<< Following year

Dispatches from the Information War

Heather Brooke

When?
Monday, September 5 2011 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Heather Brooke

What's the talk about?

Heather Brooke returns to Westminster Skeptics to talk about her new book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Revolution-will-Digitised-Dispatches-Information/dp/0434020907

There is more information in the world than ever before - but who is in control?

At the centre is the Establishment: governments, corporations andpowerful individuals who have more knowledge about us, and more power, than at any other time in history. Circling them is a new generation of hackers, pro-democracy campaigners and internet activists who no longer accept that the Establishment should run the show.

In her gripping, revelatory new book, award-winning journalist and campaigner Heather Brooke takes us inside the Information War, from the hackerspaces of Boston and Berlin to the UK’s journalism hub and Iceland’s free speech revolution; from the headquarters of Google and Facebook to Collateral Murder, Cablegate and the murky world of Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

Along the way Brooke explores the most urgent questions of the digital age: where is the balance between freedom and security? In an online world, does privacy still exist? And will the internet empower individuals, or usher in a new age of censorship, surveillance and oppression?

Praise for The Silent State

 

‘Passionate, eloquent and persuasive’ Times Book of the Week

‘Wonderful… Heather Brooke has changed British public culture
and earned an essential place in our national history’ Peter Oborne

‘***** If you care about our so-called democracy, you must read
this profoundly shocking book’ Mail on Sunday

 

 

 

 

The acclaimed Guardian journalist Paul Lewis comes to Westminster Skeptics to dicuss the recent civil disturbances

Paul Lewis

When?
Monday, August 22 2011 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Paul Lewis

What's the talk about?

The acclaimed Guardian journalist comes to Westminster Skeptics to discuss the recent civil disturbances

All welcome; £2 a head

Paul Lewis has had to cancel. Joanne and I are going to do this instead.

David Allen Green and Joanne Cash

When?
Monday, July 11 2011 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
David Allen Green and Joanne Cash

What's the talk about?

The master skeptic satirist comes to Westminster Skeptics

Crispian Jago

When?
Monday, June 20 2011 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Crispian Jago

What's the talk about?

Crispian Jago is one of the founding members of the Hampshire Skeptic Society, and co-founder & co-organiser of Winchester Skeptics in the Pub.

He was recently longlisted for the 2011 Orwell Prize for his satirical skeptic blog Science, Religion and Critical Thinking, where he "hurls ad hominem attacks at passing woo mongers and takes random pot shot at supernatural, paranormal and pseudoscientific bullshit."

How to Point and Laugh at Irrational Nonsense will review many of the topics covered in the Science, Reason and Critical Thinking blog over the past couple of years and ponder whether or not ridicule is an appropriate method for sceptical activism.

In his day job, Crispian is a freelance IT consultant specialising in the design and management of software test strategies in order to ensure the successful deployment of complex IT systems.

Suzanne Moore, Laurie Penny, Anna Chen, Mark Lewis, and Richard Peppiatt

When?
Monday, March 14 2011 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Suzanne Moore, Laurie Penny, Anna Chen, Mark Lewis, and Richard Peppiatt

What's the talk about?

The mainstream media.

Mark Henderson

When?
Monday, February 7 2011 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Mark Henderson

What's the talk about?

Mark Henderson, Science Editor of the Times, is writing a book about science and politics. It’s called The Geek Manifesto, and it will be published next spring by Bantam Press. It will celebrate the emerging confidence and activism of people who care about science and critical thinking – the geeks – and explain how this emerging force can change politics for the better.

As he plans the book, Mark is seeking your ideas about what ...he should include. In this event, he’ll explain the project and ask you to share your thoughts.

Mark’s central thesis is that science and politics don’t get as much out of one another as they could. Science doesn’t always get the support it deserves from government: poor funding, badly-framed regulation, and policy initiatives such as the immigration cap often hamper researchers and their research. Equally, politics doesn’t draw often enough on the problem-solving power of the scientific method — the best tool yet developed for working out what works.

The Geek Manifesto will explore the policy failures that have been influenced by this disconnect, and examine what both governments and the geeks themselves can do to improve matters. Mark would particularly like you to think about four questions:

- What are the best examples of geek activism, what have they achieved and what can we learn from them?

- What else can geeks do to hold politicians and civil servants to account, and to promote better use of science in public contexts?

- What are the best examples of bad practice, where poor use of evidence or poor awareness of the methods of science have led to policy failures?

- Where have politicians and civil servants done well? Are there examples that could be emulated elsewhere?

You can also discuss the project on the Geek Manifesto blog: http://geekmanifesto.wordpress.com/

Come and have fun

TOMORROW

When?
Monday, November 1 2010 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
TOMORROW

What's the talk about?

An informal party - fancy dress if you must - to celebrate our first year.

Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon, with a reply by Dr Brooke Magnanti

When?
Monday, October 18 2010 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon, with a reply by Dr Brooke Magnanti

What's the talk about?

Critical thinking and an evidence based approach about sex work.

Panel including Cory Doctorow and Tom Watson MP

When?
Monday, October 11 2010 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Panel including Cory Doctorow and Tom Watson MP

What's the talk about?

Now the Digital Economy Act has been passed, what happens next? 

A panel discussion.

Heather Brooke

When?
Monday, September 13 2010 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Heather Brooke

What's the talk about?

Award winning freedom of information campaigner and author Heather Brooke comes to Westminster Skeptics.Website http://heatherbrooke.org/ 

The Science Punk comes to Westminster Skeptics!

Frank Swain

When?
Monday, August 2 2010 at 7:00PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Frank Swain

What's the talk about?

Is the skeptic movement trapped in an echo chamber? Science writer Frank Swain asks if the behaviour of skeptics has created an exclusive club that increasingly communicates only to its own troops, and invites suggestions on how better to reach out to the public.

http://www.sciencepunk.com/


On other matters, also attending will be Cllr John Dixon of Stupid Scientology fame.

The indefatigable campaigner against nonsense comes to Westminster Skeptics

Simon Perry

When?
Monday, July 12 2010 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Strutton Ground
London
SW1H 0HW

Who?
Simon Perry

What's the talk about?

Simon Perry is an active campaigner against nonsense. Using the ASA, Trading Standards, other regulatory bodies and even gaining help from MPs, his campaigns have helped shut down dodgy allergy test services, prevented traditional chinese medicine salesmen from claiming to cure cancer, and exposed psychic scams.

His largest involvement in a campaign, coined the "Quacklash" by Jack of Kent, involved almost 600 separate letters being sent to trading standards to report claims to treat childhood diseases with a back rub. 60 of the letters gained 500 signatories. Further complaints were issued with the General Chiropractic Council.

Simon will explain the techniques he's used to fight woo, what works and what doesn't and tell stories about some of the crazy nonsense he's encountered along the way.

Simon runs Leicester Skeptics in the Pub, blogs at http://adventuresinnonsense.blogspot.com/ and writes a skeptical column in the Leicester Mercury. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Simon_Perry.

All welcome; no booking required; £2 per head.