Anthony Warner

When?
Wednesday, November 6 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

Who?
Anthony Warner

What's the talk about?

We are getting fat and sick in increasing numbers and it’s placing a devastating burden on our healthcare systems. Scientists in every field are desperate to explain this epidemic and stave off a modern health disaster. But what’s to blame? Carbs, fat or sugar? Gut microbes or genes? Laziness or poverty? In this talk, Anthony Warner will scrutinise the explanations of experts in every field, laying out the best evidence available. But most of all, he will rail against quack theories preying on the desperate and consider whether we are blaming our own bodies for other people's ignorance and cruelty. What remains is the unvarnished truth about one of the great preoccupations of our age.

Dr Dan Jolley

When?
Wednesday, December 4 2019 at 7:30PM

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Where?

60 Old Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NY

Who?
Dr Dan Jolley

What's the talk about?

Conspiracy theories are associated with almost every significant social and political event, including the theory that the U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, that the U.K Government murdered Diana, Princess of Wales, or that the pharmaceutical industry deliberately concealed the fact that the MMR vaccine causes Autism. Belief in these types of conspiracy theories is blooming in the 21st century; millions of people subscribe to them.

A basic understanding of logic, rationality, and probability tell us, however, that most of these conspiracy claims are probably false. So why then do so many people believe them? What makes them so attractive and compelling to people? And, anyway, what’s the problem, aren’t they just harmless fun?

In this talk, Dr Daniel Jolley will take you through the psychology of conspiracy theories. You will learn why people subscribe to conspiracy theories and discuss some of the misconceptions (including whether all conspiracy believers are paranoid!). He will also uncover some of the potentially damaging consequences of conspiracy theories; maybe they are not just harmless after all, before discussing ongoing research into tools to combat the negative harm of conspiracism!

Dr Daniel Jolley is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Staffordshire University. He is a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society, where he is a member of the Executive Committee of the Social Psychology Section. Jolley’s main area of research is the psychology of conspiracy theories. He is particularly interested in using experimental methods to examine the social consequences of exposure to conspiracy theories and has co-authored articles in outlets such as PLoSONE, the British Journal of Psychology and Political Psychology. He blogs at conspiracypsychology.com and tweets @DrDanielJolley

NB: Not our usual first Wednesday of the month slot

Dr Brian Klass

When?
Wednesday, January 8 2020 at 7:30PM

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Where?

60 Old Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NY

Who?
Dr Brian Klass

What's the talk about?

There are more elections than ever before in human history and yet the world is becoming less democratic. How can that be? A huge number of people suspect that their elections are being manipulated in some way or another, whether it's a vote in a fragile country in sub-Saharan Africa or Southeast Asia, or, say, a contentious referendum in the UK or a presidential election in the US. How much of that is true, and how much of it is just our propensity to be suspicious of powerful people in politics? In this talk, Dr. Klaas will walk us through the tricks of the trade – how the amateurs do it and how the pros get away with it, in this stranger than fiction talk that covers elections from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe

Dr. Brian Klaas is an assistant professor in global politics at University College London, a weekly columnist for The Washington Post, and the creator and host of the Power Corrupts podcast. He is an expert on US politics, authoritarianism, elections, democracy, and political violence. He has conducted field research interviewing election rigging henchmen, despots, presidents, prime ministers, rebels, coup plotters, and torture victims in southeast Asia, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe. He obtained his B.A. from Carleton College and his MPhil and DPhil from Oxford.