News & Announcements
We are sorry to report that due to unforeseen issues arising from changes in the visa application process, Sanal Edamaruku will sadly be unable to appear at QED. Sanal’s unique situation living in exile from his home country makes his international travel occasionally problematic, and unfortunately it has made it impossible for him to be in the UK in time for the event.
However, we are delighted to announce a last minute replacement for Sanal – folklorist and editor of the Skeptic magazine Deborah Hyde.
It’s a little over week until QED, and we hope all our attendees are feeling just as excited as we are. For anyone still weighing up buying a ticket, be advised that ticket sales will close on Monday 7th April, at 10:23am. This year’s QED is already set to be comprehensively the biggest to date, and we’re looking forward to welcoming everybody to our new hotel and seeing familiar faces, as well as making some new friends.
It’s often the little touches that excite us most about running QED – finding the perfect goody bag gift. Securing the customary attendance of the dalek. Tweaking the introduction video that one last time. Or, as is the case this year, securing test drives for our attendees in a top-of-the-range electric Tesla Model S!
Vocal religious groups in the UK have claimed that equality laws are infringing the right to practice their faith. Yet in other countries dominant religions are undoubtedly persecuting the minority. Blasphemy laws are used to marginalise, criminalise and close down debate. In places like the US, hate speech can go unpunished.
Where should the balance lie? How far can you practice your religion before it damages the rights of others? Is secularism a threat to religious belief or is it the only answer for a multicultural society?
The ‘Media’, by which we usually mean the traditional newspaper, TV and radio, have been influential in public health issues. The reporting of the AIDS epidemic shaped public opinion, and governments tried to leverage the media to change behaviour in the risk groups. The anti-vaccine movement gained popularity through early favourable reporting of Wakefield’s work. Food and diet issues are repeated topics of concern for newspapers and television, but with very little clear conclusion drawn.
In recent years the field of psychology has suffered something of a crisis of confidence, with controversy emerging about the validity and reliability of many findings published in high-impact journals.
Many psychologists have expressed serious concern regarding issues of replicability and publication bias and several initiatives have been launched in an attempt to tackle the problems head on.
Our panel will provide the context of the controversy and also consider its implications for a field with even greater problems relating to replicability - that of parapsychology.
It’s a perennial issue in skepticism - how should we approach those we disagree with? As is so often the case, there are many possible approaches, each with their strengths and weaknesses.
The Skeptics in the Pub network has been the beating heart of UK skepticism for over five years now.
At every QED we provide an open forum to discuss issues around the running and expanding of a local skeptical group.
Whether you’re a current organiser looking to share your successes or looking to set up a new group in your hometown, this is the place to be.
Yes, it’s true - with only forty days remaining until QED there are only forty tickets still available.
If you are on the fence about coming, it’s time to carefully climb down on one side or the other. Last year when we made this announcement the remaining tickets were scooped up in under 48 hours - so if you’re coming, act fast.
The relationship between magicians and skeptical inquiry is an illustrious one, which goes back as far as Harry Houdini, via the likes of James Randi. Join our panel of magicians and skeptics to explore the relationship between conjuring and critical thinking:
Today we’re pleased to add the final two names to our mainstage line-up: Dr Sheena Cruickshank and John-Luke Roberts.
At QED we couldn’t make our event work without the excellent help of our volunteers who have for three years guaranteed the conference has run smoothly and assisted all those who attended.
We are now putting the final touches to this year’s event and would like to put the call out to all our attendees and ask that anyone who would like to volunteer gets in touch.
While the internet can undoubtedly be a positive force in our lives - with the freedom of information, democratisation and the ability to bring people together - it’s clearly not without its dark side.
In recent years there’s been no end of illustrations, with Google holding on to our private data, the NSA monitoring our online communications, and trolls springing up from every direction. So is the internet going to solve all of our headaches, or usher in a whole new set of problems?
The Skeptic Awards will be returning to QED this April for the third year running.
Now an established part of the UK calendar, the awards celebrate the best in the year's skeptical output and recognise those fighting the seemingly-rising tide of pseudoscience, superstition and irrationality. Can’t get through the week without a fix of your favourite debunking podcast? Then put them in the running for an ‘Ockham’. Shared a great video on your favoured social network that you think neatly demonstrates exactly how much you love science? Then show the love with a nomination. Are you an avid reader of a witty and intelligent blog or cartoon with a skeptical slant? Give them your vote.
There are some things without which it simply wouldn’t be QED. A sparse (albeit likely well-meaning) evangelical picket outside of the QED hotel. The sight of comatose bodies strewn around the hall during the first session on Sunday morning. And, of course, a live recording of Inkredulous.
For any parents looking to take advantage of our crèche facilities, the deadline for registering interest has now passed.
