Welcome to Gravesend Skeptics in the Pub - the pub skeptics who meet at No.84 - the tea room, coffee shop and events venue at 84 Parrock Road, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1QF - 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.

Magic, ghosts, and the origins of experimental psychology

Matt Tompkins

When?
Wednesday, December 20 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

84 Parrock Road
Gravesend
Kent
DA12 1QF

Who?
Matt Tompkins

What's the talk about?

On Sunday the 18th of November 1877, at 3pm in the afternoon, Wilhelm Wundt, sometimes identified as the 'Founder of Experimental Psychology,' joined hands with a group of academics and bore witness to series of ‘miracles’ in the presence of a visiting American spirit medium. Wundt was unconvinced by what he saw. However, a number of his esteemed colleagues, including world-renowned physicists Gustav Fechner, Wilhelm Weber, and Johann Zöllner, believed that the events they witnessed called for a complete revision of the fundamental laws of physics – a revision that could accommodate immortal fourth-dimensional spirit people. The resulting debate was not itself immortalized in any mainstream psychology text books, but, arguably, it did play a fundamental role in the subsequent emergence of Experimental Psychology as a formal scientific discipline. My talk will examine this debate, briefly surveying the historical context leading up to events, and analyzing the arguments of the various key players, before considering the consequences and their lasting impacts psychology and science in general.

Matt Tompkins is a psychologist and a semi-professional magician. He is currently completing a doctoral thesis at the University of Oxford on the relationships between perception, attention, and sleight-of-hand illusions. His most recent paper was published in Frontiers in Psychology, and his research has been featured in the Washington Post and BBC Future. 

Dr James Davies

When?
Wednesday, January 17 2018 at 7:30PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

84 Parrock Road
Gravesend
Kent
DA12 1QF

Who?
Dr James Davies

What's the talk about?

Dr James Davies, reader in social anthropology and mental health at the University of Roehampton, looked into the construction of the psychiatrists' bible, the DSM, and was surprised and disturbed by what he found.  At this talk he shares the results of his research.

James is also a psychotherapist, who started working for the NHS in 2004. He is the co-founder of the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry (CEP), which is secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence.

He is the author of the bestselling book Cracked, which was his first book written for a wider audience. It is a critical exploration of modern-day psychiatry based on interviews with leaders of the profession.  He has also written for the media with his articles appearing in The Times, The New Scientist, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Therapy Today, Mad in America and Salon.  He has spoken on BBC Radio 4 (The Today Programme & PM), Sky News, BBC World News, BBC World Service, LBC, ITV’s This Morning and various national and local radio stations. Additionally he has extensively consulted for the BBC, ITV and other media outlets on matters pertaining to mental health.