Past Meetup

Stevyn Colgan - The Skeptical Bobby

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Stevyn Colgan - The Skeptical Bobby
Skepticism and critical thinking isn't just about UFOs, bad pharma and Creationism. After leaving school Stevyn gained places at both art and catering colleges, but turned them down and instead accepted a drunken £50 bet with his homicide detective father that he could survive six months as a police officer. He consequently joined the Metropolitan Police Service in London and ended up staying for 30 years. During his service he found himself frequently challenging the traditional or‘accepted’ ways of doing things; critical thinking and his own natural skepticism led him to explore different way of doing things, often in innovative and unusual ways. These included using wizards to tackle street gambling, lollipops to stop anti‐social behaviour and dog shows to prevent homicides. Ultimately, he was asked by Scotland Yard and the Home Office to be part of an experimental unit to explore some of these new ideas, many of which have now found their way into everyday policing across the UK.
The Skeptical Bobby is all about grass‐roots skepticism and why we should be critical thinkers in every aspect of our lives.
‘Superb talk at QEDCon by Stevyn Colgan. Intelligent and humane.’ – Professor Richard Dawkins
‘Stevyn Colgan was fantastic! Beautiful and inspiring talk’ ‐ The British Humanist Association
Stevyn Colgan is an author, artist,songwriter,speaker and oddly‐spelled Cornishman. He is one of the ‘Elves’that research and write the popular BBC TV series QI and co‐writes its sister-show, The Museum of Curiosity, for BBC Radio 4.
He has, among other things, been a chef, a potato picker, a milkman and a police officer. He has written briefing notes for two Prime Ministers and TV scripts for Gerry Anderson and Doctor Who. He’s helped build dinosaur skeletons for the Natural History Museum,movie monsters for Bruce Willis to shoot at, and was the official artist for the 2006 National Children’s Book Fair. He has been set on fire twice, been shot at once, and has given hundreds of talks across the UK and USA on a variety of subjects from problem solving to Cornish mythology to why he believes that he wasn't even vaguely intelligently designed.He is a regular at festivals and events such as Skeptics in the Pub, Cornbury, Harrogate, Hay, Latitude and the Edinburgh Fringe.
He is the author of Joined‐Up Thinking, Henhwedhlow: The Clotted Cream of Cornish Folk Tales and Constable Colgan’s Connectoscope® . He is currently writing a comedy crime novel and a book about art,recording an album of his own songs and developing an animated series based on Constable's Colgan’s Connectoscope®.
He stops inordinately frequently for tea.
Email: [masked]
Twitter: @stevyncolgan
11.00, £5 in advance/free to Ethical Society members (
Tea & Coffee will be available.