Monthly Archives: October 2013

Episode 211 – 1st November 2013

This week we find out what happened at Mozfest (and speak to the director of the Mozilla foundation!), figure out the truth about pirates – as well as discover what’s going to be happening at QED and why religion became so popular.



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Mozfest (1:40) by Julie Gould (ft Mark Surman & Kaitlin Thaney)
Pirates (12:48) by Chris Chapman
QED Plug (19:20) by James O’Malley (ft Marsh)
History of Religion (27:35) by James O’Malley (ft Matthew Kneale)
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

Follow-Up Links:

Soho Skeptics – The Fascists Strike Back

This is a recording of the October meeting of the Soho Skeptics group in London.

In the past five years, we have witnessed the rise of the far-right in Europe and beyond. The pinnacle of it all is, if you believe the telly, Greece. But is austerity and the 2008 financial crisis necessarily linked, with the rise of extremists? Hasn’t Russia for instance been dealing with this phenomenon for some time, as well as the financially booming Norway and Austria?

While the world watches Europe, hoping that an economic miracle will stop the neo-nazi threat, some rather dystopic scenarios unfurl elsewhere, and specifically, in Syria. Is the country’s suffering linked with the West’s far-right trouble? Is Al Qaeda and the Golden Dawn two sides of the same coin?
In an analysis taking from cinematic dystopias and current economic ailments, Yiannis Baboulias will show how the introduction of highly extractive financial institutions across the globe, gives birth to extreme movements, and why once a country falls, be it Syria, Somalia, or one much closer to home, it may be impossible to bring it back.

Yiannis Baboulias is a Greek journalist and writer, focussing on European politics, economics and the rise of the far-right. His work has appeared on Vice UK, New Statesman, LRB, Guardian, Open Democracy, NLP and others.He is writing his first book on the Greek crisis and the rise of the far-right, to be published by ZED in 2014.



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Episode 210 – 25th October 2013

This week we catch up with TV’s Helen Czerski, who’s currently in a boat somewhere in the North Atlantic studying bubbles! We also examine the government’s new nuclear energy plans and David Byrne’s comments about services like Spotify. Plus we wonder if degree mills really make a difference.



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Helen on a Boat! (2:01) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Helen Czerski!)
Nuclear Europe (19:46) by Drew Rae
David Byrne Moaning (27:13) by Steve Page
Degree Mills (35:58) by Kevin Friery
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

Follow-Up Links:

Psst! There’s still tickets available for Monday’s Soho Skeptics when Yiannis Baboulias!

Episode 209 – 18th October 2013

This week we have an exclusive clip of the fourth man on the moon (!!!), along with some more back to earth chat. We talk Golden Dawn and the rise of the Far Right in Europe with Yiannis Baboulias, missing Doctor Who episodes with Mike Hall, as well as take a critical look at a High Court decision on MMR and some claims being made by an advisor to Michael Gove. Plus we go to a Wikipedia Editathon.



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Golden Dawn (1:51) by James O’Malley (ft Yiannis Baboulias)
Astronaut Al Bean (18:20) by Carl Hutchinson (FT FOURTH MAN ON THE MOON, AL BEAN!)
Missing Doctor Who (20:08) by Mike Hall
Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon (31:45) by James O’Malley (ft Jonathan Cardy)
MMR Opportunities (43:40) by Peter English
Nature vs Nurture (51:11) by Mike Ward
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

Follow-Up Links:

Episode 208 – 11th October 2013

This week we find out about the Jesus & Mo controversy at the LSE, talk about the mathematics of The Simpsons with author Simon Singh, and discover some misconceptions about evolution with Henry Gee (spoiler: he still thinks evolution happened). We also have Chris sending a reality bullet into the heart of Assassin’s Creed’s dodgy history.



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(New!) LSE Jesus & Mo Controversy (1:59) by James O’Malley (ft Chris Moos)
Maths & The Simpsons (11:28) by James O’Malley (ft Dr Simon Singh)
Evolutionary Misconceptions (24:37) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Dr Henry Gee)
Transparency In Science Isn’t Enough (44:08) by James O’Malley (ft Baroness Onora O’Neill & Imran Khan)
Historical Portrayals in Games (53:00) by Chris Chapman
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

Full Disclosure: We received a small fee for recording the Roberts Lecture. We included the interviews in the show (we didn’t have to) because it turned out to be really interesting!

Follow-Up Links:

The Roberts Lecture 2013 – Baroness Onora O’Neill on “Why Science needs Ethics: why science cannot and should not aspire to be value free”

In the 10th Anniversary Year of the Science Council Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve gave the lecture on the topic of “Why Science needs Ethics: why science cannot and should not aspire to be value free” on Tuesday 8th October. The lecture explored how decisions are made in science and what influences them, an important issue for all scientists and science users, and an especially relevant question for the professional practice of science.

Baroness O’Neill is a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords; member of the Sub-Committee on Lords’ Conduct and a former member of the Select Committee on Science and Technology Sub-Committee 2. She is the current chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. She was elected President of the British Academy in 2005; and in 2007 was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of her outstanding contribution to philosophy and her analyses of ethical issues in science.

Baroness O’Neill, Emeritus Honorary Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, has written extensively on political philosophy and ethics, international justice, bioethics and the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Her books include Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics (2002) and Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics (2007). In 2002, she gave a series of lectures on A Question of Trust as part of the BBC Reith Lectures. She has been a member of and chaired the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and the Human Genetics Advisory Commission, was the President of the Aristotelian Society, and a member of the Animal Procedures (Scientific) Committee.


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After the lecture, we also grabbed a few short interviews with Baroness O’Neill and some of the attendees:


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Full Disclosure: We received a small fee for recording this. We’re sharing it with our audience because we genuinely think it was really interesting!

Episode 207 – 4th October 2013

This week Liz speaks to Dr Helen Czerski about women and technology, and Marcus Chown about his new book, which is about *everything*. We also cover the US shutdown, a new club for female professionals and find out why about some fossils that are currently under threat.



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Ada Lovelace Day 2013 (2:30) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Dr Helen Czerski)
Leicester Fossil Threat (17:04) by Kash Farooq (ft Dr Roger Mason)
US Shutdown (28:53) by Dave Landon Cole
Marcus Chown Interview (38:03) by Liz Lutgendorff
The Other Club (48:15) by Dawn Firth-Godbehere (ft Joy Lo Dico & Katie Glass)
Over The Air (54:42) by Julie Gould
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

Correction: In the show, we stated that the big Ada Lovelace Day event is at the ICE – it isn’t. It’s actually at Imperial College London. More info here.

Follow-Up Links: