Event Schedule

We have four parallel tracks of content, spread across four floors of the hotel.

Main stage talks take place on the Main Track, which is located in the International Suite on the third floor.

On the fourth floor we have the Panel Track in the Park Suite, featuring in-depth discussions on skeptical topics. You will also find our VR Experience here, in Park Lane, and opposite that in Park Avenue is the Quiet Space in case you need a time out.

On the second floor is the Workshop Track in the Senate Suite. These are more intimate sessions and are strictly first-come, first-served. And finally, in the Portland Suite on the first floor (next to the lobby) is the Podcast Track.

There are also events on the QED Fringe, which are not part of our programme, but may be of special interest to QED attendees!

Thursday 11th October

19:00 - 21:00

A Skeptical Extravaganza of Special Significance

QED Fringe A combination panel show, science quiz, physics demonstration and improv game that’s filled with music and laughter! Hosted by George Hrab and featuring the cast of the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe. Tickets and information are available from the SGU Eventbrite Page

The Stoller Hall, Hunts Bank, Manchester.
Note: this paid event does not take place at the QED venue.
19:00 - 21:00

Aron Ra: Phylogeny, Science and Secularism

QED Fringe FREE TO ATTEND. Greater Manchester Humanists host an evening with the American atheist and YouTuber Aron Ra, speaking on phylogeny, and the importance of science and secularism in today’s world. Registration information is available from Greater Manchester Humanists

Lecture Theatre B, University Place, Manchester.
Note: this event does not take place at the QED venue.
21:30 - LATE

QED Fringe Gathering and Social

QED Fringe FREE TO ATTEND. Greater Manchester Skeptics Society round off the evening with a social gathering and meet-up at the Kro Bar on Oxford Road. Everyone is welcome! Details are available from Greater Manchester Skeptics‘ Facebook page

Kro Bar, Oxford Road, Manchester.
Note: this event does not take place at the QED venue.

Friday 12th October

13:00 - 17:00

Skepticamp 2018

QED Fringe FREE TO ATTEND. Lightning talks, provided by you. No ticket required, just turn up! Find more information at skepticamp.co.uk

Park Suite, Fourth Floor
18:00 - 20:00

The QED Quiz

QED Fringe FREE TO ATTEND. Expertly hosted by the lovely folk at Cosmic Shambles, and themed this year as “Space Shambles”. The quiz will cover everything from moon landings and nonsense conspiracy theories to science fiction and space stations. Teams must register ahead of time, and a few spots are still available.

Park Suite, Fourth Floor
19:00 - LATE

The QED Mixer 2018

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

Level 3 Bar, Third Floor

The QED VR Experience

Experience a free fifteen-minute taster session, using state-of-the-art virtual reality hardware, allowing you to fly through the skies of a virtual city, save the world, or just scare yourself out of your wits... all without leaving the confines of the hotel.

Available until 9pm this evening, then again from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, and from 11am to 3pm on Sunday.

Park Land, Fourth Floor

Saturday 13th October

08:00 - 09:00

Registration

Pick up your name badge and take your seats, ready for a prompt event start. Doors open 08:30.

09:00 - 09:10

Opening Ceremony

Main Track Featuring Helen Arney.

International Suite, Third Floor
09:10 - 10:00

Some Conspiracies Are Real: A Cataloging of Some of the Greatest Secret Schemes of All Time

Main Track George Hrab talks about a number of historical and modern examples of real life conspiracies and how effective they were (and are) in misleading the populace.

International Suite, Third Floor
10:10 - 11:00

Massimo Polidoro’s Strange Stories

Main Track Massimo Polidoro takes us behind the scenes of his YouTube series Strange Stories, a channel devoted to skeptical investigations of strange stories and mysteries

International Suite, Third Floor

Evidence-Based Mental Wellbeing

Panel Track Public awareness of mental health issues is seemingly growing, but how many treatments are backed by evidence? And when things are more serious, how does one manage the instinct to cause oneself harm? Featuring Robin Ince, Ariane Sherine, Navneet Kapur, and chair Thomas Smith.

Note: this session will include conversations about suicide and self-harm which attendees may find distressing.

Park Suite, Fourth Floor
11:10 - 12:00

How to Be Human in the Age of the Machine

Main Track Hannah Fry takes us on a tour through the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us and asks if they are really an improvement on the humans they replace?

International Suite, Third Floor

Game Over: Video Games as the New Moral Panic

Panel Track Twenty years after Columbine, ‘violent video games’ are still a hot-button topic, despite studies failing to show any clear link between gaming and violence. Can video games do us real harm? And won’t anyone think of the children!? Featuring Elle Osili-Wood, Steven Novella, Ash Webster, and chair Lana Donaghy.

