Welcome to Maidstone Skeptics in the Pub, monthlyish talks from experts on science, skepticism, critical thinking and myth busting. 

The talks are held at The Style and Winch, and are normally £3 to cover costs, with any extra going to The Good Thinking Society.

For more information about the idea behind Skeptics in the Pub please look at this BBC Report and this Wikipedia entry.
 

You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter (@ME1skeptics), Meetup, and Instagram 

Henry Drysdale

When?
Tuesday, August 30 2016 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

72 Union Street
Maidstone
Kent
ME14 1ED
(01622) 752351

Who?
Henry Drysdale

What's the talk about?

 

For 6 weeks in late 2015, the COMPare team monitored every clinical trial published in the top 5 medical journals for “outcome switching”: when trialists report something different from what they originally said they would report. Of 67 trials assessed, 58 (87%) were found to contain discrepancies between prespecified and reported outcomes.
 
Outcome switching is already known to be extremely common, even in top medical journals. But COMPare went one step further: they wrote a letter to the journal for all 58 trials found to contain discrepancies; to correct the record on the individual trials, and to test the “self-correcting” properties of science.
 
The responses to these letters from journal editors and trial authors were unprecedented, and shed light on the reasons why this problem persists. The aim of COMPare was to fix outcome switching, through correction letters and open discussion. They never expected the levels of misunderstanding and bias at the heart of the issue.
 
Based at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, COMPare is made up of three senior researchers, 5 graduate-entry medical students, and a programmer. The project was born when one medical student came to the department in search of a project. The idea of monitoring the outcomes in clinical trials was made possible by 4 more medical students, who were recruited to make the vast amount of analysis possible. All assessments are reviewed by senior colleagues, and decisions made at weekly team meetings. There is no specific funding for COMPare: all the students work for free, driven by the desire and opportunity to fix a broken system.
 
Visit the COMPare website (COMPare-trials.org) for more details about their team, methods, results and blog.
 
£5 on the door to cover costs, with any extra going to charity
 
If its easier, visit the facebook event page

Jenny Josephs

When?
Tuesday, September 6 2016 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

72 Union Street
Maidstone
Kent
ME14 1ED
(01622) 752351

Who?
Jenny Josephs

What's the talk about?

By 2050 the global population will reach 9 billion and this will put ever increasing pressure on food and environmental resources. How can we ensure global food security without further damaging the environment with intensified farming practices?
 
One UN backed solution is to focus on alternative sources of protein, such as insects for food and animal feed. About 2 billion of us already include insects in our diets, though it is still a growing trend in the west.
 
Insects are described as having a variety of different flavours, from mushroomy to pistachio or pork crackling. They are comparable to beef in protein and contain beneficial nutrients like iron and calcium. Their environmental impact is also minimal, requiring far less water and feed than cattle, and releasing fewer emissions.
 
During this talk, Jenny will explain how insects might replace some of the meat in our diets and also give some tips on how to cook them.
 
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Jenny Josephs is the founder of The Bug Shack, a company aiming to promote edible insects as a sustainable source of protein. She has spoken at the Winchester Science Festival and TEDx Southampton Uni
 
£5 to cover costs with any extra going to charity
 
 
 
https://www.facebook.com/events/108587826237188/ 

Dr Peter Bloomfield

When?
Monday, October 3 2016 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

72 Union Street
Maidstone
Kent
ME14 1ED
(01622) 752351

Who?
Dr Peter Bloomfield

What's the talk about?

 CHANGED FROM THE 1ST OF AUGUST TO THE 3RD OF OCTOBER

The brain is the most complicated computational device humans have access to. It is a network of 86 billion neurons, each with 1000 connections, allowing communication inside our minds, but also with the rest of our body. The workings of the brain are better understood now than ever before, however there are still questions we are nowhere near answering.
 
In this talk we will look at the basic makeup of the brain and how it communicates, before taking a more detailed look at what happens when this communication is altered through learning. We will see inside the brain and look at how experiences change the brain and how this relates to diseases like schizophrenia
 
Peter Bloomfield is a neuroscientist at University College London. His current work is investigating changes in the brain during skill acquisition/learning. He has a research focus on the ‘glial cells’ of the brain he has a core interest in how laboratory research relates to human experience and how disorders of cognition and perception occur
 
£5 to cover costs with any extra raised going to charity
 
You can get the facebook event page here