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Edinburgh Skeptics Presents...

Welcome to the Edinburgh Skeptics Society podcast. We'll be bringing you talks from our guest speakers on a variety of topics in our Skeptics in the Pub podcast. There'll be talks from areas such as science, social issues, politics, and lots more, all with a view to promoting reason and critical thinking. You'll also be able to see what makes our guest speakers tick with our 10 Questions segment, and recordings of our Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Edinburgh International Science Festival events. Do make sure you rate or review us, and get in touch and let us know what we're doing right (or wrong!). Email us at podcast@edskeptics.co.uk
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Now displaying: Category: special
Jul 5, 2017

The podcast returns for one week only! (Probably. Hopefully a few more before the Fringe).

Join Mark, Sean & Heather as they go through each night of the Skeptics on the Fringe 2017 lineup and discuss the people, the topics, and generally lark about for 50 minutes.

Skeptics on the Fringe 2017 began in 2009 and is our contribution to the world's biggest arts festival. We bring a dose of scientific skepticism, critical thinking, and rationalism to the city during the month of August.

Skeptics on the Fringe will be at its usual venue - The Banshee Labyrinth on Niddry Street (just off the Royal Mile). We'll be in the Chamber Room at 7:50pm. Details of the complete lineup can be found on the usual places:

Website: http://www.edinburghskeptics.co.uk/
Twitter: @EdSkeptics
Facebook: We're on as Edinburgh Skeptics
MeetUp: http://meetup.com/EdinburghSkeptics/

May 3, 2017

For the podcast this week we have some bonus content for you while we pin down some of our Science Festival speakers for interviews. We have a recording of a talk given at one of our monthly cinema nights.

Over eight million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean each year, killing sea life. Now new evidence says it's entering our food chain with unknown health effects. Dr Mark Hartl - Associate Professor of Marine Biology, Director, Centre of Marine Biodiversity & Biotechnology - discusses the implications. Microplastic contamination is now ubiquitous in the (marine) environment. Efforts to put mitigating government policy measures in place require a monitoring programme to establish baseline concentrations in order to gauge impact and effectiveness.

Follow Mark on Twitter at: @M_Hartl

Mar 1, 2017

This week on the podcast we're bringing you details of our lineup of talks run under the banner of the 2017 Edinburgh International Science Festival. Join Mark Pentler and science festival curator for this year Heather Pentler as they take you night-by-night through the lineup. This year the theme is The Science of Crime. Expect lots of dead bodies and some truly remarkable techniques on display as we learn how science is being used to both secure and overturn convictions.

Our science festival lineup runs Monday to Thursdays from the 3rd-13th April at the Banshee Labyrinth on Niddry Street. All events start at 7:30 and run until 9pm. Ish. Depends how good you are in the Q and As :-)

Check out the full line up on our website: http://www.edinburghskeptics.co.uk or on Facebook & MeetUp.

Feb 22, 2017

As part of our effort to reach out to more people in Edinburgh and the surrounding area, we recently partnered with the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh for the first of what we hope will be a much-repeated event in the future. Two fantastic skeptical talks for an audience of people who had never really heard of us, and we're able to bring you one of those talks on the podcast this week. The College were incredibly gracious hosts and special mention must go to Iain Milne & Daisy Cunynghame for their efforts in making it possible.

Professor Peter Sandercock (Emeritus Professor of Neurology, University of Edinburgh) set up and ran the first International Stroke Trial (IST-1), the first ‘mega-trial’ in acute ischaemic stroke. More recently, he is the Co-Chief Investigator of IST-3, the largest-ever trial of ‘clot-busting’ thrombolytic therapy for acute ischaemic stroke with over 3,000 patients recruited. In this talk he will expose the challenges and explore the successes of clinical trials in the modern era and how they can bring us not only new treatments and new answers, but also new questions.

http://www.ed.ac.uk/clinical-brain-sciences/people/principal-investigators/prof-peter-sandercock

Dec 27, 2016

After last week's look at the purely bonkers practice of Theta Healing (registered trademark) join Mark Pentler, Heather Pentler, and Claudia Schaffner as we investigate Theta Healing's thoughts on racial DNA and religion, plus how mean cults can be about your personality.

