Aberdeen Skeptics in the Pub is an informal monthly event. If  you are unfamiliar with Skeptics in the Pub, it started in 1999 in London as a regular lecture series on all things skeptical.  It provided an opportunity for rational thinkers to meet and discuss all things skeptical as well as have a monthly presentation by a renowned skeptic or even believer followed by a Q&A. 

Skeptics has spread across the UK and we have had a group in Aberdeen since September 2010. There are over a dozen Skeptics in the Pub in England, but this is only one of three groups in Scotland (the others being Glasgow and Edinburgh).

The organisers of Aberdeen Skeptics in the Pub are Heather Doran and Sonia Watson. Meetings are usually held on the last Thursday of every month at Cellar 35 (check every event for final details as these arrangements could change). Our meetings are informal and everyone is very chatty so do not be afraid of coming if you are on your own.

Coming along to a Skeptics in the Pub event is free, although to pay for speakers expenses we do ask for donations.

For more details, or if you have a talk you think we might like to host, feel free to contact one of the organisers (you can use the form at the bottom of this page), or just come along to the next event!

Find us on Facebook and on Twitter at @ABDN_SITP or Heather @hapsci or Sonia @nonisa

Heather & Sonia

When?
Thursday, July 31 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Heather & Sonia

What's the talk about?

Geology certainly rocks but do rocks have special powers? We will take a skeptical look at the mystical world of crystal healing.

On our journey through this ancient practice we will ask why people believe rocks and crystals have magical healing properties and find out what actually happens when you visit a crystal healer.

We will take a look at the practice in Scotland, find out what people are selling, what they claim crystals can do for you and why skeptics should take more notice.

Dr David Booth

When?
Thursday, August 21 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Dr David Booth

What's the talk about?

Dr David Booth, Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology, now working at the University of Dundee's College of Life Sciences, is also an alumnus of famelab and is the resident "expert" on the BBC Nothern Ireland TV and radio show "Great Unanswered Questions". Working for the British Council and NESTA he gave a series of lectures on the subject of Evolution both via web-cast and in person with a lecture tour of China. For the BAAS he worked with veteran broadcaster Quentin Cooper on the programme Xchange, which was a focus for the “best of the fest” with nightly discussions on topical science. David is still aiming to be a Science game-show host when he grows up, but in the meantime is content to teach students the joys of science, discovery and data. 

Previous year >>

Pre Cafe Philosophique event

When?
Friday, June 27 2014 at 5:30PM

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Where?

49 Belmont Street
Aberdeen AB10 1JS

Who?
All involved

What's the talk about?

An Aberdeen Skeptics meet-up in the Belmont Filmhouse bar to socialise, chat about Skeptics in Aberdeen.

I have reserved a table for us from 5.30 and you can order food. 

There's a Cafe Philosophique event on in the Filmhouse from 7pm - this event is free and anyone attending the meet - up will be welcome to go along but please reserve a ticket from the Filmhouse beforehand!

The final event in the Cafe Philosophique series for 2014 is taking place on Friday evening. It's a talk with an invited guest speaker, Professor Roy Cook from the University of Minnesota, followed by a film screening of Scott Pilgrim vs the World at the Belmont Filmhouse . The event is free and starts at 7pm but please book a ticket in advance!

https://www.facebook.com/events/709276825797436/

 

Dr Alex Sutherland

When?
Thursday, May 8 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Dr Alex Sutherland

What's the talk about?

Dr Sutherland will explore the strategies used by those who believe  in prophecy to perpetuate their belief, using the Scottish Highlands’ Brahan Seer legend as a model.

More details on the talk to follow.

Fiona Musk

When?
Thursday, April 24 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Fiona Musk

What's the talk about?

The talk examines documents relating to witchcraft trials which took place in Aberdeen in the 1590s, and shows what these can tell us about the people involved.  In 1597, an entire family was accused of witchcraft with differing outcomes for those involved.  The talk looks closely at this family, and their involvement in this different and dangerous time in Aberdeen's history.

Simon Singh

When?
Saturday, April 12 2014 at 4:00PM

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Where?

Who?
Simon Singh

What's the talk about?

*** Further Tickets Now Avaliable ***

Simon Singh, author of Fermat's Last Theorem and Big Bang, talks about his latest book, which explores mathematical themes hidden in The Simpsons.

Everyone knows that The Simpsons is the most successful show in television history, but very few people realise that its team of mathematically gifted writers have used the show to explore everything from calculus to geometry, from pi to game theory, and from infinitesimals to infinity.

