The Skeptic is the UK's longest-running publication offering skeptical analysis of pseudoscience, conspiracy theory and claims of the paranormal. It was founded in 1987 by Wendy Grossman, and has relaunched today with Michael Marshall as editor, and produced by the Merseyside Skeptics Society. It will feature regular articles each week from voices across the UK skeptical community, and beyond, with a focus on critical thinking and reason with compassion.
The goal of any Skeptics group should be to fight against beliefs that are both false and damaging, a category that clearly includes all forms of racism.
We are therefore taking the following actions to help do our part:
- The next Skeptics in the Pub Online talk will be about the resurgence of race science. This is a talk we had planned before the recent protests.
- The talk on 2 July will turn the lens on the Skeptics movement itself, examining issues of diversity within our community.
- During the 4 June talk, we did not ask for donations towards Skeptics in the Pub Online’s running costs or wider goals, and instead collected for a Black Lives Matter charity. Between the audience (including GMSS members), Skeptics in the Pub Online itself, and local groups (including GMSS), we raised around £2700.
Given the current coronavirus pandemic, we have decided not to go ahead with physical meet-ups for the time being. The March talk which was due to take place on Wednesday will be moved to another date once we know it's sensible to do so, and the May talk probably now cannot happen even if the restrictions are lifted by then. The talks for June and December will stay booked in for now but obviously we don't know when we will be able to resume pub talks.
We have now got a Discord server to chat in — if you're a regular then drop one of us a message and we'll get an invite to you. We're also looking at running online events while the restrictions are in place, so please watch this space for details about that, as well as information on future real-life events.
In the meantime, take care of yourselves, and don't be a stranger.
Some extra links and resources from this year's Soapbox talks.
While anyone is always welcome at our Skeptics in the Pub events, if you come regularly you might want to become a member of the Greater Manchester Skeptics Society. Members get to vote on things and count towards quorum in our meetings.
The venue is booked for the Soapbox Special — but we don't have any speakers yet. Care to pitch in?
Update: this event is in the past so we no longer need speakers, unless they have an extremely compelling talk about how time travel is more likely than most people think.
We've been contacted by a researcher from Uclan, who is running a study comparing sceptics and believers in the paranormal, but doesn't have enough sceptics yet.
If you have a skeptical topic you’re passionate about, or just cross and knowledgeable, then get in touch and you could be one of our August speakers.