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  1. Sheffield Humanist Society presents: The Science of Miracles and the Miracles of Science, by Dr. Richard Taylor. Date: 10th November 2015 Time: 20:00 (please feel free to turn up early to socialise) Venue: Quaker Meeting House, 10 St. James Street, Sheffield. S1 2EW. All religions claim to have miraculous events in their history. Whether it’s walking on water or riding a flying horse, the unbelievable is used as evidence for belief. However, have we done better? Is Science more miraculous and inherently more believable than these tales? Dr Richard Taylor thinks so and, on the evening of November 10th, he will taking down some miracles of faith and show you some miracles of science Our speaker for November is Dr Richard Taylor, Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield. He finished his PhD with the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering in December 2014, which was entitled ‘Design of Photonic Crystal Surface Emitting Lasers and the Realisation of Coherently Coupled Arrays’, which also formed the basis of a patent. In 2014, he was awarded: Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Postgraduate Scholarship Award 2014 Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Prize 2014 Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Summer fellowship 2014 Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Bridge fellowship 2015 He was also awarded the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Post-doctoral fellowship University of Tokyo, which he will be starting in 2016 The meeting is free to attend, although we do ask for a suggested donation of £3. The Quaker meeting house is next to Sheffield Cathedral, and is on both tram and bus routes. There will be an opportunity to socialise after the event, details to be confirmed. We look forward to seeing you all there. FB event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1922225554670291
  2. Sheffield Humanist Society presents: Seeking Asylum and Refuge in Sheffield - Robert Spooner, ASSIST Our speaker this month will be Robert Spooner of ASSIST Sheffield. He will talk about the history of the organisation, how their work has both changed and progressed, how changing government policies have affected their organisation and those they work with, and what all of us can do to help others in need. We may also have the opportunity to hear from asylum seekers about their experiences, and what it was like for them to take refuge in our city. The meeting begins at 20.00, but please feel free to arrive early for socialising. Its free to attend, but we do ask for a suggested donation of £3 to help cover expenses. There is parking on-site (although please note that the car park may be busy due to a local football match), and the beer is cheap! We look forward to seeing you all there. ASSIST Website: http://www.assistsheffield.org.uk/ Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1616915881901253/
  3. The Need for Amnesty - Robin Story Date: Tuesday 1st September 2015 Time: 20.00 Venue: Farm Road Sports and Social Club, S2 2TP. Robin Story, West & Central Africa Campaign Coordinator for Amnesty Sheffield, will be discussing their history, their current campaigns and why their work is so important now more than ever. The meeting begins at 20.00, but please feel free to arrive early for socialising. Its free to attend, but we do ask for a suggested donation of £3 to help cover expenses. There is parking on-site, and the beer is cheap! We look forward to seeing you all there. Event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/948128821913727/
  4. Can Humanists Be Right-Wing? - Alex Gerald Martin Date: Tuesday 4th August 2015 Time: 20.00 Venue: Farm Road Sports and Social Club, S2 2TP. Is Humanism a purely left-wing concept? Are humanism and right wing politics compatible? Our speaker will not only be discussing these questions, but also proposing that there is room in Humanism for people on the right. Alex Martin has written for New Histories magazine, the Times Educational Supplement, is a committee member of both the Sheffield Sunday Assembly group and the Sheffield Humanist Society, and was head of membership for the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS). The meeting begins at 20.00, but please feel free to arrive early for socialising. Its free to attend, but we do ask for a suggested donation of £3 to help cover expenses. There is parking on-site, and the beer is cheap! We look forward to seeing you all there. Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/883729265028668/
  5. Sheffield Humanist Society presents: Ethical Decision Making and Human Rights in Policing - Phil Reed Date: Tuesday 7th July 2015 Time: 20.00 Venue: Farm Road Sports and Social Club, S2 2TP Our speaker for July will be Phil Reed, a National Public Order Command and Tactical Training advisor for the South Yorkshire police. An officer for 19 years, he was a teacher beforehand, and now combines the two to teach ethical decision making and human rights to other officers. He has worked in riot control, public order and has advised on responses to public protests . He will be speaking about his work teaching decision making, ethics, and discussing Articles 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act, which cover Freedom of Expression, and Freedom of Assembly and Association. All are welcome. The event is free to attend, although we do ask for a suggested donation of £3 to cover expenses. It starts at 8pm, but please feel free to turn up early for socialising. There is on-site parking, and the beer is cheap! We look forward to seeing you there.
