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Lifting the Lid on Pseudoscience – Michael Marshall

20:00, 29th April 2014, International Lounge, Liverpool Guild of Students, Mount Pleasant.

A great way to finish the year – join us with Michael Marshall talking about his ongoing adventures in the world of pseudoscience.

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It’s easy to think of pseudoscience existing in a glass case at a museum – something to be examined and critiqued from a safe distance, but not something to touch and to play with. Using examples taken from his own personal experiences in skepticism, Michael Marshall will show what happens when you begin to crack the surface of the pseudosciences that surround us – revealing the surprising, sometimes-shocking and often-comic adventures that lie beneath.

Michael Marshall is the Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and Project Director of the Good Thinking Society. He regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast. His work with the MSS has seen him organising international homeopathy protests and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Statesman.

This event is hosted by University of Liverpool Humanists and is open to everyone free of charge. However, so that we can cover our costs and keep hosting events in the future, we must request a voluntary donation – £2-3 (or more!) per person is greatly appreciated.

If you happen to be elsewhere, check out the list of other dates here.

University of Liverpool Humanists AGM Minutes

University of Liverpool Humanists AGM

This is a bit of a long post, but it’s all of the notes needed for the upcoming AGM. As you can see, there’s quite a few positions uncontested or without a candidate, so get in touch and make things more lively! Many of the current committee members cannot run next year, so it’s up to you (YES, YOU!) to help run the society next year.

It’s been a great couple of years- here’s to another two! See you on Tuesday.

Cheers,

Chris

P.S. – If you want a pdf, you can download one here.

Motions & Amendments:

1.      Creation of new committee positions – Daniel Newman

Section 6.3 as it is currently written:

“6.3 Committee members are to be elected as in section 7. Additional members may be elected to the committee, provided that:

6.3.1     An extra position is deemed necessary for the following year by the current committee and the new position is created prior to an AGM and voted on by the committee, or;

6.3.2     Members are informed of the need for a new position on the committee and are given a period of more than 1 week to apply for the position. The appointed candidate must receive a majority vote from the society members at an EGM.”

Proposed amendment:

The substitution of 6.3.2 with:

“6.3.2  Members are informed of the need for a new position on the committee and are given a period of more than 1 week to apply for the position. The appointed candidate must receive a majority vote from the society members at an EGM, or;”

The addition of the following after section 6.3.2

“6.3.3 The AGM or EGM moves that the creation of a new committee position is necessary.”

Rationale:

“This allows an AGM/EGM to create extra positions so that individuals who it would be desirable to have on the committee aren’t excluded due to insufficient positions being created.”

2.      Creation of new committee positions – Daniel Newman

Section 7.3 as it currently is written:

“7.3 The AGM will form the sovereign decision-making body of the society, and the following powers will be exercised at the AGM:

7.3.1     To elect members to the committee.

7.3.2     To amend the constitution

7.3.3     To dissolve the society.

7.3.4     All attendees shall have the right to speak, at the discretion of the Returning Officer.

7.3.5     All members shall have the right to vote on all AGM business.”

Proposed amendment:
The Addition of the following after section 7.3.4:

“7.3.6 To create new committee positions as decided by majority vote, to be voted on at that meeting following the procedure listed in 7.4.”

Rationale:

“This allows an AGM/EGM to create extra positions so that individuals who it would be desirable to have on the committee aren’t excluded due to insufficient positions being created.”

3.      Removing committee positions – Daniel Newman

Section 7.4.3 as it is currently written:

” 7.4.3  The positions to be voted on must be re-stated before the election proceeds. At this point, the Candidates for each position on the new Committee must be entered into the minutes.”

Proposed Amendment:

7.4.3 to be substituted with the following:

“7.4.3 The positions to be voted on must be re-stated before the election proceeds. At this point, the Candidates for each position on the new Committee must be entered into the minutes. If the committee position has been created using the powers listed in 6.6.3 and 7.3.6, the option of ‘No Candidate’ must also be included in the ballot.”

Rationale:

“To ensure future committee do not create extra positions when a smaller committee would be in the interests of the society.”

4.      Stipulating a minimum notice period for an EGM – Daniel Newman

Section 10.1 as it is currently written:

“10.1    An EGM may occur at any time during the year. An EGM should be organised by the committee, adhering to 7.1.3 and 7.2, and the powers listed in 7.3 may be enacted. If committee voting is required (such as in 6.3.2), the procedure as in 7.4.7 must be followed.”

Proposed amendment:

“10.1    An EGM may occur at any time during the year. An EGM should be organised by the committee, adhering to 7.1.3, 7.1.4 and 7.2, and the powers listed in 7.3 may be enacted. If committee voting is required (such as in 6.3.2), the procedure as in 7.4.7 must be followed.”

