Dec 10: Skeptics vs Grief Vampires

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents: Skeptics vs Grief Vampires

Date: December 10

Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm

Speaker: Susan Gerbic and Mark Edward

Venue: Room 2, Belconnen Community Service, 26 Chandler Street, Belconnen ACT 2616

Cost: Free

Susan Gerbic and her partner Mark Edward made the New York Times magazine last February in a report about their investigations into celebrity psychics, who they call “Grief Vampires.” Gerbic has run a number of stings and investigations under names like “Operation Pizza Roll” and “Operation Peach Pit.” Her goal with these stings is to uncover how the psychics ply their trade and then to get this information out beyond the skeptics’ community and into the public and to those who are grieving and being scammed. She will discuss her recent stings, focusing on how to have a real effect on the Medium.

Gerbic, affectionately called the Wikipediatrician, is the founder of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW) project and is a self-proclaimed skeptical junkie. She is a frequent contributor to Skeptical Inquirer magazine and the Skepticality podcast, and is a CSI Fellow. She is the 2012 winner of the “In the Trenches Award,” the 2013 James Randi Award for “Skepticism in Public Interest,” and the 2017 James Randi Prize.

Mark Edward is a magician and author of “Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium.” He “has worked as a 900-number psychic, ghost hunter, and Hollywood Magic Castle medium. He has also worked vigorously to debunk psychic frauds and currently works on the editorial board of Skeptic magazine.”

For more information about Gerbic’s work see:

Dinner will follow the lecture (venue TBC). To RSVP for the dinner, please email canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking. For further information about Canberra Skeptics, please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanberraSkeptics/

Twitter: @cbrskeptics

Event announcements:

Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/SocialSkepticsCanberra/

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/canberra-skeptics-18628458762

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November Event: Effective Altruism

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents:

Effective Altruism: How to do the most good

Date: Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm

Speaker: Nick Anyos and Huon Porteous

Venue: Room 2, Belconnen Community Service, 26 Chandler Street, Belconnen ACT 2616

Cost: Free

Effective altruism is a philosophy and social movement that uses evidence and reasoning to determine the most effective ways to benefit others. Effective altruism encourages individuals to consider all causes and actions and to act in a way that brings about the greatest positive impact, based upon their values. This talk will introduce the core motivations behind EA, key concepts such as cause neutrality and counterfactual reasoning, and present an overview of that interventions and causes that many effective altruists think are the most important to work on.

Nick Anyos and Huon Porteous are members of the Effective Altruism Student Society at ANU. They both study math and computer science and hope to use their careers to improve the world as much as possible.

Dinner will follow the lecture (venue TBC). To RSVP for the dinner, please email canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking. For further information about Canberra Skeptics, please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanberraSkeptics/

Twitter: @cbrskeptics

Event announcements:

Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/SocialSkepticsCanberra/

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/canberra-skeptics-18628458762

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September: Understanding the Online Manosphere

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents:

Understanding the Online Manosphere

Date: Tuesday, 10th September 2019

Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm

Speaker: Simon Copland

Venue: Room 2, Belconnen Community Service, 26 Chandler Street, Belconnen ACT 2615

Cost: Free

In April 2018 Alek Minassian sped a van through Toronto, Canada, killing ten and injuring sixteen others. Minassian belonged to an online community called ‘incels’ (involuntary celibates), comprised of men who blame women for their inability to gain sexual relationships. Incels speak disparagingly of ‘Chads’ and ‘Stacys’, nicknames used for sexually active men and women. Prior to the attack Miassian wrote a Facebook post stating “The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys!”

The Toronto attack highlighted a form of extremism related to online men spaces occurring in websites such as 4chan and Reddit. While men’s rights has a historical basis in feminism, groups have increasingly become anti-feminist, adopting misogynistic and violent language. The online ‘manosphere’ in particular has sprouted new communities such as ‘Incels’, ‘Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW)’ and ‘The Red Pill’.

In this talk Simon Copland will conduct an in depth examination the online manosphere on the social news and sharing website ‘Reddit’. Through examining three manosphere subreddits, Copland will study online community structure and development as well as the discourse of the sphere.

In doing so he will argue that current debates about the manosphere are shallow and often technologically deterministic, ignoring the complex social circumstances that have led to the growth of the sphere, as well as the misogyny and extremism that occurs within.

It is these complex social circumstances we must address if we wish to limit the extremism of the space. This talk is based on research that forms Copland’s PhD thesis.

Bio

Simon Copland is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the Australian National University (ANU), studying online men’s communities called the ‘manosphere’. He has a Masters in Science Communication.

Simon is a freelance writer, and the co-editor of Green Agenda, an online publishing space for green ideas. He has been published in The Guardian, BBC Online and Overland Journal, amongst others. He co-produces the podcast ‘Queers’, a fortnightly discussion on queer politics and culture. He had a chapter in the books Queer Stories and Going Postal in 2018.

Simon is a David Bowie and rugby union fanatic.

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August Event: Womens’ Woo: Pseudo-Science and Women’s Health

Date: Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm

Speaker: Trish Hann

Venue: Law Lecture Theatre, Law School Building #5, Fellows Road, ANU

Cost: Free

This talk is a tour through the world of women’s woo. There’s probably more of it than you realise, and it’s often weirder than you expect. There are the obvious ones which are skewed towards women, but technically gender-neutral, such as essential oils, naturopathy, psychics, mediums, etc, which generally have more female customers than male, but not necessarily by design. In this talk, you’ll hear about nonsense therapies and treatments that most of the men here will never have heard about, and probably a fair few women will learn something new too.

