You may recognise our December speaker from previous Bath Skeptics events as Joanna Bryson is sometimes in attendance at our monthly talks (even when she has no voice!)
Dr Joanna Bryson will be taking the microphone at our December event on Tuesday 6th with a talk entitled ‘The ethics on conscious robots’ that will look at whether it is possible that artifical intelligence built as artefacts by humans might themselves be considered moral subjects? Moral patients that deserve our protection, or even moral agents that deserve credit or responsibility for their own actions? And what, if anything, would a robot’s consciousness contribute to this question?
After twenty years of involvement in artificial intelligence, Joanna has come to the conclusion that the answers to these questions have less to do with technology and more to do with sceptical enquiry into the origins of our concepts of morality.
Joanna has been at Bath University since 2002 and in 2010 was made a Reader in Computer Science. We’re really excited that Joanna is going to be speaking to us on a subject that is something we’ve never explored before.
There have been a few changes to the way our events are organised – we are now trialing the use of Eventbrite to see if we can get a better head for numbers of those attending the event (something that will help us set up the room accordingly etc.) If you are thinking of coming to our December talk then please select how many free tickets you need by clicking here and we’ll see you on the night!
We’re currently organising events for 2012 so watch our event website for details of upcoming talks as they’re organised and arranged.
Also worth a mention is the fact that on November 29th the very first Bristol Bright Club is talking place and previous Bath Skeptics in the Pub speaker, Ian Walker, is on the line up! More details here.
The rest of the year looks very exciting for Bath Skeptics in the Pub with a whole range of different talks coming our way – not only that, but we’ve already started to plan ahead for 2012 too!
On Tuesday October 4th we have Deborah Hyde coming to talk for us about ‘Unnatural Predators’. Deborah is the acting editor of The Skeptic Magazine and also blogs as Jourdemayne. Below is a look at some of the word Deborah has done in the past on ‘The Vampires of Rhode Island’ and demonstrates how interesting her talk promises to be.
Our November speaker, Dr Matt Lodder, was recommended to us by the previous ‘Skeptics in the Pub’ groups he has spoken for. His talk will be a fascinating look at how the media perception of tattoos has been trying to convince people that tattoos are ‘not just for sailors’ for a very long time.
Matt recently wrote a brilliant piece for The Guardian outlining some of the most common myths surrounding those who are tattooed. Did you know Winston Churchill’s mum was even inked? Neither did I, which is why I can’t wait for this talk to learn about more myths surrounding body modification and tattoo art.
It’s a talk with a difference, but it’s important to remember that there are claims made in all walks of life that effect people and the way they view others, that deserve equal skepticism. Those who have tattoos will be able to relate to some of the myths Matt wrote about in The Guardian. This talk may challenge the view of tattoos you hold – it promises to be an enlightening discussion.
We hope to see you on Tuesday at the usual venue (The Westgate) which has recently has a lovely refurbishment and is even cosier than it used to be. We’re busy looking for speakers for 2012 so if you have any suggestions or recommendations to do be sure to get in touch with us.
Scientology has been in the public eye for a very long time, & much criticism has been levelled their way, the most recent being the case against Cllr. John Dixon in what was termed the ‘Stupid Scientology’ case.
Martin Poulter has been a critic of Scientology for a long time, here he explains what his talk (that he delivered to Lewes Skeptics, but will be delivering for Bath Skeptics in June) is going to be about.
Martin also recently appeared on Channel 4′s ’4thought.tv’ in the week that marked the centenary of the birth of Scientology founder, Ron L Hubbard. Watch him here.
Don’t leave it there though! Come along on June 21st to learn more about Scientology and how there’s more to the ‘religion’ than you probably know.
“As somebody who thought she was well researched on the truth of Scientology, I once interviewed Martin about the religion and his criticism of it and I came away from the interview in a state of shock at what I had learned.
When you listen to Martin, what he says brings you a sense of discomfort that leaves you wanting to learn more. ” Hayley Stevens, Righteous Indignation Podcast