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.
Monday 20 May, 2013 Skeptics Café
Who will achieve the Golden Bent Wooden Spoon in 2013
Commence your quest
singly, or with your own merry band of compatriots
at the earlier-than-usual time of 7.30 pm,
following the same-as-usual repast from 6:00 pm
Monday 17 June, 2013 Skeptics Café
Martin S Pribble: Skepticism and Hyper-Skepticism
American-born but raised in Australia, Martin believes in the importance of preserving human rights in the face of anything – either flawed thinking or the misguided policies it creates – that may infringe on them. A skeptic and atheist, Martin has some public speaking experience having been a teacher for adults for several years. Martin writes on topics of religion, politics, skepticism, feminism and equality, environment and philosophy at http://www.martinspribble.com.
One thing that set me on this path was my skepticism. Once upon a time I was willing to believe all I had been told; This was called childhood. As I grew older I learned about the way people manipulate information to suit their own needs; This was my adolescence. As a man of forty, I now have a very good idea of how much we are told is worthy of being called “truth”, and how much seems dubious from the outset; This is an adult brain with a healthy dose of skeptical inquiry.
The hyper-skeptical line of questioning, however, comes from a level of inquiry that debases all knowledge, for there is always another question to be asked, which raises more questions, which again raise questions, and so on ad absurdum. Hyper-skepticism is skeptical inquiry gone off-the-rails, and becomes a pseudo-intellectual form of denial
Monday 15 July, 2013 Skeptics Café
Dr Louis Roller
Vitamins: a panacea for all ills?
-organic substances or groups of related substances
-found in some foods
-substances with specific biochemical functions in the human body
-not made in the body (or not in sufficient quantity)
-required in very small amounts
On the basis that very small amounts of vitamins prevent potentially life-threatening
deficiency diseases, it is a common belief that larger and even heroic doses of vitamins are going to cure all sorts of diseases, are sources of energy, vitality and strength.
Some fifty percent of the Australian population take some sort of vitamin supplement.
This talk will look at the uses and abuses of vitamins and the evidence for and against claims made.
Associate Professor Louis Roller has been an academic at Monash University for 48 years where he “humanised” the pharmacy program by the introduction of the first-ever course in psychosocial sciences in a pharmacy course in Australasia and emphasising the patient over the product. He also has taught in the areas of therapeutics, microbiology, pharmaceutics and a myriad other areas. He was on the Pharmacy Board of Victoria for 22 years, has significantly contributed to many editions of various pharmaceutical compendia and is the author of hundreds of scientific and professional articles. He has a passion for evidence-based knowledge and this is reflected in his teachings in all aspects of therapeutics to a range of health-care professional undergraduates and practitioners.
This will be his second presentation at Skeptics Café.
August 19, 2013 Skeptics Café
Professor David Karoly
Lies, damn lies and “climate change sceptics”:
What is really happening with climate change and where are we heading?
There appears to be a robust scientific debate on climate change, if you read some media or web sites. David Karoly will discuss some of the common arguments and misinformation that question the role of human activity, particularly increasing concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases, as the main cause of recently observed global warming. David will also
discuss the best available projections of future global warming due to increasing greenhouse gases, and what society must do to meet the internationally agreed target of limiting global warming to only 2C above pre-industrial temperatures.
David Karoly is a Professor of Climate Science in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.
He is an internationally recognised expert in climate change and climate variability, including greenhouse climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and inter-annual climate variations due to El Niño-Southern Oscillation. He was heavily involved in preparation of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in 2007, in several different roles.
Professor Karoly is a member of the new Climate Change Authority in Australia. He is also a member of the Science Advisory Panel to the Australian Climate Commission, the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and the National Committee for Earth System Science of the Australian Academy of Science.
Professor Karoly joined the School of Earth Sciences in May 2007 as an ARC Federation Fellow funded by the Australian government. From 2003, he held the Williams Chair in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. During 2001-2002, he was Professor of Meteorology and Head of the School of Mathematical Sciences at Monash University. From August 1995, he was Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology at Monash University until it closed in June 2000.
-CALENDARS of FREE PUBLIC LECTURES
(Link to lecture programs of the University of Melbourne, the Royal Society of Victoria, the Atheist Society, the Existentialist Society, SOFIA and a U3A course on Early Religion – an Alternative History )