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Socialising with Slack

Posted by QED at 10:23am on October 12th 2017

Last year, we experimented with a Slack team for QED attendees, and many of you told us you found it to be a great way to socialise, self-organise, and communicate with other QED attendees. So we are bringing Slack back for 2017.

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Additional Science Moms Screening with Q&A

Posted by QED at 2:00pm on October 11th 2017

In a change to our announced schedule, we will be adding an additional screening of Science Moms, including an introduction by director Natalie Newell and one of the film’s stars, Kavin Senapathy.

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Contemplating Cognitive Biases

Posted by QED at 3:00pm on September 29th 2017

You will think of this panel session favourably afterwards if it’s the first one you attend, thanks to the primacy effect, or if it’s the last, thanks to the recency effect. Don’t expect it to change your views on anything though, because attempts to present you with contradictory evidence will backfire. But as long as the panel accords with what you already think, you will love it for the confirmation it confers.

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Fact-checking in the Fake News Era

Posted by QED at 3:00pm on September 28th 2017

Mark Twain is often quoted as having said: “A lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes”. Ironically, there’s no evidence Mark Twain ever actually said this, yet the false attribution persists, repeated often enough to render it impervious to fact-checking. In a world where social media has accelerated the spread of falsehoods, what can seekers of truth do to stop a lie in its tracks, or at the very least help the truth lace up its boots?

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Schedule Update: Sanal Edamaruku

Posted by QED at 6:00pm on September 26th 2017

We regret to announce that, due to circumstances beyond our control, Sanal Edamaruku will be unable to appear at QED this year. But we are pleased to announce that Anthony Warner will be joining our main stage line-up

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Matt Winning: Filibuster on the Workshop Track

Posted by QED at 3:00pm on September 25th 2017

In addition to his Saturday evening comedy set, environmental economist and stand-up comedian Matt Winning will also be bringing his comedy lecture Filibuster to the QED workshop track.

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Science: The Big Questions

Posted by QED at 10:23am on September 21st 2017

Why does the Higgs field have the magnitude it does? What is Dark Matter, and Dark Energy? Are these really big questions of science? Joining QED’s Rick Owen to discuss these questions will be physicists Helen Czerski, Tim O’Brien, and Jeff Forshaw.

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Video: Britt Hermes—The Right Detox? (QED 2016)

Posted by QED at 10:23am on September 20th 2017

Britt Hermes gave up her career in naturopathy when a particular incident made her question her education, training and qualifications as a naturopathic medical practitioner. In this heartfelt talk Britt tells the story of her journey from there to now, speaking on the main stage at a skeptical conference. Honest to the point of brutality, this is a unique insight and a unique story.

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Triskaidekaphobics beware! The QED Quiz is returning for Friday 13th

Posted by QED at 10:23am on September 19th 2017

With QED right around the corner, we’re busy finalising plans for what is shaping up to be an exciting and fun-packed weekend. We have several things still to announce, but we’re delighted to be able to announce today that this year’s QED Quiz will be a fun-filled multi-media affair presented by Book Shambles with Robin Ince and Josie Long and The Cosmic Shambles Network.

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The Science of Game of Thrones

Posted by QED at 10:23am on September 18th 2017

Do dragons actually exist? Is it possible to crush a person's head with your bare hands? What really happened when royal families interbred? How does wildfire win wars? Can you really kill someone with molten gold? These burning questions will be bravely tackled by our crack team of Game of Thrones experts.

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Live Book Shambles podcast at QED

Posted by QED at 10:23am on September 15th 2017

Join us for a live recording of the popular podcast Book Shambles. Being QED, it’s a science book special and host Robin Ince will be joined by top popular science writers Helen Czerski, Dean Burnett, Helen Keen and Ginny Smith to talk favourite science books, terrible science books, what it takes to write popular science books for different audiences and whatever else comes up. It is a shambles after all.

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Crime and Punishment: the UK prison system

Posted by QED at 10:23am on September 14th 2017

Tales of life in the UK prison system are rarely far from the pages of the tabloids—ranging from stories about how ‘pampered prisoners’ have it ‘too easy’, to reports of drugs, riots and chronic overcrowding. Our panel on crime and punishment in the UK will look at the factors that affect life on the inside, what conditions are like behind bars, what role prison ought to play in society, and what resources are—or, more frequently, are not—available to the average prisoner.

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Hands-on Learning Street Epistemology Workshop

Posted by QED at 10:23am on September 12th 2017

Many people have heard of street epistemology, but few people are comfortable trying it in real world situations. This workshop will give you the education, tools, and confidence needed to help a person reflect on a deeply-held belief or claim without closing them down or making them feel defensive.

