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QED 2016 schedule

Thursday 13th October 2016

Friday 14th October 2016

  • Skepticamp Manchester

    FREE TO ATTEND event in the same venue as QED. See separate Lanyrd page at http://lanyrd.com/cgmcfm for details.

    At 11:00am to 4:00pm, Friday 14th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

    Coverage photo

  • The QED Friday Quiz

    by Stevyn Colgan

    REE TO ATTEND. Quizmaster Stevyn Colgan, QED regular and QI elf, puts you to the test. Registration is required. Register your team now.

    Last year, following the SkeptiCamp on QED Friday, our first ever QED quiz proved to be astonishingly popular, with plenty of our attendees looking to pit their wits against the Cosmic Genome’s science quiz. Given the success last year, we’ve decided to make the Friday night quiz part of QED 2016, and we’re delighted to have a very special host and quiz master – QI elf and past QED speaker Stevyn Colgan!

    Stevyn Colgan is a writer and former police officer, who proved to be one of our most popular speakers after explaining in his talk at QED 2013 the innovative problem-solving crime-prevention tactics he helped devise while part of the London Metropolitan Police Problem Solving Unit. He is also a writer and researcher for QI, so who better to put our attendee’s trivia knowledge to the test?

    The QED quiz is free enter and is open to anyone who attends the QED weekend or the SkeptiCamp event. However, given the popularity of the quiz, we will require teams to sign up to take part before the weekend – we won’t be able to guarantee a space for anyone who isn’t registered in advance. We’ll be releasing a sign-up sheet closer to the event date, along with hints at the kind of prizes available for the winners (and the losers!)

    At 6:00pm to 8:00pm, Friday 14th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • The Mixer

    FREE TO ATTEND. If you’re new to QED or you’re attending on your own, the QED Mixer is the perfect opportunity to get the QED party started early, and meet some new friends. You’ll also be able pick up your name badge, saving yourself valuable time on Saturday morning.

    At 7:00pm to 11:59pm, Friday 14th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

Saturday 15th October 2016

  • Registration

    Pick up your name badge and take your seats, ready for a prompt event start. Doors open 8:30.

    At 8:00am to 9:00am, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Opening Ceremony

    by Matt Parker

    At 9:00am to 9:10am, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Captain Disillusion: Heroic Feats of YouTube Debunkery

    by Captain Disillusion

    At 9:10am to 10:00am, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • How to be an Advice Columnist

    by Petra Boynton

    At 10:10am to 11:00am, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • “Say Aaargh”: Dental Pseudoscience

    by Shaun Sellars, Grant Ritchey Jr., Martin Law, Laura Thomason and Sarah Farmer

    While skeptics are often very aware of the dangers of pseudoscience in regular healthcare, few skeptics consider the woo that exists in dental care. However, dentistry is not immune from outrageous claims, with homeopathy, unnecessary amalgam filling removal, dental chiropractic, and a host of other pseudoscientific treatments to threaten patients’ physical and financial wellbeing.

    For the first time at a skeptical event in the UK, pseudomedical dentistry will be put under the spotlight, as our panel of dentists and skeptics talk about their experiences of dental woo, the harms that can be done to patients and what can be done to curb outrageous claims in dental health.

    At 10:10am to 11:00am, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Screening: UK Film Premiere of "Nuts!"

    Nuts! is an animated documentary about the extraordinary medical claims of early 20th century charlatan John R. Brinkley. The documentary tracks the life of Brinkley, from grafting goat testicles into human beings as a fertility treatment and making a fortune as a quack doctor, to becoming a prolific broadcaster... and unsuccessful litigant. The film, directed by Penny Lane, carries a fantastic skeptical message in an accessible and mainstream style. Note: finishes at 12:30pm.

    At 11:10am to 12:30pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Skeptics with a K podcast LIVE

    by Michael Marshall, Mike Hall and Alice Howarth

    A live recording of the Skeptics with a K podcast from the Merseyside Skeptics

    At 11:10am to 12:00pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Team Spirit: Investigating the Paranormal

    by Susan Blackmore, Caroline Watt, Deborah Hyde and Hayley Stevens

    After easily 100 years of research and investigation into paranormal phenomena, both as formal academic discipline and in the field with expert observers, what can we learn from our experiences? Our panellists have been directly involved in the subject and their stories shed light on the best methods to investigate this subject, how might we avoid the pitfalls, what can we learn from exploring paranormal claims, and what ethical concerns we must address.

    A field of study beset by critics and complicated by those who would seek to deceive, this line of work has long been one of the front lines of skepticism. Our panel will entertain and educate with their tales of their investigations, and in the spirit of rationalism we may learn from the practical realities of parapsychology.

