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Outed, outers, and outlaws.

Nightjack and others discuss what next for social media

When?
Monday, September 24 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Nightjack and others discuss what next for social media

What's the talk about?

This is a panel to discuss a range of social media issues, including anonymity, accountability, and legal liability.

 

Panel includes:

Richard Horton - the "Nightjack" blogger outed by the Times and winner of Orwell prize for blogging

Zoe Margolis - the "Girl With A One Track Mind" blogger outed by the Sunday Times

Paul Chambers - who successfully appealed "Twitter Joke Trial" conviction

Tim Ireland - the "Bloggerheads" blogger and scourge of internet fakery and dishonesty

Peter Ede - blogger who exposed "Lord Credo" and writes on Twitter and blogging etiquette

Helen Lewis - blogger and deputy editor of the New Statesman

 

Chaired by David Allen Green - New Statesman and "Jack of Kent" blogger who exposed Times hack of Nightjack and effectively revealed Johann Hari to be "David Rose", also defence solicitor in the "Twitter Joke Trial appeal".

 

£2 a head, all welcome, no need to book.

 

 

 

Paul Lewis

When?
Monday, August 6 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Paul Lewis

What's the talk about?

In the aftermath of the English riots last year, some 400 people turned up to hear Paul Lewis talk about the riots. (The Pod Delusion recording of the talk is here.)

The Guardian's special projects editor, Paul had just tweeted from the front-line of riots in three cities, gaining 35,000 new followers and a host of award nominations. Then, he said none of the theories purporting to explain the biggest bout of civil unrest in a generation had much validity, arguing what was really needed was reliable research.

Since then, Paul set up a team in partnership with the London School of Economics, and spent a year conducting the most in-depth research into the disorder. Reading the Riots has interviewed almost 600 people directly affected by the riots, including hundreds of police, rioters and looters.

What does the research show?

And will the riots happen again?

Join Paul on August 6 - the year anniversary of the riot in Tottenham that sparked unrest on a national scale.

 

 

All welcome; £2 donation at door; contact jackofkent@gmail.com for more details.

The former canon of St Paul's Cathedral comes to Westminster Skeptics

When?
Monday, June 25 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Giles Fraser

What's the talk about?

What happens when we turn skepticism back upon itself? Drawing on the work of philosopher Stanley Cavell, Giles Fraser will explore the limits of skepticism and ask if there are some issues about which the skeptical approach is not always particularly helpful.


Canon Dr Giles Fraser is priest-in-charge of St Mary's Newington and a olumnist for the Guardian. He previously worked as Canon Chancellor at St Paul's Cathedral before resigning over the Cathedral's approach to Occupy. His PhD was on Nietzsche and he was also a lecturer in Philosophy at Wadham College, Oxford.

Politics and Geekery

Mark Henderson

When?
Monday, May 14 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Mark Henderson

What's the talk about?

 

Mark Henderson will be talking about his new book, The Geek Manifesto

 

ORDER THE BOOK HERE: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geek-Manifesto-Why-science-matters/dp/0593068238/

 

Whether we want to improve education or cut crime, to enhance public health or to generate clean energy, science is critical. Yet politics and public life too often occupy a science-free zone.

Just one of our 650 MPs is a scientist. Ministers ignore, and even sack, scientific advisers who offer inconvenient evidence. The NHS spends taxpayers’ money on sugar pills it knows won’t work, while public funding for research that would boost the economy is cut. Groundless media scares, taken up by politicians who should know better, poison public debate on vaccines and climate change, GM crops and nuclear power.

In this agenda-setting book, Mark Henderson builds a powerful case that science should be much more central than it is to government and the wider national conversation. It isn’t only that scientific understanding is passed over as decisions are made; the experimental methods of science aren’t applied to evaluating policy either.

Politicians, Henderson argues, pay lip service to science for a very simple reason: they know they can get away with it. And that will change only when people who care about science get politically active. It’s time to mobilise the geeks.

Something is stirring among those curious kids who always preferred sci-fi to celebrity magazines. As the success of Brian Cox and Ben Goldacre shows, geeks have stopped apologising for an obsession with asking how and why, and are starting to stand up for it instead.

