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Weird Science

A day exploring the science of the weird, and weird and flaky science, with
BEN GOLDACRE, RICHARD WISEMAN,
CHRIS FRENCH, STEPHEN LAW


11am-12am RICHARD WISEMAN

Investigating the impossible: A skeptical approach

For over 20 years, psychologist Richard Wiseman has delved deep into the mysterious world of the paranormal, carrying out high profile, and often controversial, investigations into the impossible. In this talk, Wiseman describes some of his more colourful adventures, presenting a scientific look at a range of seemingly paranormal phenomenon, including fire-walking, ghostly encounters, and ESP.

12am-1pm CHRIS FRENCH

Eight Years of Weird Science at Goldsmiths

The Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit (APRU) was set up by Professor Chris French in 2000 in the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths (for full details, visit www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/apru). Anomalistic psychology may be defined as the study of extraordinary phenomena of behaviour and experience, including (but not restricted to) those that are often labeled "paranormal". Over the last eight years, members of the APRU have investigated a wide range of weird and wonderful topics, including alien contact experiences, sleep paralysis, haunted houses, dowsing, and telepathy. This overview will present the results of such investigations - and also reveal why Uri Geller cannot stand Richard Wiseman!

1pm to 2pm – Lunch Break. Lunch is not provided, however there are a number of Sandwich Bars close by.

2pm-3pm STEPHEN LAW

Is creationism scientific?

Polls consistently indicate about 100 million Americans believe the entire universe is six thousand years old and that all species were created as described by Genesis. Even more amazingly, many of these people also believe that this theory is consistent with the scientific evidence. Indeed, there are multi-million dollar research centres in the U.S. run by PhD-qualified staff, that aim to defend young-Earth creationism. How have so many people become so deluded about what is, and isn’t, good science? What are the basic confusions? Stephen Law illustrates with his own pet theory – that dogs are spies from the planet Venus.

3pm-4pm BEN GOLDACRE

Listen up flakes: science is seriously so much more interesting than anything you can make up with your woolly new age claptrap.

About Ben Goldacre. Ben Goldacre is a writer, broadcaster and medical doctor from the UK who is best known for his 'Bad Science' column in The Guardian newspaper, examining the claims of scaremongering journalists, quack health products, pseudoscientific cosmetics adverts, and evil multinational pharmaceutical corporations, as well as wider themes such as the medicalisation of everyday life and the psychology of irrational beliefs.


Speaker(s):

Prof Richard Wiseman | talks | www
Professor Chris French | talks | www
Dr Stephen Law | talks | www
Dr Ben Goldacre | talks | www

 

Date and Time:

17 January 2009 at 10:30 am

Duration:

Full Day

 

Venue:

Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
London
WC1R 4RL

http://www.conwayhall.org.uk
Show map

Organised by:

Center for Inquiry London
See other talks organised by Center for Inquiry London...

 

Tickets:

£10 for lecture

Available from:

slalvani@centerforinquiry.net

Additional Information:

http://www.cfilondon.org
will give full instructions including how to pay

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