(NB: Not our usual day!)

Gustav Kuhn

When?
Friday, May 2 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

60 Old Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NY

Who?
Gustav Kuhn

What's the talk about?

PLEASE NOTE : This event happens on FRIDAY 2nd of May, breaking our normal '1st Wednesday of the Month' rule.

Magic is one of the oldest art forms, and for centuries magicians have created illusions of the impossible. Some have used these illusions as demonstrations of supernatural powers. However, advances in Psychology and Neuroscience offer new insights into why our minds are so easily deceived. I am a Magician and Psychologist with an interest in researching some of the mechanisms involved in magic. Instead of relying on supernatural powers, magicians have developed powerful psychological principle to distort our perception and thoughts. In this talk we will explore some of the principles used by magicians to distort your perception. For example, we will look at how magicians use misdirection to manipulate your attention and thereby prevent you from noticing things even though they might be right in front of your eyes. Alternatively, magicians may manipulate your expectations about the world and thus bias the way you perceive objects and can even make you see things that aren’t necessarily there. At first sight, our proneness to being fooled by conjuring trick could be interpreted as a weakness of the human mind. However, contrary to this popular belief, I will demonstrate that these “errors” reveal the complexity of visual perception and highlight the ingenuity of the human mind.

Dr. Gustav Kuhn worked as a professional magician and it was his interest in deception and illusions that sparked a curiosity about the human mind. Gustav is a senior lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, and one of the leading researchers in the science of magic.

Carla Mackinnon & Dan Denis

When?
Wednesday, June 4 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

60 Old Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NY

Who?
Carla Mackinnon & Dan Denis

What's the talk about?

Sleep Paralysis is a condition of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep in which a person becomes conscious of their surroundings during the night, but is unable to move. These experiences are often accompanied by a range of bizarre and often terrifying hallucinations. Throughout history, many ostensibly paranormal experiences may be explained as episodes of sleep paralysis. These include incubus and succubus myths, 'evidence' used to prosecute witches, ghost sightings and, more recently, claims of alien abduction.

In this talk Dan Denis will discuss the scientific and cultural context of sleep paralysis while Carla MacKinnon will share her own experiences with sleep paralysis and the research she conducted as part of the Sleep Paralysis Project, a cross-platform initiative exploring the phenomenon. Carla will screen Devil In The Room, a short experimental documentary about sleep paralysis and discuss some of the extraordinary stories and characters she has come into contact with over the course of the project. She will also look at how gaining a scientific understanding of the phenomenon has transformed her own experience of it.

Carla MacKinnon is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary producer with a background in technologyand education. Carla recently graduated from an Animation MA at the Royal College of Art. In 2009 she founded Rich Pickings, live events bringing filmmakers together with practitioners in science and the humanities, aimed at broadening perspectives. A particularly brutal spat of sleep paralysis in 2012 prompted her to initiate the Sleep Paralysis Project, a cross-platform initiative exploring the phenomenon www.thesleepparalysisproject.org.

Dan is a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield and former student in the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, where he carried out research into the causes of and risk factors involved in sleep paralysis. He is also the resident researcher for the Sleep Paralysis Project, a multi-disciplinary investigation into sleep paralysis

Alasdair Hopwood

When?
Wednesday, July 2 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

60 Old Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NY

Who?
Alasdair Hopwood

What's the talk about?

Artist Alasdair Hopwood will take us on a powerpoint journey around his recent events and exhibition series The False Memory Archive. 

www.falsememoryarchive.com

Artist Alasdair Hopwood has worked publicly as the life solutions organisation The WITH Collective (withyou.co.uk), as the fictional art fund AND and recently as The False Memory Archive, completing projects with a number of major galleries and museums including Tate Britain, The ICA, The Hayward and the V&A. He has been artist in residence at the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths since 2011. As well as his work as an artist, Hopwood has curated a number of projects and has also written extensively for Art Review magazine. Throughout his 'Nathan Barley' years, he was arts editor for the notorious and anarchic style magazine Sleazenation.

Tannice Pendegrass

When?
Wednesday, August 6 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

60 Old Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NY

Who?
Tannice Pendegrass

What's the talk about?

After going through definitions of Autism and what it means for the person on the ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder), Tannice will reveal the results of her own survey into what people know and think about autism, its effects, causes and treatments.

As a former Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) tutor with the UK Young Autism Project for children on the autistic spectrum, Tannice keeps a close eye on new developments in treatments. However, she's not impressed with some of the purported miracle cures that include the usual suspects of homeopathy and acupuncture. But we already know about the scant evidence for those treatments. It's the terrible stress and toxic treatments that many children must endure that come under Tannice's scutiny as she takes you through the pros and cons of 'quack' treatments and the evidence for learning-based treatments like ABA.

(NB : Not our usual day!)

Stephen Law

When?
Friday, November 21 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

60 Old Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NY

Who?
Stephen Law

What's the talk about?

PLEASE NOTE : This event happens on FRIDAY 21st of November, breaking our normal '1st Wednesday of the Month' rule.

We take a close look at how Theists respond to the evidential problem of evil - the problem, for them, of explaining why an all-powerful, all-good God would inflict so much suffering on sentient beings. Many explanations have been offered, many highly ingenious. We’ll explore a novel way of looking at these explanations, and at the way in which they contribute to the overall rational architecture of traditional Theism. To what extent are there parallels with the thinking of, e.g., conspiracy theories, Young Earth Creationism, and other ‘Intellectual Black Holes’?

Stephen Law is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Heythrop College, University of London, editor of the Royal Institute of Philosophy journal THINK, and author of popular philosophy books including The Philosophy Gym and Believing Bullshit.