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With a ‘quack quack’ here... Veterinary Pseudoscience

Posted by QED at 6:00pm on September 11th 2017

Anti-vax, psychics, chiropractic, homeopathy, raw food, crystal healing and homeopathy. Sound familiar? You’d be forgiven for thinking we were talking about humans but in this session we will hear about how vets encounter, and attempt to counter, pseudoscience in animal husbandry.

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Quackery Comms and Science Moms

Posted by QED at 10:23am on September 8th 2017

Alternative cancer cures seem more popular than ever before. Anti-vaccination sentiment is resurgent in the UK. Aspirational lifestyle gurus like David Avocado Wolfe, Mike Adams, and Gwyneth Paltrow sell their pseudoscientific messages to a worldwide audience, amassing millions of social media followers along the way. Whichever way we turn, it certainly seems like proponents of quackery have no trouble communicating their ideas to the general public.

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Video: Engaging Kids with the Wonder of Science (QED 2016)

Posted by QED at 10:23am on September 6th 2017

Getting children curious about science is a rewarding but sometimes difficult task for parents, educators and science communicators. Trent Burton hosts a discussion with Dr Karl, Ginny Smith, Sally Le Page and Matt Parker about the challenges and pitfalls for any would-be science communicator working with children.

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Mathematical Life Hacks workshop, with Dr Katie Steckles

Posted by QED at 10:23am on September 1st 2017

We all know that people with maths, science and technology skills are experienced at problem-solving. But how useful are those skills in the real world? In this QED workshop, mathematician and speaker Katie Steckles will show you some mathematical, logical and geometrical tricks to solve some of everyday life's minor challenges

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Hungry like the Wolfe: Dietary Pseudoscience

Posted by QED at 10:23am on August 31st 2017

Feeding the UK’s 65m people is a tricky business. Eating in, out or on the street there is inevitably a layer of myths, lies and pseudoscience running throughout the industry. Can one really detox oneself with food choices? No. But this is the tip of the iceberg lettuce. Get the inside track on what should be tweaking your skeptical spider senses from our panel of science foodies.

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Video: Skeptics Beyond the Pub (QED 2013)

Posted by QED at 10:23am on August 30th 2017

Richard Saunders is joined by Michael Marshall, DJ Grothe and Alastair Brett to discuss skeptical activism, outreach, and getting skepticism out of the pub and into the real world at QED 2013.

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Final call for the QED Crèche

Posted by QED at 10:00am on August 24th 2017

We are always keen to make QED accessible, which is why we provide an on-site crèche, giving skeptical parents reasonably-priced childcare facilities during the event. The deadline for applications is fast approaching, so to ensure we have sufficient time to make arrangements, bookings for the crèche must be made by August 29th, otherwise we can’t accomodate your skeptical child.

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Calling All Volunteers!

Posted by QED at 6:00pm on August 14th 2017

At QED we couldn’t make our event work without the excellent help of our volunteers who help us make sure the conference runs smoothly for all our speakers and attendees.

With this year's event just two months away, we’re putting out a call to all our attendees to ask that anyone who would like to volunteer gets in touch.

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QED to screen premiere of Science Moms

Posted by QED at 6:00pm on August 9th 2017

This October, QED will be the host of the premiere of new documentary Science Moms. The film, which was inspired by the ‘Moms4GMOs’ movement, gives a voice to science-minded mothers. In a world where too often the ‘mommy instinct’ can be used as a trump card over evidence and fact, Science Moms highlights the work done by pro-science women to stand up to the fear mongers, the shamers, and the feted celebrities.

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Childcare and accessibility at QED

Posted by QED at 6:00pm on July 26th 2017

We are always looking for ways to make QED as accessible as possible for as many people as possible. At every QED since 2013 we have offered a crèche facility, helping make our event more accessible to parents who would like to attend QED.

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Skepticamp is returning to QED in 2017!

Posted by QED at 6:00pm on July 21st 2017

A SkeptiCamp is a free conference that celebrates the incredible work done by grassroots skeptics and activists. At SkeptiCamp, it’s the attendees who are responsible for the creation and delivery of the days content, and anyone is welcome to present a talk. You don’t need to be a published author, famous podcaster or professional communicator to get involved.

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Video: Cara Santa Maria (QED 2016)

Posted by QED at 6:00pm on July 12th 2017

Subtitled “My Modest Attempt to Improve the American Media Landscape”, this funny and engaging talk from Cara Santa Maria was presented at QED 2016.

