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About redwhine

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  • Birthday 07/01/1953

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    Clowns to the left. Jokers to the right.
  1. Honeybees or Hairworms – which would you save? Humanity is causing a mass extinction on a scale the Earth last saw with the demise of the dinosaurs, transforming the future of life. Protecting nature is vital to our survival and wellbeing, yet to do this effectively we need to forget some of our fundamental beliefs about conservation. There is no objective answer to questions about what the natural world should look like. We can’t even justify the view that species have intrinsic value so need to be protected from extinction. Anyone who believes they are being guided solely by science is therefore failing to acknowledge their underlying values. Science can tell us how to achieve our goals, but we need ethics to determine what those goals should be. This talk will question the intuition which has caused us to consider the honeybee a conservation icon while ignoring species such as the hairworm. We will explore alternative approaches to setting our conservation priorities, and ask how to make equitable decisions about the future of the natural world. Rebecca is an ecologist and writer with a particular interest in the science and ethics of setting conservation priorities. For her PhD she used radars and flight simulators to study butterfly migration, and she now works in science communication. She has written two books: ‘Is that Fish in Your Tomato?’, looking at the fact and fiction of GM foods, and ‘A Column of Smoke’, a novel. http://sheffield.skepticsinthepub.org/ https://www.facebook.com/events/181435306486224/
  2. Why should alternative medicine have a monopoly on quackery? Complementary and alternative medicine is caricatured as unscientific and contrasted with the scientific rigor of mainstream medicine. But this is misleading. Mainstream medicine is also riddled with ineffective treatments and procedures. There are treatments in widespread use that we know to be ineffective. There are effective treatments given to the wrong patients. There are treatments where harms and costs clearly outweigh any benefit. There are treatments where we really don’t know if they are effective. This talk will provide a number of examples of ineffective treatment and the clues to overtreatment provided by looking at variations in clinical practice. It will also illustrate why the problem is so intractable. Tom Marshall is a Professor of Public Health and Primary Care. His main medical speciality is in Public Health Medicine but he also has trained in General Practice and has studied Health Economics. Tom has contributed to local, national and international media in relation to his research, particularly in relation to prevention of cardiovascular disease. https://www.facebook.com/events/2542645769327195/ http://sheffield.skepticsinthepub.org/Event.aspx/25982/Why-should-alternative-medicine-have-a-monopoly-on-quackery
  3. Talk Yourself Better December marks the 10th birthday of talks at Sheffield Skeptics in the Pub! Our very first speaker was Ariane Sherine so we invited her back to kickstart our next 10 years of talks. We might also have cake. Comedy writer and journalist Ariane Sherine created and organised the Atheist Bus Campaign, persuading Richard Dawkins and the British Humanist Association to support her – and buses with variations on the slogan “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” ran in 13 countries across the globe. As a result, Ariane received an Inbox full of hate mail from Christians, which eventually led to a major nervous breakdown and suicidal ideation. She ended her journalistic career, and didn’t write again for over three years. In this talk, she will tell the full story of how therapy and medication saved her life, prompting her to write her new book, Talk Yourself Better: A Confused Person’s Guide to Therapy, Counselling and Self-Help. Ariane will also be signing copies of Talk Yourself Better after the talk. What people have said about Talk Yourself Better: “Brilliant – makes the baffling comprehensible.” JEREMY VINE "What an excellent, long-overdue idea! A super-accessible guide, through the bewildering marketplace of modern therapy, to ease our noble search for help." DERREN BROWN “How do we cope with this brutal world? In this witty, revealing book Ariane Sherine runs through the ways. An excellent, funny and thought-provoking read for all who seek answers.” ARTHUR SMITH “What makes Ariane Sherine’s Talk Yourself Better stand out from the crowd is its accessibility and humour; to be able to discuss difficult things with a lightness of touch and a comedy that does not trivialise is a rare skill indeed. This, combined with the honest – and often deeply moving – stories of clients and practitioners alike, makes this the ideal introduction to for anyone considering therapy for the first time.” BRIAN BILSTON Ariane Sherine is the comedy writer and journalist who created the Atheist Bus Campaign, as well as the bestselling celebrity book The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas. She has written for BBC1’s My Family, Channel 4’s Countdown and BBC2’s Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, as well as for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, New Statesman, New Humanist and The Spectator. She lives in London with her seven-year-old daughter, Lily. http://sheffield.skepticsinthepub.org/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/sheffieldsitp/events/
