Skeptics in the Pub

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Skeptics in the Pub
Skeptics in the Pub.jpg
Common logo of SITP events worldwide
Status Active
Genre skepticism, rationalism, science, critical thinking, activism, and freethought
Location(s) Various cities across the world
Country International
Inaugurated 1999
Founder Scott Campbell (London)
Most recent Current
Attendance Variable, up to hundreds
Organized by Various people and groups

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

Format[edit]

"Skeptics in the Pub" is not a protected term, anyone can set one up. There also is no formal procedure to organising an event; organisers can fill in activities as they see fit. There are, however, some common approaches across the world in hosting such events that make them more successful.[2]

The usual format of meetings includes an invited speaker who gives a talk on a specific topic, followed by a question-and-answer session.[3] 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.[4][5]

History[edit]

London[edit]

Wiseman, Marsh, Hyde, Grossman, French, Heap, Hutchinson and Ridpath discussing the growth of skepticism in the UK at Greenwich SITP 2015.

The earliest and longest-running event[1] is the award-winning[6] London meeting, established by Australian philosophy professor Scott Campbell[7][8] in 1999.[1][9] Campbell based the idea around Philosophy in the Pub and Science in the Pub, two groups which had been running in Australia for some time.[10][dead link] The inaugural speaker was Wendy M. Grossman, the editor and founder of The Skeptic magazine, in February[citation needed] 1999; this first talk attracted 30 attendees.[1] The London group claims to be the "World's largest regular pub meeting," with 200 to 400 people in attendance at each meeting.[1][8][11]

Campbell ran the London group for three years while there on a teaching sabbatical,[1] 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. As of 2011, the London group was co-convened by Sid Rodrigues,[1] who has co-organised events in several other cities around the world.[citation needed] This group has conducted experiments on the paranormal as part of James Randi's One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge[15] and co-organised An Evening with James Randi & Friends.[16][17][18]

Around the world[edit]

The ease of use of the internet, via social networking sites and content management systems,[19] 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.[4][5] In 2009, D. J. Grothe described the rise of Skeptics in the Pub across cities in North America and elsewhere as a prominent example of "Skepticism 2.0". SITPs were often founded outside the realm of existing skeptical organisations (mostly centred around magazines), with some successful meetings growing out to become fully-fledged membership organisations.[19]

"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:

Groups[edit]

The following is a list of towns and cities in which Skeptics in the Pub groups are currently active:[5]

Australia[edit]

Launceston Skeptics in the Pub.

Austria[edit]

Belgium[edit]

Griet Vandermassen speaking at Ghent Skeptics in the Pub.
Maarten Boudry talking with Young Skeptics in the Pub in Ghent.
Johan Braeckman and Sebastien Valkenberg lecturing in Wetteren.

Brazil[edit]

Bulgaria[edit]

Canada[edit]

China[edit]

Croatia[edit]

Denmark[edit]

Germany[edit]

Skeptics in the Pub Hamburg.

Hungary[edit]

SITP Székesfehérvár.

Ireland[edit]

Dublin SITP cake celebrating their 1st anniversary in 2011.

Israel[edit]

Italy[edit]

In Italy, "Skeptics in the Pub" is called "La Razionale Alcoolica" ("the Alcoholic Rational") and is managed by the Italian skeptic committee CICAP.

Netherlands[edit]

The Hague Skeptics in the Pub.

In the Netherlands, there are several monthly English language "Skeptics in the Pub" events, and several Dutch language "Freethinkers in the Pub" events (co-)organised by De Vrije Gedachte and two closely related Dutch language "Enlightenment in the Pub" events.

  • Amsterdam
    • Amsterdam Skeptics in the Pub (hosted by the Amsterdam working group of Stichting Skepsis)[57][58]
    • Amsterdam Freethinkers in the Pub (Vrijdenkersborrel Amsterdam; co-organised by De Vrije Gedachte and the Partij van de Rede – ASP)[59]
  • Delft Skeptics in the Pub (supported by The Hague Skeptics in the Pub)[60]
  • Deventer Freethinkers in the Pub (Vrijdenkersborrel Deventer; co-organised by De Vrije Gedachte and the Partij van de Rede – ASP)[61]
  • Groningen Freethinkers in the Pub (Vrijdenkersborrel Groningen; organised by De Vrije Gedachte)[62]
  • Rotterdam Enlightenment the Pub (Rotterdamse Verlichtingsborrel; linked to De Vrije Gedachte)[63]
  • Nijmegen Freethinkers in the Pub (Vrijdenkersborrel Nijmegen; organised by De Vrije Gedachte)[64]
  • The Hague
    • The Hague Skeptics in the Pub (organised independently)[65]
    • The Hague Enlightenment in the Pub (Haagse Verlichtingsborrel; linked to De Vrije Gedachte)[66][67][68]
  • Utrecht Freethinkers in the Pub (Vrijdenkersborrel Utrecht; organised by De Vrije Gedachte)[69][70]

New Zealand[edit]

Norway[edit]

Oslo Skeptics in the Pub.

Russia[edit]

Russian skeptics usually meet in anti-cafés.

Singapore[edit]

Slovenia[edit]

South Africa[edit]

Spain[edit]

Spanish SITP banner: "Science, rationalism, debate, beer and friends."

Sweden[edit]

Switzerland[edit]

Taiwan[edit]

Thailand[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

Brian Deer speaking at a Liverpudlian SITP meeting, hosted by the Merseyside Skeptics Society.
Physicist/comedian/musician Helen Arney performing at Winchester SITP.
David Robert Grimes speaking at Manchester Skeptics in the Pub.

United States[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  190. ^ "St. Louis Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  191. ^ "St. Petersburg Skeptics in the Pub". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  192. ^ "Schedule 2015–2016". Central New York. 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
  193. ^ "Skeptics in the Pub (Tallahassee)". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  194. ^ "Backyard Skeptics Meetup". Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  195. ^ "Air Capital Skeptics". Retrieved 10 May 2012. 

External links[edit]