Dr Chris French

When?
Tuesday, November 1 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Dr Chris French

What's the talk about?

 Have you ever been scared by a bump in the night? Unnerved by the prospect of monsters under the bed? Or perhaps a more terrifying and real experience of paranormal activity? Straight after Halloween we will be looking into claims of the paranormal with Dr Chris French, a psychologist from Goldsmith's College, University of London.

 

Our senses and perceptions are wired to view the world in a certain way; a way that has ensured our survival in the natural world. However we all experience occurences that do not square easily with the everyday. Are ghost sightings and the like proof of a hidden world or are they perhaps evidence of the fallibility of our own interpretations of our surroundings. In exploring this Dr Chris will examine such topics as hallucinations, pareidolia, misinterpretation and the unreliability of eye-witness testimony to establish how easily it is for our senses to be misled. After we hear how our minds can often lead us to erronous conclusions about our experiences we may find it harder to be spooked by tales of the unexplained. However in the month of Halloween this may not offer much comfort when the witching hour comes.

All welcome. Tickets will be on the door priced at £5.

 

Johno Pearce

When?
Tuesday, October 4 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Johno Pearce

What's the talk about?

On Tuesday 4th October Chichester Skeptics in the Pub welcomes Jonathan Pearce to talk about the nature of Islam,

This century has seen the emergence of Islam as a religion closely connected to violence and terrorism. With regrettable regularity the latest religiously inspired terror attack fills the news broadcasts around the world whether they be the work of ISIS, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda or other such group. However these events are also vociferously condemned by peacful Islamic groups as being distinctly against the teachings fo the Qu'ran. Islam is a religion of peace and unity for many Muslim across the world.

To investigate whether is a part of Islam, and to what extent, Jonathan will examine in turn; the Qu;ran, the history of the prophet of Muhammad, and modern day interpretations given by Muslims. However regardless of his conclusion Jonathan will consider what role political expediency plays in accepting the narrative that fundamentalists are acting outside of the religion. It may be more desirable to accept a more moderate interpretation of Islam, even if it is less accurate.

Jonathan is a philosopher and author of several books of philosophy and theology. He is a founding member of both Tippling Philosophers and the Skeptic Ink Network.

All are welcome at the Chichester Inn. Doors open at 7:30pm and tickets will be available on the door priced at £5.

 

Martin Williams

When?
Tuesday, September 6 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Martin Williams

What's the talk about?

 On Tuesday 6th September Chichester Skeptics welcomes Martin Williams to talk about his new book Parliament Limited. Martin's talk will look at the myriad of financial interests and dealings of our elected representatives that raise questions over whose interests they have at heart; the public's, big business or their own.

Recent events have shown how the national interest can take a back seat to the personal ambitions of politicians, yet for an even starker example we do not have to look too far back, The expenses scandal of 2009 lifted the veil on a grand cculture of self-enrichment at the taxpayers' expense. From frivolous claims for duckhouses or moat cleaning to the more unscrupulous practice of flipping second homes, MPs were exposed to accusations of serving themselves rather than the public. In Martin's new book he challenges the idea that the system has been reformed. He points to the fact that the expenses bill is actually 43% higher than in 2009 and he has uncovered claims for hotels, taxis and flights that show the excessess of MPs still exist in plentiful. His talk will highlight some of the worst cases and reveal how MPs are still milking the system.

Martin's talk will also look at the pratice of MPs having second jobs. These are often tied to the arms trade, finance or big business and many MPs hold a multitude of directorships in these industries. These roles are often obscured through intermediaries, and, coupled with a defunct and difficult to decipher Register of Interests, hard to discover. Used as a way to maximise their income, second jobs unavoidably lead to accusations of bias and a conflict of interests. That these roles risk undermining our democracy is a point Martin will explore on the night. 

This talk will interest all those who wish to know more about the inner workings of our government and how we can move towards a more open and transparent system,

All are welcome at the Chichester Inn. Doors 7:30pm and tickets will be priced £5 at the door.

Robert Lewis

When?
Tuesday, March 1 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Robert Lewis

What's the talk about?

 On Tuesday 1st March Chichester Skeptics in the Pub host an evening with Robert Lewis who shall be talking about his book, “Dark Actors; The Mysterious Life and Tragic Death of David Kelly”.

