Never rains but it pours, and given that it is now April it is fitting that we have not one but two Dublin Skeptics events! Both will take place in the Exchange, 2 Exchange Street Upper.
Now we are going to engage in a little shameless self promotion.
Last year myself and Finn very much enjoyed the Saturday evening entertainments at QEDcon, including the first ever “Ockhams” or Skeptic Awards. As The Skeprechauns was not long into its revival we didn’t entertain the idea of being mentioned at all but this year is a different barrel of skeptical fish!
If you enjoy our podcast and think it deserves a nomination or a vote, please head to the Skeptic website (http://www.skeptic.org.uk/) and pop us into the Best Podcast catagory. Nominations close on 15th February 2013.
“We in Ireland we are proud of our reputation for creativity, for originality and for our unique and imaginative view of the world.”(Higgins, 2012)
This summer Ireland hosted the Euroscience Open Forum. This science conference had speakers from all aspects of the scientific community. From those who study the basic structure of the Universe, like Rolf-Dieter Heuer, to food specialists such as Hervé This. It is this diverse nature of science we need to communicate to the public.
There are a few blogs that I have in my RSS feed just to give me a bit of motivation with my own pet projects. One of these is the Time Management Ninja who recently blogged about 21 Signs You Are Failing At Time Management. Don’t get me wrong, these blogs (along with ones on frugality, creativity and decluttering) I read in an aspirational way and very little makes its way into my daily routine in any meaningful sense. It was that last post by TMN that really made me think about how apathetic I can be towards my skepticism. As listeners to the podcast will know, I find it easy to speak to my skepticism but much, much harder to write about it much less anything more involved. I am also under no illusions that I will ever have the where-with-all to organise something like the 1023 campaign or Project Barnum. I do find myself frustrated with how jaded I feel towards “our” cause at times. I do really feel like I am often up that creek without a paddle, so I thought I would air my 21 Signs You Are Jaded as a Skeptic in the hopes that I can reinvigorate my own passion for science, skepticism and critical thinking.
I have been lucky enough that I have been asked to give my talk “Confessions of a Former Help Food Shop Worker” in the UK twice this year.
Firstly for the Greater Manchester Skeptics in July, at which I had a great time! They are a great group of people and I just loved the amount of audience interaction. We had a good laugh, mostly at my expense but what else are the Irish good at if not self deprecation. Having been to QED Con twice now (have you bought your 2013 ticket yet?!) it was great to see the Mancunian Skeptics in a less hectic environment.
Somewhat annoyingly, we recently had to change the URL of the Skeprechauns’ Podcast, and despite all our best efforts at this end we were unable to get iTunes to start picking up the new feed. This has now been resolved but only by getting Apple to remove and resubmit the podcast. Bad news is that you will need to remove and resub the podcast from your iTunes program if you didn’t change it manually to the new feed (which is http://theskeprechauns.com/?feed=rss2)
Good news is we are now findable by searching in iTunes and show up directly here: http://www.itunes.com/podcast?id=562709976. Yay!
The next talk will take place on Sunday 15th July in the Exchange, Temple Bar.
Our Speaker on the night will be Martin Robbins a Berkshire-based researcher and science writer. He writes about science, pseudoscience and evidence-based politics… (Bio nicked from the Guardian website).
His talk will centre around the work he did last year tracking down homeopaths in East Africa for a documentary that’s in production at the moment.
I am ashamed to admit that prior to this year I had not heard of the European Science Open Forum. I will use the fact that I am not a scientist as an excuse for this failing on my part. I was fully aware of Dublin being the European City of Science this year and it was because of this that I became aware of ESOF. Eyeing up the programme of events and reading into the history of the group only served to make me more ashamed that I had been ignorant of this group for this long. They are a true grassroots movement and their forum is one that brings together people from across the science and research worlds from both academia and industry to fantastic effect.
This is the first of my blog entries taking a look at the therapies offered up on Ireland’s Holistic Directory Website (Link here). Each week I will take one or more existing therapies, address its claims, and hopefully provide some insight for myself and others regarding what crap is being peddled out there. I will give credit to the site for any genuine, scientifically legitimate entries in the directory but it will probably be in the form of a quick list as their presence on the site holds little weight with me when you consider that Fertility Treatment and Food Intolerance Testing are sandwiched between magical nonsense like Feng Shui and Geopathic Stress.
As many of you who listen to the podcast may already know I suffer from eczema and have done all of my life. Like many children I had dry itchy eczema as a child that was exasperated by hot baths, biological detergents and highly perfumed soaps. In time, as with many babies and toddlers who suffer from this form of eczema, I grew out of it. I would only have recurrences if I came in contact with strong soaps or slept in sheets washed in biological detergents for several nights. As with many sufferers, my triggers can be different from others and no two sufferers are the same.