Ones we've had so far . . .

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Rhys Phillips

When?
Monday, May 20 2013 at 7:00PM

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Where?

33 Windsor place
Cardiff
CF10 3BZ

Who?
Rhys Phillips

What's the talk about?

Research engineer and science broadcaster Rhys Phillips will give an overview of how lightning has been misunderstood throughout history and is still in some parts of the world today.

Rhys will explain the physics of lightning, go into some detail about his research into protecting aircraft from lightning strike damage and dispel the myths that people had and have about what is one of the most beautiful natural phenomena.

£3 on the door

Anthroposophy and Spiritual Science

Andy Lewis

When?
Monday, April 15 2013 at 7:00PM

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Where?

33 Windsor place
Cardiff
CF10 3BZ

Who?
Andy Lewis

What's the talk about?

With Michael Gove and the coalition approving new Steiner Schools to open under the Free School Programme, it is timely to look closely at the origins and beliefs of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the occult movement of Anthroposophy.

Steiner was a mystic who believed he had direct clairvoyant access to cosmic knowledge. As such he developed an esoteric belief system based on karma, reincarnation, astrology, homeopathy and gnomes. His visions gave insights into architecture, art, dance, agriculture, medicine, education, science and diet. His racial hierarchy of spiritual developmental resonated in Germany in the early 20th Century turning a personal belief into a worldwide movement. Today we find hundreds of anthroposophically inspired organisations in the UK alone: everything from Steiner Schools, Biodynamic farms to banks, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies, charities and cheese makers.

Andy Lewis has been trying to lift the veil on the inner secrets of the movement and will discuss how this secretive movement has direct impact on public life.

£3 on the door

What can atheists learn from the church?

Simon Clare

When?
Monday, March 18 2013 at 7:00PM

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Where?

33 Windsor place
Cardiff
CF10 3BZ

Who?
Simon Clare

What's the talk about?

The Alpha Course runs in 162 countries and has been attended, according to their website, by 20 Million people. Over a 9 week period, students are guided through Christian theology ostensibly to “Explore the meaning of Life”.

Simon Clare, an unabashed atheist, signed up to his local course in Brighton, wondering if his faithlessness would be challenged. Spoiler: He wasn’t converted but he was surprised at what he learnt about faith.

The new Archbishop Of Canterbury, Justin Welby, found his faith at the home of the Alpha Course and his election suggests that the Alpha model of spreading the word is now at the heart of Christianity's struggle for survival. As well as giving an overview of the course from biblical history to singing in tongues, Simon will discuss what atheists can learn from the Alpha Course.

Simon Clare runs Horsham Skeptics in the Pub and writes a regular opinion column for the Horsham District Post. He is also a founder member of the South East Skeptics Society

£3 on the door

How I had to argue intelligent design was a science without laughing.

Dr Dave Steele

When?
Tuesday, February 19 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

33 Windsor place
Cardiff
CF10 3BZ

Who?
Dr Dave Steele

What's the talk about?

In 2006 Dave was taking part in the John Smith Memorial Mace Welsh debating championships. Struggling through the facts that he didn’t know why it was called a mace and that John Smith had nothing to do with generic bitter he haphazardly made it to the final. Then...disaster! The motion for the final was “This house would teach intelligent design in science lessons” and Dave had to propose why this is a good idea. It isn’t.

But could he do it without lying? Can you argue intelligent design is a science without saying anything wrong? What exactly is irreducible complexity and can it be applied to an argument to baffle your opponents? Why is it called a mace?!

Dave will take you through this debate by taking you through the arguments he had to use, looking at how true they might be and how ridiculous some of them definitely are. More importantly he will tell you which side won the debate. He can’t tell you why it’s called a mace.