  4. How to be a Psychic Conman Learn to bend metal with your mind, read your friends thoughts, perform psychic surgery and move an object with your brain! ... or maybe it's all just a trick? Come along and find out! A magic show that will involve demonstrations and explanations of how you can appear to perform telekinesis, metal bending, psychic surgery and remote viewing as well as looking at government funded research into psychic phenomena and where it went wrong. And if that wasn’t enough, throughout the show will be performances of stage mind reading and mentalism to add an extra layer of entertainment to the proceedings. Stagetime Promotions Magician of the Year 2017, and Edinburgh Horror Festival Sell out performer 2016, 2017 and 2018. Warning to those on the front row… there will be blood! "Educating his audience while making them laugh" - Leeds Skeptics "Intelligent, funny, and totally entertaining!" - Cardiff Skeptics "Has the entire audience laughing" - Bath Skeptics http://sheffield.skepticsinthepub.org/Event.aspx/24857/How-to-be-a-Psychic-Conman https://www.facebook.com/events/2112691392179909/
  5. Is Air Pollution a Problem Worth Fixing? PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TALK HAS BEEN MOVED FROM THE 21st TO THE 28th OF OCTOBER. Air quality has improved markedly over the last 100 years with the thick pea-soup sulfur smogs of the 1950s long consigned to history. Yet the profile of air pollution as an environmental issue has never been higher with both the public and with politicians. So is air quality still a serious public health issue in the UK, and what can be done if it is? Who are the susceptible groups and what evidence is there of harm and costs? Whilst electrification of vehicles and de-carbonising of the energy supply over the next two decades will have positive impacts on air pollution and climate, many other sources of pollution in cities will still remain. So are there limits on how much money should be invested in urban clean air, or should we accept that urban living will always come at a cost to health? https://www.facebook.com/events/547510848989338/ http://sheffield.skepticsinthepub.org/
  6. The Case for a "Body Farm" in the UK This highly illustrated talk (graphic images) describes the unique outdoor forensic laboratories known colloquially as 'Body Farms' in the USA and Australia, and discusses how the research that has been conducted at them has helped criminal investigations. It details how there isn't a similar facility in the UK and explores the reasons for and against them, and discusses public opinion towards them, in order to stimulate healthy debate. Dr Anna Williams is Principal Enterprise Fellow in Forensic Anthropology at the University of Huddersfield. She read Archaeology and Anthropology at Oxford University, and specialised in Forensic Anthropology through a Masters, PhD and lots of casework. She's an expert in forensic osteology (bones) and decomposition. She has appeared on TV and radio discussing anthropology and forensic science. She was a 2014 British Science Association Media Fellow for New Scientist. You can find out more about Dr Anna Williams and body farms below: Twitter: @Bonegella and @HTF_4_UK Website: http://htf4uk.blogspot.com/ http://sheffield.skepticsinthepub.org/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/sheffieldsitp/
  7. http://sheffield.skepticsinthepub.org/ https://www.facebook.com/events/2190905654371505/
  8. Rajin Chowdhury, Michael Heap, Joanne Mutlow and Mike Parker A recent survey has revealed that the majority of people in this country now say that they do not belong to any religion. Meanwhile, Humanists UK, the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people, continues to grow in strength and now has over 85,000 members and supporters. Humanists UK ‘advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail’. ‘We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all’. Four local humanists will each give a short presentation on what humanism means to them and how they are actively involved in the community as humanists. The audience will then be invited to ask questions and to share their beliefs and opinions about humanism.
  9. .............................................................................................................................................................................. Please note... Mhairi is unable to be with us on Monday due to personal reasons. Due to the short notice, we have been unable to find a replacement. The meeting is cancelled. SSitP apologise for any inconvenience.
  10. Food Aid - Why & How We Should Give It Food poverty and foodbank use has increased rapidly in the UK during the last decade. Food insecurity is also being experienced by more and more people in times of austerity, insecure employment, low incomes, and rising living costs. Still many people suffering extreme food poverty resist foodbank use due to the stigma of receiving this sort of help and common discourses about ‘foodbank tourists’ and ‘scroungers’. In this talk, Dr Mhairi Bowe will discuss her research looking the reasons for foodbank use in Nottinghamshire, the impact of stigma on the successful delivery of food aid, and the vital support resources being delivered by community-based foodbanks.Dr Mhairi Bowe is a Chartered Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Nottingham Trent University. Her research focuses on the impact of group-based identities and social relationships on psychological well-being and lived experiences. Mhairi’s work focuses on a variety of topics including the impact of social prescription, community engagement, and ecotherapy on mental and physical health. https://www.facebook.com/groups/sheffieldsitp/events/
  11. Please note: Tonight's speaker has just informed us that she is not able to be with us tonight due to a family emergency. In view of the short notice, we will have to cancel tonight's meeting. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.
