Category Archives: Admin bits and pieces

Pausing our weekly programmes

Hi gang,

After nearly five years, we’ve decided to take a break from our weekly programmes here at The Pod Delusion.

The reason for this change is fairly predictable: The two of us (James and Liz) are simply too busy – and are struggling to fit producing an hour of audio every week into a schedule where we also have other voluntary commitments, let alone a need to earn a living! So rather than let the show suffer as a result, we’ve decided the best thing to do is to take a brief pause.

To reflect for a brief moment, it has been an incredible half decade. The show has grown to have many thousands of listeners every week, we’ve seen so many incredible contributions to the show and our guest-list is a who’s-who of interesting figures from politics, science, technology, comedy. Speaking personally, it has been amazing both for professional reasons, and also because I can tick-off having met the vast majority of my personal heroes (I mentioned we interviewed Chris Hadfield, right?).

It has been amazing, but like I say, exhausting.

We’d obviously like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported the show – there’s far too many contributors to name individually, but without your contributions the show would be nothing. It has been a team effort – and everyone has brought incredible things to the Pod Delusion table. Similarly, we’d like to thank everyone who listens and all of the organisations we’ve worked with for supporting the show (most notably the British Humanist Association and Resonance FM).

Worry not though – this is very definitely not the end, and is more of a break to catch our breath. We plan to keep making special programmes, but want the flexibility not to have to produce a programme on a weekly basis. One such future special will be on the World Humanist Congress in August – and we hope to have released at least a couple more in addition before then. Our intention currently is also to go back to weekly programmes later in the year (maybe even in a couple of months, work-load depending). We’re also working on one or two other secret things that should be fun, should they see the light of day.

In the meantime, you can find me (James) on Twitter, YouTube, and my personal website. By day, I am a freelance writer and broadcaster, so I’d love to hear from you if you’d like me to write or produce audio/video content for you – I specialise in consumer technology though can also talk more broadly about technology, politics, international relations, skepticism and media.

Similarly, you can find Liz on Twitter or on her blog – or inevitably co-starring in all of the stuff that I do.

We’re also both trustees of the excellent Conway Hall in London – so do check that out if you like similar stuff to what is on The Pod Delusion. Better still, join up as a member!

You can also still follow The Pod Delusion on Twitter for updates on when we do make new stuff – or of course subscribe to our RSS feed.

Thanks again for all of the support over the last few years – we’ll be back!


James and Liz

Going to QEDcon? Join The Pod Delusion’s FREE Skepticamp the day before

If you’re going to April’s QED Con, then you’ll know what fun it is – a whole weekend of skeptical talks and fun with likeminded folk. If only it could last longer!

This year – it can, if you come along to The Pod Delusion’s Skepticamp on Friday 11th April in Manchester.

What is Skepticamp?

A Skepticamp is a mini conference, with its agenda decided by the audience. You can put yourself forward to do a talk ahead of time, then you’ll be allocated a slot and you get 15 minutes to talk about a topic of your choice – with five minutes following for questions.

At our last Skepticamp in London, we covered topics as varied as technological solutions to climate change, data in political campaigns, evidence based interface design, what it’s like being a skeptical nurse in the NHS and much more.

So sign up – either as a speaker or simply a member of audience, and come and have an additional day of talks!

When and where exactly is Skepticamp?

Skepticamp takes place on Friday 11th April at the QEDcon Hotel (The Palace Hotel in Manchester), starting at 11am – so you’ll still have time to travel to Manchester in the morning. And it’ll finish long before the official Friday night “mixer” event begins. We’ll announce the further details once we have a line-up arranged.

Do I need to have a QED ticket to attend?

Nope – the event is open to anyone who can make it to the venue. Though we recommend booking a ticket to QED if you can, as it is going to be amazing weekend.

How exactly will the line-up be decided?

We’ll be looking at the talks people have volunteered to give, and we’ll put them into some sort of order. There will be a minimal vetting processing – essentially to make sure no one will turn up and explain why they think that racism is awesome. If we end up with too many talks for the time we have allocated, we’ll make some painful decisions and let you know ahead of time.

What sort of talks do you want?

Talks can be about anything, as long as you’re approaching them from a skeptical point of view. This time we’re particularly interested in talks focusing on any activism that you have been doing, or would like to find people to help you do. Have you run a campaign in your local area? Do you have an idea for something we could get together and do? Is there an issue skeptics should be paying more attention to? Let us know by giving a talk!

Can I have Powerpoint slides?

Yes, absolutely! We recommend having lots of slides and zipping through them fast to keep it pacey – and don’t cram too much text on but use it to illustrate your points.

I want to do a talk! How can I submit my talk proposal?

Fill in this form here. We’ll be in touch.

Don’t forget, you’ll have 15 minutes for talk, 5 minutes for Q&A after, and use of slides is encouraged. We recommend using lots of slides, changing quickly to give pace to your talk – and practicing beforehand to nail the delivery.

Good Thinking Society’s Science Blog Prize – The Winners!

