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?

Richard Firth-Godbehere

When?
Tuesday, May 16 2017 at 7:30PM

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

Where?

8 Pocklingtons Walk,
Leicester,
LE1 6BU

Who?
Richard Firth-Godbehere

What's the talk about?

Over the last couple of decades, the topic of disgust has risen from the bowels of study to the mainstream of the academic life. Probably ancient and universal, disgust is a sensation caused by a perception of boundary violation – that something can get inside us and cause harm -  that in one form or another, has guided humanity and other animals away from the contagious and the toxic. Unfortunately, disgust has also acted as a gatekeeper of morality for as far back as we have records, governing humanity’s sense of what is right and wrong as we link violations of cultural norms with feelings of revulsion. The problem is that while disgust might be universal, what causes it is not, and those causes can be a slave to the dictates of the powerful.

Richard Firth-Godbehere knows a lot about disgust. Over the past six years, he has been looking at, analysing, and dissecting the history, philosophy, and psychology of disgust, culminating in a PhD in the origins of the English understanding of that feeling. He has come to the conclusion that it rules the world. From refusing certain foods to relationships to political opinions and religious beliefs, feelings of revulsion have directed human behaviour in ways matched by almost no other physical sensation. What’s more, we are as fascinated by the disgusting as we are appalled by it. Richard will be explaining how that happens, what disgust is,  the history of revulsion and how one thing can always be found at the centre of it: oppression and power.

He will also be offering some six-legged treats and a little insight into your own disgust. Be prepared to be revolted.

Dr Nick Hawes

When?
Tuesday, June 20 2017 at 7:30PM

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

Where?

8 Pocklingtons Walk,
Leicester,
LE1 6BU

Who?
Dr Nick Hawes

What's the talk about?

It’s inevitable, isn't it? One day robots will take over the world, either through some kind of violent rebellion, or through the back door - by taking all our jobs. Aren't we throwing caution to the wind by ignoring this threat? By explaining some of the basic principles behind artificial intelligence and robotics, Nick will try to convince you that all those science fiction writers are wrong, and whilst robots will have a large part to play in our future, you don't need to worry about the effect they'll have on our existence.

Nick Hawes is a Reader in Autonomous Intelligent Robotics in the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham. His research is in the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to create intelligent, autonomous robots that can work with or for humans. He is a passionate believer in public engagement with AI and robotics and was selected to give the Lord Kelvin Award Lecture at the 2013 British Science Festival.