Skeptics in the Pub

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Skeptics in the Pub is an informal social event designed to promote fellowship and social networking among skeptics, critical-thinkers, and other like-minded individuals. It provides an opportunity for skeptics and rationalists to talk, share ideas in a casual atmosphere, and discuss whatever topical issues come to mind. It allows participants to have fun while promoting skepticism, science, and rationality.[1]

The usual format of meetings includes an invited speaker who gives a talk on a specific topic, followed by a question-and-answer session. Other meet-ups are informal socials, with no fixed agenda. The groups usually meet once a month at a public venue, most often a local pub. There are now more than 100 different "SitP" groups running around the world.[2][3]

History[edit]

The group's earliest and longest-running event is the award-winning[4] London meeting, established by Scott Campbell in 1999.[1][5][6][7] This group claims to be the "World's largest regular pub meeting," with two to four hundred people in attendance at each meeting.[1][8][9][10] Scott Campbell[disambiguation needed] based the idea around Philosophy in the Pub and Science in the Pub, two groups which had been running in Australia for some time.[11] The inaugural speaker was Wendy M. Grossman, the editor and founder of The Skeptic magazine, in February 1999.

Campbell ran the London group for three years while there on a teaching sabbatical, and was succeeded after his return to Australia by two sci-fi fans and skeptics, Robert Newman and Marc LaChappelle. Nick Pullar, who made a television appearance as "Convener of Skeptics in the Pub" on the BBC spoof show Shirley Ghostman,[12][13][14] then led the group from 2003 to 2008. The London group is now organised and chaired by Sid Rodrigues, who has co-organised events in several other cities around the world.[15] This group has conducted experiments on the paranormal as part of James Randi's One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge[16] and co-organised An Evening with James Randi & Friends.[17][18][19]

The ease of use of the internet, via social networking sites and content management systems, has led to more than 100 active satellite chapters around the world, including more than 30 in the US and more than 40 in the UK.[2][3]

Skeptics in the Pub would later serve as the template for other skeptical, rationalist, and atheist meet-ups around the globe, including The James Randi Educational Foundation's "The Amazing Meeting", Drinking Skeptically, The Brights, and the British Humanist Association social gatherings.[citation needed]

Since 2010 Edinburgh Skeptics in the Pub has extended the Skeptics in the Pub concept over the whole Edinburgh International Festival Fringe, under the banner Skeptics on the Fringe and from 2012 done the same at the Edinburgh International Science Festival with the title At The Fringe of Reason. The Merseyside Skeptics Society and Greater Manchester Skeptics (forming North West Skeptical Events Ltd) hosted three two-day conferences, QED, in February 2011, March 2012 and April 2013. Glasgow Skeptics has also hosted two one-day conferences, as of July 2011.[citation needed]

Notable guests[edit]

Over the past ten years, the London event has featured lectures by well-known scientists and skeptics. Rarely the guests are proponents of fringe or pseudoscientific views.[why?] Notable guests include:

  • Simon Singh (No longer being sued by the British Chiropractic Association for criticising their activities in a column in The Guardian.)
  • Victor Stenger (Author of God: The Failed Hypothesis)
  • Jon Ronson (Documentary film-maker and author of The Men Who Stare at Goats)
  • Phil Plait (Past-President of the James Randi Educational Foundation, author and blogger)
  • David Colquhoun (Past holder of the A.J. Clark chair of Pharmacology at University College London and science/political blogger)
  • Richard J. Evans (Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University and an expert witness at the Irving v. Lipstadt libel case)
  • S. Fred Singer (atmospheric physicist and AGW skeptic)
  • Ben Goldacre (medical doctor and journalist, and the author of The Guardian newspaper's weekly Bad Science column)
  • David Nutt (psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist specialising in the research of drugs that affect the brain and conditions such as addiction, anxiety and sleep.)

