Posted by Stephen Law on November 9, 2015
Science in the Media: Dodgy Science Reporting, Ghostbusting, and Doctor Who
Hear about the science of Doctor Who from a scientist who is also a consultant to Doctor Who’s scriptwriters, find out about the credibility (scientifically and otherwise) of ghosthunting TV programme from a former ghosthunter now turned ghostbuster, and discover just how much bullshit science reporting there really is in our national press.
12th December 2015
25 Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4RL
Nearest tube: Holborn
11.00-12.00 Meet The Real Ghostbusters
Welcome to the weird world of modern ghost hunting. A world inspired by reality paranormal TV shows where only the brave dare tread… but what is it that goes bump in the night? And why are the ghost hunters actually scarier that the ghosts they claim to hunt down? Join us on this whirlwind tour of the ghost hunting subculture, the nonsense that comes with it, and how it all came to be in the first place.
Hayley Stevens is a skeptic paranormal researcher based in Wiltshire, England. Believer-turned-skeptic, with over a decade of ghost research under her belt, she is often sought for an expert opinion on weird stuff – from ghosts to monsters and fairies. Hayley has written for Skeptical inqurer, The Skeptic, Paranormal Magazine and more, and has spoken internationally about the paranormal. She blogs at hayleyisaghost.co.uk
12.15-1.15 Follow the formula: the fake science behind real headlines
All too often we see stories which seem to be based on science turn out to be nothing more than marketing and PR. By highlighting and dissecting examples from the recent press Michael Marshall will show who is behind these stories, who benefits from them, and who can be said to be at fault when even legitimate science gets distorted in newspaper print.
Michael Marshall is the Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and Project Director of the Good Thinking Society. His Bad PR project exposes the often-unseen influence of public relations in the mainstream media.
2.15-3.15 The Science of Doctor Who
Travelling to alien worlds is one of the regular features of Doctor Who. But how could the TARDIS travel there and what would those alien worlds really be like? During this talk I’ll discuss what we currently know about the several thousand alien worlds we’ve discovered in the last 20 years and if any of the worlds the Doctor has travelled to look familiar.
Edward Gomez is an astronomer and education director for Las Cumbres Observatory, based at Cardiff University. He is interested in searching for asteroids which travel close to Earth, and in open access for science and education. He has been a life long fan of Doctor Who and gave science advice to the script writers for several episodes.