Last night was the Good Thinking Society‘s Science Blog Prize event, hosted by the Soho Skeptics. We’ll have full coverage on this week’s Pod Delusion (and possibly the full thing available to listen too) – but in the meantime here’s the moment the winners were announced by Simon Singh and Ben Goldacre.

The winners were (everyone already knows, right?) Suzi Gage and David Colquhoun!

So do follow us or subscribe to hear when Friday’s show will be out – with more!

September 15th – The Pod Delusion’s BIG THIRD BIRTHDAY DO in London



To celebrate our programme’s third birthday on September 15th – we’re hosting a big event in central London – and we’d love it if you could join us!

There will be a licensed bar. The official hashtag will be #poddelusion.


We’ll have an evening of interesting things featuring…

  • Kate Russell from BBC Click
  • Young Atheist Handbook Author Alom Shaha – not talking about his book, but performing some MAGIC.
  • Guardian Blogger Martin Robbins on Why The Daily Mail Is Evil!
  • Pod Delusion regular Drew Rae offering us some Risk Assessment for the Apocalypse!
  • ‘Skeptic’ Magazine editor Deborah Hyde on the Psychology of the Supernatural!
  • and fire scientist Claire Benson – who hopefully won’t be burning down Conway Hall!
  • …with MORE to be announced!


The lovely folks at the, er, spiritual home of British secularism, Conway Hall are letting us put on the show in their massive hall.

(Nearest Tube: Holborn)


7:30pm on the evening of Saturday September 15th – don’t worry, we’re planning this to not clash with the Secular Europe March if you’re going on that.


Tickets are £5.95 (including booking fee) and can be bought here!

Rally To Defend Free Expression – 11th February 2012

In a very chilly Westminster today a rally was held to defend freedom of expression. Organised by the One Law For All campaign, it brought together a number of groups and individuals including many university atheist societies, the BHA, NSS, Richard Dawkins, Nick Cohen, Joan Smith and AC Grayling.

You can hear further coverage of the recent free-speech cases that have provoked this rally on The Pod Delusion’s weekly programme…

[Podcast Feed] [Add to iTunes]

Speakers listing…

We’re trying to crowdsource the names of speakers and their timing in the podcast above – so let us know in the comments below the speaker and the timecode if you happen to notice this.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Continue reading Rally To Defend Free Expression – 11th February 2012

March & Rally for a Secular Europe

So today we were at the March & Rally for a Secular Europe in London.

The following is a Pod Delusion Extra podcast of the rally in its entirety – take a listen!

[Podcast Feed] [Add to iTunes]

Here’s some of the audio we posted throughout the day…

The first people were arriving:

Some right-wing secularists:

The AHS (Student Groups) Contingent:

Getting ready to set off on the march (ft National Secular Society Executive Director Keith Porteous Wood):

BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson leading the chants as the march sets off:

The Pod Delusion’s Liz Lutgendorff starts a chant:

Chatting to David Pollock, President of the European Humanist Federation:

Drew from the Pagan Federation at the rally:

Pod Delusion LIVE IN LONDON on Tuesday 13th September!

To celebrate The Pod Delusion’s second birthday we’re teaming up again with London Skeptics in the Pub and will be recording a live edition of the programme in LONDON! Do come along – we’ll have a number of great speakers talking on interesting things, topped off with some music by the amazing HELEN ARNEY, who you may remember from the Uncaged Monkeys Tour.

So if you like, science, skepticism, a bit of politics and some INTERESTING THINGS. Then come on down, it’ll be a great evening!

Tuesday 13th September, 7pm

The Monarch Bar
40-42 Chalk Farm Road
London NW1 8BG

And if you’re coming, do tell us on the Facebook event or in the comments below:

Pod Delusion Live in Leicester – August 16th

Ay oop me duck, on the 16th August we’re doing a LIVE PODCAST RECORDING at Leicester Skeptics in the Pub. So if you’re in the Leicester area, put down your Walkers crisps, turn off the Kasabian and c’mon down to the Square Bar on Hotel Street at 7:30pm for an evening of interesting things.

Like our previous live shows, we’ll be following the usual format – but with the added bonus of a live audience. We’ll be teasing some of the topics we’ll be talking about nearer the time, but I can guarantee that it will be an eclectic mix and you’ll go away having learned something – not from me, but from our awesome contributors.

Tuesday, August 16 at 7:30PM

Square Bar
5-9 Hotel Street

See you there, yeah?

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Jonnie Marbles, the man who pie’d Rupert Murdoch

As you will have seen on the news on Wednesday, towards the end of the CMS Select Committee meeting in which Rupert and James Murdoch were being grilled by MPs, a protester named Jonnie Marbles got up and attempted to throw a shaving foam ‘pie’ into the face of Rupert Murdoch. A controversial act – and we are planning to be debating the merits of this direct action on tomorrow’s episode of The Pod Delusion. In the meantime though, here’s an exclusive interview with the man himself, Jonnie Marbles, in which he explains his motivations, how it happened, and whether he has any regrets doing it.

After listening, why not go and subscribe to the Pod Delusion on iTunes or via our Podcast Feed?

And don’t forget to follow The Pod Delusion on Facebook and Twitter for more interesting news, features and interviews!