Last minute updates to the QED Schedule

Published 22 September 2023 at 10:23
An analog wall clock which reads just a couple of minutes to midnight

We have a handful of last-second changes to the QED schedule, driven by a variety of factors beyond anyone’s control! While we understand some of these changes may be disappointing for people looking forward to specific sessions, we hope you’re as excited as we are by the new line-up.

Claire Klingenberg Steps In for Pragya Agarwal

Unfortunately, Pragya Agarwal has been forced to withdraw from the event at the very last moment. We hope to welcome Pragya at a future QED, but until then, we have arranged a fantastic replacement. Claire Klingenberg will instead be presenting 'Why Investigate the Paranormal?'

Claire is the President of the European Council of Skeptical Organizations - ECSO. In the Czech Republic, she leads the critical thinking project, ‘Don't Let Yourself Be Fooled!’ which provides seminars on critical thinking to high schools. She has been involved in the skeptical movement since 2013, originally as the co-organizer of the Paranormal Challenge.

Claire is the protagonist of the documentary series 'Investigátori,' co-produced by Czech and Slovak state TVs, bringing a skeptic and science-popularising perspective on the paranormal to the wider public.

Placebos replace Artificial Intelligence

Instead of our previously announced panel on Artificial Intelligence, we will now be hosting a discussion on the placebo effect titled ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’

In 2001, the New England Journal published ‘Is the Placebo Powerless?’, a systematic review that found that the supposedly powerful effect of placebo administration could not be distinguished from bias. Two decades later, the ‘powerful placebo’ remains the darling of scientists and science communicators, who continue to extol its amazing benefits with breathless excitement. What is it about the placebo effect that so entrances doctors and researchers?

This panel will feature Professor Chris French, Mike Hall, Catherine de Jong, Aaron Rabinowitz, and will be chaired by Rick Owen.

Social Media Workshop

Sadly, our social media expert Phil Birss has let us know that he will be unable to attend the event, which means we have been forced to cancel Saturday’s workshop on social media marketing.

By now, many of you will already be making your way to the Mercure (we know some have already arrived), and we’re looking forward to welcoming you for a fantastic weekend of science, reason, and critical thinking.