Women in Science Festival 2017

Prof Jenny Woof

When?
Monday, March 6 2017 at 7:00PM

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Where?

14-18 Perth Rd, Dundee, Angus DD1 4LN

Who?
Prof Jenny Woof

What's the talk about?

It is hard to miss the increasing numbers of gluten-free foods on supermarket shelves. But what is gluten and who should avoid eating it and why?

It is clear that for individuals with coeliac disease avoiding gluten is necessary for good health, but might gluten-free foods offer any advantages for others? Or is this yet another health food fad?

Jenny Woof is an immunologist and Professor of Biology in the School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, and recent winner of the Stephen Fry Award for Excellence in Public Engagement with Research (Engaged Researcher of the Year).
She will explore the mechanisms underlying the autoimmune reaction to gluten, which is the hallmark of coeliac disease, discuss why avoiding gluten is essential for coeliac disease patients, and open the debate as to whether there might be any benefits for those who do not have coeliac disease.

 
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Join us in the basement bar at Braes - doors open 18.30, 19.00 start.

Our events are always FREE and everyone is welcome to attend!

You can also RSVP to the Facebook event here.

David Frank

When?
Monday, February 6 2017 at 7:00PM

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Where?

14-18 Perth Rd, Dundee, Angus DD1 4LN

Who?
David Frank

What's the talk about?

Have you ever used an online dating site or app of any kind ever before? Including Tinder?

Marketer and former radio show host David Frank will be talking about all things online dating, sex & porn.

We could all use some tips on how to market ourselves, whether looking for love online, or trying to make the best impression in any situation. There's a marketer’s insight into porn for women, the formulas romance novels use for their plots & covers, and we'll look at the statistics behind the UK's porn viewing. 

This talk will prove you're attractive to a great many people, and we'll use science to prove it! There’ll be singing, an acted romance scene, & a very interesting Q&A!


​​Hailing from Perth, Western Australia, David is a marketer, writer and public speaker who has also lived in Japan and Vietnam. He is currently based in Scotland where he is studying a Masters of Science in Marketing at Edinburgh Napier University. He has organised dozens of events for Perth Skeptics, Tokyo Skeptics, The Humanist Society of Western Australia, and more recently, Edinburgh Skeptics.

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Join us in the basement bar at Braes - Please NOTE the time change: 

Doors open at 18.30, for a 19.00 start.

Our events are always FREE and everyone is welcome to attend!

You can find our Facebook event here.
 

 

Brian Eggo

When?
Monday, December 5 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

14-18 Perth Rd, Dundee, Angus DD1 4LN

Who?
Brian Eggo

What's the talk about?

Every December a string of ‘psychics’ across the world use their clairvoyant powers to make predictions for the coming year, with varying degrees of success. In this talk Brian Eggo from Glasgow Skeptics will take a look at things a little closer to home. What type of predictions have Scottish psychics made in the past? What did they think was in store for us in 2016? Will they be willing to go on the record? He will also make a bold attempt to recreate the recreation of ‘The Hurkos Experiment’ – prepare to be underwhelmed!

Brian is the main organiser and primary mouthpiece of Glasgow Skeptics. As such, he has an unhealthy interest in the equally amusing and frustrating realms of woo & pseudoscience. This has caused him to spend way too much of his own money on the type of things he encourages other people not to spend their money on. He occasionally dabbles in skeptical activism when prompted, and has been known to make some awful puns on podcasts. His day job is in Training & Development, which explains a lot. 
Find out more at http://glasgowskeptics.com or by following him on twitter @brianeggo
 

Join us for what's promising to be a very entertaining evening, in the basement bar at Braes, at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. The events are always FREE and open to everyone!

You can also RSVP to our Facebook event here.

Dr Ben Sachs

When?
Monday, February 1 2016 at 7:00PM

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Where?

14-18 Perth Rd, Dundee, Angus DD1 4LN

Who?
Dr Ben Sachs

What's the talk about?

As far as the legal status of sentient animals is concerned, the status quo is simple: they have none.  As a result, millions of animals are condemned to short, miserable lives in factory farms and research laboratories.

The reformers believe that this should should be overturned. They hold that sentient animals should be given legal personhood, which would give them the means to have their confinement challenged in court. While this may seem far-fetched, a justice of the Supreme Court of the state of New York recently agreed: she granted an order to show cause (akin to a writ of habeas corpus), in the case of chimpanzees Hercules and Leo, who were being kept as pets.

