The congress will begin on the Friday morning (delegates will be able to register on the Thursday afternoon) and end at lunchtime on Sunday. It is likely that we will have a pre-congress event on Thursday from 3.00 until 5.00 p.m. On Friday evening there will be a Skeptics in the Pub event with a presentation on magic by Gustav Kuhn (see below).
At present we are able to make the following exciting announcements:
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.
Well-known science writer, journalist and environmental activist Mr Mark Lynas will be speaking on science and the environment.
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.
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'.
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:
Dr Stephen Law, Provost of Centre for Inquiry UK and Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London
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.
The campaigning organisation Sense About Science are conducting an ‘Ask for Evidence’ project at the congress (with the participation of delegates).
On Friday night there will be a special Skeptics in the Pub event (location to be announced) in which Gustav Kuhn will give a presentation (with demonstrations) on the Science of Magic. Dr Kuhn is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths University.
Keep an eye on the programme!