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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.

News from the Energy Frontier

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

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?

What's the talk about?

 The discovery of the Higgs boson made headlines around the world. Two scientists, Peter Higgs and François Englert, whose theories predicted its existence, shared a Nobel Prize. The discovery was the culmination of the largest experiment ever run, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. But what really is a Higgs boson and what does it do? How was it found? And what will the LHC do next? Jon Butterworth, a leading member of the ATLAS experiment, will talk about all this and more.

Jon Butterworth is also Head of the Department of Physics & Astronomy at UCL, and writes for the Guardian at http://www.theguardian.com/science/life-and-physics

Peter Jukes

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

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Peter Jukes

What's the talk about?

Billed as the trial of the century, the phone hacking trials of News of the World journalists and executives lifted the lid on the murky and deceitful world of tabloid journalism. The end result was the closure of the paper, disputed verdicts, prison and the halting of News International's attempt to monopolise satellite TV in Britain. 

During the trials, Peter Jukes made legal history by live tweeting the unfolding drama from the public gallery. Gaining notoriety in the twittersphere, Peter had front row seats for the sensational revelations concerning the Millie Dowler case, the affair between Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson and the final verdicts. So determined was he to bring the details of the trial to the public that he resorted to crowd funding over the internet to find the means to last the duration. Peter will talk about his account of the phone hacking scandal, the trials that followed and his own personal story following them.

Peter is an author, screenwriter, playwright, critic and blogger. He has written scripts for TV shows such as Holby City, In Deep and Waking Dead. He is also a published author and has written books on the Murdoch empire and his latest book "Beyond Contempt" is about the hacking trials.

Alex Bellos

When?
Tuesday, November 4 2014 at 7:30PM

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Who?
Alex Bellos

What's the talk about?

 Alex Bellos will talk about his book Alex Through the Looking Glass: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life, his follow-up to the bestselling Alex's Adventures in Numberland. In the course of the talk he will discuss his survey to discover the world's favourite number, psychological responses to mathematics and how very simple rules can generate very complex behaviour. And other fun maths stuff.

Alex Bellos is the bestselling author of Alex’s Adventures in Numberland, which was shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize. He is the Guardian’s maths-blogger, and has worked for the paper in London and Rio de Janeiro as its unusually numerate foreign correspondent. He is currently a curator-in-residence at the Science Museum. His new book,Alex Through The Looking Glass, is out now and will be on sale on the night.

Dr Ed Morrisson

When?
Tuesday, October 7 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Dr Ed Morrisson

What's the talk about?

A thought can be implanted into your mind without you knowing.

Your memory power can be more than doubled almost instantly.

Your physical performance can be improved using mind over matter.

Hear extraordinary claims about what your mind can and cannot do. But which is fact and which is fake? Join in with a series of demonstrations then decide for yourself.

Ed Morrison is an academic psychologist at the University of Portsmouth. His research interests are around evolutionary psychology and human mate choice. Alongside these academic interests he enjoys exploring the limits of what people believe science in general, and psychology in particular, can and cannot explain.

Robert Llewellyn

When?
Tuesday, September 2 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Robert Llewellyn

What's the talk about?

 

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Electric cars? They're rubbish aren't they?! Nothing but glorified golf carts that take forever to charge and then run out of power on the way to the shops. Try finding somewhere to charge them. They cost a fortune to buy and another fortune to replace the battery when its range drops to half. You don't want to believe all that nonsense about them being environmentally-friendly. They are actually worse than petrol-powered cars because the batteries are made from dirty lithium and use electricity made from dirtier coal. There isn't even enough lithium in the world to make all the new batteries we'd need anyway. Electric cars are just rubbish. Aren't they? - Robert says no. This evening he'll tell us why he thinks we need to put away our prejudices and think seriously about electric vehicles as the future of transport.

Robert Llewellyn is an actor, writer, comedian, TV presenter and self-described wishy-washy liberal best known for playing the android Kryten in the long-running BBC sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf. He presented Scrapheap Challenge for 10 years and these days he can be seen on TV presenting the shows Car-Pool on Dave and How Do They Do It? on Channel 5. He is probably the UK's most prominent advocate of electric vehicles (EV) and presents a YouTube-based show called Fully Charged which documents current developments in the electric vehicle industry. He also writes a column for the EV website The Charging Point. He has been notably critical of BBC Top Gear's position on electric vehicles -  a case in point being the Top Gear "review" of the Tesla V in 2008 which is currently the subject of a lawsuit by Tesla. This February he debated the motion "This House Believes Electric Cars are the Future of Transport" at the Oxford Union. The motion was carried.

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Ben Gunn

When?
Tuesday, August 5 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Ben Gunn

What's the talk about?

 What’s prison for and what does it do, punishment, protection or preparation for life on the loose? Having spent almost all of his adult life behind bars, Ben uses his experience and intellect to bring us unique insights into the workings of the penal system.

