What we're about

Edinburgh Skeptics Society promotes science, reason and critical thinking in Edinburgh and Scotland. We have recently launched a Podcast (http://www.edinburghskeptics.co.uk/podcasts/) if you are further afield.

Come along if you enjoy thought-provoking talks and discussions and friendly social meets. We have several events each month, as well during the Edinburgh Science Festival and Fringe (http://www.edinburghskeptics.co.uk/fringe/). Most events are free, but we ask for donations to cover costs (like this meetup group) and speakers' travel and accommodation. We Respect People and Challenge Ideas (http://www.edinburghskeptics.co.uk/about/respect/).

Please RSVP - it helps us estimate numbers. Unfortunately space is limited, so if you are late we may not be able to hold your place.

Upcoming events (2)

Ericka Johnson: A Cultural Biography of the Prostate

Online event

Join Edinburgh Skeptics online for the first of our four 2021 Edinburgh Science Festival events.

Ericka Johnson
A Cultural Biography of the Prostate

We are all suffering an acute case of prostrate angst. Men worry about their own prostates and those of others close to them; women worry about the prostates of the men they love.

The prostate—a gland located directly under the bladder—lurks on the periphery of many men's health issues, but as an object of anxiety it goes beyond the medical, affecting how we understand masculinity, aging, and sexuality. In this talk, Ericka Johnson investigates what we think the prostate is and what we use the prostate to think about, examining it in historical, cultural, social, and medical contexts.

Johnson shows that our ways of talking about, writing about, imagining, and imaging the prostate are a mess of entangled relationships. She describes current biomedical approaches, reports on the “discovery” of the prostate in the sixteenth century and its later appearance as both medical object and discursive trope, and explores present-day diagnostic practices for benign prostate hyperplasia—which transform a process (urination) into a thing (the prostate).

Turning to the most anxiety-provoking prostate worry, prostate cancer, Johnson discusses PSA screening and the vulnerabilities it awakens (or sometimes silences) and then considers the presence of the absent prostate—how the prostate continues to affect lives after it has been removed in the name of health


Ericka Johnson, Professor of gender and society, Linköping University, Sweden and member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. She has an interdisciplinary background in sociology, gender studies, and science & technology studies. She is the author of several monographs and anthologies, including A Cultural Biography of the Prostate (MIT Press 2021).

Her forthcoming book A Cultural Biography of the Prostate is available to pre order via:

Blackwells - https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/A-Cultural-Biography-of-the-Prostate-by-Ericka-Johnson-author/9780262543040


Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cultural-Biography-Prostate-Ericka-Johnson/dp/0262543044/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=9780262543040&qid=1623153725&sr=8-1


James Williams - Incest: A skeptical investigation

Online event

Join Edinburgh Skeptics online for the second of our four 2021 Edinburgh Science Festival events.

James Williams
Incest: A skeptical investigation

Incest is one of the most widespread of all cultural taboos in the ancient and modern worlds. But what exactly is it? How is it defined? What is it's history? And why is it so reviled?

James will be taking a thorough and entertaining look at the strange and unsettling world of incest; disentangling fact from fiction, and discussing its history, zoology, humanity and philosophy. From royal families, to bed bugs, to unusual internet search trends, what can we learn from a skeptical investigation of one of the world's oldest taboos?


James Williams is a Bristol-based storyteller, science communicator and skeptic, who specialises in critically discussing dark and taboo topics with humour and irreverence.

An enthusiastic humanist and scientific skeptic, he cares deeply about science, education, critical thinking and social justice. His series of talks on cannibalism, necrophilia and bestiality have been delivered across the country, including the annual Skeptics conference QED.

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