If you enjoyed these two specials, do let us know either on social media or via email: podcast@edinburghskeptics.co.uk - and don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes!

Dec 21, 2016

Note: Sorry about the first twenty minutes or so. We got a new mixing desk and I rather stupidly plugged the recorder into the wrong socket. Stick with it - Mark

This week we're trying something a bit different. Yes it's a round table chat. No it's not about the week's skeptical news...

Over the past year our committee member Heather Pentler has been investigating all sorts of woo - including healing, alternative medicine, all that malarkey - and she's built up quite a collection. The one thing that really caught her eye was something that is - as far as we can see - not very well known within the skeptical community. So we decided to tell you about it.

Join Mark Pentler and Claudia Schaffner alongside Heather as we delve into Theta Healing's training manuals to investigate what it actually is, what it claims to do, and how it all seems to be set up.

The recording is split into two parts, so we'll have another episode on this coming up next week.

Oct 26, 2016
Here is part 2 of our QED 2016 podcast special for you containing four more excellent interviews with some skeptical figures from the UK and internationally.
 
Joining us for this episode are András Pintér, Jelena Levin & Pontus Böckman from the European Skeptics Podcast (0:51) magician Paul Zenon (14:09), UK skeptic Myles Power (25:34) and Australian broadcasting legend Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (37:44).
 
We hope you've enjoyed our QED 2016 specials and we'll be back to normal service next week.
Oct 19, 2016

QED 2016 has been and gone by the time you read this, but Edinburgh Skeptics were there in force to soak up the atmosphere in a very rainy Manchester.

During the weekend ace reporter Mark Pentler was able to catch up with some of the speakers at the conference and find out a bit more about their QED experience, their lives, and how they're helping to promote the skeptical cause.

You'll hear from YouTube superstar Captain Disillusion (01:06), Oxford-based science communicator Sally Le Page (15:30), QI Elf Stevyn Colgan (24:32) and ex-naturopath Britt Hermes (37:26).

Join us for more interviews from QED next week in part 2!

Aug 3, 2016

As we approach our busiest month we wanted to give you a parting gift until we return in September. This week we have a recording of a talk by one of our committee - David Frank - about the tricks of the trade used by massive global cigarette companies in their advertising - especially in the face of strong legislation. David delivered the talk as part of our monthly film nights in conjunction with the British Science Association before the film Thank You For Smoking.

Don't forget! If you're in Edinburgh or close to it, or if you're going to be here during the Fringe, you should check out our Skeptics on the Fringe 2016 line up. We'll be doing nightly talks between the 6th-28th August at the Banshee Labyrinth on Niddry Street. All events start at 7:50pm.

Twitter: @TheDF
http://www.davidfrank.com.au

Jul 13, 2016

The time has come to release our 2016 Skeptics on the Fringe lineup, and we thought we'd try something a little different. Join 4 of our committee Ewan Leeming, Mark Pentler, Claudia Schaffner and Sean Slater as we preview the lineup, discuss the topics and take the piss out of Skeptics With A K a wee bit...

We'll be taking a break during August to actually run the Fringe show, which takes place from 6th-28th August. Every show starts at 7:50pm at the Banshee Labyrinth on Niddry Street (just off the Royal Mile). Shows are free to attend, but we do ask for donations to help cover the cost of putting on events and running the society.

Skeptics on the Fringe is part of PBH's Free Fringe.

www.edinburghskeptics.co.uk/
www.twitter.com/EdSkeptics

 

May 18, 2016

With massive apologies for not having anything for you this week, Mark rambled on for about four minutes about the podcast and Edinburgh Skeptics in general, along with gratuitous begging and a story about bin bags.

We'll be back next week. Promise.

