Re: Sheffield Area Events

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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#241  Postby redwhine » Mar 21, 2014 12:21 pm

Monday...

Sleep Paralysis

Monday, March 24 2014 at 7:30PM

Farm Road Sports & Social Club
Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

Daniel Denis

Sleep Paralysis is a condition of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep in which one becomes conscious of their surroundings during the night, but is unable to move. These experiences are often accompanied by a wide range of bizarre and often terrifying hallucinations.

Throughout history, many ostensibly paranormal experiences may be explained as episodes of sleep paralysis, including: middle-age accounts of attacks by sex crazed demons, supposed 'evidence' used to prosecute witches, and more recently, claims of alien abduction.

The talk shall also examine the research carried out by anthropologists, psychologists, and neuroscientists to try and better understand the causes of sleep paralysis episodes.

Dan is a PhD students at the University of Sheffield and former researcher in the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths where he carried out research into the causes of and risk factors involved in sleep paralysis. He is also the resident researcher for the Sleep Paralysis Project, a multi-disciplinary investigation into sleep paralysis.


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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#242  Postby redwhine » Mar 23, 2014 9:21 am

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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#243  Postby redwhine » Apr 01, 2014 2:03 am

Today...

Tuesday 1st April - “Fair Admissions” - This talk by Mike Granville will address the current unfair arrangements for admissions to faith schools, which are fully funded by general taxation. The information for this talk is provided by the Accord Coalition, an organisation that includes people from different faiths and none. This talk was held over from 5 November when it seems that people were too busy burning effigies of a Catholic! Let’s hope the date doesn’t cause a problem this time.


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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#244  Postby redwhine » Apr 01, 2014 2:12 am

Thursday...

University of Sheffield African Affairs Network

18:00 University Arts Tower

The shocking recent anti-gay bill in Uganda, widely deplored here in the west, has brought the state of gay rights on the African continent into the media focus.

Is this a distinctively African Moral issue and how should the west respond?

The African Affairs Network is putting on a talk and discussion to examine the complex relationship between Gay rights, Christianity and the West in Africa.

We’ll be screening an extract from the award-winning documentary 'God Loves Uganda' which explores the role of American money and Evangelical missionaries who are accused of spreading a violent interpretation of Biblical law in the country and directly funding the recent bill.
http://www.godlovesuganda.com/

The talk will cover the following:
• A historical overview of the developments of Christianity and gay-rights in Africa.
• Evangelical discourse and homophobia in Uganda.
• Western responses to anti-gay bill in Uganda.
• The impact of the Bible on contemporary culture and the roots of homophobia in the Bible.
• What the issue means to us in the UK and how we can help.

Speakers:
• Dr Adriaan van Klinken - University of Leeds, School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/arts/profile/200 ... an_klinken)
• Caroline Valois - University of Edinburgh, School of Social and Political Science (http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/gradschool/our_ ... s_caroline)
• Dr. Minna Shkul, University of Sheffield, Department of Biblical Studies (http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/biblicalstudies/people/shkul)
• Sarah Heneghan, University of Sheffield, LGBT society
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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#245  Postby redwhine » Apr 27, 2014 10:59 am

Tomorrow...

Lifting the Lid: Ongoing Adventures in the World of Pseudoscience

Michael Marshall

It’s easy to think of pseudoscience existing in a glass case at a museum – something to be examined and critiqued from a safe distance, but not something to touch and to play with. Using examples taken from his own personal experiences in skepticism, Michael Marshall will show what happens when you begin to crack the surface of the pseudosciences that surround us – revealing the surprising, sometimes-shocking and often-comic adventures that lie beneath.

Michael Marshall is the Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society, and regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast. His work with the society has seen him organising international homeopathy protests and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Scientist.

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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#246  Postby redwhine » May 01, 2014 8:44 am

Tuesday 6th May at 8:00pm
The Human Condition: Is Faith A Choice Or Necessity?
Philip Gilbert, Sheffield Humanist Society


What causes people to be so protective of their faith? What is it that is so valuable to them?

Identifying our core values and beliefs is crucial in understanding who we are and how we relate to the world. What lengths would you go to in maintaining your belief system, even if it is no longer fit for purpose? What internal conflicts would this cause? What happens when the cracks begin to appear and cognitive dissonance stops working?

Phillip Gilbert is not from a particularly religious background. He wrote to 'The Star' whilst still at school to protest about the religious content in school assemblies. Whilst working at Victim Support for over a decade, he saw how some people managed crisis more effectively than others and began to wonder about how faith helps or hinders recovery and why it can be so difficult to let go of faith.


