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Ed Atkinson and Guy Tanner

When?
Wednesday, March 22 2017 at 8:00PM

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Where?

White Hill
Lewes,
East Sussex
BN7 2DJ

Who?
Ed Atkinson and Guy Tanner

What's the talk about?

Burning carbon must be driven from our cheap-energy economy on a global scale - and soon - to stop a looming disaster. But is there a workable way to drive out Carbon? If nations, corporations or individuals ‘do the right thing’ and burn less carbon won’t that just make coal, oil and gas cheaper for everyone else? Just how cheap does installing new solar need to be to make it cheaper than turning on the valves in the Saudi oil fields?  

It is easy to lose hope that change is possible, especially in Trump-World. The USA is the key to change and a group originating in the US 'Citizens Climate Lobby’ (CCL) is doing well there (even with some Republicans). They advocate a policy of a Carbon Fee which is all used to make a Dividend to the populace, thus making for a policy that is effective and politically attractive (most people are made better off). There really is hope.  

In this talk representatives from CCL, Guy Tanner and Ed Atkinson, will outline the policy options and their merits. They’ll include Cap & Trade, subsidising renewables and efficiency measures, divestment, Carbon Taxes and its variant the CCL policy of Carbon Fee and Dividend.  Guy and Ed will be delighted to get awkward questions on these policy issues leading to discussion in the SitP group. The science of climate change will not be covered.

 Tickets are now available behind the bar at the Elly shortly and online here.  

Fear of modern agricultural technology, especially Monsanto, GMOs and crop protection

Vance Crowe

When?
Thursday, February 16 2017 at 8:00PM

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Where?

St Andrew's Lane,
Lewes
BN7 1UW

Who?
Vance Crowe

What's the talk about?

Over the last 10,000 years agriculture has empowered civilization by lowering the percentage of individuals’ time spent procuring calories. In the last 100 years, improved farming technology has catalyzed the greatest human migration in history; allowing millions of people to leave their farms and move into cities where they can apply their time, skills and passion into other pursuits. In the last 2 decades, we have watched dramatic advancements in agricultural sciences including the growth of no-till agriculture and the adoption of genetically engineered crops- and yet, the present day is marked by fear and distrust of large scale agricultural technologies like crop protection and genetically engineered crops. Society clearly wants affordable quality food but also a better environment, to address climate change and preserve bio diversity, yet fears the very technologies that may deliver exactly that for the longer term.   

In this 45 minute talk, Vance Crowe, Monsanto’s director of Millennial Engagement will discuss the value of using technology to sustainably grow our crops, share why a former US Peace Corps/public radio/World Bank staffer would speak out on behalf of a deeply vilified company, and discuss why skepticsm and science communication is so deeply critical to helping society understand future technologies like microbials, data science, and chemistry as we attempt to provide locally adapted solutions to farmers growing the food in a competitive market.

Tickets are available online here

PLEASE NOTE DIFFERENT VENUE, WHICH IS WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE.

Beth Miller

When?
Wednesday, October 26 2016 at 8:00PM

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Where?

White Hill
Lewes,
East Sussex
BN7 2DJ

Who?
Beth Miller

What's the talk about?

Four hundred years since he died, Shakespeare’s popularity is greater than ever. But whenever Beth Miller told people she was writing a book about him, she was amazed by the number who asked, ‘Who do you think really wrote the plays? ’ Scepticism about Shakespeare’s authorship, though a fringe belief, has a grip on the public imagination.

In this talk, Beth will consider some of the rival claimants (there are many), and explore the reasons why people think one of these, rather than Shakespeare, was the author of the plays. She will also discuss the undervalued skill of ‘making stuff up, ’ and how we are prone to forget its power once we leave childhood behind.

Beth’s new book, For the Love of Shakespeare, will be published by Summersdale on 13th October. Her previous non-fiction book is For the Love of the Archers (Summersdale, 2015) ; and she is also the author of two novels, When We Were Sisters and The Good Neighbour, both published by Ebury (Random House). She has a PhD in Psychology.

 

Tickets available from the bar at the Elly or online here

 

Professor John Mew

When?
Wednesday, September 21 2016 at 8:00PM

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Where?

White Hill
Lewes,
East Sussex
BN7 2DJ

Who?
Professor John Mew

What's the talk about?

What is Orthotropics

Orthotropics  is based around the theory that different forms of removable appliances, along with relevant muscle training, can correct the anatomy of the oral cavity as it grows in a child. This then affects the development of the skeleton and changes the position of the teeth.  Those who offer orthotropic treatment point to non-surgical success without compromising the integrity of the jaw or teeth.  