  6. Brains, Bats, Star Trek and Psychopaths: The Neuropsychology of Morality - Glen Carrigan Tuesday 2nd June 2015 20.00 – 21.30 Farm Road Sports and Social Club, S2 2TP This is an introduction to a morality where God is not at its centre. Using the 4 S’s of science, skepticism, sarcasm and satire whilst employing neuropsychological research and a humanistic world view, we’ll look at what the alternatives are to a pious moral code, and why people and groups might make the decisions they do. We will seek to highlight that the debate about morality should not be conducted in a vacuum, but should take place in the real world and focus on understanding how our actions affect our fellow creatures, rather than desperately trying to cling to ancient ‘axiomatic’ standards and justify them with archaic and inadequate scriptural tenets. Glen Carrigan is a Senior Research Assistant in Clinical Practice at The University of Central Lancashire, currently researching Stroke, Health Inequalities, and providing training opportunities in research for clinicians. He is also a Neuropsychology Postgraduate Researcher where he specialises in moral psychology, public engagement, and has an interest in all things skeptical and political. Coming from a military background, Glen’s interest in psychology and morality was piqued when living and working in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and many other nations after experiencing myriad world views, different group behaviours, and the strife that often results when they clash – especially where religion is concerned. It is therefore his passionate aim to usher in a more enlightened form of thinking where equality as a species and compassion, help to uplift us in place of tribalism, religious moral absolutism, and the wanton disregard for the scientific facts that humans have so far revealed in this a beautiful and rich universe. Glen was recently nominated for the John Maddox prize in Science Engagement, and has aided in the development of a new Brain Imaging Lab (Electroencephalogram) at UCLan. He has also contributed to Humanist Life, and is a current Journalist at AtheistRepublic.com, as well as hosting his own blog. His other activities include: Creating, hosting, and presenting over 20 unique academic, and public engagement events, documentaries and talks, and the founding of two skeptical groups in the North West (Project Science and Reason, and UCLan Atheist, Humanist, and Secularist Society), and one cultural exchange group (UCLan Japanese Society). In addition, Glen has taken part in political and social activism, and charity work with the BHA, AHS and other groups on campaigns such as: Sense about Science, Ask for Evidence, UK Law Society and Sharia guidance, Ugandan Humanist Trust, Reform Section 5, equal marriage, no to gender segregation, and most recently saying farewell to Sir Terry Pratchett by honouring his patronage to Alzheimer’s Research UK. https://www.facebook.com/events/338564983021246/ All are welcome, the beer is cheap, and there is on-site parking. The event is free, but we do call for a suggested donation of £3 to cover expenses for the meeting. It starts at 8, but pease feel free to turn up early. We are in the large room at the end of the bar area. We look forward to seeing you all there.
  7. "Global Discrimination Against Humanists and Atheists" - Andrew Copson, British Humanist Association. Date: 05/05/2015 Time: 20.00 Venue: Farm Road Sports and Social Club, S2 2TP. Around the world, humanists and atheists face increasing discrimination, persecution and violence. Andrew Copson will talk about ‘Freedom of Thought 2014: A Global Report on the Rights, Legal Status, and Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists, and the Non-religious’ published recently by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), which details the situation of non-religious people in every country of the world for the first time. Andrew Copson is Chief Executive Officer of the British Humanist Association. He is a former director of the European Humanist Federation (EHF) and is currently First Vice President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), where he leads on Communications. He has previously served as a delegate of the IHEU to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and has also represented humanist organisations to the United Nations (UN) and Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). He has advised on Humanism for the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the BBC, and the Office of National Statistics among others. All are welcome. The event is free, although we do call for a suggested donation of £3 to help cover expenses. There is on-site parking, and the drinks are cheap! https://www.facebook.com/events/923024971081241/
  8. If anyone is interested in this subject but can't attend the meeting, and would like to ask our guest speaker a question, please feel free to reply to this message, post on our Facebook page, or tweet at us (@SHShumanists) and use #AskTehmina
  9. On 12th March 2015, the beloved writer and prominent humanist, Sir Terry Pratchett OBE sadly passed away. Many of us grew up with his books, many of us discovered them later in life, and many of us knew him through his work campaigning for dignity in dying. In rememberance of Sir Terry, the Sheffield Humanists and the University of Sheffield Secular and Atheist Society are hosting an event on the evening of Wednesday 18th March, in Lecture Theatre 5 in the Hicks Building at the University of Sheffield. The event will start at 19:30 There will be a viewing of his moving lecture on assisted dying entitled "Shaking Hands with Death", and some readings of some of his work. We would also like to call for people to donate to Alzheimer's Research, and will be taking a bucket collection on the night. Sir Terry was an ardent campaigner for Alzheimers research, and for assisted dying, but he also created a whole literary world which will live on long after his death. “No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away” - Sir Terry Pratchett OBE https://www.facebook.com/events/1409112916064389/