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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#247  Postby redwhine » May 07, 2014 9:53 am

Tuesday 13th May @ 7:30 pm @ University Arms
197 Brook Hill
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S3 7HG...

PubhD: A Thesis Explained in 10 Minutes

Who?
Stephen Pearse, Rebecca Slack, James Andow

What's the talk about?

ScienceGrrl Sheffield and Sheffield Skeptics In The Pub are pleased to bring you the inaugural PubHD Sheffield Event!

At each event, three PhD* students, from any academic discipline, explain their work to an audience in a pub in exchange for a pint or two. Each talk lasts 10 minutes, with an extra 10 minutes for questions and discussion.

A flip chart or white board will be available, but powerpoint presentations are forbidden at these informal and friendly events which aim to entertain and amuse as well as educate! Props and other aids to understanding are very welcome.

The first event will take place in the Wilson Room, upstairs at the University Arms, 197 Brook Hill, on Tuesday 13th May at 7:30pm. The event is completely free to attend but small donations are encouraged to help water the speakers and fund future events.

Stephen Pearse – University of Sheffield, Dept. of Music

Stephen Pearse is a composer and audio software engineer nearing the completion of a PhD in the Department of Music at the University of Sheffield. “Agent Based Graphic Sound Synthesis and Composition” explores new methods for “drawing” music.

Alongside a body of compositions, his research also comprises of a complex set of audio systems. One of these systems, “Compose With Sounds” is currently in use in hundreds of schools across the EU in multiple languages. His compositions have been performed across Europe and United States.

Rebecca Slack – University of Sheffield, Dept. of Psychology

Changes in the blood in the brain can be measured by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). fMRI uses these changes to predict neuronal brain cell activity. fMRI has found huge popularity as a tool in psychology, biology, medicine, and even religion. This is because participants can perform specific mental activities and fMRI can highlight which parts of the brain show associated changes. However, fMRI brain scans are far from error proof.

Rebecca's research is hoping to improve what could be an invaluable technique to understand what goes on inside the brain. Having studied mathematics at Imperial College at undergraduate level, Rebecca became very interested in the applied side of things, relating maths to water flow in pipes, the trickle of golden syrup and predator prey cycles in mathematical biology. She decided to take a masters course in cognitive and computational neuroscience to see if she could apply her maths skills to the brain.

James Andow – University of Nottingham – Dept. of Philosophy

James Andow has recently completed his PhD. He asks questions like `What is the best way to philosophise?’ `Are there important differences between what philosophers do and what other academics do? and, in particular, `What role should intuitions have in philosophy?’ Sometimes he answers them. You can find him on Twitter @andowjames.

*Masters students and post-docs also welcome!


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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#248  Postby redwhine » May 25, 2014 10:23 am

Monday...

Agents of Reason

The demand for fair political representation - from the French Revolution to the Treason Trials of 1794


Monday, May 26 2014 at 7:30PM

Farm Road Sports & Social Club

John Issitt

"Reason given the status of omnipotence becomes a monster" said Mahatma Gandhi with the spectre of the second world war and the Holocaust in mind.

Directly and indirectly John's story negotiates the limits and fortunes of Reason. It follows the best and most reasonable efforts of a group who act to a large extent in the name of, or at least with, the standard of Enlightenment Reason. It, in its own small way follows the kindling light of a certain political perspective - most notably in the form of Paine's Rights of Man - and its snuffing out by more immediate, more powerful drivers which were themselves reasons albeit of a different order.

There are important lessons to be learnt by observing the fortunes of Reason and the initial 5-year period of the French Revolution is particularly fascinating and rich. John's tale in the Agents of Reason accounts the actions of a man - Jeremiah Joyce (1763-1816) who was one of a small group of radicals in 1790s London who pursued the Enlightenment aspirations of fair play and the extension of the franchise, on a claim of reason. It is not a tale of the famous and their doings, it is a tale of a working class man caught up in the action trying to do his best. It is a tale based as far as possible on the minimal historical record - minimal because it was quite simply too dangerous to keep evidence that could be used in court.

John Issitt is a writer and a part time lecturer at the University of York UK where he teaches philosophy of learning. He has taught for the Open University for 23 years and is a National Teaching Fellow.


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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#249  Postby redwhine » May 31, 2014 8:20 am

Tuesday...

Tuesday 3rd June at 8:00pm.

The oppression of Palestinians and what we can do to help

Musheir el-Farra - Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign


An update on what is happening in Palestine with video and photos. Also information about how Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign is supporting children's projects in Gaza, and is supporting the international boycott in a peaceful attempt to put pressure on Israel and our own government to change its policies towards Palestine.