The Geek Manifesto shows how people with a love of science can get political, to create a force our leaders can no longer afford to ignore.

The geeks are coming. Our countries need us.

One of the UK's leading public intellectuals

The Times columnist and Moral Mazer comes to Westminster Skeptics

When?
Monday, February 27 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
The Times columnist and Moral Mazer comes to Westminster Skeptics

What's the talk about?

A free-form question and answer session, which will be kicked-off by David Allen Green.

An evidence-based opinion.

Professor Colin Leys

When?
Monday, January 23 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Professor Colin Leys

What's the talk about?

The government maintains that the Health and Social Care Bill doesn’t mean the privatisation of the NHS. 

Is this true? 

What are the main changes implied by the Bill, and what do they imply for patients and taxpayers? 

What are the reasons for the changes, and do they add up to a persuasive case? 

Colin Leys is an emeritus professor of political studies at Queen’s University, Canada, and an honorary professor at Goldsmiths University of London. His most recent books include Market-Driven Politics: Neoliberal Democracy and the Public Interest (2001) and (with Stewart Player) The Plot Against the NHS (2011). 

 

Addiction is a very modern obsession. But what is addiction?

Tania Glyde

When?
Monday, January 9 2012 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Tania Glyde

What's the talk about?

 Addiction is a very modern obsession. Like allergies, everyone's got one, yet many people present the evidence for their 'addictive personality' by announcing their greater-than-average capacity for biscuits. 

But what is addiction? 

Compulsion, behaviour, illness, all three, or none of the above? 

Do AA and other 12 step recovery programmes really work? 

And will a skeptic *ever* admit to needing a higher power?


Tania Glyde is the author of Cleaning Up, a memoir about how she took on British drinking culture and survived.

 

£2 on door, all welcome.

What is wrong and right about libel and privacy law.

David Allen Green

When?
Monday, December 12 2011 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
David Allen Green

What's the talk about?

David Allen Green will discuss mudddled and clear thinking about privacy and libel law, and on where developments in libel and privacy are going well and going badly.
 
David, a lawyer and journalist,  is convenor of Westminster Skeptics.

Using evidence and belief to assess hypotheses

Graeme Archer

When?
Monday, November 21 2011 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Graeme Archer

What's the talk about?

Some hardcore geekiness and policy wonkery by Dr Graeme Archer

(Ph D in statistical inference; professional statistician; winner of George Orwell Prize for political blogging 2011; New Statesman blogger; Telegraph columnist.)

For free speech, social media, and a sense of humour

Nick Cohen, David Allen Green, Simon SIngh

When?
Tuesday, November 8 2011 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Nick Cohen, David Allen Green, Simon SIngh

What's the talk about?

 Why this appeal matters, in so many ways...

The skeptic event of the year...

Hayley Stevens

When?
Monday, October 31 2011 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Hayley Stevens

What's the talk about?

Talk will be by Hayley Stevens, the leading skeptic authority on ghosts and ghosthunting.

All welcome, £2 on door.

 

Thinking critically about transgender issues

Juliet Jacques, Guardian writer, longlisted for the George Orwell blogging prize in 2011

When?
Monday, October 3 2011 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Juliet Jacques, Guardian writer, longlisted for the George Orwell blogging prize in 2011

What's the talk about?

The emergence of gender variant people, practices and identities following the publication of Magnus Hirschfeld’s Transvestites (1909) and the inter-war invention of sex reassignment technologies posed considerable challenges to conservative, socialist, feminist and gay/lesbian politics: if ‘male’ and ‘female’ were no longer true, then what was? 

Consequently, transgender people became an object of fascination, and plenty was written about them – by the mainstream media, feminists and the medical establishment whose management of transsexualism has proved especially controversial – with transgender people themselves frequently excluded from the conversation, with their identities erased or discounted, or having their experiences framed by people or outlets with no lived experience of being transgender.

Juliet Jacques author of the Guardian’s Transgender Journey series which documents the gender reassignment process from a first-person perspective, critically examines some of the ideas and myths that grew around transgender people, and the gulf between mainstream political and media discussions of transgender issues and the autonomous transgender theory and identities that developed in response.