Interesting talks in a pub since September 2011.

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Dr Alice Howarth

When?
Wednesday, September 18 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Fargo Village,
Far Gosford Street,
Coventry,
CV1 5ED

Who?
Dr Alice Howarth

What's the talk about?

One in two of us will suffer with cancer in our lifetime and almost all of us have some experience of the disease. But do we really know what cancer is and how we can work towards a cure? Is a cure even possible? And how can we arm ourselves with the right information to help us prevent and treat cancer?

Alice is a researcher at the Institute of Translational Medicine at the University of Liverpool and has worked with both non-profit and for-profit organisations. In this talk, she will discuss what cancer is, how it works and just how we are working towards understanding and curing the disease. She will talk about the complexities of research and some of the big success stories that relate directly to some of the many types of cancer. Only when we understand the difficulties we face can we discern between bogus cancer treatment claims and genuine scientific advancement in this field.

and other myths about food and health

Pixie Turner

When?
Wednesday, April 17 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Fargo Village,
Far Gosford Street,
Coventry,
CV1 5ED

Who?
Pixie Turner

What's the talk about?

  Despite a wealth of information at our fingertips there are still so many things we get wrong about our health, and with a new diet book out every other day it's no wonder people are confused. What should we be eating? When? How often? Just how important is food when it comes to our overall health?

Humans have always been a bit weird around food. We're told eating certain foods are the key to living longer, some foods are 'sinful' or 'bad', that 'you are what you eat', and that we must seek to obtain health at all costs. All this means we follow crazy diets that make things worse rather than better, and have a population where most of us dislike our bodies.

Pixie will unpack why diet and nutrition misinformation is so problematic, on social media, in mass media, and on a public health level, and why we could all benefit from taking a moment to assess our personal relationship with food. Expect some mythbusting, diet rants, and lots of fully-referenced evidence-based science. 

Pixie is a nutritionist (ANutr), food blogger, and science communicator. She graduated with a First Class degree in Biochemistry, and went on to complete a Masters in Nutrition with Distinction. She is the brains behind the 'Pixie Nutrition' social media accounts, which aim to infiltrate the wellness movement and debunk nutrition misinformation online. In addition, she has been featured as a nutrition expert on BBC and Channel 5, and in publications such as Red magazine, Evening Standard, Grazia, the Telegraph and more. Her first book, 'The Wellness Rebel' was published early 2018, with her second book, 'The No Need to Diet Book' released March 2019.

Professor Tom Marshall

When?
Wednesday, March 20 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Fargo Village,
Far Gosford Street,
Coventry,
CV1 5ED

Who?
Professor Tom Marshall

What's the talk about?

Complementary and alternative medicine is caricatured as unscientific and contrasted with the scientific rigor of mainstream medicine. But this is misleading. Ineffective treatments and procedures abound in mainstream medicine. There are treatments in widespread use that we know to be ineffective. There are effective treatments given to the wrong patients. There are treatments where harms and costs clearly outweigh any benefit. There are treatments where we really don’t know if they are effective or not. This talk will show the clues to overtreatment provided by looking at variations in clinical practice and will provide a number examples. It will also illustrate why the problem is so intractable.

Tom Marshall is a Professor of Public Health and Primary Care. His main medical speciality is in Public Health Medicine but he also has trained in General Practice and has studied Health Economics. Tom has contributed to local, national and international media in relation to his research, particularly in relation to prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Michael Marshall

When?
Wednesday, February 20 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Fargo Village,
Far Gosford Street,
Coventry,
CV1 5ED

Who?
Michael Marshall

What's the talk about?

 In 2013, when Michael Marshall first interviewed the Vice President of the Flat Earth society for his show Be Reasonable, people could scarcely believe that anyone could genuinely think the Earth was flat. Five years later, Flat Earth belief has gone mainstream, spawning thousands of hours of YouTube videos, gaining widespread international media coverage, and attracting countless followers. How did we get here? In this talk, Marshall will talk through his experiences of the Flat Earth movement, take a look at the leaders and some of their reasoning, and report back from the weekend he spent at the UK's first ever Flat Earth convention. 

