Dublin Skeptics 1


As I set off last night with my 11 year old I was asked, “Where are you off to then?”. I replied, “Oh, I’m taking Sally-Ann on a pub crawl”. “Oh ha ha, OK then”, and so off we went, leaving all behind quite oblivious to the fact that this was exactly what I was doing, it was no joke.  So hopping on the Luas (that’s the newish tram network in Dublin)  we set off into the city center. After arriving in St Stephens Green the usual evening cross-over was taking place, the Grafton Street shoppers where heading home to give way to the  evenings adventurers, but a few buskers were still hanging in there in the hope of gleaning a few extra coppers from the huddled masses rushing by in the spring chill.

We then hiked across the city and over the river, but got a bit lost in Temple bar. In theory it is possible to take a bus, but I’m not old enough to do that yet, it takes a lifetime to decrypt the mysterious CIE timetable, and so with a desire to get there sometime this year, walking was the best option. Our destination … “The Black Sheep” … an establishment located north of the river that boasts an impressive list of real ale (good choice). Was I really taking an 11 year old on a pub crawl? Well, strictly speaking … “No”, going to just one specific pub is not really a pub crawl.

Upon arrival I ordered an appropriate beverage, then Sally-Ann observed that there was a rather large group over on one side … it was our destination, for this was the meetup of the Dublin Skeptics on this very night. No speakers or talks, they were just having a social, so we were free to hang out with a great bunch of folks and basically ponder over the beer menu, guzzle chips and play connect4.

One beer item was “Sink The Bismarck“. This was no ordinary ale, it was 41% … think of it as beer flavoured alcohol with all the water removed. Somebody suggested, “Hey lets get some and try it” … but with a 80 Euro price tag very firmly attached, nobody had a financial thirst deep enough to go there.

Now, there is one other thought that might be at the back of your mind right now … an 11 year old in a pub, and nobody said anything? … Yep, that’s Dublin for you, where else can you go on the planet to find pubs packed with writers and poets, and so as a result a bit of common sense prevails. The deal is that as long as kids are not running around screaming or annoying others, then nobody is bothered. The law simply says they need to be gone by 9pm.

You know you are in a skeptic meetup when …

  • somebody pulls out a Physics book and all the folks around what to check it out …
  • everybody has a smartphone cranked up and ready to check facts at the drop of a hat …

They are a great bunch of folks and also very welcoming to complete strangers who just wander in unannounced, so if in town, do check them out. In fact, whenever on the road, why not have a little adventure, see if there is a local skeptics-in-the-pub or similar and go hang out with them.

Other options include …

  • Drinking Skeptically (US folks)
  • Cafe Scientifique –  a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology

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One thought on “Dublin Skeptics

  • Conor P

    I think you’ll find that it was actually ‘Line Up 4’, not ‘Connect 4’ that we were playing, important difference for copyright reasons ;)

    Glad you enjoyed it – I didn’t get to chat to you because I was over the other side of the table (that’s me in the purple jumper at the end) but you seemed to be well-welcomed anyway!

    All the best,
    Conor