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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#250  Postby redwhine » Jun 05, 2014 1:16 pm

Tuesday...

Extra Skeptics meeting (Note change of venue! - Farm Road doesn't open on Tuesdays.)

When?

Tuesday, June 10 2014 at 7:30PM


Where?

University Arms
197 Brook Hill
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S3 7HG

An Honest Liar

Who?

Justin Weinstein

What's the talk about?

An Honest Liar is the brand new biography of leading magician, writer and skeptic James Randi. The film is being shown as part of the Sheffield Doc Fest in June and we are proud to host one of the filmmakers during the festival.

Writer/director Justin Weinstein is travelling over from the US for the Doc Fest and is joining us to talk about this unique documentary and share some clips of the film with us.

This is an extra SitP event for June and we will be in the Wilson room (upstairs) of the University Arms.

The Film

For the last half-century, James “The Amazing” Randi has entertained millions of people around the world with his remarkable feats of magic, escape and trickery.
Schooled in the techniques of deception, Randi saw his beloved magician’s tricks being used by faith healers, fortune-tellers, and psychics — not for entertainment, but to steal money from innocent people and destroy lives. Enraged by this, he dedicated his life to exposing those frauds, and would do so with the wit and style of the great showman that he is.
A self-described liar, cheat, and charlatan, Randi embarked on a mission for truth by perpetrating a series of unparalleled investigations and elaborate hoaxes. These grand schemes fooled scientists, the media, and a gullible public, but always with a deeper goal of demonstrating the importance of evidence and the dangers of magical thinking. In one of these acts, he transformed his partner, Jose Alvarez, into a fake guru named “Carlos” to show how easily people can be fooled. His work exposing faith healers won him the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Award in 1987.
But when dealing with a master deceiver, the truth can often be hard to find. A sudden and shocking truth in Randi’s personal life is brought to light when the tale of multiple identities takes an unexpected and potentially devastating turn. And Randi – who spent his life exposing deception – may have perpetrated another grand hoax or become the victim of a very personal one.
An Honest Liar is showing in Sheffield at the Odeon on the 10th June at 15.30 and the Showroom on the 11th June at 13.00.
Watch the trailer here... http://anhonestliar.com/wp/trailer/
The Sheffield Doc Fest website... https://sheffdocfest.com/films/5700


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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#251  Postby redwhine » Jun 19, 2014 12:12 pm

Monday...

Who makes the decisions? You or your brain?

Monday, June 23 2014 at 7:30P

Where?

Farm Road Sports & Social Club
Farm Road
Sheffield
South Yorkshire S2 2TP

Peter Redgrave

Peter will start by describing the hierarchical organisation of decision making. An important distinction will be made between the neural systems that generate behavioural options and the mechanism that selects which option should be allowed to proceed.

Peter will show that, over the course of vertebrate brain evolution, behavioural options have evolved with the species, but the mechanism for selecting between them has been conserved from fish to reptile, from mammal to man. He will describe the conserved group of structures (the basal ganglia) that seems to act as the brain’s generic selection mechanism and what factors determine which option gets selected. And will conclude by considering our sense of agency (the subjective feeling that we have made a decision) and whether the concepts of free will and personal responsibility have any place in the neural networks of the basal ganglia.

Peter Redgrave is a Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Sheffield and for many years he has investigated how a subcortical sensorimotor structure, the superior colliculus, interacts with the basal ganglia. The superior colliculus was selected because it is one of the few brain structures whose function is comparatively well understood. It is responsible for generating the gaze-shift that brings an unexpected event onto the retinal fovea for more detailed analysis.

If we can appreciate exactly how the basal ganglia contribute to this function we are likely to have a much clearer idea of what the basal ganglia do more generally.

 Peter's research has used a wide range of anatomical, electrophysiological, electrochemical, pharmacological and behavioural techniques to investigate interactions between the superior colliculus and basal ganglia. The results of these biological experiments are used to constrain the models that have been constructed by my computational neuroscience collaborators within the Department here in Sheffield.


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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#252  Postby redwhine » Jun 26, 2014 8:42 am

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Re: Re: Sheffield Area Events

#253  Postby HomerJay » Jun 26, 2014 9:27 am

I saw him talk earlier this year, consumate performer but that was before he joined Tell Mama. Be interesting to hear how that's going and how he thinks it's going to help.
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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#254  Postby redwhine » Jun 28, 2014 8:49 am

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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#255  Postby quisquose » Jun 28, 2014 11:58 am

redwhine wrote:http://www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/event/everly-pregn87E27168-E352-4F76-8707-D30901D38BA8/

Selling out fast!!!