Groups[edit]

The following is a list of towns and cities in which Skeptics in the Pub groups are currently active:[3]

Australia[edit]

Austria[edit]

Belgium[edit]

Brazil[edit]

Canada[edit]

China[edit]

Croatia[edit]

Denmark[edit]

Germany[edit]

Hungary[edit]

Ireland[edit]

Israel[edit]

Netherlands[edit]

New Zealand[edit]

Norway[edit]

Singapore[edit]

Slovenia[edit]

South Africa[edit]

Spain[edit]

Sweden[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Meet Sid Rodrigues". Meet the Skeptics Podcast. 13 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Skeptics in the Pub website". 
  3. ^ a b c "Skeptics in the Pub - Google Maps". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Barber, Sonya (18 February 2008). "Best Communities/Best Website 2008". Time Out, London. 
  5. ^ Brown, Matt (19 February 2008). "Why Don’t Creationists Just Shut Up?". The Londonist. 
  6. ^ Brown, Matt (19 February 2008). "Skeptics in the pub". Nature. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  7. ^ Dekker, Bronwen (17 October 2007). "Taking Grief Seriously". Nature. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  8. ^ Cox, Jennifer (21 September 2008). "Jennifer Cox signs up for...Skeptics In The Pub". The Metro. 
  9. ^ "London Skeptics in the Pub". 
  10. ^ Brown, Matt (9 June 2009). "The Big Smoke, London Social: Skeptics in the Pub". Time Out, London. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  11. ^ "Scott Campbell's Homepage". 
  12. ^ Pullar, Nick (20 April 2005). "Shirley Ghostman and me". The Skeptic. 
  13. ^ Youens, Tony (21 April 2005). "Shirley Ghostman". 
  14. ^ Metzger, Richard (12 October 2008). "High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman". Boing Boing. 
  15. ^ Grothe, D.J. (November–December 2009). "Skepticism 2.0". Skeptical Inquirer Volume 33.6. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  16. ^ Randi, James (3 June 2005). "A Preliminary Test for the JREF PRIZE is Completed". Swift. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  17. ^ Cohen, Jon (23 May 2008). "An Evening With James Randi & Friends". Skeptical Inquirer. 
  18. ^ "Preview Of The Amazing Meeting with James Randi on iTricks". The Amazing Show. 15 May 2008. 
  19. ^ Singh, Simon (23 April 2008). "Homeopathy - what a waste of time". The Times Online. 
  20. ^ "Brisbane SitP". Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  21. ^ "Tasmanian Skeptics". Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  22. ^ "Launceston Skeptics". Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "Melbourne Skeptics". Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  24. ^ "Mordi Skeptics". Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  25. ^ "Sydney Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  26. ^ "Wollongong Skeptics in the Pub". 
  27. ^ Sceptiques dans un pub, Bruxelles
  28. ^ "Taverna Cética". Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  29. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub (Hong Kong)". Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  30. ^ "Copenhagen Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  31. ^ "Cork Skeptics". Retrieved Apr 2013. 
  32. ^ "Skeptic Ireland". Retrieved Feb 2011. 
  33. ^ Jeroen Morsink (18 March 2014). "The Hague Skeptics in the Pub". Meetup.com. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  34. ^ "Auckland Skeptics in the Pub". 
  35. ^ "Christchurch Skeptics in the Pub". 
  36. ^ "Dunedin Skeptics in the Pub". 
  37. ^ "Hamilton Skeptics in the Pub". 
  38. ^ "Hawkes Bay Skeptics in the Pub". 
  39. ^ "Palmerston North Skeptics in the Pub". 
  40. ^ "Wellington Skeptics in the Pub". 
  41. ^ "Skeptikere på puben, Oslo". Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  42. ^ "Drinking Skeptically SG". Retrieved 24 Oct 2013. 
  43. ^ a b "Skeptiki v pubu". 
  44. ^ "About". FSI website. Free Society Institute. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  45. ^ "South African Skeptics - Events, Highlights and News". NewsAlloy. 17 June 2013 and earlier. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  46. ^ Angela (27 August 2010). "Joburg Skeptics in the Pub: The "Don't Be A Dick" Edition". The Skeptic Detective. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  47. ^ Jaco De Bruyn (19 July 2014). "SITP Pretoria July". Facebook. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  48. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub, Aberdeen". Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  49. ^ "Aberystwyth Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  50. ^ "Bath Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  51. ^ "Bedford Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  52. ^ "Belfast Skeptics". Retrieved 29 September 2010. 
  53. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub Birmingham". Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  54. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub Bournemouth". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  55. ^ "Brighton Skeptics". Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  56. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub Bristol". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  57. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub, Cambridge". Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  58. ^ "Cardiff Skeptics". Retrieved Jan 2011. 
  59. ^ "Cheltenham Skeptics". Retrieved Nov 2010. 
  60. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub, Chichester". Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  61. ^ "Coventry Skeptics". Retrieved Oct 2011. 
