July 18: Rights, Riots and Ratbags: Making Sense of Magical Thinking

Fellow skeptics,

Following the very recent statements from the ACT Chief Medical Officer regarding the large increase in COVID-19 cases, I have made the decision to move the talk online. It will now be held on Monday, 18 July at 6pm.

The details can be found here – https://my.demio.com/ref/IT5LnunrwTe3IWCG

No decision has been made regarding the National Science Week 2022 and we will inform you of any changes.

I apologise for the late notice and any inconvenience this may have caused.

Stay skeptical,
Kevin Davies 
President – Canberra Skeptics

Rights, Riots and Ratbags: Making Sense of Magical Thinking
Date: Monday, 18 July 2022
Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm
Speaker: Associate Professor Bruce Baer Arnold

Membership
With the end of the financial year approaching, it is time for people to please renew their membership for 2022/2023. Please do so by filling out the form here – https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1uVg-mWyXoIv_tmieSy24FMdra4JedcLTRj9UPPeeYlA/viewform?edit_requested=true and pay as per the instructions on the form. The fees are quite minimal, but they are essential for ensuring Canberra Skeptics continues.

AGM and Committee
The Canberra Skeptics Inc AGM will be held sometime in October (date tbc) and a new committee will be formed. Canberra Skeptics Inc cannot function without a working committee so if you are interested in joining the next year’s committee, please contact us on canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

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Convention News and Upcoming Events

It is with great delight that Canberra Skeptics announces the Australian Skeptics National Convention 2022, to be held at the National Library of Australia from 26 to 27 November. The theme of the convention is ‘Science and Skepticism in a Changed World’, and I am honoured to say that the international speakers will be President of the European Council of Skeptical Organisations Claire Klingenberg and the hosts of The European Skeptics Podcast (https://theesp.eu/) Pontas Böckman, Annika Harrison, and András Pintér. We have many other fascinating speakers lined up and the convention promises to be a great show! While it will be held in-person, the event will also be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend. The convention website will be going live shortly, so please check it (http://www.skepticon.org.au) for further information. There will also be a convention dinner and some pre-convention events so stay tuned!

The regular speakers program continues, and we have several interesting talks coming up. Please note that both the June and July talks require tickets for COVID-19-related purposes. The talk details are as follows:

June talk

Ned Kelly: the making of a myth

Date: Monday, 20 June 2022

Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm

Speaker: David Dufty

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

Cost: Free

Tickets essential: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/ned-kelly-the-making-of-a-myth-tickets-346391415047

July talk

Rights, Riots and Ratbags: Making Sense of Magical Thinking

Date: Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm

Speaker: Associate Professor Bruce Baer Arnold

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

Cost: Free

Tickets essential: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/rights-riots-and-ratbags-making-sense-of-magical-thinking-tickets-360287338127

August talk (National Science Week 2022)

Free screening of ‘Science Friction’

Date: Sunday, 14 August 2022

Time: 1:00 to 3:00pm

Venue: King O’Malley’s Irish Pub, 131 City Walk, Civic

Cost: Free

Details:  https://www.scienceweek.net.au/event/free-screening-of-science-friction/canberra/

Skeptics in the Pub

Due to lack of interest that is possibility COVID-19-related , Skeptics in the Pub will be suspended until January 2023.

Membership

With the end of the financial year approaching, it is time for people to please renew their membership for 2022/2023. Please do so by filling out the form here – https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1uVg-mWyXoIv_tmieSy24FMdra4JedcLTRj9UPPeeYlA/viewform?edit_requested=true and paying as per the instructions on the form. The fees are quite minimal, but they are essential for ensuring Canberra Skeptics continues.

Upcoming psychic fair

The ‘Psychic and Well-Being Festival – Canberra’ is to be held from 17 to 19 June 2022 at EPIC (https://allevents.in/canberra/psychic-and-wellbeing-festival-canberra/200022199588749?ref=eventlist-cat#) and I encourage you all to attend. Canberra Skeptics Inc. is not involved in this event in anyway, but I strongly recommend people attend and politely listen and learn. There should be no COVID-19 concerns because you would think that they already know which potential attendees will have it ….

Stay skeptical,

Kevin Davies

President – Canberra Skeptics

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June Event: Ned Kelly: the making of a myth

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents:

Ned Kelly: the making of a myth

Date: Monday, 20 June 2022

Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm

Speaker: David Dufty

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

Cost: Free

Tickets essential: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/ned-kelly-the-making-of-a-myth-tickets-346391415047

Ned Kelly is an Australian icon. he is seen as a champion of the poor, an Irish nationalist, and an anti-colonial insurgent. He is even said to have drafted plans for a republic of North Eastern victoria. None of these things were true. A mythology has been constructed around Ned Kelly that sometimes has little connection to the historical reality. Who was Ned Kelly, really, and what was his agenda? Was his family persecuted by the police? Did he have an army of rebels at his disposal at the siege of Glenrowan? These and other questions will be explored.

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 books include Radio Girl, The Secret Code-Breakers of Central Bureau: how Australia’s signals-intelligence network helped win the Pacific War, and How to Build an Android.