Park Suite, Fourth Floor

A Practical Guide to Attacking Castles

Workshop Track Archaeologist and comedian Paul Duncan McGarrity explains how modern life could be so much better if we took a moment to learn how to attack a castle. Repeated Sunday at 11.10am.

Senate Suite, Second Floor

InKredulous Live!

Podcast Track InKredulous takes to the stage in a live version of this satirical, skeptically themed podcast. Join Andy Wilson and guests Ariane Sherine, Heath Enwright, Tom Curry, and Michael Marshall in a comedy panel show designed for the curious.

Portland Suite, First Floor
12:00 - 13:00

Lunch

13:00 - 13:50

Circular Reasoning: The Rise of Flat Earth Belief

Main Track Flat Earth has gone mainstream, spawning thousands of hours of YouTube videos, and gaining widespread international media coverage. Michael Marshall asks: how did we get here?!

International Suite, Third Floor

Reuse or Refuse: the Facts About Single-Use Plastic

Panel Track Eight million tons of waste plastic ends up in our oceans each year, where it breaks down into ever-smaller pieces before being ingested by wildlife. What are the risks posed by plastic waste? Are single-use plastic straws a convenient scapegoat, or would eliminating them really help? Featuring Sarah Clement, Matt Winning, Helen Czerski, and chair Nicola Throp.

Park Suite, Fourth Floor

Introduction to Critical Reasoning

Workshop Track Oxford University’s Marianne Talbot presents an interactive session to help you understand how to recognise, analyse, and evaluate arguments. Repeated Sunday at 1pm.

Senate Suite, Second Floor

Book Shambles with Robin Ince

Podcast Track Join award-winning comedian and bibliophile Robin Ince for a live version of the acclaimed Book Shambles podcast, where he will be discussing the life of aviator Wally Funk with the writer Sue Nelson.

Portland Suite, First Floor
14:00 - 14:50

From ‘Wellness Wanker’ to Wellness Rebel

Main Track Nutritionist Pixie Turner talks us through her journey away from pseudoscience, and how she uses her experience to dispel the myths of the ’wellness‘ movement.

International Suite, Third Floor

Podcasting: Entertainment, Activism, or Outreach?

Panel Track More Americans know what a podcast is than who know the identity of the vice-president, but are these shows activism, or just echo chambers reinforcing existing biases? Featuring Cara Santa Maria, Noah Lugeons, Tom Curry, and chair Andy Wilson.

Park Suite, Fourth Floor

Getting Started with Stargazing

Workshop Track Anthony Holloway looks at how you can get started in stargazing, what you can do with the naked eye or binoculars and what the options are for moving on to using telescopes and the new objects you can observe. Repeated Sunday at 2pm.

Senate Suite, Second Floor
15:00 - 15:50

Tall Building Fire Safety: The Burning Issues

Main Track Claire Benson will discuss the technical measures that are meant to prevent a ‘towering inferno’ scenario, as well as the oversight failures identified before, and following, the tragic Grenfell Tower disaster and how we can stop events like this happening in future.

International Suite, Third Floor

#NoFilter: Scrutinising Social Media Skepticism

Panel Track Publishers like Natural News spew pseudoscience to their millions of followers, while posts pointing out the flaws in their arguments get a fraction of the attention. How can we push back effectively against promoters of bad ideas—both outside and inside the skeptical movement? Featuring Jonathan Jarry, Eli Bosnick, Pixie Turner, and chair Michael Marshall.

Park Suite, Fourth Floor

Skeptics in the Pub

Workshop Track Join Glasgow Skeptics’ Brian Eggo, Edinburgh’s Sean Slater, and London’s Carmen D’Cruz as they facilitate an interactive discussion on Skeptics in the Pub fundamentals.

Senate Suite, Second Floor

Serious Inquiries Only

Podcast Track Thomas Smith speaks with prison and public law solicitor Emma McClure about her experiences dealing with the justice system, and the role of compassion and empathy in dealing with people who commit even abhorrent crimes.

Portland Suite, First Floor
16:00 - 16:50

The Neuroscience of Critical Thinking

Main Track Clinical Neurologist Steven Novella draws upon his years of experience as a neuroscientist to give us an insight into how a critical mind is wired.

International Suite, Third Floor
17:00 - 18:00

Break

18:30 - 20:30

The Charity Dinner

In aid of the Good Thinking Society. Charity Dinner ticket holders only

International Suite, Third Floor
20:30 - LATE

Saturday Night at QED

All QED ticket holders are welcome at this event; entry is included in your overall QED ticket price. Presented by Eli Bosnick, and featuring the Ockham Awards with Deborah Hyde, comedian Alun Cochrane, and George Hrab and the Broad Street Score.

