Welcome to Cheltenham Skeptics in the Pub.

Skeptics in the Pub was founded in London by Dr Scott Campbell in 1999. The aim is to provide opportunities for people who are interested in science, skepticism, rationalism and critical thinking to socialise and discuss matters of interest, usually with a guest speaker. There are now over fifty groups across the country. Their websites will give you a great idea of what Skeptics are, what happens at a SitP event and so on.

Cheltenham SitP was conceived in November 2010.

Please register for updates and send us your suggestions for speakers and how best to spread the word. You can also follow Chelt_SitP on Twitter, visit us on Facebook Google+ or EventBrite. Also see our Newbie Friendly Policy!

 

Terry Sharp

When?
Tuesday, February 28 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

66 Regent Street
Cheltenham
GL50 1HA

Who?
Terry Sharp

What's the talk about?

This talk will focus on the challenges in determining the role of food and diet in our well-being and longevity and will demonstrate some of the trends in food consumption and patterns of life expectancy from the early 20th Century onwards.

Terry graduated in Chemistry from the University of Sussex and, to avoid having to find a job, hitch-hiked to Afghanistan instead. On returning to the UK he further put off having to work by studying for a PhD in development of flavours in food. He finally landed a job with a major biscuit company, working in R&D. After 10 good years there, he left to join ICI, in a joint venture that developed Quorn and brought it to the market. His final job in the UK was running a team in the largest food consultancy in the world and, after 12 years there, was headhunted to work as Technical Director for one of the major food companies in South Africa. He retired in 2012 but stayed on in Durban for the World Cup before returning to the UK. Since then he has consulted in the UK, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Dubai and Brazil.

 

Jenny Josephs

When?
Tuesday, March 28 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

66 Regent Street
Cheltenham
GL50 1HA

Who?
Jenny Josephs

What's the talk about?

By 2050 the global population will reach 9 billion and this will put ever increasing pressure on food and environmental resources. It will be a challenge to ensure global food security without further damaging the environment with intensified farming practices.

One UN backed solution is to focus on alternative sources of protein, such as insects for food and animal feed. About 2 billion of us already include insects in our diets, though it is still a growing trend in the west.

Insects are described as having a variety of different flavours, from mushroomy to pistachio or pork crackling. They are comparable to beef in protein and contain beneficial nutrients like iron and calcium. Their environmental impact is also minimal, requiring far less water and feed than cattle, and releasing fewer emissions.

During this talk, Jenny will explain how insects might replace some of the meat in our diets and also give some tips on how to cook them. You will be invited to sample some tasty bug snacks after the talk!

After completing a PhD in Visual Cognition at the University of Southampton, Jenny changed course and started The Bug Shack - a business promoting and selling edible insects. Jenny is a regular speaker at Skeptics events and science festivals and she recently returned from a trip to research attitudes towards eating and farming insects in Thailand and Laos.

 

Matt Tompkins

When?
Tuesday, April 25 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

66 Regent Street
Cheltenham
GL50 1HA

Who?
Matt Tompkins

What's the talk about?

On Sunday the 18th of November 1877, at 3pm in the afternoon, Wilhelm Wundt, sometimes identified as the 'Founder of Experimental Psychology,' joined hands with a group of academics and bore witness to series of ‘miracles’ in the presence of a visiting American spirit medium. Wundt was unconvinced by what he saw. However, a number of his esteemed colleagues, including world-renowned physicists Gustav Fechner, Wilhelm Weber, and Johann Zöllner, believed that the events they witnessed called for a complete revision of the fundamental laws of physics – a revision that could accommodate immortal fourth-dimensional spirit people. The resulting debate was not itself immortalized in any mainstream psychology text books, but, arguably, it did play a fundamental role in the subsequent emergence of Experimental Psychology as a formal scientific discipline. This talk will examine this debate, briefly surveying the historical context leading up to events, and analyzing the arguments of the various key players, before considering the consequences and their lasting impacts psychology and science in general.

Matt Tompkins is a psychologist and a semi-professional magician. He is currently completing a doctoral thesis at the University of Oxford on the relationships between perception, attention, and sleight-of-hand illusions. His most recent paper was published in Frontiers in Psychology, and his research has been featured in the Washington Post and BBC Future.

Johno Pearce

When?
Tuesday, May 30 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

66 Regent Street
Cheltenham
GL50 1HA

Who?
Johno Pearce

What's the talk about?

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.

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