8th September 2020 Making a Psychopath


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NOTE THIS EVENT IS NOT ON OUR USUAL WEDNESDAY AND NOT AT OUR USUAL VENUE.

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Find out what truly makes a psychopath, from the leading expert who helped to create Killing Eve’s Villanelle

Dr Mark Freestone has worked on some of the most interesting, infamous and disturbing psychopath cases of recent times and is now sharing his phenomenal insight.

Case by fascinating case, get to know seven of the most dangerous minds that Dr Freestone has encountered over the last 15 years; these are up close accounts of some of Britain’s most psychopathic criminals, and what can happen if you fall victim to their supreme powers of manipulation.

Dr Freestone will explore the many factors that make a psychopath, the complexities and contradictions of their emotions and behaviour, and the lives they live in and out of institutions. This discussion will open a window into the world of those who operate in a void of human emotion … and what can be done to control them.

Dr Freestone will be doing a book signing after the talk. Copies of “Making a Psychopath” will be on sale at the venue. 

Timing and event details 

DOORS: 19:00

START: 19:30

Admission is FREE but during the interval we asks for donations. This is to cover speaker expenses and social media fees. If you cannot afford to donate, please do not! If you can, £3-£5 would be greatly appreciated.

Venue: The Square Club, Berkeley Square Hotel, 15 Berkeley Square

Speaker biography

Mark Freestone PhD is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Psychiatry, Queen Mary University of London. 

He has worked in prisons and forensic mental health services for over 15 years as a researcher and clinician, including in the High Secure Category A prison estate, which houses some of the UK’s most notorious and high-risk criminals. 

He has also worked at Rampton and Broadmoor Special Hospitals – institutions which have housed the likes of the Yorkshire ripper Peter Sutcliffe, Moors Murderer Ian Brady, Levi Bellfield and Charles Bronson – as part of the Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD) Programme. 

He is a consultant to BBC America’s Killing Eve, an editor of the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology and currently an advisor to NHS England on services for men and women with a diagnosis of severe personality disorder. 

23rd September 2020 – Robert Massey: The Moon

Humans have been fascinated with our nearest heavenly body, the Earth’s Moon, since prehistoric times. 2019 marked 50 years since we set foot on the Moon during the Apollo space missions. 

Join astronomer Dr Robert Massey for an illustrated talk about how our obsession with the Moon has manifested itself in the sciences and visual arts, from earliest ritualistic drawings and objects, Romantic symbolism and silent movies, to scientific observation, photography, and space race propaganda.

DOORS: 19:00

START: 19:30

Venue: Smoke & Mirrors, 8 Denmark Street

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!

Dr Robert Massey is Deputy Executive Director of the Royal Astronomical Society, where he spends his days making the case for astronomy to the wider world. Before joining the RAS, his career took him from PhD research in Manchester on the Orion nebula to teaching, local politics, and then a stint as Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. With the art historian Dr Alexandra Loske, he published Moon: Art, Science, Culture to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020: Andy Parker – Should we block the sun to cool the Earth?

Two hundred years ago, a massive volcanic eruption in Indonesia rocked the globe. Mount Tambora shot a vast cloud of sulfur-dioxide more than 20 miles high into the stratosphere. The cloud spread globally, reflecting sunlight and cooling the earth by three degrees. 1816 is marked in the climate annals as The Year Without a Summer.

Observing this natural cooling effect, scientists started wondering: could we deliberately mimic volcanoes and spray reflective aerosols into the stratosphere to cool the planet?  This science is known as Solar Radiation Management (SRM).

SRM sounds crazy and in time it might prove to be crazy, but it might also prove to be helpful at reducing some of the risks of climate change to which Earth is already committed. Andy Parker will make the case that SRM needs to be taken more seriously and more funds must be invested in researching this potentially planet-saving technology.

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!

Andy Parker is an honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol. He has worked on solar radiation management geoengineering (SRM) for over a decade: first as a Senior Policy Adviser at the Royal Society then as a Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the IASS Potsdam.

Since January 2018 Andy’s main focus has been directing the SRM Governance Initiative (SRMGI), an international project that seeks to build the capacity of climate-vulnerable countries of the Global South to evaluate the potential risks and benefits of SRM. He has been the main architect for the project since it was launched in 2010.

Andy has published opinion pieces in Nature, Nature Geoscience and the Washington Post, led the production of the Royal Society’s “Geoengineering the Climate” report, and was a member of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s expert working group on geoengineering. 

Andy is not a proponent of deploying SRM but is a strong supporter of research in order to make an informed decision or whether to implement or reject it. Andy says “It’s source of some pride that my work has been described as pathetic, hysterical, idiotic, and EVIL EVIL EVIL by the readers of the Daily Mail.”

25th November 2020 Man’s Best Friend – A Skeptical Look at Bestiality

Admin note: At first I wasn’t sure what to make of James Williams’s talks on taboos. So I asked around other Skeptics in the Pub organizers and they all gave rave reviews. I’m assured his talks are entertaining, generate a lot of discussion and DO involve skepticism. Don’t be afraid to come along!

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In 2005 a man named Kenneth Pinyan was anonymously dropped off at a Hospital in Washington, where he was later found dead in the emergency room. The man had died from a perforated colon from receiving anal sex from a full grown horse. In the following investigation the police were lead to a rural Enumclaw-area farm, which was known on the internet as a destination for people who wanted to have sex with livestock. There, they seized hundreds of hours of videotapes of men engaging in bestiality and the incident became known as the Enumclaw horse sex case. The case became infamous and lead to a rapid passing of a bill which made bestiality punishable in Washington by up to five years in prison.

But what is bestiality? How is it defined? Why do people engage in it? Where does it come from? What is it’s history? And why is it so reviled?

James Williams will be taking a thorough and entertaining look at the murky world of bestiality; disentangling fact from fiction and discussing its bizarre history, zoology, humanity and philosophy. Humans, deer, monkeys, seals, dolphins, pigs, cattle, dogs and more. A world of Minotaurs, Gods disguised as swans and terrifying sounding grizzly–polar bear hybrids. What separates us from the animals? What makes us human?

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!

Speaker biography

James Williams is a Bristol-based storyteller, science communicator and skeptic based in Bristol who specialises in critically discussing dark and taboo topics with humour and irreverence.

An enthusiastic humanist and scientific skeptic, he cares deeply about science, education, critical thinking and social justice. His series of talks on cannibalism, necrophilia and bestiality have been given at venues across the country including the annual Skeptics conference “QED”.