It's controversial but gaining ground, and is the brainchild of Professor John Mew.  In this talk he'll describe how his treatment has transformed the faces - and the futures - of his patients, and why he believes that the orthodontic orthodoxy needs to change.  

About John Mew

After qualifying in 1953, John Mew studied maxilo-facial surgery, before moving to orthodontics in 1965. For many years he remained very much within the establishment becoming president of the Southern Counties Branch of the British Dental Association in 1971. He was honoured with life membership of the British Dental Association in 1999.

His surgical training at East Grinstead gave him the opportunity to study occlusal and TMD problems. He also observed the facial changes that followed the repositioning of its skeletal components; especially the Maxilla. Noticing that many facial problems appeared to have environmental origins he became interested in early facial growth and the factors which might influence it.

In 1958 he put forward the ‘Tropic Premise’ which suggested that malocclusion was a ‘Postural Deformity’ and that irregular teeth were not necessarily inherited. He became concerned that the mechanics of orthodontic treatment could be harmful to facial growth, and over the subsequent 20 years developed the concept of facial ‘Growth Guidance’ [Orthotropics®] and the ‘Biobloc’ system of treatment. At the time the establishment labelled him a maverick and applied enormous political, legal and financial pressure to prevent him from using many procedures that are now commonplace.

 

TICKETS NOW ONLINE AT 

https://www.tickettailor.com/checkout/view-event/id/64590/chk/7219

The costs and benefits of psychological research and its links with medicine

Jane Ogden

When?
Wednesday, July 20 2016 at 8:00PM

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Where?

White Hill
Lewes,
East Sussex
BN7 2DJ

Who?
Jane Ogden

What's the talk about?

What's the talk about?

'Do no harm' underpins medical practice.  However sometimes medical interventions can cause complications or further illness. This talk looks at research into such topics as compliance with medication, help seeking, screening and changes in behaviour to argue that all interventions risk harm as well as delivering benefits.

Health psychology explores the links between psychology and physical health. It is possible that health psychology may have inadvertently contributed to psychological harms (eg lead times, anxiety, risk compensation, rebound effects), medical harms (eg. medication side effects, unnecessary procedures) and social harms (eg. financial costs, increased consultations rates).   Such harms may result from over medicalisation of symptoms. They may also reflect the ways in which we manage probabilities and an optimistic bias that emphasises benefit over cost.  Or they may reflect a change in the way we understand mortality and a belief that even death can be controlled, or even avoided, by the individual.

 

Bio: After completing her PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry Jane Ogden lectured first at Middlesex University then Kings College London.  She joined the University of Surrey as Professor in Health Psychology in 2005.  She teaches psychology, medical, vet, nutrition and dietician students to think more psychologically about physical health.  Her research focuses on eating behaviour and obesity management, aspects of women's health and communication.  She has published 6 books and over 170 papers.  She is also a regular contributor to the media and writes a regular column for The Conversation. 

 

Robin Ince

When?
Wednesday, June 15 2016 at 8:00PM

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Where?

White Hill
Lewes,
East Sussex
BN7 2DJ

Who?
Robin Ince

What's the talk about?

Robin Ince is in doubt, and battling dogma that seems to have become a creeping disease since social media rose. What does he know? Well, find out. He may also tell you something about Brian Cox's large hadron beauty regime

 
About:
 
Robin Ince started his comedy career as a writer, working on shows including Alistair McGowan's Big Impresison, V Graham, Norton and Meet Ricky Gervais, his first of many collaborations with the Extras star.
 
Ince appeared with Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Jimmy Carr in the 2001 Edinburgh show Rubbernecker, and regularly supports Gervais on tour. He also appeared in one episode of The Office, playing interviewee Stewart Foot.
 
He's also Brian Cox's partner on Radio 4's The Infinite Monkey Cage (which might explain the insights into his beauty regime...)

 

Tickets are now available behind the bar at the Elephant and Castle or online for a small supplementary charge.  

What are the arguments, and who will win?

Simon Hix

When?
Wednesday, May 25 2016 at 8:00PM

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Where?

White Hill
Lewes,
East Sussex
BN7 2DJ

Who?
Simon Hix

What's the talk about?

This event is being hosted jointly with the Headstrong Club.

Note: tickets for this event will be on sale from behind the bar at the Elephant & Caslte from the beginning of May. They will not be available to buy online.