  62. ^ "Ealing Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  63. ^ "Eastbourne Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  64. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub, Edinburgh". Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  65. ^ "Exeter Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  66. ^ "Glasgow Skeptics". Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  67. ^ "Gravesend Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  68. ^ "Greenwich Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  69. ^ "Guildford Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  70. ^ "High Wycombe Skeptics". Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  71. ^ "Horsham Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  72. ^ "Kingston Skeptics". Retrieved April 2012. 
  73. ^ "Lancaster Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  74. ^ "Leeds Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  75. ^ "Leicester Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  76. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub - Lewes". Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  77. ^ "Lincoln Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  78. ^ "Merseyside Skeptics Society". Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  79. ^ "London Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  80. ^ "Greater Manchester Skeptics Society: Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  81. ^ "MK Skeptics". Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  82. ^ "Newcastle Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  83. ^ "Norwich Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  84. ^ "Nottingham Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  85. ^ "Oxford Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  86. ^ "Plymouth Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  87. ^ "Portsmouth Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  88. ^ "Reading Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  89. ^ "Sheffield Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  90. ^ "Soho Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  91. ^ "Stoke Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  92. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub Swansea". Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  93. ^ "Teesside Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  94. ^ "Tunbridge Wells Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  95. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub Winchester". Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  96. ^ "Worthing Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  97. ^ "York Skeptics". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  98. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub (archive)". Atlanta Skeptics. 20 February 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  99. ^ "Bay Area Skeptics". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  100. ^ "Calendar". Boston Skeptics. July–September 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  101. ^ "Skeptics of Central Iowa". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  102. ^ "Champaign Urbana Freethinkers". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  103. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub, Chattanooga". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  104. ^ "Chicago Skeptics". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  105. ^ "Chico Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  106. ^ "Skeptical Society of Cincinnati". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  107. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub (Fort Collins)". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  108. ^ "Greater Houston Skeptic Society". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  109. ^ "North Alabama Freethought Association". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  110. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub - Indianapolis". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  111. ^ "Louisville Area Skeptics". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  112. ^ "Calendar: Skeptics in the Pub". Granite State Skeptics. 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  113. ^ "Monterey County Skeptics". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  114. ^ "Center for Inquiry - Michigan". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  115. ^ "Missoula Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  116. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub - Morgantown". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  117. ^ "Paducah Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  118. ^ "Phoenix Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  119. ^ "PDX Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  120. ^ "Sacramento Area Skeptics". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  121. ^ "San Diego Skeptics (in the Pub)". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  122. ^ "North Bay Skeptics". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  123. ^ "The Seattle Skeptics Meetup Group". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  124. ^ "St. Louis Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  125. ^ "St. Petersburg Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  126. ^ "CNY Skeptics". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  127. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub (Tallahassee)". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  128. ^ "Backyard Skeptics Meetup". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  129. ^ "Air Capital Skeptics". Retrieved 10 May 2012. 

External links[edit]