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Ariane Sherine

When?
Tuesday, June 18 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Friar Lane,
Leicester
LE1 5RA

Who?
Ariane Sherine

What's the talk about?

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.

Alex Farrow

When?
Tuesday, May 21 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Friar Lane,
Leicester
LE1 5RA

Who?
Alex Farrow

What's the talk about?

 Alex Farrow is a philosophy teacher and stand-up comedian who will be exploring what he learnt from teaching philosophy in a 6th form college to Muslim and Christian teenagers in East London.

The questions he found himself addressing were:

What place do philosophy and skepticism have in the school classroom?

What is the "British values agenda" and are British values under attack?

What is the role of the teacher in creating, challenging and shaping the ethical and social opinions of young people?

Alex has been invited to perform stand-up comedy about philosophy everywhere from Mervyn Stutter's pick of the Edinburgh Fringe, the National Museum of Scotland, music festivals, comedy clubs around the UK and the Oxford University Teaching Awards. He was also Farmington Fellow at Harris Manchester College, Oxford in 2015 researching Philosophy in Schools. 

He is the host of Jericho Comedy Oxford. Jericho Comedy raised £8,700 for the mental health charity Oxfordshire Mind last year for more information about them visit www.tighfive.org/jerichocomedy

“witty, positive and talented” – DailyInfo Oxford “An engaging and entertaining pairing of learning and good humour!” – **** The Latest, Brighton

David Baker

When?
Tuesday, April 16 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Friar Lane,
Leicester
LE1 5RA

Who?
David Baker

What's the talk about?

In this talk David considers how increasingly aggressive policing in the US leads to citizens dying after police contact. It examines how race, mental health and gender can play a part in who dies and how they die. The talk is based off research undertaken in 16 US states with families who had lost loved ones to police violence. It argues that violent death is normalised in the US, and that policing is in some ways a reflection of this normalisation.

David is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Coventry University. His research focuses on police accountability in relation to deaths after police contact. His book ‘Deaths after police contact: Constructing accountability in the 21st century’, was published by Palgrave-Macmillan in 2016. His most recent research papers focus on the impact of these deaths on the families of the victims of police violence in the United States. He has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Four Thought’ talking about his US research and written several articles for the online academic website ‘The Conversation.’

Pixie Turner

When?
Tuesday, March 19 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Friar Lane,
Leicester
LE1 5RA

Who?
Pixie Turner

What's the talk about?

Despite a wealth of information at our fingertips there are still so many things we get wrong about our health, and with a new diet book out every other day it’s no wonder people are confused. What should we be eating? When? How often? Just how important is food when it comes to our overall health?

Humans have always been a bit weird around food. We’re told eating certain foods are the key to living longer, some foods are ‘sinful’ or ‘bad’, that ‘you are what you eat’, and that we must seek to obtain health at all costs. All this means we follow crazy diets that make things worse rather than better, and have a population where most of us dislike our bodies.

Pixie will unpack why diet and nutrition misinformation is so problematic, on social media, in mass media, and on a public health level, and why we could all benefit from taking a moment to assess our personal relationship with food. Expect some mythbusting, diet rants, and lots of fully-referenced evidence-based science. 

 

Pixie is a nutritionist (ANutr), food blogger, and science communicator. She graduated with a First Class degree in Biochemistry, and went on to complete a Masters in Nutrition with Distinction. She is the brains behind the 'Pixie Nutrition' social media accounts, which aim to infiltrate the wellness movement and debunk nutrition misinformation online. In addition, she has been featured as a nutrition expert on BBC and Channel 5, and in publications such as Red magazine, Evening Standard, Grazia, the Telegraph and more. Her first book, ‘The Wellness Rebel’ was published early 2018, with her second book, ‘The No Need to Diet Book’ released March 2019.

Hassan Radwan

When?
Tuesday, February 19 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Pocklingtons Walk,
Leicester,
LE1 6BU

Who?
Hassan Radwan

What's the talk about?

Hassan graduated with 1st class honours in Arabic from SOAS university of London in 1984, his specialist subjects being Qur'anic commentary and Pre-Islamic poetry. For 3 years he served as president of SOAS Students Islamic Society. He spent 15 years as a teacher at Islamia Primary School in London and has written four books for Muslim children as well as leading an Islamic circle. After going through a period of questioning & doubting his faith he now identifies as Agnostic and recently translated the book "My Ordeal with the Qur'an" from Arabic to English. Hassan campaigns for the freedom to question and leave Islam without fear of abuse, violence and death threats.

In this talk, Hassan Radwan tells the story of his journey being a Muslim born and bought up in the UK and how he began questioning it in later years. 