Trish Hann is a Clinical Educator in Diagnostic Radiology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, and Vice President of the Australian Skeptics. She has a keen interest in empowerment through information and a particular focus on women’s woo. Before moving to Australia she was a co-founder of Portsmouth Skeptics in the Pub and a regular attendee at many of the UK’s various Skeptical events.

This event will contain content that may not be suitable for small children.

Dinner will follow the lecture (venue TBC). To RSVP for the dinner please email canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking.

For further information about Canberra Skeptics, please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanberraSkeptics/

Twitter: @cbrskeptics

Event announcements:

Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/SocialSkepticsCanberra/

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/canberra-skeptics-18628458762

This Inspiring Australia initiative is supported by the Australian Government as part of National Science Week

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July Event: What can cognitive psychology tell us about why we lay awake worrying at night instead of sleeping?

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents:

What can cognitive psychology tell us about why we lay awake worrying at night instead of sleeping?

Date: Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm

Speaker: Bronwyn Milkins

Venue: Room 2, Belconnen Community Service, 26 Chandler Street, Belconnen ACT 2615

Cost: Free

Bronwyn Milkins is a PhD candidate in cognitive psychology at the University of Western Australia. Bronwyn’s PhD research begins with a situation that many people are familiar with – worrying in bed at night instead of sleeping. The studies she has conducted throughout her PhD have tried to work out whether anomalies in the way our brain processes information drives the worry keeping us up at night. In her talk, Bronwyn will take you through the findings of her research and bust some myths and misunderstandings about insomnia while she’s at it.

Bronwyn enjoys communicating psychological science and has won several science communication awards in recognition of her skills, including the UWA ‘3 Minute Thesis’ competition, so please feel welcome to bring your questions and skepticisms of psychology and Bronwyn will try her best to address them.

Dinner will follow the lecture (venue TBC). To RSVP for the dinner, please email canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking.

For further information about Canberra Skeptics, please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanberraSkeptics/

Twitter: @cbrskeptics

Event announcements:

Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/SocialSkepticsCanberra/

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/canberra-skeptics-18628458762

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June Event: Skeppist Fallacies: Myths and Misconceptions about Beekeeping

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents:

Skeppist Fallacies: Myths and Misconceptions about Beekeeping

Date: Thursday, 13 June 2019

Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm

Speaker: Frank Derwent

Venue: Room 2, Belconnen Community Service, 26 Chandler Street, Belconnen ACT 2615

Cost: Free

Successful bee management requires the skilful application of knowledge and practices that will fully utilise the productive capacity of the honey-bee colony. The basic requirement for productive bee colony management are always large reserves of pollen and honey, and the space for those reserves, brood rearing and the storage of surplus honey. Young productive queens from good stock are essential. This queen should be supported by a large population dependent on the time of the year.

All commercial beekeepers utilise this. A commercial beekeeper employing migratory beekeeping practices will nearly always have a significantly greater yield per hive. However, by utilising good beekeeping practice, the average amateur beekeeper will produce a respectable amount of honey from healthy bees, which do not upset your neighbours.

What Frank Derwent found in the amateur bee club was that for various explanations, this practice was not followed by a significant number of members. These beekeepers or bee owners follow practices that are based on a belief system of hearsay and poor beekeeping practice. Frank Derwent intend to go through the most common of these beliefs with an explanation of how it came about and an explanation of how it is wrong.

Frank Derwent started beekeeping 4 ½ years ago (October 2014). He joined the local club (Beekeepers Association of ACT) and have been lucky enough to be involved with knowledgeable beekeepers and club activities that has allowed him to become a competent beekeeper. When Frank is not playing with his bees, he is a mechanical engineer working for the Department of Defence.

Dinner will follow the lecture (venue TBC). To RSVP for the dinner please email canberraskeptics@gmail.com

Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking. For further information about Canberra Skeptics, please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanberraSkeptics/

Twitter: @cbrskeptics

Event announcements:

Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/SocialSkepticsCanberra/

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/canberra-skeptics-18628458762

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May Event: Secret Scientists: Australian code-breakers in the Second World War

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents: Secret Scientists: Australian code-breakers in the Second World War

Date: Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm

Speaker: David Dufty

Venue: Belconnen Community Service, 26 Chandler Street, Belconnen ACT 2616

Cost: Free

During the second world war, a motley collection of mathematicians, classicists, linguists, and radio experts came together in a secret organisation in Brisbane to crack the Japanese military codes. Drawing from his book The Secret Code Breakers of Central Bureau, David Dufty will take us into the hidden lives of these unsung Australian heroes and their world of deadly puzzles.

David Dufty is a Canberra-based writer and researcher. He completed a psychology degree with honours at the University of Newcastle, has a PhD in psychology from Macquarie University, and has worked as a statistician and social researcher at the University of Memphis, Newspoll, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. His previous book, How to Build an Android, described modern developments in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Dinner will follow the lecture (venue TBC). To RSVP for the dinner please email canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking. For further information about Canberra Skeptics, please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanberraSkeptics/

Twitter: @cbrskeptics

Event announcements:

Meetup: http://meetu.ps/c/clpg/mmVvH/a

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/canberra-skeptics-18628458762

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