Feb 3, 2016

A special interview for you this week, with apologies for the sound quality. Phone recordings, eh?

David Frank talks to skeptical cartoonist Polyp about his new Kickstarter project "thINK the Book". He talks about the content of the book, the trouble he's had getting it published, and his own life and skepticism.

The book will be a mix of one off vicious panel gags and several longer cartoon 'short stories'. As well as the collected cartoons themselves, the book is peppered and buffed up with juicy skeptic quotes from the likes of Carl Sagan, Thomas Paine, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Richard Dawkins, Noam Chomsky, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Charles Darwin... and so on. Religion, pseudoscience and conspiracy theories get the full treatment from Polyp.

For details on how you can help fund the project, visit: http://www.thinkthebook.org - there are links on there to the Kickstarter page. The project is currently at 63% funded, so there's still room to grow! Polyp's own website is at http://www.polyp.org.uk

 

May 14, 2015

Here's part 2 of our bumper QED interview special, recorded at QEDCon 2015 in Manchester. Join David Frank and Mark Pentler for some more conversations with the great and good from the world of skepticism.

This episode features interviews with QED volunteer Steve Malone, Alan Henness from the Nightingale Collaboration, Professor Richard Wiseman, and Saturday headliner Matt Dillahunty, as a well as a short conversation with Miguel - one of the Christian protesters/proselytisers outside the QED venue - about what exactly he was doing there.

The QED Theme music used throughout the podcast is by Milton Mermikidies (www.miltonline.com). And if you want to find out more about QEDCon, their website is at www.qedcon.org

Please do leave us a review on iTunes if you enjoyed this 2 part special, as that would be a massive help for us, and we really hope you enjoyed it!

May 8, 2015

A special podcast for you this week, recorded at QEDCon 2015 in Manchester. QEDCon is one of the best skeptical events on the calendar (Skeptics on the Fringe excepted, of course...) and is always both huge fun and massively interesting.

Join David Frank and Mark Pentler for an interview special so massive we've had to split it up into two parts.

This episode features interviews with Rhys Morgan, Professor Chris French, Marcel Dicke, and Mitch Benn, as well as some Aussie blokes we just found floating around the hotel.

The QED Theme music used throughout the podcast is by Milton Mermikidies (www.miltonline.com). And if you want to find out more about QEDCon, their website is at www.qedcon.org

We had a lot of fun making this one (and the next one!), and we hope you enjoy it.

Apr 29, 2015

As part of the 2015 Edinburgh International Science Festival, Edinburgh Skeptics and the University of Edinburgh Humanist Society held a General Election Hustings on Tuesday the 14th of April. 

The panel consisted of the following candidates and representatives:

Left Unity - Bruce Whitehead (Edinburgh North & Leith) 
Scottish Conservative Party - Mark Brown (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) 
Scottish Green Party - Peter McColl (Edinburgh East) 
Scottish Labour Party - Cllr. Gordon Munro 
Scottish Liberal Democrats - Gary McLelland (Glasgow East) 
Scottish National Party - Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West) 
UKIP Scotland - Alan Melville (Edinburgh North & Leith)

This is part 2, with general audience questions from the floor.

Apr 29, 2015

As part of the 2015 Edinburgh International Science Festival, Edinburgh Skeptics and the University of Edinburgh Humanist Society held a General Election Hustings on Tuesday the 14th of April. 

The panel consisted of the following candidates and representatives:

Left Unity - Bruce Whitehead (Edinburgh North & Leith) 
Scottish Conservative Party - Mark Brown (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) 
Scottish Green Party - Peter McColl (Edinburgh East) 
Scottish Labour Party - Cllr. Gordon Munro 
Scottish Liberal Democrats - Gary McLelland (Glasgow East) 
Scottish National Party - Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West) 
UKIP Scotland - Alan Melville (Edinburgh North & Leith)

This is part 1, with 6 pre-published questions known to both the audience and the speakers. Part 2, with general questions from the floor, is in the episode after this.

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