Biog

Dr Dave Steele has a degree in applied psychology from Cardiff University and in medicine from Swansea/Cardiff University. He is currently working as a junior doctor. He has debated on the university circuit winning best speaker prize at the 2005 John Smith Memorial Mace Welsh Championships, and reaching the finals of several competitions in the 2006 Welsh Championships. He also sporadically performs stand-up comedy and writes a blog as Dr Allen Alan, placebologist and expert on how alternative medicine affects the alternative body. 

http://dralanplacebology.blogspot.com/

He thinks the jumper you’ve got on compliments your eyes beautifully. 

Can you really find true love on the Internet? - And other things about online romance

Dr Martin Graff

When?
Monday, January 21 2013 at 7:00PM

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Where?

33 Windsor place
Cardiff
CF10 3BZ

Who?
Dr Martin Graff

What's the talk about?

Can you really find true love on the Internet? 

How do people actually portray themselves online? 

Can you have a virtual affair? 

This talk will examine all of these issues drawing on current empirical evidence from studies on online relationships.  The talk will also cover some of the major research work on the online disinhibition effect, which suggest that we disclose more personal information, and do this more quickly in online environments.  Finally, the talk will also draw on some of the speaker’s own research on online infidelity.

Dr Martin Graff is Reader and Head of Research in Psychology at University of Glamorgan

A History of the Man and the Code

Dr James Grime

When?
Monday, December 17 2012 at 7:00PM

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Where?

4 Windsor Place
Cardiff
South Glamorgan
CF10 3BX
029 2039 8998

Who?
Dr James Grime

What's the talk about?

Alan Turing was one of our great 20th century mathematicians, and a pioneer of computer science. However, he may best be remembered as one of the leading code breakers of Bletchley Park during World War II. It was Turing's brilliant insights and mathematical mind that helped to break Enigma, the apparently unbreakable code used by the German military. We present a history of both Alan Turing and the Enigma, leading up to this fascinating battle of man against machine - including a full demonstration of an original WWII Enigma Machine!

Dr James Grime is a mathematician and public speaker who works for the Millennium Mathematics Project at the University of Cambridge. 

Dr. Clio Bellenis

When?
Monday, November 19 2012 at 7:00PM

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Where?

4 Windsor Place
Cardiff
South Glamorgan
CF10 3BX
029 2039 8998

Who?
Dr. Clio Bellenis

What's the talk about?

Having been initially sceptical of the value of philosophy in an age of empiricism, Clio changed her mind after some years studying the subject. When Brian Cox dismissed philosophy (as he actually does everything but physics though, lets be honest!) she decided to put this talk together in an attempt to win over the undecided.

Her talk will be about how science and philosophy, being different, can complement each other, and so improve our knowledge of the world. She will use examples from a selection of areas where philosophy is making significant contributions as well as some which might just be interesting.

Clio is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who has spent all her working life in the NHS.

Martin Poulter

When?
Thursday, October 25 2012 at 7:00PM

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Where?

4 Windsor Place
Cardiff
South Glamorgan
CF10 3BX
029 2039 8998

Who?
Martin Poulter

What's the talk about?

Scientology has been described in the States as “ruthless, litigious and lucrative” and in this country as “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”, yet it boasts global success and has made hundreds of millions of dollars. Thanks to the Internet, it now faces an unprecedented global opposition. The scary secrets of Scientology and its recruitment methods will be exposed in this talk. It will be useful for anyone wanting to set up their own lucrative cult.

Martin Poulter first encountered skepticism while a teenager. He has a Philosophy and Psychology degree from Oxford University and a PhD in Philosophy of Science from the University of Bristol. He has been a Scientology-watcher since 1995, when he was threatened with legal action over material he posted online. He is an ordained minister in the Church of the SubGenius, which offers eternal spiritual salvation or triple your money back.

Stuart Ritchie

When?
Monday, September 17 2012 at 7:00PM

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Where?

4 Windsor Place
Cardiff
South Glamorgan
CF10 3BX
029 2039 8998

Who?
Stuart Ritchie

What's the talk about?

Does IQ exist, and if so, does it matter? Is intelligence in the genes, and can we do anything to improve it? Are there group differences in IQ?