International Suite, Third Floor

Sunday 14th October

09:25 - 09:30

Welcome Back

Main Track Featuring Helen Arney. Doors open at 9am

International Suite, Third Floor
09:30 - 11:00

The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe

Main Track Making their debut appearance in the UK, the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe is a long-running weekly science podcast, dedicated to promoting critical thinking, reason, and the public understanding of science. Featuring Steve Novella, and the ‘Skeptical Rogues’, Jay Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Bob Novella, Evan Berstein, and George Hrab.

International Suite, Third Floor
11:10 - 12:00

When the Spirit Moves You: a History of Poltergeists

Main Track Not content with mere visual manifestation, poltergeists are presences which interact with their environments. Making noises, hurling objects and causing levitation is sometimes just the start! Deborah Hyde will talk about the history of this potent supernatural phenomenon and discuss the theories behind it.

International Suite, Third Floor

Truth Hertz

Panel Track Sound is usually invisible, and in common with some other invisible things tends to attract superstitions and folk-wisdom. Let’s take a moment to reflect on some of the wisdom of science on the mystics of music, the audiophiles and the numerologists who would otherwise run amok. Featuring Anne-Marie Cundy, Sophie Scott, Milton Mermikides, Carmen D’Cruz, and chair Rick Owen.

Park Suite, Fourth Floor

A Practical Guide to Attacking Castles

Workshop Track Another change to join archaeologist and comedian Paul Duncan McGarrity as he explains how modern life could be so much better if we took a moment to learn how to attack a castle.

Senate Suite, Second Floor

God Awful Movies

Podcast Track If there were really a god, would he inspire such god-awful cinema? Join Noah Lugeons, Heath Enwright and Eli Bosnick as they tackle a ‘classic’ of religious movie-making.

Portland Suite, First Floor
12:00 - 13:00

Lunch

13:00 - 13:50

An Interview with J Willgoose Esq

Main Track The driving force behind the band Public Service Broadcasting, the mysterious and corduroy-clad J Willgoose Esq has an established reputation for weaving forensic, historical research into evocative storytelling. Willgoose will be interviewed by Trent Burton.

International Suite, Third Floor

My Brother is a Mormon!

Panel Track Despite having 200,000 followers in the UK, relatively few people in this country really know much about the beliefs and practices of Mormonism, or the incredible origin story of the religion. Featuring Cara Santa Maria, Greg Rattey, Bryce Blankenagel, and chair Andy Wilson.

Park Suite, Fourth Floor

Introduction to Critical Reasoning

Workshop Track Oxford University’s Marianne Talbot presents an interactive session to help you understand how to recognise, analyse, and evaluate arguments.

Senate Suite, Second Floor

European Skeptics Podcast

Podcast Track The Ockham-award winning podcast that focuses on skeptical actions across Europe. Skepticism-related news, historical events or people of interest, as well as critical discussions of religious abuse. Featuring András Pintér and Pontus Böckman with guest hosts Claire Klingenberg, and Brian Eggo.

Portland Suite, First Floor
14:00 - 14:50

Defining Research Integrity and Fraud in Eighteenth and Early-Nineteenth Century Science

Main Track Heather Ellis draws on her recent work looking at Britain’s early scientific societies to show how early notions of integrity and quality developed within British scientific culture.

International Suite, Third Floor

Skepticism Under the Microscope

Panel Track As the world of pseudoscience has evolved, skepticism has had to adapt to keep pace. Our panel asks: is the current skeptical movement fit for purpose? As we look to tackle the pseudoscience of our day, what are we doing right, and what are we doing wrong? Featuring Jonathan Jarry, Claire Klingenberg, Thomas Smith, and chair Michael Marshall.

Park Suite, Fourth Floor

Getting Started with Stargazing

Workshop Track Anthony Holloway looks at how you can get started in stargazing, what you can do with the naked eye or binoculars and what the options are for moving on to using telescopes and the new objects you can observe.

Senate Suite, Second Floor
15:00 - 15:50

Why We Laugh: Why We Should Take Laughter More Seriously

Main Track People are much more likely to engage in laughter when they are in the company of others than if they are alone. Cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott shares the science behind this, and other truths about laughter.

International Suite, Third Floor
16:00

Closing Ceremony

Main Track See you in 2020 ..?

International Suite, Third Floor
This information may be subject to change, though we will endeavour to keep this page up to date.