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Skepticism is not denialism

A sceptics club would usually conjure up images of paranoid tinfoil headgear wearing conspiracy theorists, but Skeptics in the Pub is far from it.

Founded in London by Dr Scott Campbell in 1999, the group organises an informal lecture series based on critical thinking.


Things don’t really get this heated at Cardiff Skeptics. Philip, one of the regulars, recreates one of John Sweeney’s infamous Panorama moments and John was happy to play along. Image credit: Philip Dore

Host of Cardiff Skeptics, John Stabler, sees it as a “science club” for people to take a rational approach and examine extraordinary claims. The club meets every month at Cathays Sports & Social Club where a speaker is invited to present a topic followed by a discussion. These topics range from science, history, and psychology to philosophy, magic and investigative journalism.


John Sweeney, one of Cardiff Skeptics most popular guest speakers, gave his talk in The Senedd on June 17 2013. The following month was Professor David Nutt at the same location. Credit: Amy Stabler

“Simon Singh’s talk about his ordeal with the British Chiropractic Association was an interesting one,” says Stabler, referring to the defamation lawsuit filed against him for citing BCA’s promotion of “bogus treatments” in his Guardian column. “Some chiropractors turned up and took part in the Q&A which made for quite a charged atmosphere.”

With current society encouraging conformity, it is refreshing to have a club that celebrates the inquisitive mind from a scientific rationale.

Taking a Christmas break, Cardiff Skeptics will be back with their next talk (to be confirmed shortly) in January.

Quick fire with John Stabler

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