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 or on Google+. Also see our Newbie Friendly Policy!

 

The social history & future developments in the science of lie detection

Will Watling

When?
Tuesday, April 29 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

313-315 High Street,
Cheltenham,
GL50 3HW

We use "The Barn" function room

Who?
Will Watling

What's the talk about?

For generations, people have tried to find ways of testing whether someone is lying. From highly dubious tests for a witch, to the invention of the polygraphs used by the CIA and the new covert phonic detection algorithms and sophisticated truth serums of today. Will explores their development, whether it's really possible to beat them & demonstrates them with a live interrogation.

This talk is given by our Mr Watling - when he's not finding new speakers for us or designing wealth management software, he's running kids from A to B, or walking his two Cocker spaniels. He did a joint honors degree in RE and Science and has a keen interest in topics like evolution vs creation and the phenomenon of belief, especially cults. He also speaks at SitP on "The Omega Course - how to decommit from Christianity" and "An Intro to 3D photography & film making".

He loves adrenaline sports and has a) shark dived with 8ft greys, b) skydived, c) raced Formula Renault at Thruxton  & d) built a 1 man helium airship to take photos of landmarks from a birds eye view...  which one hasn't happened yet?

The modern Face of Physiognomy

Kathryn Ford

When?
Tuesday, May 27 2014 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

313-315 High Street,
Cheltenham,
GL50 3HW

We use "The Barn" function room

Who?
Kathryn Ford

What's the talk about?

The notion that one can judge a person’s character on the basis of their facial appearance is an idea that dates back to the ancient Greeks and for a short period, the practice of physiognomy was considered scientific. Despite the fact that this ancient practice has long been discredited, the idea that one can “read” a person’s character simply by looking at their face still persists within folk psychology. In fact, this belief and our natural tendency to judge people on the basis of facial appearance has a surprisingly pervasive effect on all of our lives.

In this talk Kathryn Ford will look at the modern face of physiognomy trying to answer questions such as; why do we judge people as soon as we see them? How accurate are these judgements? And does facial appearance effect how people are treated within the criminal justice system?

Warning: This talk will involve some discussion of rape.

Kathryn Ford received a BSc in Neuroscience and Psychology from Keele University in 2011 and an MSc in Evolutionary Psychology from Brunel University in 2012.

The Taste & Colour of Music

James Wannerton

When?
Tuesday, June 24 2014 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

313-315 High Street,
Cheltenham,
GL50 3HW

We use "The Barn" function room

Who?
James Wannerton

What's the talk about?

Tonight James Wannerton will provide an introduction to Synaesthesia - covering “What exactly is Synaesthesia”;  “What’s the root cause”; “What are the advantages/disadvantages”;  “Is there a cure”; “Does it have a use or add anything to the human condition”; “Why study it in the first place”: "Where is all this on-going research leading and how important is it”; “Is there a link between synaesthesia and creativity”; 

Finally, if time allows, James will take us on a brief personal journey illustrating just what it’s like to live with a particularly intrusive type, explaining how it colours his perceptions, shapes his thoughts and influences his day to day decisions.

James Wannerton is the President of the UK Synaesthsia Association and is himself a taste to sound synaesthete.  He was the first person in the UK to be studied in depth for the trait and has been actively involved in synaesthesia research ever since.

Although experiencing synaesthesia for as long as he can remember, he first discovered it was a recognised but relatively unknown trait back in the summer of 1980 and he’s followed the ebb and flow of professional and general interest in the condition from that day.

James has been the subject of many published research papers and general interest articles on synaesthesia in collaboration with, among others, the University College London, Edinburgh University, Brunel University and the Institute of Psychiatry in London.   As the incumbent President of the UKSA he’s actively involved in raising awareness of synaesthesia in the UK and encouraging other synaesthetes to open up about their experiences.

He’s appeared in TV documentaries including the BBC’s “Derek Tastes of Earwax”, “Child of Our Time” and the Discovery Channel’s “Superhumans”.  He’s also appeared on CBS’s “60 Minutes”, and “The Mystery of Einstein’s Brain” as well as providing commentary for both radio and the press.

James also regularly attends and speaks at International neuroscience conferences, most recently in San Diego, St Petersburg, Houston and Toronto and is the creator of the “Tastes of London” tube map which charts his taste experiences while travelling on the London Underground system.  He’s also involved in a number of art projects with the aim of bringing the science of synaesthesia closer to the arts.

 

Forensic Psychology

When?
Tuesday, July 29 2014 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

313-315 High Street,
Cheltenham,
GL50 3HW

We use "The Barn" function room

Who?
Zoe Stephenson

What's the talk about?

 Details coming... 

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