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

Copies of David’s new book Nabbing Ned Kelly (https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/general-books/history/Nabbing-Ned-Kelly-David-Dufty-9781761067341) may be available at the talk for purchase and signing. Please note that the venue details may change at short notice. Canberra Skeptics will be strictly adhering to BCS’s COVID-19 safety measures.

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-186284587

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A Pint of Science in May

Fellow skeptics,

As previously mentioned, Canberra Skeptics will not be running a talk in May. Instead, we would be delighted if you attended one of the Pint of Science talk that will be held from 9-10 May.  The details can be found on their website – https://pintofscience.com.au/events/canberra. I am volunteering at King O’Malley’s so I hope as many of you can come to learn more about some exciting science!

The next Skeptics in the Pub will be held at King O’Malley’s Irish Pub on Sunday, 29 May from 1pm onwards. Details can be found here – https://www.meetup.com/SocialSkepticsCanberra/events/285514113/.

Stay skeptical,

Kevin Davies

President – Canberra Skeptics

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April Event: “It’s written all over your face” with Ben Steward

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents:

“It’s written all over your face”: Is it time we updated our understanding of emotion perception?

Date: Wednesday, 13 April 2022
Time: 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Speaker: Ben Steward
Please register via Demio

(https://my.demio.com/ref/dKqzynPO5R0q6X5M)

Western philosophy and science have long tried to unpick and understand emotion perception, with the human face often taking centre stage. This continues into current psychological research with isolated images of faces being used frequently to explore how we perceive emotion both behaviourally and neurologically. More recent evidence has shown how this narrow lens, although valuable, loses a large and important portion of the rich visual scene from which we begin to understand the emotional states of other. To understand the current conversations surrounding emotion perception, we’ll explore both the behavioural and neurological evidence and discuss how the more common view of emotion may be a little off the mark.

Ben Steward is a current first-year Ph.D. candidate at the Research School of Psychology at the Australian National University. His research is focused on how we perceive emotion and integrate information from different sources of the visual scene. Ben graduated from the University of Kent in Psychology with Clinical Psychology (BSc) and then from the University of Sussex in Cognitive Neuroscience (MSc) before starting at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford. He then moved to Australia and worked at the Institute of Positive Psychology and Education in Sydney before moving to the ANU.

The views expressed during this talk do not necessarily represent those of Canberra Skeptics.

Questions can be sent via Demio or emailed to 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 ouwebsite: 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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March Guest Speaker and Convention Update

Fellow skeptics,

Just a quick reminder that the next Canberra Skeptics webinar will be held tonight. The details are as follows:

Beyond the Panopticon: Evidence-Based Approaches to Criminal Justice Reform
Date: Tuesday, 15 March 2022
Time: 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Speakers: Dr Mindy Sotiri
Please register via Demio
(https://my.demio.com/ref/CRctRfze8lLvAaiu)

Please note that preparation for the Australian Skeptics National Convention 2022 has commenced. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact us at canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

The next Skeptics in the Pub will be held on Sunday, 27 March, 1pm @ King O’Malley’s Irish Pub. Details can be found here – https://www.meetup.com/SocialSkepticsCanberra/events/gzbprsydcfbkc/.

As always, if you have not already done so, please consider becoming a member of Canberra Skeptics. Your membership fees help make all our events possible – https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1uVg-mWyXoIv_tmieSy24FMdra4JedcLTRj9UPPeeYlA/viewform?edit_requested=true.

Stay skeptical,
Kevin Davies
President – Canberra Skeptics

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February and March Events

Fellow skeptics,

Just a quick reminder that the next Canberra Skeptics’ webinar is coming up this Tuesday. The details are as follows:

Psychedelic-assisted therapies for mental illness: why innovation in treatment is needed now more than ever

Date: Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Time: 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Speakers: Tania de Jong AM

Dr Jennifer Loughnan

Please register via Demio

(https://my.demio.com/ref/JNkiRnu0JqnO8GuS)

The details for the March talk are as follows:

Beyond the Panopticon: Evidence-Based Approaches to Criminal Justice Reform

Date: Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Time: 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Speakers: Dr Mindy Sotiri

Please register via Demio

(https://my.demio.com/ref/CRctRfze8lLvAaiu)

Stay skeptical,

Kevin Davies

President – Canberra Skeptics

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February Event: Psychedelic-assisted therapies for mental illness

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents:


Psychedelic-assisted therapies for mental illness: why innovation in treatment is needed now more than ever

Date: Tuesday, 15 February 2022Time: 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Speakers: Tania de Jong AM, Dr Jennifer Loughnan

Please register via Demio
(https://my.demio.com/ref/JNkiRnu0JqnO8GuS)


Pre-Covid 1 in 5 people in Australia were suffering from a mental illness. At least 1 in 8 adults, 1 in 4 older adults in 1 in 30 children are on anti-depressant medications currently, and often without disclosure of potential side effects. There has been no innovation in existing treatments for 5 decades. The lack of effective treatments has most certainly contributed to Australia’s devastating mental health statistics, which position Australia as second worst amongst all OECD nations, only ahead of Iceland. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic many, more Australians are experiencing anxiety, trauma, addiction, depression, loneliness, and social isolation, and suicide rates could significantly increase in the absence of innovation in treatments.


