Hmmm Squad meeting, Thursday 27 July

Humanists may be interested in the meetings of the Hmmm Squad, which is Shrewsbury’s premier science and philosophy discussion group (…believed to be Shrewsbury’s ONLY science and philosophy discussion group).

Each month a group member or invited guest gives a topical presentation. Questions and discussions are encouraged at the end of the presentation and members of the group are invited to continue those discussions over a drink or two after the event.

This month, desktop support analyst Mike Smith gives a brief history of computer viruses, spyware and scams. Despite a growing culture of fear, worry and paranoia, Mike hopes to convince members that computer viruses are in fact nothing to be frightened about and do not cause computer problems. Mike will explain how to laugh at suspicious emails and how to patronise friendly callers from India who offer to work miracles on your computer and credit card.

No computers will be harmed during the course of this presentation and any fraudulent payment transactions will be fully refunded.*

Everyone is welcome at Hmmm Squad but a voluntary donation towards refreshments and room hire is much appreciated.
Thursday 27 July 2017 at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell, SY3 8HQ at 7.30pm.

10 pseudoscience theories we’d like to see retired forever

Pseudo-science theories are a little like puppies. They’re fun, fluffy things to talk about, and most of the time they’re harmless. Sometimes, however, they get big, mean, aggressive, and have to be put down. Here are a few pseudo-science theories that need the Old Yeller treatment.

http://io9.com/10-pseudo-science-theories-wed-like-to-see-retired-fore-1592128908

10 scientific ideas that scientists wish you would stop misusing

Many ideas have left the world of science and made their way into everyday language — and unfortunately, they are almost always used incorrectly. We asked a group of scientists to tell us which scientific terms they believe are the most widely misunderstood. Here are ten of them.

http://io9.com/10-scientific-ideas-that-scientists-wish-you-would-stop-1591309822/

19 June meeting: Ask for Evidence presented by the charity Sense About Science

This is a talk about things you can do.

Every day, we hear claims about what is good for our health, bad for the environment, how to improve education, cut crime, and treat disease. Some are based on reliable evidence and scientific rigour. Many are not. These claims can’t be regulated; every time one is debunked another pops up – like a game of whack-a-mole. So how can we make companies, politicians, commentators and official bodies accountable for the claims they make? If they want us to vote for them, believe them, or buy their products, then we should ask them for evidence, as consumers, patients, voters and citizens.

The Ask for Evidence campaign has seen people ask a retail chain for the evidence behind its MRSA resistant pyjamas; ask a juice bar for the evidence behind wheatgrass detox claims; ask the health department about rules for Viagra prescriptions; ask for the studies behind treatments for Crohn’s disease, and hundreds more. As a result, claims are being withdrawn and bodies held to account.

Come and hear what the campaign is going to do next and how you can get involved.

Thursday 19 June, 7.30 pm at The Lantern, Meadow Farm Drive, Shrewsbury SY1 4NG.

How do we know what’s true?

Darwin Festival and Memorial Lecture, February 2012

In February next (in place of a Thursday evening meeting) we are arranging for groups to attend events during The Darwin Festival.
This year the Darwin Memorial Lecture is given by Dr Jim Endersby, with the title Sympathetic Science: Charles Darwin, Joseph Hooker and the passions of Victorian Naturalists. It takes place at 2:30 pm, Sunday 12 February, Walker Theatre, Shrewsbury, and all tickets are £10.
If you are a Shropshire Humanist Group member, or would like to join and attend as part of the group, please contact Chris Smith, the group’s secretary. Payment is required by 15 December.
Nearer the time we will suggest a venue where we could meet for lunch before the lecture.
Details of the lecture and of other Darwin Festival events can be found at http://www.discoverdarwin.co.uk/darwin-festival/

Darwin Festival 2012 – the Café Scientifique, February 2012

Shrewsbury Café Scientifique will launch in February 2012 as part of the 2012 Darwin Festival.

Give your grey cells a good work out with a series of evening events at The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse which is situated between the station and the library (see contact details below).

Each café is FREE, informal and innovative and will run from 7pm-9pm. The Café Sci have managed to get some pretty inspirational speakers too. Come along for a coffee and see what you think. Full details of the five events can be found below.

There will only be 65 seats available at each talk. I have taken on the role of coordinator for Shropshire Humanist Group members and supporters who would like to attend one or more of the events, with a view to making our initial reservations by mid December. If you are interested in attending any of these evening talks  please let me know by Friday 16th December.

To contact Café Scientifique  directly: Sarah Bellis, The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse, 5 Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, SY1 2AE

Phone: 01743 242610 / 07582 601272 Email: SaraB@ShropshireWildlifeTrust.org.uk

Monday 13th February 2012

Randomness, Boeing 747s and Kylie Minogue – Jeremy Pritchard

Jeremy Pritchard is a scientist with a Twitter feed and a Facebook fan page. He has been described as “awesome”; his ability to defend evolution has “flair few can muster”. Join us for a lively evening of chat covering randomness, Boeing 747s and Kylie Minogue.

Tuesday 14th February 2012

Celebrating Mr Darwin – How should Shrewsbury celebrate its links to Charles Darwin? Shropshire Council, Shropshire Wildlife Trust and The Darwin Birthplace Society are in the same room for just two hours to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Wednesday 15th February 2012

The natural history of The Marches – Andrew Allott

Stretching along the bordering counties with England – Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire – the Welsh Marches are made up of a mixture of mountains and moorlands, farms and wooded river valleys. The natural history of the region is like most parts of the British Isles – inextricably linked to the activities of man across many thousands of years. Andrew Allott brings together a wealth of material into a beautiful presentation celebrating our local wildlife.

Thursday 16th February 2012

@CharlesDarwin? – Jon King

Would Darwin have used Twitter? You may laugh, but social media has proved to be a powerfully effective means to spread new ideas and change the way we think. Darwin’s dangerous idea rocked the world- can we dissolve boundaries to create “biospheric” communication? Jon King is the Founding Director of the Shrewsbury Darwin Festival and is presently the senior eCommunications Officer at Shropshire Council.

Friday 17th February 2012

Citizen Science – Martin Harvey

Join Martin Harvey from the Open University for a chat about wildlife recording and Citizen Science. What is it? How does it work and what are the benefits and drawbacks of large scale science experiments? Martin will give a demonstration of the OPAL iSpot website, linking novice wildlife spotters with experts in the identification and mapping of British wildlife, and some of the other OPAL citizen science surveys. If you have even the slightest interest in wildlife, this cafe is for you.

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