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Magician Dave Alnwick to MC QED 2017

Posted by QED at 7:30pm on June 28th 2017

Over the last six years, we have been fortunate enough to have had some exceptionally talented MC’s overseeing the QED weekend – including performers, musicians, stand-ups and magicians. Each brought their own style, energy and exuberance to proceedings… and we’re very pleased to be able to announce that this year will be no exception, with Dave Alnwick taking up the MC mantle for QED 2017.

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The QED Podcast Track: featuring the Parapod, InKredulous and Skeptics with a K

Posted by QED at 6:00pm on June 23rd 2017

Last year, for the first time, we added a dedicated podcast track to QED, featuring some of the biggest skeptical, atheist and science podcasts around. The track proved hugely popular, with standing room only for some of the recordings of shows like God Awful Movies, Cognitive Dissonance, Talk Nerdy and more.

This year, the track promises to be just as exciting, and we’re pleased to announce our first three live podcasts–including an exclusive first ever live show from the host of The Parapod!

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Video: Dame Sue Ion - The Future of Energy (QED 2015)

Posted by QED at 6:00pm on June 21st 2017

Dr Dame Sue Ion is a leading figure in the UK’s nuclear industry and an internationally recognised expert on fuel recycling. During Tony Blair’s Labour government Sue was responsible for bringing about a change in policy on nuclear power, and remains a vocal advocate for nuclear power’s role in a future energy landscape.

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Three more QED 2017 speakers announced

Posted by QED at 12:00pm on June 15th 2017

With four months to go until QED 2017, we are working hard to put together an interesting, entertaining and thought-provoking line up for our attendees. Today, we can announce three more speakers to join our line-up: Tim O’Brien, Carol Tavris and Sophie Wilson!

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Video: Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics (QED 2015)

Posted by QED at 12:00pm on June 14th 2017

Natalie Haynes is a comedian, author and humanist whose appearance at QED 2013 was noted by many as their highlight of the event. She’s a regular contributor to the Guardian and has written for The Times and The Independent. Before retiring from stand-up comedy in 2009, Natalie became the first female nominee for the Perrier Best Newcomer Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her 2014 novel ‘The Amber Fury’ served as a fiction-based follow-up to her previous non-fiction book ‘The Ancient Guide to Modern Life’ – exploring the lessons the modern world can learn from classical societies.

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Video: Harriet Hall (QED 2015)

Posted by QED at 12:00pm on June 7th 2017

Dr Harriet Hall is a retired family physician and former Air Force flight surgeon who writes about medicine, alternative medicine, science, quackery, and critical thinking. She is one of the founders and editors of the ‘Science Based Medicine’ blog, a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and co-author of the textbook ‘Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions’.

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Video: Why Not? A Six-Legged Solution to Food Security (QED 2015)

Posted by QED at 12:00pm on May 26th 2017

Professor Marcel Dicke is professor of Entomology at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. His book ‘The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet’ argues that the Western world undervalues the contribution insects could make to our lives... and to our nutrition. In 2007 he was awarded the NWO-Spinoza award for his work researching the defence mechanisms of plants..

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Video: God Awful Movies (QED 2016)

Posted by QED at 12:00pm on May 17th 2017

Noah, Heath and Eli dispense a comedic and withering critique on the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Great fun as a podcast. Unforgettable as a video.

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Video: Captain Disillusion - Heroic Feats of YouTube Debunkery (QED 2016)

Posted by QED at 6:00pm on April 26th 2017

It’s less than a week until tickets go on sale for QED 2017, and so to get you in the mood for the next instalment of the UK’s biggest conference of science and skepticism we thought we’d remind you of one of the excellent talks from QED 2016. Last year was our biggest ever year, with a sell-out crowd of more than 650 attendees and five whole tracks of skeptical goodness, and we kicked the weekend off with a superb talk from the internet’s only video-hoax-slaying alien superhero, Captain Disillusion.

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QED Returns for 2017

Posted by QED at 10:23am on April 5th 2017

Last year’s QED saw more than 650 attendees converge in Manchester for our celebration of science, reason and critical thinking. We had pub quizzes, optical illusions, magic, music, films, comedy and five rooms filled to the brim with skeptical entertainment. It was the biggest and best QED so far... but don’t worry, we’re deep into plans for making this year’s event even better!

With that in mind, we can officially announce the date of QED 2017–get out your marker pens, and draw a big red circle around the 14th-15th October, 2017.

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