I'm going on the Friday.
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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#256  Postby redwhine » Jun 29, 2014 8:14 am

quisquose wrote:I'm going on the Friday.

Me;- Saturday.

...like ships that pass in the night! ;)

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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#257  Postby redwhine » Jul 27, 2014 10:41 pm

Tomorrow...

Accident Tales - The 7 Universal Stories of Disasters

Monday, July 28 2014 at 7:30PM

Drew Rae

What do the Apollo 13, Challenger and Columbia accidents have in common? When you strip away the technical details, nearly everything. Why did McDonnell Douglas stage two dress rehearsals before crashing a DC-10 into a forest? How did the French intercity railway manage to stage a near-perfect re-enactment of Potters Bar? It's almost as if the same accidents are happening again and again.

In literature there is an idea (mostly discredited - but let's not spoil a good story) that there are only seven basic plots. What if there are really only seven basic accidents, replayed in different times, places and industries?

This is a talk about the power and danger of stories to explain the past and shape the future, focussing on stories of disasters.

Drew Rae is a system safety lecturer and host of the DisasterCast podcast. He tells stories about accidents to teach the next generation of safety professionals at the same time as he writes papers calling for a more evidence driven approach to find out what to teach them.


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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#258  Postby redwhine » Aug 23, 2014 1:02 pm

Monday (yes; bank holiday Monday)...

Climate Change...

Denying the Evidence

Why People Reject Science and What We Can Do About It


When? Monday, August 25 2014 at 7:30PM

Where? Farm Road Sports & Social Club

Who? Christopher Hassall

What's the talk about? Climate change has been described as one of the biggest threats facing the world, but international action to mitigate the impacts of human activities on the climate is moving slowly (if at all). Why is there continued reluctance to act, and why do some people refuse to believe that climate change is even happening despite the high degree of confidence expressed by scientists?

Chris will outline briefly the science behind climate change and the tangled web of special interests that have sought to muddy the waters over a range of important scientific topics from tobacco smoke to the ozone layer. He will also discuss his role as a “skeptical activist” in investigating the extent of climate change denial at a Canadian University, and discuss the importance of skeptical involvement in education.

The talk will conclude with a discussion of the similarities across various different types of science denial, and some recent research that skeptics can use to guide their efforts to promote science in hostile communities.

Chris is a Lecturer in Animal Biology at the University of Leeds, with particular expertise in the biological impacts of environmental change. He graduated with a BSc in Zoology from the University of Liverpool and his PhD research, also conducted at Liverpool, investigated the impacts of climate change using dragonflies and damselflies as a model system. He then moved to Carleton University in Canada for three years as a Research Fellow before returning to the UK to take up a faculty position at the University of Leeds in 2012. He continues to work on large-scale patterns in ecology and evolution, with a focus on environmental change, predator-prey interactions, and freshwater science.


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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#259  Postby redwhine » Sep 20, 2014 11:58 am

Monday...

Statistical Literacy: What to do When Faced with Numbers

Monday, September 22 2014 at 7:30PM

Where? Farm Road Sports & Social Club

Who? Jenny Freeman

What's the talk about?


The ability to understand data and evidence is becoming increasingly important in today’s data-driven world. This talk discusses some elements of statistical literacy and what are the key questions to ask when presented with data and evidence.

During this talk Jenny will provide a brief overview of why it is important that we all start to think more statistically, illustrated by some recent, and not so recent examples, and by the end you will be just a little clearer on what are the key questions that you should ask when presented with statistics. You should be more confident and less bamboozled than when we started.

Jenny is an associate professor of Medical Statistics at the University of Leeds, and currently Vice President of the Royal Statistical Society with responsibility for the External Affairs brief. For most of her working life Jenny has been an academic statistician, with the exception of time out to study for a degree in Embroidery at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Jenny graduated with a BSc in Economics (Statistics) from the London School of Economics, and an MSc in Medical Statistics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. For her PhD she worked on the 1990 child growth reference centiles for UK children (the ones in the red book given to all new parents). She really enjoy communicating with people about statistics and over the years has received several awards for my teaching, including two Senate Awards from the University of Sheffield and the Keith Boddy Prize from the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine for the best educational article in their Journal, SCOPE.


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Re: Sheffield Area Events

#260  Postby redwhine » Oct 16, 2014 1:48 pm



(not strictly ( :what: ) an event, but...


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