Singh will also discuss how writers of Futurama have similarly made it their missions to smuggle deep mathematical ideas into the series.

This event is in partnership with the British Science Association (Aberdeen Branch) who would like to thank Haliburton for their donation.

Please note the change of venue for this event.

To cover expenses this event will be ticketed for a small charge. Click the button below to purchase tickets.

Eventbrite - Aberdeen SitP - Simon Singh - The Simpsons & Their Mathematical Secrets

Chris Peters

When?
Thursday, March 13 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Chris Peters

What's the talk about?

This isn’t just a simple talk; it’s a call to arms.
 
Every day, we hear claims about what is good for our health, bad for the environment, how to improve education, cut crime, and treat disease. Some are based on reliable evidence and scientific rigour. Many are not.  These claims can't be regulated; every time one is debunked another pops up – like a game of whack-a-mole. So how can we make companies, politicians, commentators and official bodies accountable for the claims they make? If they want us to vote for them, believe them, or buy their products, then we should ask them for evidence, as consumers, patients, voters and citizens.
 
The Ask for Evidence campaign has seen people ask a retail chain for the evidence behind its MRSA resistant pyjamas; ask a juice bar for the evidence behind wheatgrass detox claims; ask the health department about rules for Viagra prescriptions; ask for the studies behind treatments for Crohn's disease, and hundreds more. As a result, claims are being withdrawn and bodies held to account.
 
This is geeks, working with the public, to park their tanks on the lawn of those who seek to influence us. And it's starting to work. Come and hear what the campaign is going to do next and how you can get involved.

Booking essential (but free!) register here - http://senseaboutscienceaberdeen.eventbrite.co.uk

 

Why women want fake-looking breasts

Professor Debra Gimlin

When?
Thursday, February 20 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

49 Belmont Street
Aberdeen AB10 1JS

Who?
Professor Debra Gimlin

What's the talk about?

Please note the change in venue for this talk

A great deal of social science scholarship has focused on why women have cosmetic surgery, despite the financial costs and physical risks. There are no clear answers. What the research does indicate is that women who submit themselves 'to the knife' generally want to look like they did before they had kids or got older or their bodies changed in some way that they felt was beyond their control. Essentially, they want to look like 'themselves'. Who could blame them for that desire?
 
I'm going to talk about a different set of desires. I've interviewed women who've had cosmetic surgery for nearly 20 years and it's been only in my most recent interviews (with Americans) that I learned that some women want to look 'fake' -- not their faces, necks or thighs, but their breasts. They want to look 'obviously augmented'. They want to look like they can afford breast augmentation, like they're not getting 'saggy' with age, like they're sexy and desirable because they work at it. I think there's something else going on that I haven't figured out. I'll appreciate your thoughts.

Debra Gimlin is Professor of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen. Her work focuses on the body and its modification, with particular attention to the ways that women in different countries explain their body work.

Dr Brooke Magnanti

When?
Thursday, October 31 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Dr Brooke Magnanti

What's the talk about?

Dr Brooke Magnanti (also known as Belle de Jour, author of Diary of a Call Girl) joins us for a night looking at some of the most repeated "facts" about sex and asks where they came from, and whether they are true.

Brooke will discuss the top signs you're looking at a zombie stat, and how to challenge or correct some of the most popular misconceptions about sex.

 This event is free however you will require a ticket. Click the button below to book yours.

Eventbrite - Aberdeen Skeptics in the Pub - Dr Brooke Magnanti - Zombie Sex Statistics

What is life?

Sean McMahon

When?
Thursday, October 17 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Sean McMahon

What's the talk about?

What is life? How did it begin on the Earth? How is it distributed in space and time? How does it change over geological time, and how inevitable are those changes? What alternative forms of life might be possible? What does the future hold for life on Earth?

These are among the central questions of astrobiology, the study of life in a cosmological context. In this talk, we’ll explore what we know - and what we don’t know - in this exciting field of science. We’ll also ask what the expansion of human activity in space over coming decades will mean for science and technology, from astrobiology to geology, engineering and medicine.

Sean McMahon is a PhD student in Astrobiology at the University of Aberdeen and has just completed an internship at NASA.

Andrew Sage

When?
Thursday, September 19 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Andrew Sage

What's the talk about?

 SITP is going BOARD GAME CRAZY. 

Learn about the relevance of game theory from a developer who has created both digital and real world games at this informal, free talk. Andrew Sage has worked as a developer since 1994 and has developed apps and games for many different computing platforms.

