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New Skeptics in the Pub event - April 2011

On 23 Oct 2010 at 4:30pm Lewes Skeptic wrote:
Skeptics in the Pub - Elephant & Castle, Lewes

I know its a long way off but we have a new speaker booked for April 2011.

Brian Deer will be giving a talk entitled "Research Fraud for Dummies: MMR, Autism and Andrew Wakefield".

Brian Deer is an award-winning British investigative reporter for the Sunday Times who specialises in inquiries into the drug industry, medicine and social issues. In 1986 his investigations revealed that research into the safety of the contraceptive pill had been fabricated by Professor Michael Briggs working for the German pharmaceutical company Schering AG. In 1994 his investigations into the side-effects of the antibiotic co-trimoxazole (Septrin and Bactrim) led to restrictions in its use. In 2008, a celebrity psychiatrist, Raj Persaud, was suspended from practising medicine and resigned his academic position after being found guilty of plagiarism uncovered by a Deer investigation.

In a series of reports Deer investigated the concerns raised about the safety of the MMR vaccine by Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in The Lancet. Deer's investigation led to the longest-ever inquiry by the General Medical Council. In January 2010 the GMC judged Wakefield to be "dishonest", "unethical" and "callous" and he was subsequently struck off the medical register. Responding to Deer's investigation and the GMC finding The Lancet fully retracted Wakefield's research paper.

Deer's television documentary: MMR: What they didn't tell you, a one-hour Dispatches documentary for Channel 4, first broadcast in 2004, became the subject of a libel case brought by Wakefield. Wakefield eventually dropped the case incurring legal costs.

'Skeptics in the Pub' is a grassroots sceptical movement aiming to promote and discuss science, scepticism, rationalism and critical thinking by hosting talks in a friendly pub atmosphere. The normal format is a 45 minute talk followed a Question and Answer session of a similar length with a break of about 15 minutes between.

If you're wondering why "Skeptics" and not "Sceptics" see h++p://www.ukskeptics.com/article.php?article=skeptic_or_sceptic.php&dir=articles

Lewes Skeptics in the Pub will be launching on February 24 2011 with a talk by David Aaronivitch. Events will be held monthly at a nominal cost of £2 per head to pay for speakers expenses. Tickets for some event will be available, subject to popularity.

We are currently waiting on confirmation of a speaker for March.

If you wish to receive in email updates of further SitP events or are interested in helping us out please register your interest on the form provided at h++p:lewes.skepticsinthepub.org.
On 23 Oct 2010 at 4:59pm Peter Byron wrote:
Are drinks included? Best Peter
On 23 Oct 2010 at 6:07pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
It's a bargain if drinks are included !!
On 23 Oct 2010 at 7:06pm WilliamDyer wrote:
Sign me up! I was thinking of getting one started myself after attending TAM last weekend, glad to see that someone beat me to the punch.
Great choice of venue, great choice of speaker, looking forward to meeting you all!
On 23 Oct 2010 at 9:07pm DrTrickCyclist wrote:
Are you building up an email list. I'd llike to be on it if so. You had a Twitter feed I see.
On 23 Oct 2010 at 9:31pm Lewes Skeptic wrote:
Yeah register through the website for email updates etc.

I was at TAM London too!

I'm posting as @LewesSkeptics on Twitter. There's also a facebook group and a YouTube channel but I'm not really using them yet. Any offers of help much appreciated.
On 23 Oct 2010 at 10:14pm MC wrote:
This looks good. Any chances of organising a speaker to talk about religion?
On 23 Oct 2010 at 10:20pm Peter Byron wrote:
Religion in a pub? God help us MC. Have a good eve, Peter
On 24 Oct 2010 at 8:44am DrTrickCyclist wrote:
Why religion MC?
On 24 Oct 2010 at 9:36am jrsussex wrote:
Religion - Tricky at the best of times, almost impossible in a pub I would think. Great shame because it would be an interesting evenings debate. The major hurdles would be the matters of adhering to PC and the almost certainty of attracting some religous fundamentalists and bigots.
On 24 Oct 2010 at 9:43am DrTrickCyclist wrote:
There are far more interesting and productive things for sceptics to think about.
On 24 Oct 2010 at 1:43pm MC wrote:
Can only take issue with "interesting". "Productive", yes you are probably right.
On 24 Oct 2010 at 2:31pm Lewes Skeptic wrote:
We will undoubtedly have speakers presenting talks about about religious belief at future events as have SitP events around the UK. Ken Humphreys gives talks about the historicity of Jesus. He is presenting a talk entitled "We Wish You a Merry Mythmas" for Brighton Skeptics in the Pub on December 14 (h++p://brighton.skepticsinthepub.org/Event.aspx/287/We-Wish-You-a-Merry-Mythmas). Adam Rutherford (geneticist; Guardian columninist; and Audio/Visual editor as the journal 'Nature' ) gives talks about when he did 'The Alpha Course'.

There is also an inevitable crossover between skepticism, seculariism and Humanism.

Please sign up for more information at the website mentioned above.
On 25 Oct 2010 at 9:39am WilliamDyer wrote:
Re: Religion - interesting: yes, productive: no, great sport - absolutely.
On 25 Oct 2010 at 10:15am Lewes Skeptic wrote:
William if you (or anyone else reading this) are interested in helping out, or just want updates of what we've got planned, can you please sign up to the mailing list using the form on the right-hand side of the page at lewes.skepticsinthepub.org .

I'm planning on holding a meeting November (after Bonfire) for people who want to help out. If you sign up on the website I can let you know more about it.


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