Skeptics in the Pub, Leicester

Skeptics in the Pub, Leicester hosts a speaker in a pub on the third Tuesday of every month. We ask for a £3 donation to speaker's expenses.

Our upcoming events are listed below.  If you're new to this site, please read the about us page.

If you're not sure what skepticism is all about, please read this.

Info on parking, places to eat etc. can be found here.  Why not join our Facebook group?

Tamasin Cave

When?
Tuesday, February 16 2016 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

8 Pocklingtons Walk,
Leicester,
LE1 6BU

Who?

What's the talk about?

 Tamasin Cave will talk about the UK's £2bn lobbying industry and the tactics they use to bend government to their will: how lobbyists' build relationships with government; their manipulation of the media; the way that they use academics, scientists, think tanks, front groups and others to spread their messages; and their attacks on opposition groups. She will talk about how the private healthcare industry has lobbied to open up the NHS to more private operators - and how schools are going the same way; how energy companies have hired a small army of lobbyists to persuade government and local communities to support fracking; how the 'revolving door' works to support the arms industry; and more. 

Tamasin is a writer, campaigner and commentator. Her new book, A Quiet Word: Lobbying, Crony Capitalism and Broken Politics in Britain, co-authored by Andy Rowell, shines a light into one of the darkest and least-understood corners of our political culture: the UK's £2 billion commercial lobbying industry. She is a director of Spinwatch, which investigates corporate PR and lobbying, as well as government spin. Since 2007, she has also led the campaign for transparency regulations for lobbyists.

Emma McClure

When?
Tuesday, March 15 2016 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

8 Pocklingtons Walk,
Leicester,
LE1 6BU

Who?
Emma McClure

What's the talk about?

 A grisly murder scene, a renegade detective pours over the scene. They find an overlooked clue; a hair, a footprint, a shell casing. Detailed analysis matches it to the bad guy. The bad guy goes to jail - this is often how modern day forensics are thought of and how it is often portrayed in shows such as 'CSI' and 'Silent Witness'. 


Forensic evidence is seen as conclusive when it comes to catching suspects and deciding if someone is guilty in a criminal trial. How could the traces left behind at a crime scene lie?

The science in areas such as DNA collection has progressed enormously in recent decades allowing for break-throughs in many old and cold cases. 

However, we have also seen many high profile exonerations of those previously convicted of the most serious of crimes on seemingly 'conclusive' forensic evidence. This has lead to increasing scrutiny of the way it is analysed, interpreted and presented in the courtroom.

In this talk, prison lawyer Emma McClure explores this issue alongside the amusing, confusing and sometimes tragic consequences of failing to take a skeptical approach to scientific evidence.

Why children are great pretenders, poor problem solvers, and sometimes less clever than crows

Sarah Beck

When?
Tuesday, April 19 2016 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

8 Pocklingtons Walk,
Leicester,
LE1 6BU

Who?
Sarah Beck

What's the talk about?

Young children are excellent imaginers, coming up with all kinds of creative and weird worlds. But what is the imagination really for? Adults use their imaginations to solve problems, but children sometimes struggle with this. In this talk, Sarah Beck will explore how children start to use their imaginations for creative problem solving, using examples of children’s thinking about ‘how things might have been different’ and comparing children’s tool-making to that of clever non-human animals.

 

Sarah Beck is Reader in Cognitive Development at the University of Birmingham. She researches children's thinking about possibility and time, and questions whether adults' thinking in these areas is as sophisticated as we might like to think. She teaches an undergraduate course that compares the cognitive abilities of human children with non-human animals.