  12. Fantastic Beasts and Why to Conserve Them Conservation can be magical. Literally. And this complicates things. That is why protesters in Iceland will blockade road building projects which threaten the habitat of the endemic Icelandic elf. And why in some parts of Ethiopia people will protect Hyenas because they eat evil spirits. And why Caribbean owls are endangered because people persecute them because they are witches. Dr Caroline Ward of the University of Leeds will explore how beliefs in magic can endanger but also protect species, with important real world impacts. She'll show how this produces complex ethical and practical dilemmas for conservation, and talk about solutions. https://www.facebook.com/events/2387554414822333/ http://sheffield.skepticsinthepub.org/
  13. Circular Reasoning: The Rise of Flat Earth Belief In 2013, when Michael Marshall first interviewed the Vice President of the Flat Earth society for his show Be Reasonable, people could scarcely believe that anyone could genuinely think the Earth was flat. Five years later, Flat Earth belief has gone mainstream, spawning thousands of hours of YouTube videos, gaining widespread international media coverage, and attracting countless followers. How did we get here? In this talk, Marshall will talk through his experiences of the Flat Earth movement, take a look at the leaders and some of their reasoning, and report back from the weekend he spent at the UK’s first ever Flat Earth convention. Michael Marshall is the Project Director of the Good Thinking Society and the Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. He regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast. His work has seen him organising international homeopathy protests, going undercover to expose psychics and quack medics, and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Statesman. http://sheffield.skepticsinthepub.org/Event.aspx/21772/Circular-Reasoning-The-Rise-of-Flat-Earth-Belief https://www.facebook.com/events/961153484077397/
  14. Who? Charlotte Hardman What's the talk about? Why is it so difficult to stop eating the chocolates even though we’re full? A popular idea is that certain foods like chocolate are addictive and that “food addiction” explains why so many people are overweight. But does food really have the same effects on the mind and body as hard drugs? Or is food addiction simply a myth or an excuse for over-eating? To answer these questions, Charlotte will talk about the latest scientific research on food and addiction with a particular focus on the role of psychology. She will consider the similarities but also the key differences between eating and substance use disorders. Dr Charlotte Hardman is a lecturer in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Liverpool. Her research examines the factors which influence appetite, eating and food preferences and she has worked in this area for more than 15 years, including designing and testing interventions to change eating behaviour. She has a PhD in Psychology and has published over 40 scientific papers in prestigious journals including Nature Reviews Endocrinology and the International Journal of Obesity. https://www.facebook.com/groups/sheffieldsitp/about/ http://sheffield.skepticsinthepub.org/
  15. Who? Chris French What's the talk about? This talk will describe my experience of taking part in a documentary investigating reincarnation claims amongst the Druse in Lebanon. The Druse are a religious sect for whom reincarnation is a central belief. The general conceptual problems with reincarnation will be outlined as will the specific problems associated with the Druse version. Case histories that were featured in the documentary are presented and discussed. A plausible alternative (non-paranormal) explanation for apparent past-life memories is outlined. It is argued that, regardless of the truth of such beliefs, believing in reincarnation has been beneficial for the Druse. Professor Chris French is Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit in the Psychology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and a Patron of the British Humanist Association. He is a member of the Scientific and Professional Advisory Board of the British False Memory Society. He has published over 150 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics within psychology. His main area of research is the psychology of paranormal beliefs and anomalous experiences. He writes for the Guardian and The Skeptic magazine. His most recent books are Anomalistic Psychology, co-authored with Nicola Holt, Christine Simmonds-Moore, and David Luke (2012, Palgrave Macmillan), and Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience, co-authored with Anna Stone (2014, Palgrave Macmillan). http://sheffield.skepticsinthepub.org/Event.aspx/19744/Many-Happy-Returns-Investigating-Reincarnation-Claims-in-Lebanon https://www.facebook.com/groups/sheffieldsitp/events/
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