In the quest for new treatment options for mental illness, attention is being paid to the potential role of psychedelic medicines as adjuncts to psychotherapy for a wide array of conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and some addictions. Trials are also underway for dementia, Parkinson’s, strokes, cluster headaches, OCD, and eating disorders. A proactive approach to broadening the treatment options available for people who have a mental illness is desperately needed. This keynote and Q & A are presented by Mind Medicine Australia. The session will provide an engaging and educational update incorporating new learnings, science, and data about innovative, safe, and effective treatments being used in a practical clinical setting. It will also provide information on how to access the TGA’s SAS-B pathway for psilocybin and MDMA-assisted therapies for treatment-resistant patients on a case-by-case basis.


Tania de Jong AM is the Co-Founder and Executive Director Mind Medicine Australia, Creativity Australia, Creative Universe, and The Song Room.

Dr Jennifer Loughman is a local GP, who has worked in multiple GP clinics in Canberra plus Indigenous communities around the country, as well as less common gigs such as prisons and quarantine facilities, and her own occupational health clinic.


This event was made possible by a generous grant from Australian Skeptics Inc.
Questions can be sent via Demio or emailed to canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

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

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanberraSkeptics/
Twitter: @cbrskepticsEvent announcements:
Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/SocialSkepticsCanberra/Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/canberra-skeptics-1862845876

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November Update + December Guest Speaker: Jay Novella of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe

Fellow Skeptics,

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the November talk has been moved to Monday, 22 November. The details are as follows:
Resourcing Resilience: A Proposed Australian Universal Scheme for National and Community Service (AUSNACS)
Date: Monday, 22 November 2021
Time: 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Speaker: Prof.  John Blaxland
Please register via Zoom.
(https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yWgYEtoYSGeCfNWzaDzUEg)


I am delighted to say that we have something extra special for the December talk. Jay Novella, co-host of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast will be joining us for ‘A Conversation with Jay Novella’ to talk about his life as a skeptic (and many other topics). The details are as follows:

A Conversation with Jay Novella
Date: Sunday, 12 December 2021 (AEDT)
Time: 12:00pm to 1:00pm
(Saturday, 11 December 2021, 8:00pm to 09:00pm EST)
Speaker: Jay Novella
Please register via Zoom.
(https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_esPR0dR3TVC9SOqIZoofFw)

The next Skeptics in the Pub will be help at 1:00pm on 28 November at King O’Malley’s Irish Pub. Full details can be found on the Meetup page –
https://www.meetup.com/SocialSkepticsCanberra/events/gzcppsyccpblc/

Prior to the SiTP, there will be a committee meeting. One of the main topics for the meeting will be organising the Australian Skeptics National Convention 2022. If you are interested in assisting us with the Convention, please let us know on canberraskeptics@gmail.com so you can attend the Committee meeting. Organising a Convention is a lot of work, but very worth it. The 2022 Convention needs to be something special as it will be the first in-person Convention since 2019.

As always, if you have not done so, please renew your membership fees. It is your membership fees is what helps make Canberra Skeptics’ events possible – https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1uVg-mWyXoIv_tmieSy24FMdra4JedcLTRj9UPPeeYlA/viewform?edit_requested=true.

Stay skeptical,
Kevin Davies
President – Canberra Skeptics’

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November Event: Resourcing Resilience with Prof. John Blaxland

Fellow skeptics,

It is so delightful to see that the restrictions that we have endured for so long have eased to a great deal and I hope you have all had a chance to enjoy these restored liberties!

The details of the November talk are as follows. Due to the venue limitations, we will be conducting this event via Zoom

Resourcing Resilience: A Proposed Australian Universal Scheme for National and Community Service (AUSNACS)
Date: Thursday, 18 November 2021
Time: 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Speaker: Prof.  John Blaxland
Please register via Zoom.
(https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yWgYEtoYSGeCfNWzaDzUEg)



The next Skeptics in the Pub will be help at 1:00pm on 28 November at King O’Malley’s Irish Pub. Full details can be found on the Meetup page –
https://www.meetup.com/SocialSkepticsCanberra/events/gzcppsyccpblc/



Prior to the SiTP, there will be a committee meeting. One of the main topics for the meeting will be organising the Australian Skeptics National Convention 2022. If you are interested in assisting us with the Convention, please let us know on canberraskeptics@gmail.com so you can attend the Committee meeting. Organising a Convention is a lot of work, but very worth it. The 2022 Convention needs to be something special as it will be the first in-person Convention since 2019.



As always, if you have not done so, please renew your membership fees. It is your membership fees is what helps make Canberra Skeptics’ events possible – https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1uVg-mWyXoIv_tmieSy24FMdra4JedcLTRj9UPPeeYlA/viewform?edit_requested=true.


Stay skeptical,


Kevin Davies
President – Canberra Skeptics’

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