• Psychics: Real, Fake, or Just Wrong?

    Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life

    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. A quick look online shows a vast array of other supernatural talents allegedly on display. In this talk Brian Eggo of Glasgow Skeptics will take a closer look at this phenomenon, and investigate how much of it, if any, is actually real. - The most prominent 'psychics' in Scotland - The origins of Spiritualism - Tricks of the trade - Putting psychics to the test About Glasgow Skeptics: We are a grassroots, non-commercial organisation, committed to promoting Science & Understanding, Critical Thinking, and Freedom of Expression. What is skepticism? Skepticism is a method for discerning what is likely true from what is not. When presented with a claim, a skeptic reserves his or her right to reject that claim until such time as the claimant produces sufficient evidence to back up that claim. If the skeptic finds the evidence is compelling, then we will provisionally accept the claim as true; provisionally because we may see more evidence tomorrow that proves the claim to be false. The quality and quantity of evidence required will vary from claim-to-claim and skeptic-to-skeptic. If you tell me that you have a pet dog, well, I’ll probably accept that claim just on your word. You’re not likely to get anything out of making up stories about owning a dog and I know that dogs are kept as pets by many people. If you tell me that you have a pet dragon, on the other hand, I’m probably going to want to at least see the dragon before I believe you. What isn’t skepticism? Skeptics are not a collection of doubters and grumpy nay-sayers, gathering to reject, out-of-hand, any ideas which do not gel with our pre-existing beliefs. Rather, we adhere to principles of scientific skepticism, a position which seeks to establish the veracity of claims through a logical and impartial evaluation of the available evidence. We believe this to be the most reliable method to distinguish truth from fiction and uniformly apply these principles to any and all ideas – new or old, established or controversial.

  • 5G or Not 5G:Taking Arms Against the Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Pseudoscience

    5th generation mobile networks are coming in for increasing criticism by otherwise reputable sources and commentators. Its been demonised as mind-control, as using ‘untested, weapons-grade, ultra-high frequency technology’ and to cause severe harm to the population just by existing. Is it a back-door for governments to manage their population through technology? Are we simply leaving ourselves open to overseas countries to infiltrate our national infrastructure? Are there real dangers to this new technology? Sean Slater will try and address these fears head on and create some clarity around what 5G is and what it is not. About the Speaker: Sean Slater has worked in the mobile phone business for over 25 years and has seen 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G being rolled out by several different networks. He is also the vice-chair of Edinburgh Skeptics and as such has taken an interest in the pseudoscience surrounding his industry. Twitter - @TheTrueScotsman === Drop-in event, no ticket required. Doors at 7.15, kickoff at 7.30 This is event is free to attend, although we will be asking for donations at the end of the talk. Participants are under no obligation whatsoever to donate, however please rest assured that the money we collect doesn't end up in anyone's pocket - it is used to fund our overhead costs, and travel/accommodation for our speakers who come from further afield. === Accessibility: As per the policy of the Admiral Bar, access to the venue “can only be provided to patrons who are sufficiently mobile and capable of independently evacuating premises, or with the minimum of assistance”. Unfortunately, this leaves the basement inaccessible to most wheelchair users.

  • Glasgow Skeptics visit Cafe Scientifique: Social Robots

    Waterstones Sauchiehall St

    So we don't have an official Glasgow Skeptics event on this date ... but our friends over in Cafe Scientifique have got something to tickle your fancy instead. The topic this month: Social Robots Speaker: Emily Cross Understanding how we perceive and interact with others is a core challenge of social cognition research. This challenge is poised to intensify in importance as the ubiquity of artificial intelligence and the presence of humanoid robots in society grows. My group’s research applies established theories and methods from psychology and neuroscience to questions concerning how people perceive, interact, and form relationships with robots. In this talk, I review recent evidence from behavioural and brain imaging studies that aim to provide deeper insights into the relationship between social cognition and brain function. Examples from work comparing social perception of humans compared to robots highlights the importance of examining how perception of and interaction with artificial agents in a social world is revealing fundamental insights about human social cognition. Emily Cross is Professor of Social Robotics at the University of Glasgow. For more information about Café Scientifique: Visit their website: http://www.gla.ac.uk/events/cafescientifique/ The talk is free - although they do ask for donations Accessibility: The talk is on the top floor of the store. There is a lift available for those unable to use the stairs.

  • 10th Birthday Special: Ash Pryce, Paranormal Illusionist

    So, what's special about this event? Well, there'll be cake (probably). More importantly than that though, we're going to celebrate ten years of bringing science, skepticism, and critical thinking in the best possible way by bringing back our first ever speaker - the one and only Ash Pryce! A Special edition of the Spooky 👻 Magic 🧙 show comes to Glasgow. 'Fraidy cats and brave souls 😱 welcome for unsettling paranormal illusions from Edinburgh Horror 🧟 Festival Sell Out seance 💀 magician Ash Pryce "...unique and original ...a clever and well crafted show" - World Magic Review, Edinburgh Fringe 2019 “★★★★★ If you want to see something truly amazing... this is the man to show you.“ – Bunbury magazine "Leicester's answer to Derren Brown" - BBC Leicester Edinburgh Horror Festival Sell Out Act 2016, 2017, 2018 ******************************** ACT ONE: "Ash Pryce - Paranormal Illusionist" is the brand new show from Edinburgh Horror Festival Sell Out Performer Ash Pryce. Fresh off of a full run of the Edinburgh Festival, with almost 30 productions at the world famous Fringe behind him. Step into the psychic's parlour for an experience with the supernatural, the paranormal, things that go BUMP in the night as you take part in a series of mind twisting demonstrations drawing on psychic super powers, spirit communication and the Seance. Combining psychic phenomena, ESP and spirit communication with stage mentalism, and theatre, the show will skirt the edges of what is real and what is on the other side of the veil. This is a theatrical magic show - if we do summon demons during the course of the show, we cannot be held responsible for possessions. Please clean up any ectoplasm brought up in fright... ACT TWO: In the second half, exclusively for skeptic groups, Ash will be looking back over the history of Spiritualism by highlighting some of the most famous tricksters, legal cases and exposures of the Golden Age of Spiritualism. Ash will talk about a history of Spiritualism, mediumship and the role it played in helping create his own area of performance – mentalism. New material looking at the areas that his show 'How to Talk to the Dead' didn't have time to fit in! === Doors at 7.15, kickoff at 7.30 This is event is free to attend, although we will be asking for donations at the end of the talk. Participants are under no obligation whatsoever to donate, however please rest assured that the money we collect doesn't end up in anyone's pocket - it is used to fund our overhead costs, and travel/accommodation for our speakers who come from further afield. === Accessibility: As per the policy of the Admiral Bar, access to the venue “can only be provided to patrons who are sufficiently mobile and capable of independently evacuating premises, or with the minimum of assistance”. Unfortunately, this leaves the basement inaccessible to most wheelchair users.