Ben Sachs is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of St. Andrews. He will join us to discuss whether sentient animals should have some sort of legal status. Hint: He believes that both the reformers and the defenders of the status quo are mistaken!

Dr Kevin Smith

When?
Monday, November 23 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

14-18 Perth Rd, Dundee, Angus DD1 4LN

Who?
Dr Kevin Smith

What's the talk about?

Not content that the UK parliament is already chock-full of religious peers and MPs, whose beliefs lead to legislation that strongly impinges upon personal freedom in medicine (e.g. the recent refusal to allow even a very narrow form of physician-assisted suicide), many theologians and other religiously motivated individuals would love to see religion being welcomed into the domain of medical ethics – a domain in which secular ideas have hitherto dominated.

Nigel Biggar, Oxford Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, is one those who want to see religion informing medical ethics decisions. This year his arguments for religion being given a seat at the negotiating table of medical ethics were published in the top-ranked Journal of Medical Ethics (JME), which will doubtless be viewed as a triumph for coreligionists who want to see medical ethics falling under the sway of religious beliefs.

A secular bioethicist, Dr Kevin Smith is highly sceptical towards the idea that religion has any place whatsoever in medical ethics. He argues that the flawed empirical basis, lack of rationality and non-universality inherent in religion disqualifies it from bioethical discourse; He suggests that while it would be unacceptable to attempt to debar religious individuals from the negotiating table, an exclusively secular approach is required for ethical decision-making in medicine. His counterarguments to Biggar’s position have subsequently been published in the JME, as have those from two independent academics. And now this month the JME has published a counter response by Biggar. Quite a dingdong!

Come along and hear more details of what the aggro is about. Given Kevin's views, this will inevitably be a somewhat one-sided talk, however we will be very happy to hear vigorously opposing views from religious members of the audience.

You can RSVP to our Facebook event page.

Dr Claudia Schaffner

When?
Monday, November 2 2015 at 6:30PM

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Where?

32 Bell Street
St Andrews
Fife KY16 9UX

Who?
Dr Claudia Schaffner

What's the talk about?

This event will be held in St Andrews, hosted by Dundee Skeptics. It's not part of an invasion, honest.

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Will eggs kill you or cure you?
Will red wine extend your life?
And how many times are those scientists going to say they cured cancer anyway?

These questions and many more answered in a talk guaranteed to somehow contain both entertainment and the word "correlation".

Claudia will discuss the way the press tends to report (or, perhaps more accurately, misreport) science. With headlines written to grab our attention, scientific findings are often exaggerated in the press or essentially downright fabricated. Claudia will go through some of the common tropes you’ll find in science reporting, with an emphasis on the kinds of headlines you’ll come across and the ways in which the press shield themselves from accountability in misleading reporting.

Claudia moved to Edinburgh attracted by the warm weather, despite the glowing job opportunities available in her native Spain. A biologist by trade, a skeptic by choice and a nerd by birth, she spends her days making life impossible for hapless cell cultures. 

Join us in the basement bar at Aikman's for this FREE event, from 6.30pm onwards! No booking required, but please arrive early to get a good seat!

 
The Facebook event page can be found here.

Tracey Jolliffe

When?
Monday, October 5 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

14-18 Perth Rd, Dundee, Angus DD1 4LN

Who?
Tracey Jolliffe

What's the talk about?

Bats: Creepy as heck? Or cute and cuddly? Come along and be amazed by all of the wonderful things there are to know about these elusive creatures. There will even be real bats in attendance, so you can get a close up peek!

Tracey Jolliffe is a microbiologist working in the NHS and an Edinburgh Skeptics regular . When we asked her to describe herself, she said:

Outside of work, my life (and home) is filled with bats. I am an official, card carrying, slightly fanatical, bat lady. My spare room houses a bat hospital, to which I admit sick and injured bats from across Scotland. I often take poorly bats everywhere with me in order to feed and medicate them, and so as not to alarm my colleagues and friends, will have them hidden about my person. 
I would dearly like to live in a world where people are kind to each other, rudeness doesn’t exist, and I can wear black without it getting covered in cat hair. My hobbies include housework and washing the car, but sadly I’m usually too busy with reading and baking cakes to spend much time on them. I like to go to the gym three times a week, but have missed the last 673 times.