We are inviting you all to bring along games to play after the talk. The more unusal the better (we might have a prize) 

This event is going to be like the last day of school... but even better. 

As always, come in good time to get a good seat. This event is part of Techfest 2013. 

Gina Maffey

When?
Thursday, August 1 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Gina Maffey

What's the talk about?

“I have never seen such an unspoiled and dramatic seaside landscape, and the location makes it perfect for our development.” (Donald Trump)

Trump's golf resort development, just north of Aberdeen, has sparked heated debate in recent years, with promises of economic investment pitted against local opposition and a protected natural area. But did something go wrong here? Is it likely to happen again in the future? Is this case indicative of the death of conservation as we currently understand it?

Gina Maffey is a PhD researcher at the University of Aberdeen interested in conservation conflict. Using Trump's golf resort as a case study, come along to discuss what nature conservation is, whether it's working and what needs to change if it's not. It promises to be a lively discussion!

Caleb Gamble

When?
Thursday, June 20 2013 at 7:30PM

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Where?

35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Who?
Caleb Gamble

What's the talk about?

 As a civilization bound to Earth we have a limited amount of resources. What will we do when they run out? An American company thinks it may have found an alternative source of resources – in space.

Planetary Resources, founded in 2012, aims to develop technology allowing resources such as iron and aluminium to be harvested from near earth asteroids.

According to early data gathered from government run space agencies asteroids could be a very rich source of resources with some having more platinum than we have ever mined on earth, others containing substantial volumes water and some containing minerals that can be converted to spacecraft fuel.

Is it really possible to go out into space, successfully find and land on an asteroid, mine and collect its minerals and then return them to Earth? If this is science and not science fiction how will this affect us in the future?

Planetary Resources has some high profile advisors and backers including a NASA astronaut (Thomas Jones), a MIT professor of physics (Sara Seager), a Google founding member (K. Ram Shiriam) and current Google CEO (Larry Page), to name a few, many of who have invested their own money into the company.

What do you think? Join us to find out more about mining asteroids, the possible future of gathering minerals.

More info

http://www.planetaryresources.com/

Various

When?
Friday, May 10 2013 at 10:00AM

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Where?

Aberdeen

Who?
Various

What's the talk about?

The Skeptic Guide to the University of Aberdeen May Festival

Friday the 10th of May

Bioethics Rights & Wrongs: Who Decides? 

12 -1 Old Senate Room, University of Aberdeen

Join students as they present on highly provocative ideas surrounding bioethics that impact on all our lives.

How do we make decisions about scientific interventions in biology and medicine that could impact on humans, the environment and animals? Students from the University of Aberdeen will present a variety of highly provocative ideas that will tackle some  prevalent ethical questions in areas such as biotechnology and the environment.

FREE Booking: http://www.boxofficeaberdeen.com/events/bioethics-rights-wrongs

Centenary Boyd Orr Lecture

3-4pm, Auditorium, Kings Conference Centre, University of Aberdeen

Join Dr Francesco Branca, Director of Nutrition at the World Health Organisation, as he presents “A food supply to meet all human needs:how close is the world to achieving the dream of Lord Boyd Orr?”

Online Booking - http://www.boxofficeaberdeen.com/events/centenary-boyd-orr-lecture (FREE)

Bright Club 

8pm (doors) 8.30 start, Cafe Drummond, 1 Belmont Street, Aberdeen AB10 1JR

What would happen if we got a bunch of interesting comedians, and combined them with some of the fascinating people who work for Scotland's top universities? Bright Club is where comedy and brains collide to bring you an entertaining night of laughs, music and new ideas (Will feature some familiar faces from Aberdeen Skeptics in the Pub, so make sure you support them!)

Booking - 01224 641122 (Aberdeen Box Office) £6/4

Facebook Event page

Saturday the 11th of May

The Aberdeen Gene Machine

Cancer cures, plants, bees, wolves and sharks...find out more about leading genetics research with the launch of the new 'Gene Machine'!

New King's 1, University of Aberdeen 12-1

To celebrate the launch of the University of Aberdeen Centre for Genome-Enabled Biology and Medicine, this interactive lecture will describe how the new ‘Aberdeen Gene Machine’ is taking our genetics research into a new era. A tale not only of cancer cures and heart disease, but also of plants, bees, wolves and sharks.

FREE – Booking - http://www.boxofficeaberdeen.com/events/the-aberdeen-gene-machine

Pathology – Not just CSI

A myth-busting talk on the reality behind pathology!

