Please note that Michael Marshall of The Good Thinking Society has done podcasts of interviews of many of the speakers at the congress. These are available for listening to at: http://goodthinkingsociety.org/category/projects/2015-esc-podcast/.
The following is a full list of speakers.
PROFESSOR JIM AL-KHALILI
Professor Jim Al-Khalili will give a keynote address on Friday morning. He is Professor of Theoretical Physics and Chair in the Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey, a well-known presenter of science programmes on radio and television, author of several popular books on science, and currently President of the British Humanist Association.
EMERITUS PROFESSOR EDZARD ERNST
Emeritus Professor Edzard Ernst, formerly Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, will give a presentation on integrative medicine.
PROFESSOR SUSAN BEWLEY
Susan Bewley is a Professor of Complex Obstetrics at Kings College London (having been an NHS consultant for 17 years at Guys’ and St Thomas’ Hospitals) and is a trustee of Healthwatch (‘for science and integrity in medicine’) in her spare time.
DR JAMES MAY
Dr James May is the chair of Healthwatch. James has a Masters in Bioethics and an interest in the history and philosophy of science. He has been a GP partner in London for 12 years.
DR CATHERINE DE JONG
Dr Catherine de Jong is an anaesthetist and addiction specialist, President of the Dutch Society against Quackery.
DR MACIEJ ZATONSKI
Dr. Maciej Zatonski is a surgeon and researcher. He is actively involved in encouraging people to trust in scientifically proven therapies rather than fairies, myths, and tricksters. He is a founder of the Polish Skeptics Club. He lives and works in the UK.
At various times in history people have sincerely believed in the existence of fairies, but the characteristics, behaviour, and even the appearance of the supernatural creatures were very changeable, reflecting the changing circumstances and environment of the humans who recounted the tales. So Deborah will ask: what can we learn about people from the fairies? Deborah Hyde is editor of the skeptic (skeptic.org.uk) and writes about belief in the malign macabre at www jourdemayne.com
PROFESSOR RICHARD WISEMAN
Professor Richard Wiseman is giving a talk entitled Spreading Skepticism via Youtube. Professor Wiseman is well-known to all skeptics and holds the Chair in the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire.
There is a overwhelming consensus that humans are currently the main cause of global warming and climate change. However, a very vocal group of people deny this connection. The talk will give a short overview of the factors that contribute to global warming and show both historic and current trends. Some of the major arguments used against anthopogenic global warming will also be addressed. The talk will end with an outlook into the future. Amardeo Sarma is a General Manager at NEC Laboratories Europe in Heidelberg of a Division that does research on security, smart energy, smart transportation and public safety. He was the founder of the German skeptics organization GWUP in 1987 and currently serves as Chairman. Amardeo is ECSO Board Member and Fellow and Executive Council Member of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI). He received the Distinguished Skeptic Award in 1998. Within the skeptics movement, his specific interests are on methods of investigation and testing, dowsing, the Shroud of Turin and recently global warming and the denial of science.
PROFESSOR CHRIS FRENCH
Professor Chris French and his colleagues will present accounts of their work at the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths College. Speakers are as follows:
Dr Rosie Waterhouse will speak on 'Satanic Panics' and related topics.
Alasdair Hopwood will give a talk on False Memory.
Carla MacKinnon will give a presentation on Sleep Paralysis.
Dan Denis is co-presenting with Carla MacKinnon (above).
Rob Teszka will give a talk on ‘The Psychology of Magic’.
Babara Rowlands will give a presentation on 'Media Coverage of Complementary Medicine'.
Christopher will give a presentation on 'The Psychology of Belief in Conspiracies'.
DR CAROLINE WATT
Dr Caroline Watt is giving a talk on the work that she and her colleagues have been conducting at the University of Edinburgh’s Koestler Parapsychology Unit which this year is marking the 30th anniversary of its inception.
DR MARTIN MAHNER
Dr Martin Mahner will present a talk on tests of paranormal claims undertaken by GWUP, the German skeptical organisation. He is a biologist and philosopher of science and is GWUP’s Head of the Centre for Science and Critical Thinking.
DR MARK NEWBROOK
Dr Mark Newbrook will present a talk entitled ‘Linguists (and others) who should Know Better’. Mark Newbrook is a professional historical and general linguist, and the author of Strange Linguistics (2013), the first ever general linguistically-informed skeptical survey of non-mainstream ideas about language.
DR ANTONIN PAVLICEK
Dr Antonin Pavlicek of the University of Prague and the Czech Skeptical Society Sysyfos will describe the testing of paranormal claims in the Czech Republic.
Klaus Schmeh, a computer scientist and member of the German Skeptical Society GWUP, will give a presentation on Parascientific Codes.
There will be a panel debate (with audience participation) on 'Skepticism Humanism and Religion'. The panel will consist of:
Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association
PROFESSOR ADAM DINHAM
Professor Adam Dinham, Director, Faiths & Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths College
RABBI PETE TOBIAS
Rabbi Pete Tobias, speaker and writer on Liberal Judaism.
DR JAMES MAY
Chris Peters of the campaigning organisation Sense About Science will talk about the ‘Ask for Evidence’ campaign. Chris is the Scientific Liaison at Sense About Science. Chris has a PhD in plant biology from the University of Sheffield where he also completed his undergraduate masters in biological sciences. Having had enough of freezing plants to death in liquid nitrogen Chris decided to move away from research and worked at the British Ecological Society and Carbon Brief before joining Sense About Science in 2012. Chris coordinates the Ask for Evidence campaign and enjoys making a fuss about things that are wrong. So long as it is a constructive fuss.
PRE-CONRESS EVENT, THURSDAY AFTERNOON: ‘Codes, Coincidences & Chocolate Fountains: How Numbers Shape our Lives’
A fun look at maths with Simon Singh, Chris French, Helen Wilson and Rob Eastway
Chris French is a Professor of Psychology and Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths. His latest book (with Anna Stone) is Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience.
After completing a PhD in particle physics, Simon Singh joined the BBC Science Departments as a producer and director. After directing a documentary about Fermat's Last Theorem, he wrote a book on the subject and has since written four more books. He has been interested in skepticism for several years and founded The Good Thinking Society, a UK-based charity that promotes good science and challenges pseudoscience.
Rob Eastaway is the author or co-author of twelve books, including the bestselling Why Do Buses Come in Threes? and Maths for Mums and Dads. He is the Director of Maths Inspiration, a national programme of theatre-based lecture shows that were attended by nearly 20,000 teenagers last year. He regularly appears on radio programmes such as More or Less and Today to discuss the maths of everyday life.
Helen Wilson is an applied mathematician, and deputy head of UCL’s Maths department.
SKEPTICS IN THE PUB EVENT, FRIDAY EVENING: 'The Science of Magic'
At Goldsmiths Student Union with Gustav Kuhn
DR GUSTAV KUHN
Dr Kuhn is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths University. This is a separate event to the main congress.