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Skeptics in the Pub Nottingham
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The hugely popular Guardian Brain Flapping science blogger, Dean Burnett, comes to Nottingham to talk about his new book: The Idiot Brain.

It is a surprising, funny and mind-bending examination of how and why the brain sabotages our behaviour.

Dr Dean Burnett has spent nearly two decades studying the human brain, the most complex, mysterious object in the known universe.
In the same way that flaws begin to show when you spend too much time with one person, over time Burnett has come to learn that the human brain can be quite unreliable.
The Idiot Brain explores the many ways in which the brain does things inefficiently, illogically or just plain stupidly, and how these regularly end up influencing our everyday lives and the world around us.

From attention mechanisms to memory processing, the neuroscience of sleep and the psychology of superstition, The Idiot Brain highlights all manner of ways in which the brain is flawed or shoddy, how these impact on our lives in countless ways, and how it’s OK to laugh at all this regardless. 

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At this event, Andrew Copson will give an overview of humanism: what it is, what it is not, its history and its long association with skepticism.

Andrew will also talk about the British Humanist Association: their aims and the work that they do.

Andrew Copson is the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association. Andrew became Chief Executive in January 2010 after five years coordinating the BHA's education and public affairs work. His writing on humanist and secularist issues has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, The Times and New Statesman as well as in various journals and he has represented the BHA and Humanism extensively on television news on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, as well as on television programmes such as Newsnight, The Daily Politics and The Big Questions. He has also appeared on radio on programmes from Today, Sunday, The World at One, The Last Word and Beyond Belief on the BBC, to local and national commercial radio stations.

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Martin Gardner (1914-2010) (www.martingardner.org) was The Best Friend Mathematics Ever Had, and for many is best known for his "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific American, which ran from the 1950s to the 1980s, introducing hundreds of thousands of readers to elegant ideas which still inspire "Aha!" moments today.

Martin's first loves, however, were magic, rationality and philosophy, and his favourite targets were pseudoscience and bogus science and medicine. He was first and foremost a debunker, and his book "Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science" from 1952 set the stage modern science-based skepticism. Martin later played a major role in the founding of CSICOP and "Skeptical Inquirer" magazine.

His death five years ago ended a remarkable publishing career spanning 80 years, and over 100 books. October marked his centennial, and this is a good time to survey some of what he achieved and the legacy he leaves behind.

Twitter users may enjoy following @WWMGT(What Would Martin Gardner Tweet) and MGardner100th.

Dubliner Colm Mulcahy is Professor of Mathematics at Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He's blogged for MAA.org, Aperiodical, Huffington Post and Scientific American.

He was fortunate to know Martin Gardner for the last decade of his life, and chairs the Martin Gardner Centennial Committee. His website is cardcolm.org and he tweets at @CardColm. He recently published the 380-page full-colour book "Mathematical Card Magic" (CRC Press) of original principles and effects.

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Over the last three years, the Nightingale Collaboration has given the Advertising Standards Authority possibly their most difficult challenge: curbing the misleading claims made on complementary and alternative therapy websites. But as a result, many practitioners have realised their responsibilities and taken down long lists of 'what homeopathy can help with...', 'how craniosacral therapy can cure your baby's colic', etc, etc. Some, however, continue to defy the regulator.

The Nightingale Collaboration have been using other regulators as well, eg the medicines regulator, the MHRA, to ensure manufacturers,sellers and advertisers of homeopathic and herbal medicines comply with the rules, regulations and laws they are supposed to, and Trading Standard to make complaints about claims for cancer treatments.

Alan Henness, one of the directors of the Nightingale Collaboration, will talk about what they've been up to and their future plans.

#quacks   #skeptics  

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Over the last three years, the Nightingale Collaboration has given the Advertising Standards Authority possibly their most difficult challenge: curbing the misleading claims made on complementary and alternative therapy websites. But as a result, many practitioners have realised their responsibilities and taken down long lists of 'what homeopathy can help with...', 'how craniosacral therapy can cure your baby's colic', etc, etc. Some, however, continue to defy the regulator.

The Nightingale Collaboration have been using other regulators as well, eg the medicines regulator, the MHRA, to ensure manufacturers, 

Invite to December 2rd talk has been added, please come along and talk about the end of the world.
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