 

Dr David Kelly became the centre of a media storm in 2003 when it was revealed he was the source in a BBC news report questioning the government's claims of WMD in Iraq. After he had met with BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan anonymously, it was reported on the Today program that the government had deliberately exaggerated the extent Saddam's weapons arsenal to make the case for war. In particular, it was alleged that the claim of Iraq possessing missiles that could hit the UK within 45-minutes was inserted into the government's dossier by Alistair Campbell, knowing it was false. In an unprecedented step the Ministry of Defence confirmed Kelly as the source of this leak and he was hauled before a Foreign Affairs Select Committee who questioned him about the journalists he had met. A few days later Dr Kelly was found dead in woodlands near his Oxfordshire home which was declared a suicide.

 

The circumstances before and after his death have led many to speculate that Kelly was killed by government agents keen to silence him or by avenging Iraqi secret services who he promised there would be no war; not many were satisfied by the conclusion of the Hutton Report that he had committed suicide. Robert Lewis has considered and examined all the evidence in this case, as well as the competing theories to explain these events. Come to the Chichester Inn on Tuesday 1st March to hear Robert's fascinating talk on one of the most controversial episodes of recent history.

 

The talk will be held at the Chichester Inn on Tuesday 1st March at 7:30pm. Tickets are available on the door priced at £5.

Dan Parry

When?
Tuesday, February 2 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Dan Parry

What's the talk about?

 Following on from Tim Peake, Chichester Skeptics in the Pub are having their own adventure into space when we host Dan Parry to come and talk about the space race and the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Dan is the author of the book Moonshot which charts the history of the Apollo space program culminating in Apollo 11 mission to the moon. 

Dan's talk will focus on the human endeavour behind the space program and in researching his book Dan conducted interviews with Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and the normally reclusive Neil Armstrong. Dan will talk about the men who were capable to this momentous achievement in history and how the depended on each other as they endured one of the most intense periods of their lives. There were some difficult personal tradegies to overcome and a terrifying climax to the journey when just minutes from landing on the moon Aldrin and Armstrong's equipment failed!!

Dan will give an engaging and entertaining account of the mission that could easily have gone terribly wrong but instead turned to a triumph.

Tickets are priced at £5. This is a busy event - advance guaranteed tickets can be found here

 

Michael Brooks

When?
Tuesday, November 3 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Michael Brooks

What's the talk about?

 The atom. The Big Bang. DNA. Natural selection. All ideas that have revolutionised science – and that were dismissed out of hand when they first appeared. The surprises haven’t stopped: there's a whole new wave of unexpected insights that are shaping the future of scientific discovery. There are the cosmological observations that might rewrite our history of the universe, novel biological ideas behind our will to live, the possibility that humans are quantum beings, that women and men need entirely different medicines, that the cosmos is a computer (with us as the programmers), that time is an illusion and that merging humans with other species is a good idea. In this talk, Michael Brooks will explore all these ideas and more - which may all turn out to be wrong. That's the problem with science: you're always working at the edge of uncertainty and you never know when someone's going to push you off…

The talk takes place at the Chichester Inn on Tuesday 3rd November. TIckets are on the door priced at £3.

Jamie Bartlett

When?
Tuesday, October 6 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Jamie Bartlett

What's the talk about?

Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit -  a world of Google, Hotmail, Facebook and Amazon - lies a vast and often hidden network of sites, communities and cultures where freedom is pushed to it limits, and where people can be anyone, or do anything, they want. A world that is as creative and complex as it is dangerous and disturbing. A world that is much closer than you think.

The dark net is an underworld that stretches from popular social media sites to the most secretive corners of the encrytped web. It is a world that frequently appears in newspaper headlines, but one that is little understood, and rarely explored. The Dark Net is a revelatory examination of the internet today, and of its most innovative and dangerous subcultures: trolls and pornographers, drug dealers and hackers, political extremists and computer scientists, Bitcoin programmers and self-harmers, libertarians and vigilantes.

Based on extensive first hand experience, exclusive interviews and shocking documentary evidence, The Dark Net offers a startling glimpse of human nature under the conditions of freedom and anonymity, and shines a light on an enigmatic and ever-changing world.

Jamie is Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think-tank Demos. His primary research interests are: new political movements and social media research and analysis, internet cultures and security and privacy online. His book The Dark Net was shortlisted for The Political Award and longlisted for The Orwell Prize.