Michael Marshall is the Project Director of the Good Thinking Society and the Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. He regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast. His work has seen him organising international homeopathy protests, going undercover to expose psychics and quack medics, and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Statesman. 

A confused person's guide to therapy, counselling and self-help

Ariane Sherine

When?
Wednesday, January 16 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Fargo Village,
Far Gosford Street,
Coventry,
CV1 5ED

Who?
Ariane Sherine

What's the talk about?

Comedy writer and journalist Ariane Sherine created and organised the Atheist Bus Campaign, persuading Richard Dawkins and the British Humanist Association to support her ' and buses with variations on the slogan 'There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life' ran in 13 countries across the globe.

As a result, Ariane received an Inbox full of hate mail from Christians, which eventually led to a major nervous breakdown and suicidal ideation. She ended her journalistic career, and didn't write again for over three years. 

In this talk, she will tell the full story of how therapy and medication saved her life, prompting her to write her new book, Talk Yourself Better: A Confused Person's Guide to Therapy, Counselling and Self-Help.

Ariane will also be signing copies of Talk Yourself Better after the talk.

What people have said about Talk Yourself Better:

'Brilliant' makes the baffling comprehensible.' JEREMY VINE

'What an excellent, long-overdue idea! A super-accessible guide, through the bewildering marketplace of modern therapy, to ease our noble search for help.' DERREN BROWN

'How do we cope with this brutal world? In this witty, revealing book Ariane Sherine runs through the ways. An excellent, funny and thought-provoking read for all who seek answers.' ARTHUR SMITH

'What makes Ariane Sherine's Talk Yourself Better stand out from the crowd is its accessibility and humour; to be able to discuss difficult things with a lightness of touch and a comedy that does not trivialise is a rare skill indeed. This, combined with the honest - and often deeply moving - stories of clients and practitioners alike, makes this the ideal introduction to for anyone considering therapy for the first time.' BRIAN BILSTON

ARIANE SHERINE

Ariane Sherine is the comedy writer and journalist who created the Atheist Bus Campaign, as well as the bestselling celebrity book The Atheist's Guide to Christmas. She has written for BBC1's My Family, Channel 4's Countdown and BBC2's Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, as well as for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, New Statesman, New Humanist and The Spectator. She lives in London with her seven-year-old daughter, Lily.

 

Dr Matthew Channon

When?
Wednesday, November 21 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Fargo Village,
Far Gosford Street,
Coventry,
CV1 5ED

Who?
Dr Matthew Channon

What's the talk about?

Matthew will be talking about the law and some of the legal challenges surrounding Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. Matthew will talk about the development of the technology and the challenges faced by particular areas of law. Matthew will further talk about the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act.

Matthew is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Exeter. Matthew's research focusses on legal issues arising from Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (Driverless Cars) and is co-authoring the first substantive text on 'The Law and Autonomous Vehicles'.

Cerys Bradley

When?
Wednesday, October 17 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Fargo Village,
Far Gosford Street,
Coventry,
CV1 5ED

Who?
Cerys Bradley

What's the talk about?

 For decades, science has been fascinated by the LGBTQ+ community. What makes gay people gay? How does sexuality affect ones behaviour, appearance, or ability to raise children? These are the questions that science has asked and the answers have had an impact not only within the scientific world, but also on public policy and the rights of LGBTQ+ citizens. Given the highly politicised nature of the topic, it is pehaps not surprising to discover biases and prejudices hidden in the construction, conduction, and conclusions of these studies - but are they still valuable contributions to science?

PhD student (and lesbian) Cerys Bradley will discuss the scientific research into the LGBTQ+ community as well as its societal implications, and we ask, "Just because science can ask a question, should it?"

Rachel Edwards

When?
Wednesday, August 15 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Fargo Village,
Far Gosford Street,
Coventry,
CV1 5ED

Who?
Rachel Edwards

What's the talk about?