As the UK approaches the EU referendum the polls suggest a close race. What’s clearer though is that the vast majority of people feel woefully under-informed about the key issues. So how do we navigate our way through the issues and the, often passionate, declarations made by the different sides? Simon will explain the main political and economic claims from the Remain and Leave sides in the campaign and evaluate the evidence supporting them. He will also analyse the state of public opinion, explaining why some opinion polls are more trustworthy than others. He will look at who is likely to vote to Leave and who is likely to vote to Remain, and who are the swing voters. From this analysis he will consider who is likely to win on 23 June and what the implications might be for Britain and Europe. This talk is part of a wider initiative by the ‘UK in a Changing Europe Project’. This initiative is intended to promote high-quality and independent research into relationship between the UK and the EU. It provides non-partisan information, insights and analysis about UK-EU relations that stands aside from the politics surrounding the debate.

Simon Hix is the Harold Laski Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics, Senior Fellow on the ESRC’s UK in a Changing Europe programme, and a Fellow of the British Academy. Simon is one of the leading researchers, teachers, and commentators on EU politics in the UK. He has published over 100 books and articles on European, British and comparative politics. He regularly gives evidence to committees in the House of Commons and House of Lords, and has advised the Cabinet Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office under both Labour and Conservative administrations. He has held visiting professor positions at many universities, including Stanford, Berkeley, UC San Diego, Sciences Po in Paris, the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, and the Korean Institute for International Economic Policy in Seoul. In 2013, on the 40th anniversary of the UK’s membership of the EU, EurActiv.com named Simon in their list of “the 40 most influential Brits on EU policy”. He is also a local boy as he was born and grew up in Crowborough, East Sussex. You can follow him on Twitter @simonjhix.

Jon Stewart

When?
Wednesday, April 22 2015 at 8:00PM

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Where?

White Hill
Lewes,
East Sussex
BN7 2DJ

Who?
Jon Stewart

What's the talk about?

Alcoholics Anonymous has become a commonly accepted and media endorsed remedy for problem drinkers. Yet while AA’s social worth is rarely challenged its efficacy rate, estimated at around 5%, appears comparable merely to that of natural spontaneous remission. Can a non-existent Higher Power really offer meaningful solutions to the debilitating and potentially fatal condition of alcoholism? If so, what do we do to help all those atheist and skeptic alcoholics?

AA’s famous 12 step programme actually evolved from the foundational precepts of a long-forgotten 1930s Christian fundamentalist mass movement, and remain entirely unchanged since first codified eighty years ago. How did this out-dated methodology become a go-to treatment option for one the great social health scourges of our age? It's half-way through the second decade in the twenty first century, and this is the best we have to offer?

Jon Stewart co-founded and played guitar for platinum-selling Britpop band Sleeper with whom he enjoyed three UK Top 10 albums and eight UK Top 40 singles. Jon has been sober since 21 August 2000, and was an active and enthusiastic member of Alcoholics Anonymous for thirteen years. He now campaigns for more up-to-date and evidence-based secular treatment options via his blog “Leaving AA & Staying Sober” at http://jonsleeper.wordpress.com

Jon lectures in popular culture and philosophy at the BIMM Institute in Brighton, and is a PhD researcher at University of Southampton. Author of a long-running column in Guitarist magazine, he has published a wide range of peer reviewed academic research in journals and edited volumes: https://bimm.academia.edu/JonathanStewart

John Gribbin

When?
Wednesday, March 11 2015 at 8:00PM

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Where?

White Hill
Lewes,
East Sussex
BN7 2DJ

Who?
John Gribbin

What's the talk about?

The Big Bang was not the beginning of time. Before the Big Bang, there was a tiny fraction of a second during which a process called inflation expanded a seed much smaller than the nucleus of an atom into a fireball the size of a basketball -- the Big Bang itself. From this fireball, he Universe as we know it developed. The origin of the seed from which the Universe began is not known with certainty, but as John Gribbin explains the most likely explanation is that it was a fluctuation of quantum energy in an eternal sea of cosmic energy. And that means that other seeds must surely have inflated to become other universes, bubbles in the cosmic sea. It is even possible that a collision between our universe and another bubble on the sea of eternity may have left an imprint on the cosmic background radiation, the echo of the Big Bang itself. 

Please note that John's ebook 'Before the Big Bang' is available on Kindle for just £1.99

John Gribbin is an award winning science writer best known for his book In Search of Schrodinger's Cat. He studied astrophysics under Fred Hoyle in Cambridge, and is now a Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

Nick Davies

When?
Wednesday, February 18 2015 at 8:00PM

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Where?

White Hill
Lewes,
East Sussex
BN7 2DJ

Who?
Nick Davies

What's the talk about?