All are welcome to come and hear Jamie. Tickets are £3 on the door.

Rob Bailey

When?
Tuesday, August 4 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Rob Bailey

What's the talk about?

 Rob Bailey is a Chartered Psychologist, member of the Magic Circle and a veteran of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where for 4 years he performed a one-man show as a 'mind reader'. During that time he felt increasing unease that although the show was meant to parody psychic powers and encourage critical thinking, he was actually replacing his audience's belief in the paranormal with unwarranted beliefs in impossible psychological powers.

His new show is a response to that unease: Rob has stripped back his rountines to include only genuine psychological principles. He will perform a few routines, followed by explanations (e.g quirks of bias, memory, perception). Exclusively for Skeptics, he will also discuss his thoughts about the pitfalls of attempting to promote ciritical thinking by illusions.

:A Journey Through Your Pencil Case

James Ward

When?
Tuesday, July 7 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
James Ward

What's the talk about?

James's calling in life is to find the fascinating in the seemingly mundane. His latest accomplishment in that effort is to wrtie a brilliantly witty and insightful best-selling book on stationery! Conscious of the overstatement, but nevertheless, James believes stationery is responsbile for human civilisation. Giving the means of transmitting accumulated knowledge, stationery was the catalyst for catapulting us out of the swamps and into the office!

Packed with fascinating tales about maverick people, accidental world-changing inventions and monumental designs, James's book "Adventures in Stationery" can probably be described as the world's leading tome on stationery. Come and hear his great talk and see for yourself the intrigue and interest that lies behind the unnoticeable items in your desk tidy.

Luke Harding

When?
Tuesday, June 2 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Luke Harding

What's the talk about?

Chichester Skeptics in the Pub welcome journalist Luke Harding to give a talk this month on Vladimir Putin's Russia. Luke will give a unique, personal and compelling portrait of today's Russia, tow decades after communisim, that reads like a spy thriller.

In 2007 Luke arrived in Moscow to take up a position as the Guardian's Russian correspondent. Within months, mysterious agents from Russia's Federal Security Service - the successor to the KGB - had broken into his flat. he found himself being tailed by men in cheap leather jackets, bugged and event summoned to a KGB prison.

The break-in was the beginning of an extraordinary psychological war against the journalist and his family. Putin's spies used tactics developed by the KGB and perfected in the 1970s by the Stasi. The clandestine campaign burst into the public eye in 2011 when Luke was expelled from Russia - the first western reporter to be deported since the Cold War.

Luke will give a haunting account of the insidious methods used by a resurgent Kremlin against its so-called "enemies" -human rights workers, western diplomats, jorunalists and opposition activists. It includes unpublished material from confidential US diplomatic cables released last year by Wikileaks, which describe Russia as a virtual "mafia state". Luke's talk promises to be a chilling expose of a nation whose ruling elite have eroded the boundaries between government, business and organised crime.

The talk is on 2nd June at the Chichester Inn starting at 7:30pm - tickets cost £3 on the door.

How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch

Dr Lewis Dartnell

When?
Tuesday, May 5 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Dr Lewis Dartnell

What's the talk about?

 Maybe it was an asteroid impact, a nuclear war, or a viral pandemic. Whatever the cause, the world as we know it is over and humanity must start again. What would you need to know to not only survive in the immediate aftermath, but avert another Dark Ages and accelerate the rebooting of civilisation from scratch? The Knowledge is a grand thought experiment on the behind-the-scenes fundamentals of how our world works, and what drove the progression of civilisation over the centuries.

Dr Lewis Dartnell is a research fellow at the University of Leicester, working in the field of astrobiology and the search for life beyond Earth. He has written threethe-knowledgebooks: Life in the Universe: A Beginner’s Guide, My Tourist Guide to the Solar System and The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch

Iszi Lawrence

When?
Tuesday, April 7 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Iszi Lawrence

What's the talk about?

 Skeptic, comedian and voice of the Skeptics Guide To The Universe, Iszi Lawrence is out to delight and inform with her new show The Z List Dead List. The Z List Dead List is a live comedy show about obscure people from History. As a skeptic, Iszi has found a few people from the past that will peak your interest. Expect woo, violence, sex and death. And a competition. The show is also a podcast with guest interviews from Jon Ronson, Griff Rhys Jones, Natalie Haynes, Neil Denny, Richard Herring etc.