2-3  New King's 1, University of Aberdeen

Come along to a fast-paced, interactive, myth-busting talk on what pathologists really do! How do blood tests help doctors make diagnoses and could they be routinely done on the high street? We’ll look at how pathology hits the headlines and persuade you there’s much more to this fascinating field than just dead bodies!

FREE – BOOKING - http://www.boxofficeaberdeen.com/events/pathology-not-just-csi

Corroboration & Sex Crimes: Are two proofs better than one? 

Explore the topical issue of corroboration in Scot's law and the controversy surrounding proposed changes.

Speaker: Alison Di Rollo, National Sexual Crimes Unit

2.30-3.30  Auditorium, King's Conference Centre, University of Aberdeen

To convict a criminal in Scotland, two independent sources of evidence are needed (corroboration). But is this rule allowing too many criminals including rapists and sex abusers to walk free? The Scottish Government thinks so, and wants to abolish the need for corroboration, allowing a conviction to be based on a single source of evidence. Will this lead to the conviction of innocent people?

Alison Di Rollo, Senior Advocate Depute, National Sexual Crimes Unit, in conversation with Professor Peter Duff.

FREE – Booking - http://www.boxofficeaberdeen.com/events/corroboration-sex-crimes

Why We Die

A British Science Festival favourite, Simon Watt returns to satisfy your morbid curiosity! 

4pm-5pm Auditorium, King's Conference Centre, University of Aberdeen

Though taxes probably are certain, death might not be. In this lecture, featuring immortal jelly fish, the world’s slowest bacteria and the trip Darwin took to a séance, biologist Simon Watt (C4’s Inside Nature’s Giants) delves into the surprising science behind why we die, and what the alternatives might be. Come satisfy your morbid curiosity.

£6/4 - http://www.boxofficeaberdeen.com/events/why-we-die

An Evening With Belle De Jour

7.30pm – 8.30 pm Auditorium, King's Conference Centre, University of Aberdeen

Dr Brooke Magnanti is a scientist and writer perhaps better known under her pen-name Belle de Jour. She has written six books, the first of which, Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl, was adapted as the series Secret Diary of a Call Girl for ITV. Join Brooke for a full discussion on her pseudonym’s escapades and topical issues surrounding her career.

£8/6 - http://www.boxofficeaberdeen.com/events/an-evening-with-belle-de-jour

SUNDAY 12TH MAY

Hack 'n' Make Faire

The very first Hack 'n' Make Faire - come along for an exciting display of inventions and hands-on projects! Fun for all the family

Elphinstone Hall, University of Aberdeen

An Aberdeen first! Hack ‘n’ Make is a showcase for all kinds of incredible projects where you’ll find arts and crafts, science and engineering, music, fire and water. From giant interactive ‘Simon Shouts’, to underwater ROVs and 16ft Video Walls, come along and see if you can be inspired to become a ‘Maker’!

www.hacknmake.com

10 am – 4 pm

Drop-In (No Booking Required) 

Biting Back at the Bloodsuckers

3.30 -4.30 Venue: Auditorium, King's Conference Centre, University of Aberdeen

7.30-8.30 Venue: Woodend Barn, Banchory AB31 5QA

Dr James Logan, TV presenter and creepy crawly expert from Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies, will reveal all there is to know about the things that’ll really make your skin crawl!

At this event the Aberdeen University zoology graduate will uncover the cutting edge science behind why some people get bitten more than others by biting critters like the notorious Scottish midge. You could even take part in a live experiment on stage with real mosquitoes, to find out how attractive you are!

£6/4 Kings Conference Booking  - http://www.boxofficeaberdeen.com/events/biting-back-at-the-bloodsuckers-king-s-conference-centre

£6/4 Banchory Booking - http://www.boxofficeaberdeen.com/events/biting-back-at-the-bloodsuckers-woodend-barn

Hot topics – The Big Debate

6pm-7.45 Auditorium, King's Conference Centre, University of Aberdeen

A lively discussion on the University of Aberdeen's four Research Themes: Energy, Pathways to a Healthy Life. The North, Environment and Food Security. 

Hosted by: Ken MacDonald. BBC

What’s the low-down on climate change? How will we keep the lights on? What has diet to do with disease? Why is Aberdeenshire’s archaeology so important? These are just some of the diverse topics being tackled by the University’s four research themes. Come along for a lively discussion of topical issues that can impact on all our lives.

FREE – Booking - http://www.boxofficeaberdeen.com/events/hot-topics-the-big-debate

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