Stuart Ritchie, A PhD Psychology student at The University of Edinburgh, addresses some of the most controversial questions surrounding human intelligence.

Find out more: http://timeoutofmindblog.wordpress.com/about/

£3 entry on the door

A Night of Science & Comedy

Dr Dean Burnett

When?
Wednesday, August 22 2012 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Dempsey's Bar
Castle Street
Cardiff
CF10 1BS

Who?
Dr Dean Burnett

What's the talk about?

The IET and Radio Cardiff invites you to be in the audience for a special evening of scientists and engineers doing comedy, recorded especially for Radio Cardiff.

Dr Dean Burnett hosts the Pythagoras Club which will feature several local scientists and engineers performing standup routines as well as a few professional comedians giving their take on science and engineering.

Rumour even has it that presenter of Pythagoras' Trousers, Rhys Phillips may step up to the mic as one of the acts!

The night will be recorded and highlights broadcast on Radio Cardiff on Monday 27th August 2012. 

Entrance to this event if £5, 100% of which will be donated to a local charity and doors open at 7pm. 

For more information, please email Rhys Phillips via rhys@rhysphillips.co.uk

Professor Peter Elwood

When?
Monday, August 20 2012 at 7:00PM

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Where?

4 Windsor Place
Cardiff
South Glamorgan
CF10 3BX
029 2039 8998

Who?
Professor Peter Elwood

What's the talk about?

Aspirin has been shown to reduce heart attacks and strokes and to substantially reduce cancer. It does however have other, undesirable effects, in particular bleeding. As with the five ‘classic’ healthy behaviours, it is for the subject him/herself to evaluate the risk, the benefits and the costs, and decide for him/herself which of the healthy behaviours he or she will adopt.

Peter Elwood joined Archie Cochrane in the MRC Epidemiological Unit in Cardiff in 1963. In 1974 Archie retired, and Peter succeeded him as Director. Archie continued to work in the unit until shortly before his death in 1988.

Elwood himself retired some years ago but was granted an honorary Professorship in Cardiff University. This enables him to continue working on issues in nutrition and health, on factors relevant to heart disease and stroke prevention, on factors predictive of dementia and on the benefits of low-dose aspirin.

Celebrating the Cardiff Science Festival

Rhys Morgan

When?
Tuesday, July 10 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

4 Windsor Place
Cardiff
South Glamorgan
CF10 3BX
029 2039 8998

Who?
Rhys Morgan

What's the talk about?

When Rhys Morgan was 15 years old and diagnosed with the painful condition Crohn's Disease, he logged on to a support forum - where he discovered that a "miracle" cure was being peddled, that turned out to be very dangerous. 

After doing some research, he discovered that forum members were being actively encouraged to drink "miracle mineral solution" which is in fact a solution of bleach, and to continue with this treatment even when they suffered resulting symptoms such as burning. Upon challenging its promoters, Rhys was banned from the forum.

You can read how that went here at "Bleachgate", and take a look at this list of links to see the results of Rhys's determination to get more knowledge out there. It went as far as to be banned in Kenya, and Rhys got on the BBC (twice), Wales Online, and won the James Randi 2010 award for "Grassroots Activism".

Since then, he has also written about the Burzynski Clinic in the US, which claims to treat cancer with "antineoplaston therapy". This resulted in a representative issuing libel threats and, upon learning that Rhys was a teenager, threatening to inform his school and sending him an image of his house. Similar threats were made to other UK bloggers(highlighting the need for libel reform in the UK), but none have yet been followed through. Rhys asks here in the Guardian why the Burzynski Clinic is unwilling to simply publish its methodology and results, rather than threatening its critics.

Rhys, now 17, plans to continue his campaigns against unproven and dangerous "miracle cures", and will be talking to us about both these episodes and probably more. You can also catch up with him on his blog and follow him on Twitter at @rhysmogan.

No booking required - just come along! £3 per head.

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