Nick Davies is a freelance journalist, working regularly as a special correspondent for The Guardian. In 35 years as a reporter, he has specialised in long-term projects investigating crime, failing schools, poverty, drugs laws and news media. He has been named journalist of the year, feature writer of the year and reporter of the year in British press awards and has won the special awards for investigative reporting which are given in memory of Martha Gellhorn, Paul Foot and Tony Bevins. He is an honorary doctor of literature at the London School of Economics and an honorary fellow of the University of Westminster and Goldsmiths College, London.

He has published six books including Flat Earth News, a controversial account of falsehood, distortion and propaganda in quality news media, which won the first Bristol Festival of Ideas book award and Hack Attack which exposes Rupert Murdoch's use of power as well as the crime in his newsrooms.

In June 2010, he initiated the alliance of news organisations which published US military and diplomatic secrets which had been obtained by Wikileaks. Between July 2009 and July 2011 he wrote more than a hundred Guardian stories about crime in Rupert Murdoch's News of the World and about the failure of British governments, police and press regulators to hold Murdoch to account. This led to six different police inquiries in England and Scotland, a series of arrests and criminal trials, and to the establishing of Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into the culture and practices of the press.

This evening Nick will talk about a range subjects covered by his recent work including Wikileaks and Julian Assange, phone hacking and the state of the British press industry.

Norman Baker

When?
Wednesday, January 7 2015 at 8:00PM

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Where?

White Hill
Lewes,
East Sussex
BN7 2DJ

Who?
Norman Baker

What's the talk about?

In the talk this evening, Norman Baker will outline his position on drugs and government regulation.

Norman Baker has been MP for Lewes since 1997. Born in Aberdeen, Norman moved to Hornchurch in Essex in 1968 and was educated at the Royal Liberty School, Gidea Park, before taking a degree in German (and being elected three times to run one of the college bars) at Royal Holloway College, University of London. He was elected to Lewes District and Beddingham Parish Council in 1987 and, two years later, to East Sussex County Council. 

In 1991 he led the Liberal Democrats to victory at Lewes District Council, becoming that council’s first ever Lib Dem leader. He was elected to Parliament on his second attempt in 1997, becoming the seat’s first non-Conservative MP since 1874 and overturning a Tory majority of more than 12,000. In 2001 he was named “Inquisitor of the Year” in the Zurich/Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards and in February 2002, Channel 4 named him “Opposition MP of the Year”. Following the 2010 General Election, he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport as part of the Coalition Government.  He served in this position until his promotion, in October 2013, to Minister of State for Crime Prevention at the Home Office. He resigned from this post in November 2014.

While in Government, Norman Baker repeatedly called for changes to drug policy, claiming that patients should have access to cannabis for cancer pain relief and multiple sclerosis and that, in some cases, legal highs might be better off regulated rather than prohibited. In August 2014 he wrote an open letter to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, in which he said "I think it is time to reconsider the medicinal properties of cannabis, given what I've learned in my role as a minister. I've seen more and more evidence that cannabis can provide genuine medical benefits to treat a number of conditions. There is a growing body of research that shows the medical properties of chemical components of cannabis. I am uncomfortable that there are credible people I have met who tell me that cannabis is the only substance that helps relieve their condition, but not only are they stopped from accessing it officially but they have to break the law to help their health … Obviously we have to do this right; we need to ensure that the proper medical processes are applied. But I've always said that we should follow the evidence, even if that takes us into uncomfortable areas of policy-making."

Science and Islam

Priya Shetty

When?
Wednesday, December 3 2014 at 8:00PM

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Where?

White Hill
Lewes,
East Sussex
BN7 2DJ

Who?
Priya Shetty

What's the talk about?

Most Islamic countries languish at the bottom of global science rankings; their scientific output falls behind even the poorest African countries and the number of researchers per capita remains significantly lower than the USA or Europe. Yet science wasn’t always so neglected. In the Golden Age of Arabic science, between the 8th and 15th centuries, the work of Muslim scientists in mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, medicine paved the way for the European renaissance. So what explains the modern-day dearth of knowledge and expertise in Islamic countries?

Contrary to popular assumption that science and rational thinking is hampered by the theological strictures of Islam, in this talk, Priya Shetty argues that religion has very little to do with the poor scientific performance of Islamic countries. She explores political, socioeconomic, and cultural factors, to show how science and Islam co-exist quite easily, and describes the scientific renaissance that many Islamic countries are currently pursuing. A science journalist for 15 years, Priya Shetty has researched science and technology capacity in Indonesia, as part of the Royal Society’s project to map science capacity in Islamic countries, and will present some of her findings from Indonesia in this talk.

A Brighton-based science journalist who has worked at New Scientist and The Lancet, and writes for the BBC, The Guardian, and Nature, Priya focuses on the intersection of science and society, and has written about sexism in science, abortion rights, and access to medicines.

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