Welcome to Gravesend Skeptics in the Pub - the pub skeptics who meet in a tea-room on the third Wednesday of every month.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. when drinks and cakes will be available.  Talks start at 7:45 p.m.

Everyone is welcome. Usually there's no need to book but check individual events as occasionally booking is necessary.  Talks are generally suitable for an audience aged 16 and over.

The cost is a donation of £2 per head towards the speaker's expenses.

Were we too busy weighing the pig to feed it?

Dr John Gogarty

When?
Wednesday, December 21 2016 at 7:30PM

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Where?

84 Parrock Road
Gravesend
Kent
DA12 1QF

Who?
Dr John Gogarty

What's the talk about?

Assessment has become a key word in education but there are concerns that we've fallen into the same trap as the pig farmer, "who was so busy weighing the pig that its feeding was forgotten".   It's also something that Dr John Gogarty has been involved with over the last three decades.

At this event he will give a personal view of assessment and examination over the last 30 years.

 

Dr Erica McAlister

When?
Wednesday, January 18 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

84 Parrock Road
Gravesend
Kent
DA12 1QF

Who?
Dr Erica McAlister

What's the talk about?

Why do we need flies?  Well for many reasons from the disposal of dead bodies to our continued enjoyment of chocolate.

Dr McAlister is the Collections Manager for Diptera, Siphonaptera, Archnida and Myriapoda at the National History Museum and oversees a collection of between 3-4 million specimens.  Her specific interests lie within Diptera (true flies), Asilidae (robber or assassin flies) and Mycetophilidae (small flies including gnats).  Her mission is to make us all feel differently about flies - and if you're sceptical about that then come and hear why you might change your mind.

Dr McAlister has been involved in a range of international projects where her expertise is helping with research work involving the mosquito, pollinators and viruses.  Additonally she is very much involved in Public engagement both within the museum and externally.  Externally she has presented a Radio 4 series on Insects (Who's the Pest) as well as appearing in many others (Radio 3, 4 and BBCLondon). She presents talks to Natural History Societies, gives talks for Cafe Scientific, Pub Science and has presented a Summer Lecture for the Royal Society.  She has also participated in Ugly Animals, Science Showoff and Museum Showoff.

 

What happened when we tried to correct the record on 58 misreported clinical trials

Henry Drysdale

When?
Wednesday, February 15 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

84 Parrock Road
Gravesend
Kent
DA12 1QF

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 intention 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.