Monthly Archives: June 2011

Episode 90 – 24th June 2011

We speak to comedian Marcus Brigstocke about his new book ‘God Collar’ and find out how THE MAN is totally whack when it comes to recording gigs on our phones. And more!

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Marcus Brigstocke Interview (1:28) by Liz Lutgendorff
Smartphone Censorship (12:19) by Sean Ellis
Humanist Bus Campaign (18:21) by Salim Fadhley (ft Bill Burgess)
Government Attacking Disabled People (27:01) by Steven Sumpter
Bone Marrow (35:02) by Keir Liddle (ft Rebecca Sedgewick from the Anthony Nolan Trust)
I’m a scientist… get me out of here! (41:34) by Drew Rae (ft Dr Tom Crick)
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy.

Follow-up Links:

BHA Conference – Andrew Copson and Peter Atkins

The Pod Delusion are proud to bring you recordings from the British Humanist Association 2011 annual conference, which was this year in Manchester. This first recording features Andrew Copson and Peter Atkins. Blurb below…

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On being: The limitless power of science : Peter Atkins

Humanity should be proud of the fact that, through its collective endeavour, it has stumbled on to a way of discovering reliable knowledge about the nature, composition, and functioning of the universe. The question remains, however, whether its contribution to human understanding is boundless. I shall identify the great questions of existence that have been the focus of myth-making since mankind first sought to make sense of nature, and argue that the scientific method is capable of answering them all. Of course, it is necessary to distinguish the empty questions from the real, and it is important not to be distracted by questions that have simply been invented by philosophers and theologians. The essential point is that science is driven by optimism, and its current success encourages us to believe that it will resolve the question of the origin of the universe and the emergence of that most extraordinary property of matter, consciousness, just as it has revealed the process by which the biosphere has emerged and as it has illuminated the processes of birth and death. I shall argue that its power is limitless and that, through displacing poetic and vivid myths, it succeeds in deepening our wonder.

Episode 89 – 17th June 2011

We speak to Tim Harford, go on a Slutwalk and find out about the oldest example of biomineralisation in a fossil, and why it’s important. And more!

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Oldest Example of Biomineralisation (1:38) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Phoebe Cohen)
Slutwalk (11:28) by Christine Ottery
Pro-NCH (19:01) by James Firth
Anti-NCH (25:26) by Misty
Tim Harford Interview (30:26) by Dr*T
The Daily Express is Misleading (39:13) by Tom Hodden
FFRF vs The Rapture (45:51) by Salim Fadhley
Smellytweet Update (56:46) by James Thomas
The song at the end is by David Lovesy

Follow-Up Links:

Breaking News: AC Grayling will not become BHA President

News just in from the British Humanist Association. AC Grayling will not be taking up the Presidency of the BHA as he was expected to this weekend, because of the controversy surrounding his role in the new ‘New College of the Humanities’. Instead, current president Polly Toynbee will be staying on for a bit until they find someone new. We have previous covered Richard Dawkins’ comments on his role in the NCH on the Pod Delusion and will have further coverage on this week’s programme.

Here’s the BHA’s statement they’ve just released to their subscribers:

Anthony Grayling, the President-elect of the BHA, has decided to step down from that position and not to take office as President on 1 July.

In doing so Professor Grayling said, ‘It was an honour to be named President of the British Humanist Association and I very much looked forward to working alongside the staff and trustees over the next two years to promote Humanism – a vitally important task in today’s world. Unfortunately, I believe that controversy generated by activities in another area of my public life will make it difficult in the next two years for me to be the sort of President that I would like to be for the BHA and all its members and supporters. In deciding to stand down and let the Trustees of the BHA appoint an alternative President, I wish them all the best in their important task.’

Robert Ashby, Chair of the Trustees of the BHA, has responded, ‘We thank Anthony Grayling for the concern he has shown for the BHA and its work and regret the circumstances that have led him to step down as our President-elect. His decades of work in the causes that humanists espouse – secularism in our public life, freedom and human rights at home and globally, science and reason in our struggle to know the universe and humanity in our treatment of ourselves and other people – remain of great value.’

Polly Toynbee, currently President of the BHA, will continue as President until a new President is appointed by the Trustees later this year.

Many thanks to all of you for your ongoing support of the work of the BHA.

Science In The Pub (#PubSci) – 7th June 2011

Science in the Pub is a new science themed pub night hosted by Paolo Viscardi and Jenny Rohn at the Ritzy in Brixton. In this recording, the second meeting, a range of issues facing scientists are discussed – including the New College of the Humanities and the sharing of research equipment. Go on, have a listen!

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