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Emma McClure

When?
Tuesday, January 21 2020 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Friar Lane,
Leicester
LE1 5RA

Who?
Emma McClure

What's the talk about?

In this talk prison lawyer Emma McClure lays out how the Parole Board operates in practice; the way risk assessments are conducted and the problems that exist in the current system in trying to make evidence-based decisions and the management of society’s most dangerous people within a problem-ridden criminal justice system.

Emma is a solicitor specialising in representing prisoners and mental health patients. She regularly appears before the Parole Board and Mental Health Tribunal. She is also a public speaker interested in the intersection between the pursuit of justice and critical thinking.

When?
Tuesday, December 17 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Friar Lane,
Leicester
LE1 5RA

Who?

What's the talk about?

   On Dec 17th, at Brewdog, instead of a visiting speaker we're going to have a fun Skeptic's quiz, with prizes - and it's free!

   The quiz is designed to be a little bit brain testing but you’re still in with a decent chance even if you don't think you're very good at quizzes. Although teams with more knowledge and problem-solving ability will have a better chance of winning each round, the design of the quiz also introduces a significant element of luck. It's designed in such a way that often a round will not be won by the team with the biggest number of correct answers; and if you're really lucky your team can even win a round with only a few correct answers. Your team can be as big or as small as you like. Yes, a big team will probably have a better chance of winning, but if they do win then they’ve got to share the prizes for that round amongst a larger number of people. We’ll start at 7:30 and aim to finish around 9:45. We’ll have a short space between rounds to get yourself refreshments. Bring your mates. Hope to see you for an evening of FUN!

Ash Pryce

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

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Where?

8 Friar Lane,
Leicester
LE1 5RA

Who?
Ash Pryce

What's the talk about?

Ash Pryce presents his new show, fresh from a run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with additional content exclusively for skeptic, humanists and secularist groups.

Ash’s new show – Ash Pryce Paranormal Illusionist: Live – features a mix of psychic style entertainments and spiritualist demonstrations, drawing on 170 years of supernatural scams, tricks and cheats, to create a performance that is equal parts eerie, spooky, and unsettling - but incredibly fun.  Featuring performances of telekinesis, mind reading, psychometry, and spirit communication that do not rely on anything supernatural or psychic, because as TVs Patrick jane points out – there’s no such thing as psychics. There is however Ash Pryce, Paranormal Illusionist.

The magic and mentalism show will draw on elements of 19th century Spiritualism, and 20th Century television psychics for a piece that is fully theatre in nature.

The second half will be a section created exclusively for sceptically-minded audiences which looks at the overlap between what Ash does as entertainment, and what many claim to be a genuine psychic ability.  Ash will look as some of history’s most outrageous psychic scam artists and charlatans including human levitation, ectoplasm manifestation as well as the two 19th century sisters that started the entire Spiritualist movement -Kate and Maggie Fox – who would later go on to reveal they had themselves been nothing but psychic con-women.

A night of paranormal themed magic, tales of historic charlatans, all in a comfy environment with flowing booze?

“If you want to see something truly amazing, this is the place to see it and this is the man to show you.“ – Bunbury magazine

facebook.com/ashprycemindreader

Twitter & Insta: @ashpryce

Kevin Precious

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

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Where?

8 Friar Lane,
Leicester
LE1 5RA

Who?
Kevin Precious

What's the talk about?

'Unholier Than Thou: The Non-Believing Religious Studies Teacher. The show contains jokes and anecdotes in relation to his time as a Religious Studies Teacher; as well as the business of attending Humanist meetings. There'll be little bits relating to the Philosophy of Religion, and - overall - a Secular outlook in relation to teaching the subject.

Jack Humphries

When?
Tuesday, September 17 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Friar Lane,
Leicester
LE1 5RA

Who?
Jack Humphries

What's the talk about?

Cimate change is happening faster than expected and yet global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. The International Panel on Climate Change conservatively warned that we must halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 or else face catastrophic consequences. Extinction Rebellion are an international protest group who are using non-violent direct action to demand that governments shift towards a zero emissions, sustainable society. 

We are not a body of experts offering solutions (although we all have our own ideas on this), rather a movement that is dedicated to holding our governments to account. They have a responsibility to act now to prevent unprecedented global chaos. Come and find out about the latest climate change science, the power of protest and the principles of Extinction Rebellion.

Jack is a representative of Extinction Rebellion and a PhD student at the University of Leicester.

Professor Tom Marshall

When?
Tuesday, August 20 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

8 Friar Lane,
Leicester
LE1 5RA

Who?
Professor Tom Marshall

What's the talk about?

Complementary and alternative medicine is caricatured as unscientific and contrasted with the scientific rigor of mainstream medicine. But this is misleading. Ineffective treatments and procedures abound in mainstream medicine. 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 or not. This talk will show the clues to overtreatment provided by looking at variations in clinical practice and will provide a number examples. 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.

James Williams

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

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Where?

8 Friar Lane,
Leicester
LE1 5RA

Who?
James Williams

What's the talk about?

 In 2005 a man named Kenneth Pinyan was anonymously dropped off at a Hospital in Washington, where he was later found dead in the emergency room. The man had died from a perforated colon from receiving anal sex from a full grown horse. In the following investigation the police were lead to a rural Enumclaw-area farm, which was known on the internet as a destination for people who wanted to have sex with livestock. There, they seized hundreds of hours of videotapes of men engaging in bestiality and the incident became known as the Enumclaw horse sex case. The case became infamous and lead to a rapid passing of a bill which made bestiality punishable in Washington by up to five years in prison.

But what is bestiality? How is it defined? Why do people engage in it? Where does it come from? What is it's history? And why is it so reviled?

Storyteller and skeptic James Williams will be taking a thorough and entertaining look at the murky world of bestiality; disentangling fact from fiction and discussing its bizarre history, zoology, humanity and philosophy. Humans, deer, monkeys, seals, dolphins, pigs, cattle, dogs and more. A world of Minotaurs, Gods disguised as swans and terrifying sounding grizzly–polar bear hybrids. What separates us from the animals? What makes us human? 

James Williams is a storyteller, science communicator and skeptic based in Bristol who specialises in critically discussing dark and taboo topics with humour and irreverence. An enthusiastic humanist and scientific skeptic, he cares deeply about science, education, critical thinking and social justice. His series of talks on taboos have appeared in venues across the country and covers other taboo topics such as cannibalism and necrophilia...

 

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.