#QEDCon – Saturday Pictures (Posting 1 of 2)

Once a year an amazing event takes place in Manchester that is known as QED (#QEDcon). It is a two-day science and skepticism weekend celebration of science, reason and critical thinking, and this past weekend (14-15 Oct) was this year’s happening. The posting today, the first of a set of two, contains a few pictures I took on the Saturday and also comes with some tweets from others. I suspect it might only be of interest to those that were there.

There was much happening in parallel and so as a reflection of that you might have two people relaying descriptions that apparently describe quite different things, hence what you see here is focused upon the sessions I went to. What is rather amazing is that each year it is fresh and vibrant, and this year was no exception, it was just as amazing as it always is.


Opening Ceremony – Dave Alnwick.

Comparing my picture of Dave below with Rob’s (see tweet under picture), it is abundantly clear that Rob is a far better photographer than I am. That of course is fine, it simply gives me something to aspire to.

As for the MC role, Dave did a fabulous job at that.

09:10 – 10:00 – Emma McClure

The Phantom of Heilbronn and other Forensic Faux Pas. Prison lawyer Emma McClure examines issues with forensic techniques, highlighting the amusing, confusing and sometimes tragic consequences of failing to take a skeptical approach to evidence in the field of forensic science.

10:10 – 11:00 – Caroline Rance

Snake Oil! Frauds and Fakers from Quackery’s Colourful History. Caroline Rance explores how patent medicine vendors of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries attracted customers, and how anti-quackery campaigners attempted to put a stop to their lucrative activities.

11:10 – 12:00 – Carol Tavris

Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why Won’t They Listen to Us When We Have the Data? Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why are we unable to own up when we make mistakes? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell?

13:00 – 13:50 – Kavin Senapathy

Why GMO is a Social Justice Issue. The scientific consensus on the safety of genetic engineering is clear. But some consumer rights advocates argue that shoppers have a “right to know” whether their foods are GMO. Does this right actually exist, and how does anti-GMO sentiment hinder social and environmental justice?

14:00 – 14:50 – Street Epistomology Workshop

Giving you the tools, and confidence needed to help a person reflect on a deeply-held belief without closing them down. Featuring Anthony Magnabosco, and repeated Sunday at 2.00pm.

They expected about 40 to turn up. Instead far more did so many ended up sitting on the floor. The workshop was also repeated again the next day.

15:00 – 15:50 – Anthony Warner

The Truth About Fat: Why Anyone Who Says That Weight Gain and Obesity are Simple is Probably Trying to Sell You Something. This will cover the science of weight gain; the problem with weight stigma; the many people selling lies and false promises about it; our fear of fat; and how our deeply help prejudice against larger bodies leaves us susceptible to adopting false beliefs and believing those who peddle certainty.

16:00 – 17:00 : Phil Scraton

Justice for the 96: Researching Truth, Delivering Justice, in the Aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster. Phil Scraton reflects on the long road to truth on Hillsborough, analyses the new inquests, their outcome (unlawful killing verdict, attribution of responsibility and exoneration of the fans), the ongoing Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation and the criminal prosecutions.

Cartoons Inspired by talks

Above you will have seen a few of the amazing talk-inspired cartoons. Here is the artist himself (@scriberian)in action.

A few side Tweets

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