Katie Steckles

When?
Tuesday, January 15 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Friar Lane,
Leicester
LE1 5RA

Who?
Katie Steckles

What's the talk about?

We all know that people with maths, science and technology skills are experienced at problem-solving. But how useful are those skills in the real world? Mathematician and speaker Katie Steckles will show you some mathematical, logical and geometrical tricks to solve some of everyday life’s minor challenges – from tying your shoelace to changing a duvet cover, and plenty of others. You’ll never fold a t-shirt the same way again!

Katie Steckles is a mathematician based in Manchester, who gives talks and workshops on different areas of maths. She finished her PhD in 2011, and since then has talked about maths in schools, at science festivals, on BBC radio, at music festivals, as part of theatre shows and on the internet. She enjoys doing puzzles, solving the Rubik’s cube and baking things shaped like maths. In 2016, Katie was awarded the Joshua Phillips Award for Innovation in Science Engagement.

Michael Marshall

When?
Tuesday, December 18 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Pocklingtons Walk,
Leicester,
LE1 6BU

Who?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

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.

 

Rotting corpses, and what we can learn from them

Dr Anna Williams

When?
Tuesday, November 20 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Pocklingtons Walk,
Leicester,
LE1 6BU

Who?
Dr Anna Williams

What's the talk about?

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 or Europe, 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/ 

The greatest controversy since the publication of the Origin of Species

Miles Hillmann

When?
Tuesday, October 16 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Pocklingtons Walk,
Leicester,
LE1 6BU

Who?
Miles Hillmann

What's the talk about?

Fracking for shale gas is topical and controversial. The first fracking operation, since a moratorium on fracking was imposed in 2011, has received approval at Cuadrilla. Fracking generates strong views among opponents and supporters.

Charles Darwin’s revolutionary Origin of Species theory pitted scientific evidence against emotion. The arguments for and against fracking are heavily based on emotion – the environmental risks, and a fear of what might happen.

This talk will focus on the evidence, what is happening and the way the risks are being tackled.

 

Miles Hillmann is Chairman of the Liquid Pollution Control Group of the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF). He is working with the Environment Agency on developing Technical Guidelines for best practice on protecting groundwater pollution on shale gas sites. He operates a  company which provides spill control technologies, training and services. 

Liam Brierley

When?
Tuesday, September 18 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Pocklingtons Walk,
Leicester,
LE1 6BU

Who?
Liam Brierley

What's the talk about?

We’re constantly threatened by outbreaks of new viral diseases, such as SARS and Ebola. This show, first performed at the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, is an interactive pandemic scenario that explores whether humanity is really at risk of extinction from the next viral outbreak. The room is quarantined because of the discovery of a new virus and we'll need the audience's help as we race to understand where this virus might have come from, whether it could go global, and how we could fight to stay one step ahead.

Liam Brierley is a statistician and epidemiologist with specialised interests in emerging infectious diseases and teaching methodologies in statistics. He is currently a lecturer with sigma, the Mathematics and Statistics Support Centre at Coventry University.

The Hidden Story of the Hopes, Fears and Desires of a Nation

James Wright

When?
Tuesday, August 21 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Pocklingtons Walk,
Leicester,
LE1 6BU

Who?
James Wright

What's the talk about?

Modern graffiti is often seen as transgressive and moronic. However, look closely in the light of a torch at the walls of our historic buildings, trees, caves and rockfaces and you will see a world of graffiti left that illuminates the psychology of our ancestors. The study of historic graffiti enables us to hear the lost voices of ordinary individuals through their images of daisywheels, ships sailing across the walls, knights drawing their swords, demons stalking the stonework and every animal imaginable…

James Wright is an archaeologist, lecturer and author

Mark Stevenson

When?
Tuesday, July 17 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Pocklingtons Walk,
Leicester,
LE1 6BU

Who?
Mark Stevenson

What's the talk about?

Our systems are failing. Old models – for education, healthcare and government, food production, energy supply – are creaking under the weight of modern challenges. As the world’s population heads towards 10 billion, it’s clear we need new approaches. Futurologist Mark Stevenson sets out to find them, across four continents.

From Brazilian favelas to high tech Boston, from rural India to a shed inventor in England’s home counties, We Do Things Differently travels the world to find the advance guard re-imagining our future. At each stop, he meets innovators who have already succeeded in challenging the status quo, pioneering new ways to make our world more sustainable, equitable and humane.

Mark has also written for The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Intelligent Life, The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, The Daily Telegraph, and The New Statesman. His key skill is an ability to take complex or abstract concepts and make them understandable by non-specialists without trivialising the subject matter.

Mark is also an occasional comedy writer. His work has been performed on Radio 4 and his play (co-written with Jack Milner) Octopus Soup came to London in January 2018.