Interesting talks in a pub since September 2011.

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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.

 

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. 

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.

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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.

Looking at the history, motives and present day construction of anti-Jewish prejudice.

Dr Daniel Allington

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

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Where?

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

Who?
Dr Daniel Allington

What's the talk about?

The persecution of Jews has always been underpinned by the idea that they participate in secret and sinister plots to exert wide-ranging control throughout the world. From 9/11 and 7/7 truthers, to David Icke and the Zionist Occupied Government, antisemitism is the conspiracy theory which lies at the heart of many modern day conspiracy theories. 

Dr Daniel Allington from the Campaign Against Antisemitism takes us through the history, psychology and varied manifestations of the oldest hatred.

 

Natalie Bennett

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

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Where?

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

Who?
Natalie Bennett

What's the talk about?

 Natalie Bennett was the leader of the Green Party from 2012-2016. Over that time she and the party became known as champions of the policy of universal basic income - a guarantee that people's basic needs will be met by an unconditional payment to meet their essential needs. She argues that it is a guarantee of the basic human right to life, a way of providing people with the chance to use their talents well, and ends benefit traps. No one would be left penniless, as far too many are being left now by zero-hours contracts and swingeing benefit sanctions. And it might mean that sewer cleaners are paid more than bankers - as they probably should be. Trials are underway now in Finland, Holland, Canada, the US and Kenya - it is an idea that is catching on fast, in part because of fears about the impact of automation on jobs.

And other legends of the Bomber War...

Frederick Taylor

When?
Wednesday, November 15 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

Who?
Frederick Taylor

What's the talk about?

 On that fatal night in November 1940, the people of Coventry were subjected by the German Luftwaffe to the most deadly and sustained bombing attack yet suffered by any British civilians. Such was the trauma inflicted on the lightly defended city - both industrial power-house and historic treasure-house - that  over the years rumours began to spread that the government had received prior information about the attack through its code-breaking team but had "sacrificed" Coventry in order to protect its sources.

 

Frederick Taylor's recent reappraisal, COVENTRY, THURSDAY 14 NOVEMBER 1940, was described by distinguished historian and Hitler biographer Sir Ian Kershaw as "easily the most authoritative study... a gripping account". His bestselling book about the destruction of the German city of Dresden also weighed up the legends as well as the facts when considering another notorious bombing raid. 

 

In his talk, Frederick will compare what were probably the two most notorious bombing raids of World War Two and bring his close knowledge of both these attacks, as well as of the wider war, to give his audience food for new thought. Aerial bombing was brutal. It aroused feelings of anger and helplessness in those it affected. Confusion, bewilderment and, especially because of wartime news censorship, a lack of reliable information caused many legends to arise in both British and German cities. These were a strange and fascinating, even unique, feature of the bomber war. 

Have you ever been convinced of something beyond all doubt?

(Film screening)

When?
Wednesday, October 18 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Unit 7, Fargo Village
Coventry
CV1 5ED

Who?
(Film screening)

What's the talk about?

Coventry Skeptics in the Pub presents its first film screening, at Backhaus Bake & Brew in Fargo.

Many people have a strong sense that their views are right and couldn't possibly be wring. So how do we come to hold strong convictions and why is it hard to consider we could be mistaken?

Through the eyes of a group of people convinced that they knew the date for the end of the world, Right Between Your Ears explores how people believe, how we turn beliefs into certainties, and mistake them for the truth.

A stock trader with a young family, a philosophy student about to graduate, and a retail manager who became so convinced she quit her job of 18 years. Crossing the boundaries between belief, pychology and neuroscience, the film reveals how we can become convinced we're right, even when we're wrong.

A fresh perspective on a woman's right to choose

Ann Furedi

When?
Wednesday, September 20 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

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

Who?
Ann Furedi

What's the talk about?

Ann Furedi sets out the ethical arguments for a woman's right to choose. Drawing on the traditions of sociological thinking and moral philosophy, she maintains that there is a strong moral case for recognising autonomy in personal decision-making about reproductive intentions, and that to prevent a woman from making her own choice is to undermine the essence of her humanity. She asserts that true respect for human life and individual conscience demand that we respect a woman's right to decide.

Ann is Chief Executive of British Pregnancy Advisory Service, a not-for-profit provider of abortion services in the UK. She is a leading pro-choice advocate and has written extensively on issues relating to pregnancy and birth control.