The talk will start just after 7pm, and will be followed by a Q&A and bat-viewing!

Feel free to RSVP to our Facebook event here.

Dr Stuart Waiton

When?
Monday, June 15 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

14-18 Perth Rd, Dundee, Angus DD1 4LN

Who?
Dr Stuart Waiton

What's the talk about?

Tolerance is all the rage. The Scottish governments (past and present) hang their hat on the idea that we live in a ‘modern tolerant Scotland’.

Being forward thinking, progressive and ‘right thinking’, are all associated with this idea of being tolerant. But what is this thing, tolerance, and why at a time when tolerance is all the rage do we also get the promotion of zero-tolerance campaigns by the same individuals and groups who classify themselves as tolerant?

Tolerance historically meant tolerating different ideas that you hate, it was predicated upon people making judgements about one another’s ideas and behaviour, while not criminalising those we disagreed with. It was also the bedrock of free speech promoted by John Stuart Mill.

Today however tolerance means something very different; it means respecting difference, not judging others in case of offence, and perhaps most importantly, it means clamping down on freedom of speech. Can it be the case that those individuals and groups promoting the idea of tolerance are, in fact, the least tolerant people in society?

Dr Stuart Waiton is a senior lecturer in sociology and criminology at the University of Abertay Dundee.

Dr Lewis Dartnell

When?
Wednesday, May 27 2015 at 8:00PM

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Where?

14-18 Perth Rd, Dundee, Angus DD1 4LN

Who?
Dr Lewis Dartnell

What's the talk about?

Maybe it was an asteroid impact, a nuclear war, or a viral pandemic. Whatever the cause, the world as we know it is over and humanity must start again. What would you need to know to not only survive in the immediate aftermath, but avert another Dark Ages and accelerate the rebooting of civilisation from scratch? The Knowledge is a grand thought experiment on the behind-the-scenes fundamentals of how our world works, and what drove the progression of civilisation over the centuries.

Dr Lewis Dartnell is a research fellow at the University of Leicester, working in the field of astrobiology and the search for life beyond Earth. He has written three books: Life in the Universe: A Beginner's Guide, My Tourist Guide to the Solar System and The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch.

Join us in the basement bar at Braes for this FREE event! Please note the time change - we will be starting at 8pm instead of the usual 7pm.

You can also RSVP to our Facebook event here.

Prof Tom MacDonald

When?
Monday, April 20 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

14-18 Perth Rd, Dundee, Angus DD1 4LN

Who?
Prof Tom MacDonald

What's the talk about?

There’s no such thing as a "safe" drug.  What doctors try to do is balance the perceived risks with benefits, but drugs do not work the same in every person – so how can we make the benefit/risk balance of drugs better for individuals? 
 

Research into the safety and efficacy of a drug does not stop with its approval. Tom MacDonald, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology, is the director of the Medicines Monitoring Unit at Ninewells Hospital, a research unit that carries out clinical trials and collects data from general practitioners, in hopes of improving the reporting of drug interactions and adverse events, as well as individual variation, and ultimately incorporating the new evidence into drug policy.


Join us for a chat with Prof MacDonald in the basement bar at Braes, at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. The events are always free and open to everyone!

You can also RSVP to our Facebook event here.

Dr Karen Petrie

When?
Monday, March 9 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

14-18 Perth Rd, Dundee, Angus DD1 4LN

Who?
Dr Karen Petrie

What's the talk about?

In the 1999 film The Matrix, one of the lead characters Morpheus tells us that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is "a singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines". This and similar Hollywood creations has lead to many people being terrified of the concept of AI.

Are they correct to be afraid?

Dr. Karen Petrie from the School of Computing at the University of Dundee, will lead us in this whistle stop tour of AI and robotics.

Prof Paul Birch & Prof Ian Toth

When?
Monday, January 19 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

14-18 Perth Rd, Dundee, Angus DD1 4LN

Who?
Prof Paul Birch & Prof Ian Toth

What's the talk about?

Professors Paul Birch and Ian Toth from the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie will be joining us for the first SitP event of 2015! They will be discussing some of the global issues regarding food security, with a particular emphasis on the current and future status of European agriculture.

The main focus of the talk will be around their own research on crop diseases, and particularly the potato blight, a disease caused by the pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Using the potato blight as a key example, they hope to illustrate the potential for GM crops in the global struggle for food security.