 Rollercoasters have hit the news recently, and not always for good reasons. Have you ever wondered how to design a safe but fun rollercoaster, and what's going on behind the scenes to make sure it stays as safe as possible? To start with you need to design a track which is safe for the riders by thinking about the physics of motion. Then, how do you keep it safe? One thing which goes on behind the scenes is non-destructive testing, where parts of the rollercoaster are tested regularly to make sure there are no defects. Non-destructive testing is an essential part of every day life, despite being outside of most peoples' awareness - it is used to ensure the safety of infrastructure such as pipework carrying oil and gas, the UK's rail network, and components in jet engines and aeroplanes. We will look at some recent advances in testing, and how it could be applied in theme parks.

Professor David Nutt

When?
Wednesday, June 20 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Fargo Village,
Far Gosford Street,
Coventry,
CV1 5ED

Who?
Professor David Nutt

What's the talk about?

David Nutt is a psychiatrist and the Edmund J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology in the Division of Brain Science, Dept of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London. Here he uses a range of brain imaging techniques to explore the causes of addiction and other psychiatric disorders and to search for new treatments. He has published over 450 original research papers, a similar number of reviews and books chapters, eight government reports on drugs and 30 books, including one for the general public, Drugs: without the hot air, that won the Transmission Prize in 2014. He is currently the President of the European Brain Council and Founding Chair of DrugScience.org.uk (formerly the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD). Previously he has been president of the British Association of Psychopharmacology, the British Neuroscience Association and the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. 

 

He broadcasts widely to the general public both on radio and television. In 2010 The Times Eureka science magazine voted him one of the 100 most important figures in British Science, and the only psychiatrist in the list. In 2013 he was awarded the John Maddox Prize from Nature/Sense about Science for standing up for science.

Liam Brierley

When?
Wednesday, May 23 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Fargo Village,
Far Gosford Street,
Coventry,
CV1 5ED

Who?
Liam Brierley

What's the talk about?

 We're constantly threatened by outbreaks of new viral diseases, such as SARS and Ebola. This show, first performed at the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, is an interactive pandemic scenario that explores whether humanity is really at risk of extinction from the next viral outbreak. The room is quarantined because of the discovery of a new virus and we'll need the audience's help as we race to understand where this virus might have come from, whether it could go global, and how we could fight to stay one step ahead.

 

Liam Brierley is a statistician and epidemiologist with reseach interests in predicting outbreaks of infectious diseases and teaching methodologies in statistics. Liam is also a media advisor for the Royal Statistical Society, and has spoken to national radio and magazines about how crunching numbers can save lives. He is currently a lecturer in statistics at Coventry University

Rotting corpses, and what we can learn from them

Dr Anna Williams

When?
Wednesday, April 18 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Fargo Village,
Far Gosford Street,
Coventry,
CV1 5ED

Who?
Dr Anna Williams

What's the talk about?

This highly illustrated talk (graphic images) describes the unique outdoor forensic laboratories known colloquially as 'Body Farms' in the USA and Australia, and discusses how the research that has been conducted at them has helped criminal investigations. It details how there isn't a similar facility in the UK or Europe, and explores the reasons for and against them, and discusses public opinion towards them, in order to stimulate healthy debate.

Dr Anna Williams is Principal Enterprise Fellow in Forensic Anthropology at the University of Huddersfield. She read Archaeology and Anthropology at Oxford University, and specialised in Forensic Anthropology through a Masters, PhD and lots of casework. She's an expert in forensic osteology (bones) and decomposition. She has appeared on TV and radio discussing anthropology and forensic science. She was a 2014 British Science Association Media Fellow for New Scientist.

the more things change, the more they stay the same

David Baker

When?
Wednesday, March 21 2018 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Fargo Village,
Far Gosford Street,
Coventry,
CV1 5ED

Who?
David Baker

What's the talk about?

David Baker is a proud Coventrian and works at Coventry University as a lecturer in criminology. His research is on deaths after police contact and how accountability is (or is not) constructed after these deaths. He has published on this issue in both the UK and US in the last few years. His latest projects focused on interviewing families of the deceased in these cases to try and understand how they attempt to get justice in the aftermath of such a death. This talk will cover who dies, how they die, and why - it will also debunk some popular myths on this issue and conclude by suggesting proposals for change.