25th March 2020 – Sian Williams: The age of antibiotic resistance

Cornerstones of modern medicine are at risk due to drug-resistant infections, with routine surgery, common illnesses and minor injuries becoming potentially life-threatening. People are already dying from drug-resistant infections, and as more drugs stop working, more lives will be put in danger. Everyone is at risk. Sian Williams will discuss the causes behind this major public health issue and how organizations such as the Wellcome Trust are helping to address the challenge. 

Sian will also explore why we’re not seeing new antibiotics entering the market, the ethical dilemmas involved in the decision to prescribe new drugs, and how we could help GPs stop over-prescription of antibiotics. 

DOORS: 19:00

START: 19:30

Admission is FREE but during the interval we asks for donations. This is to cover speaker expenses and marketing costs such as social media fees and flyers. If you cannot afford to make a donation please do not. If you can, £3-£5 would be greatly appreciated. 

Venue: Smoke and Mirrors, 8 Denmark Street

Two for one pizzas available from the bar! 10% off all drinks!

Sian Williams is a Policy Officer with the Wellcome Trust’s Drug-Resistant Infections priority programme, a team with a £175m commitment to address the challenge of antimicrobial resistance. The programme works with scientists and policy makers to advocate for and support evidence-based decision making globally.  She earned a 1st class honours degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and an MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College London. 

26 February 2020 – Tom Hallam: Paper Bottles, Paper Batteries and Bags of the future

Tom Hallam will explore how new paper technologies can reduce the use of plastic and lower the carbon footprint of brand owners and retailers worldwide. 

The talk will also address broader environmental questions. If using paper boosts demand, doesn’t that mean paper companies will plant more trees, in which case it is actually beneficial to the environment to consume paper? Or do the paper companies just cut down virgin forests? Is reducing and recycling the answer? Tom will present several perspectives.

DOORS: 19:00

START: 19:30

Admission is FREE but during the interval we asks for donations. This is to cover speaker expenses and marketing costs such as social media fees and flyers. If you cannot afford to make a donation please do not. If you can, £3-£5 would be greatly appreciated. 

Venue: Smoke and Mirrors, 8 Denmark Street

Two for one pizzas available from the bar! 10% off all drinks!

Tom Hallam is a Business Development Director at BillerudKorsnas, a Swedish pulp and paper company. Tom’s work involves developing paper-based packaging technologies and solutions to replace conventional plastic ones. 

He is also a board member of the UK division of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC UK). This is a non-government organization which promotes sustainable forest management through independent third-party certification.

Tom was previously an independent environmental consultant for his company Brand Ethics Limited and has previous experience with Finnish Forest products company UPM-Kymmene and in consumer products for Reckitt Benckiser.

22 January 2020 – Julian Hughes: The dementia manifesto

Professor Julian Hughes will discuss the values embedded in our thinking about dementia from diagnosis to treatment to public policy.

DOORS: 19:00

START: 19:30

Admission is FREE but during the interval we asks for donations. This is to cover speaker expenses and marketing costs such as social media fees and flyers. If you cannot afford to make a donation please do not. If you can, £3-£5 would be greatly appreciated.

Venue: Smoke and Mirrors, 8 Denmark Street, BS1 5DQ

Two for one pizzas available from the bar! 10% off all drinks!

Julian Hughes is known internationally for his contributions to the philosophy and practice of dementia care and living well in old age.

He was until recently RICE Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at Bristol University, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and an NHS consultant for over 20 years in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Bath.

Having read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford prior to studying Medicine, Julian is a deep thinker on the many ethical dilemmas of dementia care and was Deputy Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

He is a co-author of The Dementia Manifesto, published in February 2019. It explores how a values-based, person-centred and rights-based approach can be applied to every aspect of the experience of dementia. His other books include How We Think About Dementia (2014), Thinking Through Dementia (2011), Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias: The Facts (2011), Dementia: Mind, Meaning and the Person (2006) and Ethical Issues in Dementia Care (2006).