Our discount deals with local hotels have also now expired - however, affordable rooms can still be secured by calling one of our hotels directly, or via third party booking sites, so we suggest you shop around for the best deal.
a guest post from the Pod Delusion
If you’re going to April’s QED Con, then you’ll know what fun it is - a whole weekend of skeptical talks and fun with likeminded folk. If only it could last longer!
This year - it can, if you come along to The Pod Delusion’s Skepticamp on Friday 11th April in Manchester.
What is Skepticamp?
A Skepticamp is a mini conference, with its agenda decided by the audience. You can put yourself forward to do a talk ahead of time, then you’ll be allocated a slot and you get 15 minutes to talk about a topic of your choice - with five minutes following for questions.
Today sees the addition of two more names to the QED 2014 line up: Samantha Stein and Gemma Arrowsmith.
Today we add two more names to our ever-growing speaker list: Nate Phelps and Andy Zaltzman.
We are delighted to announce the names of two more speakers who will be appearing at QED this April: Susan Gerbic and Mark Edward.
The New Year is here, and that can mean only one thing: fewer than 100 days until the next QED!
We hope you're as excited as we are, and we can't wait to tell you more about the fascinating speakers, fascinating panels and fun weekend we're planning for all our delightful QED attendees... but we are going to wait a tiny bit longer, nevertheless.
One thing you really can't afford to wait for is to reserve a place in our crèche - the deadline for reservations for parents wishing to bring their skeptical sprogs to QED is January 31st, so be sure to book a place for your inquisitive infant before then.
Each year since the very first QED, we've aimed to make the conference the best possible value for money for our attendees, planning to use every ticket sale to create an even better conference experience. However, each year to date we've generated a surplus, which we've donated to worthwhile causes.
For the first two QED events, that surplus totalled over £12,000, which we split between two great charities: The National Autistic Society and Sense About Science. In 2013, we decided our surplus would go to a charity we felt equally strongly about - the Good Thinking Society.
With this in mind, we're pleased to announce that QED 2013 raised a total sum of £3,893 for the Good Thinking Society.
Happy Christmas, Yuletide, Saturnalia, Midwinter, Solstice, Winterval or even Hogswatch! However you celebrate your break over the next few days the QED team hope you have a great time relaxing with friends and family.
Evolutionary biologist and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins was the keynote speaker at QED 2013. In this intimate and unmissable interview, comedian Robin Ince takes the Richard on a journey through his career, his writing, and some of the more touching stories from Richard’s life. It’s a rare opportunity to see a softer side of arguably the world’s most famous atheist, and it’s available to watch online now.
Tickets for QED 2014 are still on sale - get yours now.
Social Media offers an unparalleled opportunity for grassroots skeptics to highlight their work, engage with those they seek to criticise, and share their views. However, some of those views can be contentious, some libellous, and in a few notable cases, some even criminal. How can skeptics share their thoughts without finding themselves in legal hot water? Our Social Media and the Law panel at QED 2013 explored exactly these issues.
Our panel - available to watch online now for the first time - included lawyer and blogger Helen Dale, Ian Rushton, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West Area, science writer and successful libel defendant Simon Singh, and criminal barrister Geoff Whelan.
Tickets for QED 2014 are still on sale - get yours now.
We’ve had confirmation from The Palace Hotel, our new venue for 2014, that we’ve filled our allocation of discounted rooms for QED 2014. The good news is that this means a good number of you have doubtless been tempted by the opportunity to enjoy the company of fellow QED attendees for the whole of the weekend.
At QED 2013, Rose Shapiro gave an interesting and in-depth interview with host Brian Thompson. Rose is a writer and journalist, whose book Suckers: How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools Of Us All details the harm done by alternative medicine practitioners and the dangers posed by pseudomedicine. Watch the interview in full, now.
Tickets for QED have been on sale for a week now, and we're delighted by the response we've received so far. Over the coming weeks and months we'll be announcing more of what's in store for QED 2014, including our full programme of panels, podcasts and alternative presentations - so be sure to keep an eye out for future news from us.
We'll also be releasing footage from past QED events, too - starting with QED 2013's standing-room-only debate on the role of religion - moderated by Carrie Poppy and featuring Richard Dawkins, Mike Hall, Mitch Benn and Lawrence Krauss. Enjoy!
The waiting is over - tickets to the biggest event in the UK skeptical calendar are now on sale!
QED 2014 - taking place in the Palace Hotel, Manchester on April 12th-13th - will once again see an exciting line-up of speakers from around the world of science and skepticism, brought together for the viewing pleasure of our QED community.
We are very happy to announce that QED will be returning April 12-13, 2014 for our fourth year!
After the success of last year's event - not to mention our previous years - we suspect demand for tickets in 2014 will be high, which is why we're moving to an even larger venue: the Palace Hotel, Manchester.