 

The Times said of him, "one of Britain's best known prisoners...he constantly questions authority and exposes the futility of the system". Ben was finally released from prison after 32 years in August 2012 after pleading guilty to the murder of a friend when he was 14 years old. He renounced violence and fought for the recognition of the inherent dignity of all human beings. As a result he served far longer than the recommended 10 years, leading Education Secretary Michael Gove to argue that he had “…been punished excessively for a crime committed as a child".

 

One of the more intellectual of prisoner-campaigners, Ben chose to educate himself from a schoolboy level to having both undergraduate and post graduate degrees. He is currently one of very few prisoners in Britain ever to attempt a Doctorate. Ben's speciality is non-violent action and the Human Needs Theory. Now on Life Licence he is forging a career as a CJ policy consultant, writer and - as ever - campaigner.

Alistair Coleman

When?
Tuesday, July 1 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Alistair Coleman

What's the talk about?

As tensions between the west and Kim Jong Un increase, Journalist and North Korea Watcher Alistair Coleman will be talking about the secretive kingdom and asking how much do we really know about North Korea?

Alistair has worked at BBC Monitoring for 24 years, part of the World Service which watches and analyses the world's open source media. Starting his career as a technician, he specialises in studying media behaviour in North Korea for significant changes in tone that could betray changes in policy.

Alistair is a multiple award-winning blogger who enjoys questioning extremism, idiocy and dubious claims; including political blow-hards, religion, stage psychics, homeopaths and quackery.

Jo Marchant

When?
Tuesday, June 3 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Jo Marchant

What's the talk about?

Summary

Award-winning science writer Jo Marchant traces the story of King Tutankhamun’s mummy from its first brutal autopsy in 1925 to the most recent arguments over its DNA. From the glamorous treasure hunts of the 1920s to today’s high-tech scans in volatile modern Egypt, Marchant introduces us to the brilliant and sometimes flawed people who have devoted their lives to revealing the mummy’s secrets, unravels the truth behind the hyped up TV documentaries, and explains what science can and can’t tell us about King Tutankhamun.

Bio

Jo Marchant is an award-winning science journalist and author. Jo has worked as an editor at New Scientist and at Nature and has written on topics from the future of genetic engineering to underwater archaeology. Her articles appear regularly in publications including New ScientistNature and The Observer. Her radio and TV appearances include BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week and Today programmes, CNN and National Geographic. She has lectured around the world, including at the Royal Institution in London, the Edinburgh Science Festival, the Getty Villa in Los Angeles and the Dutch-Flemish Institute in Cairo.

 

Martin Poulter

When?
Tuesday, May 6 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Martin Poulter

What's the talk about?

Summary

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.

Biography

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.

Will Storr

When?
Tuesday, April 1 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Will Storr

What's the talk about?

For years, journalist Will Storr has been writing about people with strange beliefs: demon hunters, UFO spotters, homeopaths and a couple who swore they've met the Yeti in some woods outside Ipswich. One afternoon, he was sitting at a Creationist lecture in the far north of Australia when he asked himself a question that he couldn't even begin to answer. Why don't facts work? The people that he had met, in his ten years of reporting, were often not stupid. Many were demonstrably intelligent. So why didn't superior information fail to replace the inferior. Why did logic fail?

The answer was to lead him on a journey which is recounted in his new book: The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science (Picador, 2013). Along with a spectacular cast of characters - including climate skeptic Lord Christopher Monckton and controversial historian David Irving - and some of the planet's most celebrated experts in brains and thinking, Storr finds his answer in what he calls 'The Hero Maker' : the collection of neural illusions by which we understand the world to be a narrative struggle which are at the centre of. We populate this narrative with heroes and with villains, and we flatter ourselves that we are the most important character in it. We are not agents of reason, but storytellers.

Will Storr is an award winning journalist and a novelist. For more information, please see: www.willstorr.com

Rob Brotherton

When?
Tuesday, March 4 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

38 West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RP

Who?
Rob Brotherton

What's the talk about?

Why do some people believe unproven and implausible conspiracy theories? What’s the harm if they do? And just what is a conspiracy theory, anyway? Rob Brotherton provides a psychological perspective on the peculiar phenomenon of conspiracy theorising. The talk will offer a definition of the tricky-to-define term ‘conspiracy theory’, discuss the consequences of widespread belief in conspiracies, and present psychological research which begins to reveal the allure of conspiracy theorising.


Bio:
Rob is a Lecturer in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. His research focuses on personality and cognitive correlates of conspiracism, and anomalistic psychology more generally. Rob is Assistant Editor of The Skeptic (www.skeptic.org.uk), and writes about the psychology of conspiracy theories at www.ConspiracyPsychology.com. Or at least that’s what he would like you to believe.
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