    At 11:10am to 12:00pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • The Right Detox: The Beginning of the Rest of Your Life in Five Easy Steps

    by Britt Marie Hermes

    At 11:10am to 12:00pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Workshop: Magic 101

    by David Alnwick

    Skepticism and magic are worlds which have been entwined for many years, with common prominent figures common including Harry Houdini, James Randi, Joe Nickell, Richard Wiseman and more.

    With such a skeptical interest in magic, for the first time at QED we’re offering our attendees the opportunity to learn a little magic. As part of our workshop track, magician Dave Alnwick will share some basic magic skills, teaching simple techniques and the psychology to really present them, in an hour that will leave magic enthusiasts of all levels with a few new strings to their bow.

    Dave Alnwick is a mentalist whose shows Mind Wizard and the Cult of Dave have sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe. He has performed for Skeptics in the Pub audiences around the country, including discussing some of the psychology behind his tricks.

    At 11:10am to 12:00pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Lunch Break

    At 12:00pm to 1:00pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Cognitive Dissonance podcast LIVE

    by Cognitive Dissonance podcast, Tom Curry and Cecil Cicirello

    A live recording of the Cognitive Dissonance podcast

    At 1:00pm to 1:50pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

    Screening of the paranoid Christian ‘documentary’ featuring Ben Stein. Finishes at 2.40pm; see the commentary from ‘God Awful Movies’ at 3.00pm.

    At 1:00pm to 2:40pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • The Ethics of Magic

    by Richard Wiseman, Eli Bosnick, David Alnwick, Michael Marshall and Paul Zenon

    Magicians and mentalists walk a fine line: when your profession involves lying to people, what responsibility do you have to be truthful? The history of magic is rich with creative deceptions, from the old ‘oriental-styled’ magicians of the past to the modern-day mentalists whose act has been used to support claims for the efficacy of NLP and the ability to detect ‘micro-expressions’. Do magicians have an ethical responsibility to disabuse their audiences of these deceptions? If so, how do those ethical responsibilities compare to the need for secrecy in a profession where surprise and mystery is so important?

    Joining host Michael Marshall to explore ethical issues within magic are Professor Richard Wiseman, Eli Bosnick and Dave Alnwick:

    Richard Wiseman is a professor of psychology and long-time member of the magic circle. As an author and academic, Richard is one of the most prominent and recognisable figures in modern day UK skepticism.

    Eli Bosnick is a New York-based magician and mentalist whose work has featured in the New York Times. He has run magic workshops in New York, and is a regular co-host of the Scathing Athiest and God Awful Movies podcasts.

    Dave Alnwick is a mentalist whose shows Mind Wizard and the Cult of Dave have sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe. He has performed for Skeptics in the Pub audiences around the country, including discussing some of the psychology behind his tricks.

    At 1:00pm to 1:50pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • The Future and What to do About It

    by Mark Stevenson

    At 1:00pm to 1:50pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Workshop: Investigative Journalism techniques

    by Meirion Jones

    Alongside his main stage talk, Meirion has agreed to host an hour-long workshop teaching investigative journalism techniques and methods, to teach skeptics how to dig deeper on a story, how to build a reliable case and how to gather evidence. The workshop will be held twice during the QED weekend, free for QED ticket-holders to attend. Repeated Sunday at 1PM

    At 1:00pm to 1:50pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Big Data: Does Size Matter?

    by Timandra Harkness

    At 2:00pm to 2:50pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Engaging Kids With the Wonder of Science

    by Trent Burton, Dr Karl, Matt Parker, Sally Le Page and Ginny Smith

    Many people’s experience of science at school amounts to little more than remembering solubility rules and listing the parts of a flower. Far too often, the chance to engage children with the curiosity and wonder of science and the joy of discovery is overlooked in favour of teaching the dry facts and figures required to pass a test. The scientific method and basic critical thinking tools are rarely prioritised, not only in the science syllabus, but as essential life skills. Science is all too often presented as a dry subject.

    We are taught the basic facts of the moon landing whilst glossing over the beauty of it. Joining Cosmic Genome founder Trent Burton on our panel exploring ways to engage children with the science to help inspire the next generation of critical thinkers will be Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Matt Parker, Ginny Smith and Sally Le Page.

    At 2:00pm to 2:50pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Workshop: Ask an Archaeologist

    by Paul Duncan McGarrity

    Much like science, our understanding of history is led by the evidence. From observations we make in the world around us today, we can make inferences about the world as it once was, and construct a coherent view of the people who came before us.

