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Skeptics in the Pub

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Skeptics in the Pub

Skeptics in the Pub is an informal social event designed to promote fellowship and social networking among skeptics, critical-thinkers, and other like-minded individuals. It provides an opportunity for skeptics and rationalists to talk, share ideas in a casual atmosphere, and discuss whatever topical issues come to mind. It allows participants to have fun while promoting skepticism, science, and rationality.[1]

The usual format of meetings includes an invited speaker who gives a talk on a specific topic, followed by a question-and-answer session. Other meet-ups are informal socials, with no fixed agenda. The groups usually meet once a month at a public venue, most often a local pub. There are now more than 100 different "SitP" groups running around the world.[2][3]

History

The group's earliest and longest-running event is the award-winning[4] London meeting, established by Scott Campbell in 1999.[1][5][6][7] This group claims to be the "World's largest regular pub meeting," with two to four hundred people in attendance at each meeting.[1][8][9][10] Scott Campbell based the idea around Philosophy in the Pub and Science in the Pub, two groups which had been running in Australia for some time.[11] The inaugural speaker was Wendy M. Grossman, the editor and founder of The Skeptic magazine, in February 1999.

Campbell ran the London group for three years while there on a teaching sabbatical, and was succeeded after his return to Australia by two [17][18][19]

The ease of use of the internet, via social networking sites and content management systems, has led to more than 100 active satellite chapters around the world, including more than 30 in the US and more than 40 in the UK.[2][3]

Skeptics in the Pub would later serve as the template for other skeptical, rationalist, and atheist meet-ups around the globe, including The James Randi Educational Foundation's "The Amazing Meeting", Drinking Skeptically, The Brights, and the British Humanist Association social gatherings.

Since 2010 Edinburgh Skeptics in the Pub has extended the Skeptics in the Pub concept over the whole Edinburgh International Festival Fringe, under the banner Skeptics on the Fringe and from 2012 done the same at the Edinburgh International Science Festival with the title At The Fringe of Reason. The Merseyside Skeptics Society and Greater Manchester Skeptics (forming North West Skeptical Events Ltd) hosted three two-day conferences, QED, in February 2011, March 2012 and April 2013. Glasgow Skeptics has also hosted two one-day conferences, as of July 2011.

Notable guests

Over the past ten years, the London event has featured lectures by well-known scientists and skeptics. Rarely the guests are proponents of fringe or pseudoscientific views. Notable guests include:

Groups

The following is a list of towns and cities in which Skeptics in the Pub groups are currently active:[3]

Australia

Austria

Belgium

Brazil

Canada

China

Croatia

Denmark

Germany

Hungary

Ireland

Israel

Netherlands

In the Netherlands, there are currently two monthly English language "Skeptics in the Pub" events, and three Dutch language "Freethinkers in the Pub" events (co-)organised by De Vrije Gedachte and two closely related Dutch language "Enlightenment in the Pub" events.

  • Amsterdam
    • Amsterdam Skeptics in the Pub (hosted by the Amsterdam working group of Stichting Skepsis)[39][40]
    • Amsterdam Freethinkers in the Pub (Vrijdenkersborrel Amsterdam; co-organised by De Vrije Gedachte and the Partij van de Rede – ASP)[41]
  • [42]
  • Rotterdam Enlightenment the Pub (Rotterdamse Verlichtingsborrel; linked to De Vrije Gedachte)[43]
  • The Hague
    • The Hague Skeptics in the Pub (organised independently)[44]
    • The Hague Enlightenment in the Pub (Haagse Verlichtingsborrel; linked to De Vrije Gedachte)[45][46][47]
  • [48][49]

New Zealand

Norway

Singapore

Slovenia

South Africa

Spain

Sweden

Taiwan

United Kingdom

United States

See also

References

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External links

  • Skeptics in the Pub
  • Birmingham Skeptics
  • Edinburgh Skeptics
  • Glasgow Skeptics
  • Greater Manchester Skeptics
  • Leeds Skeptics
  • Merseyside Skeptics
  • Milton Keynes Skeptics
  • Skeptics in the Pub Porto Alegre (Brazil)
  • Skeptics in the Pub Israel
  • Winchester Skeptics
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