23rd October 2019 – Kit Yates: The Maths of Life and Death

Kit Yates will be discussing his brand-new book, “The Maths of Life and Death”, which science journal Nature calls “a dizzying, dazzling, début”.  The talk will look at how the use (or abuse) of mathematics has played a critical role in life-changing events.  

The book covers a broad cast including athletes banned by faulty tests, patients crippled by faulty genes, and the unwitting casualties of mathematical bugs. We will follow stories of investors who lost fortunes and parents who lost children, all because of mathematical misunderstanding. 

Kit will also talk about how maths provides insight on anti-vaccination, medical screening, political referenda, disease prevention and criminal justice.

DOORS: 19:00
START: 19:30
Admission is FREE and there will be a collection during the interval (suggested donation £3-5).
Venue: Smoke and Mirrors

Kit Yates is a Senior Lecturer in Mathematical Biology at the University of Bath. His writings on the joy and importance of maths have appeared in The Guardian, The Times, The Independent and Scientific American. He has over 1.5 million reads on The Conversation.

If you want Kit to sign a copy of “The Maths of Life and Death”, please bring your copy (available to purchase here: https://amzn.to/2MkmdcM). Kit will also have copies available for purchase on the night.

27th November 2019 – Henry Bisset: Getting Vaccinated as an Adult – An Alternative to the Alternative

After finishing his alternative education and moving to Bristol, Henry Bisset found his own alternative to the homeopathic and unvaccinated ways of his hometown – conventional medicine.

A year on from documenting his experiences of getting his childhood vaccination as an adult in a short YouTube series, Henry brings the who, the what and the wherefore of both the vaccine skeptics and vaccine advocates to the (small but cosy) stage.

DOORS: 19:00
START: 19:30
Admission is FREE and there will be a collection during the interval (suggested donation £3-5).
Venue: Smoke and Mirrors

As was the intention of the YouTube series, this talk is aimed at everyone from M.D.s to expectant mothers and from chiropractors to those seeking entertainment with their Wednesday night pint.

25th September 2019 – Izzy Posen: Escaping Extreme Religion

Izzy Posen grew up in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in East London. Despite the location, English wasn’t spoken either at home or at school. For his entire childhood, Izzy spoke Yiddish. It was the only language he knew.  

The school did not teach mathematics, science, history, or any other conventional subjects. Izzy’s days were spent studying religious texts from morning to night. Contact with those outside the community was prohibited. Breaking these rules was met with physical punishment: Izzy was hit almost daily. Meanwhile, the rules of those religious texts governed every minute of his life. He lived in a moment-to-moment psychology prison.

Izzy eventually escaped the community, losing most of his family, his friends and his home in the process. But with time he built a new life. Izzy learned English at 18, took GCSEs at 20, and A Levels at 21. He is now a student at Bristol University studying physics and philosophy, and founder of the University’s Free Speech Society. 

DOORS: 19:00
START: 19:30
Admission is FREE and there will be a collection during the interval (suggested donation £3-5).
Venue: Smoke and Mirrors

26th June 2019 – Colin Davis: Responding to the Climate Emergency – Psychology and (dis)Obedience *DATE CHANGE*

*DATE CHANGE*
Due to unforeseen circumstances this event has been postponed until the following month. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Bristol City Council declared a Climate Emergency in November 2018. Since then over 50 UK councils have followed suit. But how do individuals respond to this emergency?

What are the psychological forces that allow us to ignore the facts of climate change? The path we are currently on will lead to catastrophe — what makes us carry on regardless? Professor Davis will consider these questions from the perspective of psychological studies of obedience and conformity. He’ll also discuss the power of disobedience, and why he has embraced civil disobedience as part of the Extinction Rebellion campaign.

DOORS: 19:00
START: 19:30
Admission is FREE and there will be a collection during the interval (suggested donation £3-5).
Venue: Smoke and Mirrors

Professor Davis is a researcher in cognitive psychology and chair in cognitive psychology at the University of Bristol, and a member of the Extinction Rebellion campaign.