As well as being involved in wedding photography, one of my other regular commitments is being a co-organiser / camera monkey for Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub. Skeptics in the Pub groups provide an opportunity for people who are interested in science, skepticism, rationalism and critical thinking to socialise and discuss matters of interest. Each month we invite a speaker who gives a talk on a specific topic, followed by a question-and-answer session . . . and of course, being as we’re in a pub, there might be a little bit of drinking going on. The talks cover a diverse range of different subjects that are linked to science and skepticism. For example, in the last year we’ve had the following . . .
Jonny Scaramanga (yes there is a link to the Bond villain) gave a fascinating talk on his childhood growing up in Britain in a fundamentalist school.
Will Storr – Author and Guardian journalist spoke on conspiracy theories and why logic can fail.
Stevyn Colgan – Author, illustrator, Blue Peter badge winner and ‘QI’ Elf gave a talk on his former work at the Met Police Problem Solving Unit, which developed creative and innovative approaches to issues that did not respond to traditional policing methods.
We’ve also had talks on the origins of Vampire mythology, the rights and wrongs of meat eating, physiognomy, the mathematical secrets of the Simpsons, the nativity and why prison doesn’t work.
Brum Skeptics takes place the second Wednesday of the month, upstairs, at The Victoria, John Bright Street in Birmingham city centre. Next up, on Wednesday 14th May, we’ve got top Brummie stand up comic Andy White giving a talk entitled “walking with metaphors”. More details of this and future upcoming talks are on the Birmingham Skeptics home page. You can also like them on the Birmingham Skeptics Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @BrumSkeptics
If you’re not from Birmingham but like the look of Skeptics in the Pub then fear not as there is bound to be one somewhere near where you live. There are now over 60 groups throughout the UK and Eire; from Plymouth in the south west to Aberdeen in the north east. It has now also expanded across the world from Europe, USA, South America, Australia and the Middle East. Although it will be a brave soul that opens one in Saudi Arabia given their recent announcements. The UK groups are listed on this link and a map showing locations some of the international locations can be found here (there may be few more that aren’t on here so also have a Google around your local area).