    We’re delighted to welcome the archaeologist Paul Duncan McGarrity to QED, who will be hosting a session on the QED Workshop track titled ‘Ask An Archaeologist’, based on his Edinburgh show of the same name. Paul will sit down with a group of QED attendees and answer their questions as honestly as possible: about archaeology, the problems we can solve through the lessons of history, or anything else the audience wants to talk about.

    Will be repeated on Sunday at 2pm

    At 2:00pm to 2:50pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • God Awful Movies podcast LIVE

    by Heath Enwright, Eli Bosnick and Noah Lugeons

    A live recording of the God Awful Movies podcast featuring the creationism film "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" (which will also be screened on the movie track earlier in the day).

    If there were really a god, would he inspire such god-awful cinema? Featuring Noah Lugheons, Heath Enwright, and Eli Bosnick.

    At 3:00pm to 3:50pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

    Coverage video

  • Screening: The Quest for Wonder

    by Trent Burton

    Professor Brian Cox has lost his Wonder, and without it he’s just a bunch of equations and some great hair. So, together with Robin Ince, it’s a race against time to find Brian’s Wonder. Science meets comedy meets puppetry in this fun new series for all kids and parents alike from the people that brought you Cosmic Genome, in association with the Science Museum.

    Beyond the Joke called it ‘Sesame Street meets The Infinite Monkey Cage’. After a sold out world premiere in London earlier this year we will be screening the entire six episode series at QED as part of our new movie track, along with some bonus footage from the Cosmic Genome subscriber’s archive.

    The screening will be introduced by series co-creator Trent Burton.

    At 3:00pm to 3:50pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Skeptical Activism Under the Microscope

    by Simon Singh, Michael Marshall, Andy Lewis, Jamie Potter and Salima Budhani

    What makes a skeptical activist campaign a success? In 2006, a Newsnight investigation shocked viewers with its undercover footage of homeopaths claiming to use homeopathy to successfully prevent malaria. A decade later, UK skepticism has seen a number of significant and successful skeptical campaigns - including the mass homeopathic 'overdoses' of the 10:23 Campaign, to the effective opposition to the Medical Innovations Bill (the so-called 'Saatchi Bill'), to the legal challenges brought against NHS provision of homeopathy.

    Through a careful analysis of many of these campaigns, and drawing on their wider experience of skeptical activism and campaigning, our panel will analyse what makes an activist campaign a success, what are the tactics that are most effective, and what we can learn from some of the failures they’ve experienced.

    Joining host Michael Marshall for our in-depth panel will be science writer Simon Singh, Quackometer's Andy Lewis, and lawyers Jamie Potter and Salima Budhani from Bindmans LLP.

    At 3:00pm to 3:50pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Skeptics in the Pub Forum

    by Brian Eggo, Kash Farooq, Ben Makin, James Lennox-Gordon, Josephine Schuppang and Victoria Stiles

    his year at QED’s Skeptics in the Pub session we are going to try something different: we’re going interactive!

    A typical SitP organiser never gets to see how other groups run an event, unless they happen to be visiting a city that coincidentally is hosting an event that night. With this in mind, we thought we’d try a new format.

    Instead of a small panel chairing a discussion, moderators from Skeptics in the Pub groups around Europe are going to run a workshop format aimed at getting everyone involved. The audience will be split into a number of smaller groups, each of which will have a facilitated discussion about best practice in organising and running Skeptics in the Pub events. You’ll get the chance to tell us what you’re doing well, what could be better and most importantly, you’ll get to meet and share your good ideas with your fellow organisers.

 Towards the end of the session we’ll bring everyone back together and compare feedback from the groups. Time permitting we’ll even take a nice picture of everyone before we finish. 

If you’re not currently an SitP organiser, but are thinking about getting involved, you’re welcome to join us as well. It’ll be a good way to get started, find out what is involved in running an event, and the more experienced of us can always benefit from fresh ideas and opinions. 

So... come along, bring some ideas, get involved, and try to look snappy!

    The session will be moderated by Brian Eggo (Glasgow), Kash Farooq (Nottingham), James Lennox-Gordon (Bristol), Ben Makin (Edinburgh), Josephine Schuppang (Berlin) and Victoria Stiles (Manchester).

    At 3:00pm to 3:50pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • The New Science of Out-of-Body Experiences

    by Susan Blackmore

    At 3:00pm to 3:50pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

    Coverage video

  • Dr Karl’s Great Moments in Science

    by Dr Karl

    At 4:00pm to 5:00pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly

  • Gala Dinner

    Extra ticket required.

    At 6:30pm to 8:30pm, Saturday 15th October

    In Mercure Manchester Piccadilly