Whatʼs on at QED?
Science presenter, geek songstress and ‘Voice of an Angle’ Helen Arney has appeared on TV, radio and in theatres across the world with her unique mix of stand-up, songs and science. You might have seen her explaining physics while riding a rollercoaster for BBC Two, electrifying Sandi Toksvig on QI, singing the periodic table on Channel 4, smashing a wine glass with the power of her voice live on Blue Peter, or touring with science comedy phenomenon Festival of the Spoken Nerd. Helen will be the emcee for QED 2018.
Evan Bernstein is a co-host of the award-winning science podcast The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe (SGU) and is the co-author of the forthcoming book by the same title (due for release in 2018). He also serves as the Connecticut chapter chairman of the New England Skeptical Society (NESS). Evan is a technical adviser for official NESS investigations, and is the SGU’s audio engineer for live remote events. Traveling the world with his co-hosts, Evan has given live presentations to private corporations and at educational seminars on topics including; the direct harms of pseudoscience, woo in the martial arts, and the truth behind paranormal investigations. He has been an active participant in the modern skeptical movement since 1996.
Hannah Fry is an Associate Professor in the mathematics of cities from University College London. In her day job she uses mathematical models to study patterns in human behaviour, and has worked building algorithms used by governments, police forces, health analysts and supermarkets. Alongside her academic work, she has fronted several television documentaries for the BBC and hosts a long-running science podcast with the BBC. Her TED talks have amassed millions of views.
Multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, story teller, science advocate, producer, composer, and heliocentrist George Hrab has written and produced six independent CDs and a concert DVD; published two books; recorded over five-hundred and fifty episodes of an award-winning podcast; emceed countless science conferences; was a TEDx speaker; has been the drummer and musical director with The Philadelphia Funk Authority for over twenty years; and has even performed for President Clinton. Heʼs travelled to four continents promoting critical thinking, science, and skepticism through story and song. George is considered one of the preeminent skeptic/science/atheist/geek-culture music icons currently living in his apartment.
Bob Novella is a co-founder and Vice-President of the New England Skeptical Society. He co-hosts the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast and blogs for SGU’s Rogues Gallery. He has also written numerous articles that are widely published in skeptical literature. Bob’s scientific interests lie in the extremes, from the gargantuan to the infinitesimal: astronomy and cosmology to particle physics and quantum mechanics. He is especially fascinated by the human capacity for self-deception and anticipated future technologies such as nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and human augmentation.
Jay Novella is a skeptical activist, a science popularizer, author and co-host of The Skeptics’ Guide To The Universe, a top-ten science podcast with over 650 episodes. He also produces and hosts Alpha Quadrant 6, a science fiction review show. Jay is co-author of The Skeptics’ Guide To the Universe, a book which covers critical thinking, the scientific method and how to understand logic (release date October 2018). For the past ten years Jay has served on the board of directors for the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism (NECSS) held yearly in New York City.
Dr. Steve Novella is an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine, and the primary host and the producer of the ‘Skepticsʼs Guide to the Universe’ podcast. He has been an activist skeptic for over twenty years, starting with the co-founding of the New England Skeptical Society. He authors the NeuroLogica blog, is senior editor of the group health blog, Science Based Medicine, and authored (with his fellow Skepticsʼ Guide hosts) the forthcoming book the ‘Skepticsʼ Guide to the Universe.’
Massimo Polidoro is an internationally-recognised ‘mystery detective’ and prolific writer, with more than thirty books to his name. Massimo began his career as an apprentice of James Randi, and is also an accomplished magician and co-founder and head of the Italian skeptics group CICAP. Massimo was the first professor of Anomalistic Psychology in Italy, at the University of Milano. With an extensive knowledge of a wide base of skeptical topics he's often called on TV as an expert or a host for shows related to mysteries. He is a Research Fellow for CSI and a long-time columnist for its magazine, the Skeptical Inquirer.
Cara Santa Maria
Cara Santa Maria is an award-winning journalist, science communicator, television personality, producer, and podcaster. She is a correspondent on National Geographic's Explorer and Netflix's Bill Nye Saves the World, as well as the creator and host of the podcast ‘Talk Nerdy’, and co-host of the ‘Skepticsʼ Guide to the Universe’. Prior to her career in media, Cara taught biology and psychology courses to university undergraduates and high school students in Texas and New York.
Professor Sophie Scott is a neuroscientist and head of the Speech Communication Group at University College London’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Her work has focused on the cognitive neuroscience of language and laughter—work that has even seen her perform stand-up comedy. In 2017, Sophie gave the prestigious Royal Institution’s Christmas Lecture series, on the science of communication and laughter. She has been awarded a UCL Provost’s Award for Public Engagement.
J Willgoose Esq.
As the driving force behind the band Public Service Broadcasting, the mysterious and corduroy-clad J Wilgoose Esq has an established reputation for weaving forensic, historical research into evocative storytelling. The band’s most recent album, Every Valley, take listeners on a journey down the mine shafts of the South Wales valleys, using the history of coal mining to shine a light on the march of progress, and the disenfranchised left behind by that progress. The critically-acclaimed album was released on Play It Again Sam in July 2015 and charted at #4 in the UK album charts. J Wilgoose Esq. will be speaking on the QED main stage as part of our packed weekend programme.
Eli Bosnick is a comedian, magician, and podcaster in New York, New York. As co-host of God Awful Movies, The Scathing Atheist, and The Skepticrat he’s managed to turn high school bullying into a life long career which is exactly the OPPOSITE of what the guidance counsellor told him. As a magician he is the founder and producer of New York City’s best rated magic show A Taste of Magic. He has been featured in the New York Times, performed for two US Presidents, and is the head of the largest independent group of magicians in the United States. Eli will be hosting QED's Saturday Night entertainment.
Broad Street Score
The Broad Street score weaves a narrative through George’s extensive songbook, written and performed by George Hrab, accompanied by a string quartet, and arranged by Slau Halatyn and Veikko Rihu.
Alun Cochrane is an award-winning stand-up comedian who has appeared on numerous TV shows including Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Russell Howard’s Good News, Mock The Week, Dave’s One Night Stand, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Have I Got News For You and 8 Out Of 10 Cats. He was featured as series regular ‘Sam’ in the Sky Living sitcom Trying Again alongside Chris Addison, and has appeared in Coronation Street, Boomers and Russell Howard’s Christmas film A Gert Lush Christmas.
Deborah Hyde is the editor of The Skeptic magazine and a full-time film-industry production manager, so she is no stranger to how people can be fooled. She writes about belief in the malign macabre at jourdemayne.com. Deborah will be co-hosting the Ockham Awards on Saturday Night.
The Skepticsʼ Guide
The Skepticsʼ Guide to the Universe is a long-running weekly science podcast, dedicated to promoting critical thinking, reason, and the public understanding of science. It is produced and presented by Dr Steve Novella, together with Evan Bernstein, Bob Novella, Jay Novella, and Cara Santa Maria. The first episode of the SGU podcast was published on May 4th 2005, where it soon became, and remains, one of the most popular science podcasts on iTunes. The Skepticsʼ Guide will be recording a live edition of their podcast at QED 2018.