Our regular monthly event, Skeptics Café happens on the third Monday of each month at La Notte Restaurant, 140 Lygon Street Carlton. (nearest intersection – Pelham Street). We commence with a drink and a meal from about 6pm, and there is usually a talk from 8pm. Skeptics Cafés are public events – everyone is welcome.
July 21 2014 Skeptics Café
Presenter: Dr Ken Walker, Discovery Centre, Museum of Melbourne
Australia has about 1,700 native bee species and several exotic introduced bees. This talk will discuss some of the pest parasitic mites that attack European honeybees and the problems they cause – fortunately, Australia is the last continent (except Antarctica) that does not have these mites. It is estimated that Australia receives about $5 billion worth of free pollination each year from the European honeybee to anything that affects this eco-service will have major consequences to agriculture. The talk will also introduce the vibrant and diverse Australian native bee fauna.
Ken has been the Curator of Entomology at Museum Victoria for over 34 years. He originally studied at the University of Queensland gaining Bachelor and Masters degrees and then received a PhD in Systematics from LaTrobe University.
Ken curates the Museum Victoria’s insect collection estimated at about 3 million specimens, interacts with the public through Exhibitions (such as the Bugs Alive! exhibition) and answering general public questions and also conducts research into Australia’s native bee fauna.
Ken has described almost 200 new species of native bees and only now are we beginning to know what bees occur in Australia and what plants do they pollinate. With one in every three mouthfuls of food we eat a direct result of pollination, it is no wonder that people have an interest in bees.
August 18 2014 Skeptics Café
Back by popular request!
A variety of speakers on a variety of topics
September 15 2014 Skeptics Café
Dr Meredith Doig will discuss her involvement with the Ugandan Humanist School http://kasesehumanistschool.webs.com/ Dr Doig is President of the Rationalist Society of Australia http://www.rationalist.com.au/meredith-doig/
October 20 2014 Skeptics Café
Linley Kissick will discuss the history of UFOs in Victoria as well as the mythology surrounding the disappearance of 20-year-old piot Frederick Valentich over Bass Strait in 1978
November 17 2014 Skeptics Café
December 15 2014 Skeptics Café
Suspicious Minds – The Ethics of Conspiracy Belief
While conspiracy theories have been a part of our cultural landscape for centuries, the internet age has seemingly made them much more visible, if not more prevalent. While History, Cultural Studies and Psychology have all turned their scholarly attention to conspiracy theories, philosophy has had much less to say on the topic, focussing mainly on issues of how we define conspiracy theories and whether they are (always?) irrational. But conspiracy theorising is also something we do, and this raises the question: is this activity ethical? What are the moral implications of conspiracy theorising, and do we have moral obligations to avoid indulging in conspiracy theory?
Patrick Stokes is lecturer in Philosophy at Deakin University.
His research focuses largely on issues of selfhood, subjectivity, time, death, and moral psychology. He is the author of The Naked Self (Oxford, 2015) and Kierkegaard’s Mirrors (Palgrave, 2010) and co-editor of Narrative, Identity, and the Kierkegaardian Self (Edinburgh, 2015, with John Lippitt) and Kierkegaard and Death (Indiana, 2011, with Adam Buben).
He is a regular contributor to The Conversation, Triple R’s Breakfasters, and media commentator on philosophical matters.
-CALENDARS of FREE PUBLIC LECTURES
(Link to lecture programs of the University of Melbourne, the Royal Society of Victoria, and the Atheist Society