling including 'Sports Betting', 'Fixed odds betting' and the national lottery. Most people don't understand the maths of gambling, and sadly addiction is a major issue. 

Lydia Segebrecht

When?
Wednesday, July 12 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Lydia Segebrecht

What's the talk about?

Richard Aspinall

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

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Richard Aspinall

What's the talk about?

Immortality has held us fascinated throughout history and there are many examples of individuals searching for the elixir of life or the fountain of youth because they wished to live forever. There are even reports that some like the Comte de St Germain have succeeded...

More recently the goals have been modified or even shifted slightly with reports that rather than being immortal we will soon be able to live to be 1000 years old, that’s if we start treating the body like a machine and replacing those bits that wear out with time.

All of this seems plausible and the problems seem to be associated with the issues of overcrowding, supporting ourselves or how do we pay for the treatments. This skips over the first problem which is how we identify age related changes in the body and deal with them. None of us want to end up like Tithonus who was made immortal by Zeus, but forgot to ask for eternal youth and as he aged he withered and begged for death.

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Professor Richard Aspinall is a recognised expert in the area of age associated immune deficiencies and issues concerning vaccination in older people.

He is a member of the British Society for Immunology, the British Transplantation Society and the British Society for Research on Ageing. He has been a Member of MRC College of Experts, a member of the Board of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Postgraduate Medical School, Chairman of the British Society for Research on Ageing and a consultant for several major pharmaceutical companies.

Anil Seth

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

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Where?

199 Malmesbury Park Road,
Charminster
Bournemouth
BH8 8PX

Who?
Anil Seth

What's the talk about?

Consciousness is, for each of us, the presence of a world. Without consciousness there is no world, no self: there is nothing at all. But we do not know much about the material and biological basis of this most central feature of our lives. How do rich multisensory experiences, the senses of self and body, and volition, agency, and ‘will’ emerge from the joint activity of billions of neurons locked inside a bony skull?

Once the province just of philosophy and theology, the neuroscience of consciousness has emerged as a one of the great scientific challenges for this century.

In this seminar Anil will sketch the state-of-the-art in the new science of consciousness. He will distinguish between conscious level (how conscious we are), conscious content (what we are conscious of), and conscious self (the ‘I’ behind the eyes), describing in each case how new experiments are shedding light on the underlying neural mechanisms, in normal life and in neurological and psychiatric conditions.

Throughout, he will emphasize phenomenology; the way things seem – as the target for any satisfying explanation of how the brain, in conjunction with the body and the environment, gives rise to and shapes conscious experience.

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Anil Seth is Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience and Co-Director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at Sussex University.