  10. Sheffield Humanist Society presents: 'Secular Muslims: On Building Inclusive Religious Spaces', with guest speaker Tehmina Kazi of the British Muslims for Secular Democracy. Date: Tues 7th April 2015 Time: 7pm start Venue: Farm Road Sports and Social Club, S2 2TP Women, LGBT people, some disabled people, and members of minority sects and others dissenters have traditionally felt excluded in mainstream Muslim spaces. Tehmina Kazi will be talking about ways in which these minorities have created new and innovative spaces for themselves, and built a critical mass against the conservatives. Tehmina is Director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy, an organisation which aims to raise awareness of the benefits of democracy and its contribution to a shared vision of citizenship. She is also a contributor to the Guardian newspaper. Prior to joining BMSD, she was a Project Officer at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, where she worked on a ground-breaking inquiry into the Human Rights Act and its impact on public service delivery, undertaking research, writing policy briefings, facilitating focus groups and interviewing victims of human rights violations. She also co-organised the first awards ceremony of its kind to acknowledge the achievements of the UK’s most powerful Muslim women, which received widespread coverage in the national press. Tehmina has done extensive research on domestic and international human rights issues, particularly religious freedom, the detention of foreign nationals and gender-based violence. She regularly contributes to forums on civil liberties and citizenship. The meeting itself will start at 7pm, but please feel free to turn up early for socialising if you wish. When you arrive, go into the main entrance and the meeting room is directly on your right hand side. After Tehmina's talk, there will be time for you to ask her some questions on the subject. Entry to the meeting is free of charge, however the Society requests a voluntarily suggested donation of £3. This contribution goes towards paying for things such as room hire, advertising and speakers expenses. We hope to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/events/788206884582189/
  11. Date: Tuesday 6th January 2015 Time: 7.30pm Location: Farm Road Sports and Social Club, S2 2TP. Its that time of year again! Yes, that's right, its time for our New Year social event, a time for fun, laughter, a good old-fashioned pub quiz, and a prize-packed raffle to boot. There'll be gifts galore, and a scrumptious buffet on offer. Tickets are £10 (raffle tickets not included), and the bar is subsidised. Tickets will need to be purchased in advance, with all monies to be collected before the end of December. There will be a small number of tickets available on the door, but you must register your interest so we can make sure we order enough food. Cheques are payable to the Sheffield Humanist Society and should be posted to 10 Trippet Court, Graham Road, Sheffield, S10 3DY. If you wish to post cash, please note that this will be at your own risk. Please include your details in with your cheque/cash so we can send you confirmation of your payment. If you would like to pay cash prior to the meeting, in person, please respond to this thread and we will do our best to arrange something. We look forward to seeing you all there!
  12. David Hume was one of the most important figures in the Scottish Enlightenment, and in the history of Western philosophy. Robin Grinter will set out Hume's ideas and say why he thinks that Hume's thinking gives one of the most powerful justifications in philosphy for a wide range of our everyday understanding. He will show how this reveals much of Hume's thinking as evident in the tradition that we recognise as Humanist. He was a secular thinker, using a scientific approach, seeking evidence to prove arguments and dismissing all other thinking as speculation that often leads, particularly in the case of religion, to dogmatism Please note: The venue has easy access and free parking.
  13. On 18th November, the Sheffield Humanist Society will be hosting Hester Reeve at Farm Road Sports and Social Club, S2 2TP. All are welcome. Hester Reeve will discuss the value of re-historicising the suffragette as a militant artist in order to celebrate the unique suffragette contribution to human rights and creative citizenship. She will also examine in detail some of the suffragettes who were also artists such as Sylvia Pankhurst questioning why their progressive ides of art and politics are not given full merit today. Hester Reeve is an artist and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. She collaborates with Olivia Plender under the umbrella of The Emily Davison Lodge. Their collaborative research and artworks have been shown at the Women’s Library Gallery and Tate Britain, where they recently co-curated the Sylvia Pankhurst Display. http://www.sheffieldhumanists.org.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/SheffieldHumanistSociety/ https://twitter.com/SHShumanists
  14. The human condition; is faith a choice or necessity? What causes people to be so protective of their faith? What is it that is so valuable to them? Identifying our core values and beliefs is crucial in understanding who we are and how we relate to the world. What lengths would you go to in maintaining your belief system, even if it is no longer fit for purpose? What internal conflicts would this cause? What happens when the cracks begin to appear and cognitive dissonance stops working? Speaker Philip Gilbert is not from a particularly religious background. He wrote to ‘the Star’ whilst still at school to protest about the religious content in school assemblies. Whilst working at Victim Support for over a decade, he saw how some people managed crisis more effectively than others and began to wonder about how faith helps or hinders recovery and why it can be so difficult to let go of faith.
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