What we're about

We're looking forward to meeting newcomers from Meetup. We have a core group of regular members as well as occasional attendees who follow our events calendar from our Facebook group and page, and from our website. Meetup calendars are not representative of our attendance rates.
The Greater Manchester Skeptics run the Manchester Skeptics in the Pub events. Part of the long established worldwide network, we have been active since 2009 and have held well over 100 events, usually two every month: a talk and a social. Our members have wide-ranging interests, but what unites us is a belief in the importance of critical thinking and an insistence that claims should be backed up by evidence. The more extraordinary the claim, the more evidence we ask for. Most of us will be highly skeptical of claims of psychic abilities, alien encounters, all-powerful global conspiracies, the healing power of alternative therapies, or anything else which is not grounded in robust, peer-reviewed research. On that basis, the skepticism movement as a whole advocates for evidence-based policy decisions, better science reporting, secularism and stricter regulation of “holistic” medicine. We differ from “denialists” in that we are willing to change our minds in the face of compelling evidence. We aim to put on a wide variety of talks, covering science, politics, history, philosophy, religion, law and much else besides. You don’t have to be a member to come to our talks and socials, just a willingness to engage respectfully in discussions which may challenge your beliefs. Everyone and anyone is welcome — even if you disagree with the speaker. If you’re in Manchester, come along!

Our website is here: http://www.gmss.uk

We're on twitter @gmskeptics

And Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/GMSkeptics

https://en-gb.facebook.com/GMSkeptics/groups

Upcoming events (3)

Ethical realism in a universe without free will — Aaron Rabinowitz

Live event link: https://www.twitch.tv/sitp Skepticism and ethics are both essential features of a life of flourishing, but what should skeptics and critical thinkers know about ethics, and how should those beliefs motivate us to action? Philisopher Aaron Rabinowitz will put forward the case that skeptics should believe that ethics is real and free will is not, and will argue that adopting these two beliefs gives us the tools we need to improve the world through applied skepticism in a way that’s compassionate without being toothless. Aaron Rabinowitz is a lecturer in philosophy at Rutgers University, and host of the Embrace The Void and Philosophers in Space podcast. Skeptics in the Pub Online is a coalition of UK-based Skeptics groups. Formed as the Covid-19 epidemic brought our country to a standstill, we are working to deliver high quality online events focussing on science, reason, and critical thinking. New to Skeptics in the Pub or Twitch or both? We anticipate that Twitch or SitP may be new for some of you so we will have *early doors at 6:45* to welcome new attendees and answer any questions you may have. A useful guide to Twitch here: https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-twitch-4143337 You don't need a Twitch account to watch the talk — only if you want to take part in the chat. You won't need an account to ask questions in the Q&A.

The bloody work of naturopaths – Britt Hermes

Online event

Live event link: https://www.twitch.tv/sitp Naturopathy is scary! For three years, I practiced as a licensed “naturopathic doctor” in the United States. The overwhelming majority of naturopathic care relies extensively on dubious alternative therapies, rather than established protocols based on medical and scientific research. In this Halloween-themed talk, I share the experiences that led to my interest in natural medicine, some spooky naturopathic practices, and how I became the most hated naturopath in the world. Britt Hermes is a writer, scientist, and a former naturopathic doctor. She practiced as a licensed naturopath in the United States and then left the profession after realizing naturopathy is a pseudoscientific ideology. Since this time, Britt has been working to understand and communicate how she was tricked by alternative medicine, so others do not repeat her mistake. She now writes to expose issues with naturopathy, the current rising profession in alternative medicine. Her work focuses on the deceptions naturopathic practitioners employ to scam patients and contrive legitimacy in political arenas. She hopes her stories will protect patients from the false beliefs and bogus treatments sold by alternative medicine practitioners. Hermes is currently living in Germany where she is completing her doctorate in evolutionary genomics. Skeptics in the Pub Online is a coalition of UK-based Skeptics groups. Formed as the Covid-19 epidemic brought our country to a standstill, we are working to deliver high quality online events focussing on science, reason, and critical thinking. New to Skeptics in the Pub or Twitch or both? We anticipate that Twitch or SitP may be new for some of you so we will have *early doors at 6:45* to welcome new attendees and answer any questions you may have. A useful guide to Twitch here: https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-twitch-4143337 You don't need a Twitch account to watch the talk — only if you want to take part in the chat. You won't need an account to ask questions in the Q&A.

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!

Online event

Live event link: https://www.twitch.tv/sitp --- October 31st is Halloween – traditionally the scariest night of the year (although we’re a bit more scared about what might happen in the US election a few days later). All things considered, it’s pretty safe to say that this has been a slightly unsettling year for lots of people and the last thing we need right now is a bunch of ghosts and ghouls turning up and causing havoc on Halloween. Fear not, however, because we’re pleased to say that ghosts don’t actually exist. But if ghosts aren’t real, why do so many people believe that they’ve seen one? How can we explain the supernatural experiences people have reported? How do places develop a reputation for being haunted? What are those things that go bump in the night? Richard Wiseman is a psychologist and author. For years, he has researched the science behind the paranormal. At 7 pm on Saturday 31st October, he will be discussing the natural explanations behind the supernatural and showing how the paranormal is perfectly normal. Richard will be Interviewed by his good friend Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths. --- Professor Richard Wiseman has been described by a Scientific American columnist as ‘…one of the most interesting and innovative experimental psychologists in the world today.’ His books have sold over 3 million copies and he regularly appears on the media. Richard also presents keynote talks to organisations across the world, including The Swiss Economic Forum, Google and Amazon. He holds Britain’s only Professorship in the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, is one of the most followed psychologists on Twitter, and the Independent On Sunday chose him as one of the top 100 people who make Britain a better place to live. Richard is a Member of the Inner Magic Circle, a Director of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and has created psychology-based YouTube videos that have attracted over 500 million views. He also acts as a creative consultant, including work with Derren Brown, The Twilight Zone and the hit television show, Brain Games. --- Professor Chris French is the Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit in the Psychology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and a Patron of the British Humanist Association. He has published over 150 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics. His main current area of research is the psychology of paranormal beliefs and anomalous experiences. He frequently appears on radio and television casting a sceptical eye over paranormal claims. His most recent book is Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience. --- Skeptics in the Pub Online is a coalition of UK-based Skeptics groups. Formed as the Covid-19 epidemic brought our country to a standstill, we are working to deliver high quality online events focussing on science, reason, and critical thinking. New to Skeptics in the Pub or Twitch or both? We anticipate that Twitch or SitP may be new for some of you so we will have *early doors at 6:45* to welcome new attendees and answer any questions you may have. A useful guide to Twitch here: https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-twitch-4143337 You don't need a Twitch account to watch the talk — only if you want to take part in the chat. You won't need an account to ask questions in the Q&A.

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