Rationale:

“While the election of a new committee member at an EGM currently requires more than a week’s notice, motions and amendments to the constitution can still be passed with less than this. The new potential new power of an AGM/EGM being able to create positions would also provide a way to abuse the lack of a minimum notice period for an EGM.”

Election Candidates:

 

President:

  1. Daniel Newman

Previous roles: Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, AHS Representative.

 

Vice President:

  1. Ricki Hewitt

Experienced| Determined | Enthusiastic | Fair

My story; my record:

Hi, my name is Ricki and I’m a first year student studying Combined Honours BSc in Criminology and Psychology.

I got involved in my students’ union, like many others, by accident – but I haven’t looked back since. This year I have been a part of the Guild of Students, completely changing its democratic and representative structures. I’m running to be part of the Humanists Society because having started to get more involved in the secular community, I feel like there is a severe lack of “real student” voices driving what the movement does.

“Change and activism happens day in, day out, throughout student led activities led, by the most involved who don’t know they are the most engaged. The challenge is how we communicate our impact to the wider world; when people know our   success, our story and how integral our unions are to local communities, it will strengthen our ability to campaign and more importantly win for our members.” Ricki Hewitt.

What I can bring:

Over a period of two years, at my previous institution, Deeside College, I was elected President of the Student Voice Association, in this time I worked on several campaigns: I set up our first ever societies. I campaigned for an autonomous student-led movement, more computers in the college library, and re-wrote the Student Voice Constitution to help better serve students.

I run my own secular movement: that espouses human logic and skepticism, its focus is reducing ties between the UK Government and state religion, replacing laws based on scripture with civil laws. So I know what it’s like to be at the forefront of a society like this one – I’d like to use this experience to work alongside the President in building communication links with local schools, and work on a campaign to promote the teaching of humanism in religious education locally. I am also keen to reflect the opinions of others, especially in considering what our priorities are for the year ahead.

“Ricki puts a huge amount of effort into the extra activities that he takes on, many of which are to support others.  At Deeside College we encourage our students to perform to their highest potential, not just academically but also in other elements of their lives, Ricki is an excellent example of this.”

David Jones, Principal and CEO, Deeside College

“Ricki demonstrates dynamic social and   political awareness and is always looking to make positive changes to student life.”

Rhodri Roberts, LGBT Officer, NUS Wales

Don’t be hesitant, vote Ricki Hewitt for Vice-President!

http://www.facebook.com/mrprofhewitt

http://www.twitter.com/ricki hewitt

http://www.realism-themovement.com

“I don’t just voice the change, I make it.”

 

Secretary:

  1. Hannah Farrall

Previous roles: General Committee Position.

 

Treasurer:

No candidates.

 

Social Secretary:

No candidates.

 

General Committee Position 1:

  1. Helena Siggins

Previous roles: Interfaith Coordinator, Social Secretary.

Hello, I’m Helena (person reading this please don’t put on a silly voice). Sorry I can’t be there – I’m currently studying abroad but I will be back in September. I have been on the committee before and would really like to be part of it again, as a general committee member. In my previous role no major disasters occurred, and, contrary to popular belief, no one died. I really enjoyed being part of the society and would love to continue to help it grow and develop. Please vote for me, you know, if you want.

 

General Committee Position 2:

1. David Law

Previous roles: President of Astronomy Society, Treasurer of Physics Society, Vice President of Physics Outreach, Non-Commissioned Officer for the Royal Navy.

People should vote for me because although I’m opinionated and always willing to share that opinion, I’m also bloody good at fighting for what we are owed from the Guild! Also, I’ll bring rum to meetings! (Not all of them, though. What, do you think I’m bloody made of money?!)

David is currently in Majorca, having booked his holiday before the AGM was announced.

 

AHS Representative:

  1. Helena Siggins

Previous roles: Interfaith Coordinator, Social Secretary.

Hello, I’m Helena (person reading this please don’t put on a silly voice). Sorry I can’t be there – I’m currently studying abroad but I will be back in September. I have been on the committee before and would really like to be part of it again, as a general committee member. In my previous role no major disasters occurred, and, contrary to popular belief, no one died. I really enjoyed being part of the society and would love to continue to help it grow and develop. Please vote for me, you know, if you want.

Annual General Meeting 2014

17:30, Tuesday 22nd April 2014, Sydney Jones Library, Abercromby Square

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It’s that time of year again – we need to vote for the people who’ll be taking on the challenge of running the University of Liverpool Humanists next year! This year, the AGM is particularly important, because many of the current committee will be unable to continue next academic year. If you’d like to see our society continue being active and continue to put on great events, then express your interest and help out!

If you would like to do your bit for the best non-religious society on campus, then nominate yourself by emailing Chris, the returning officer, at chrismalburn@gmail.com by the 15th April. Don’t worry if you miss this deadline, you will still be able to stand for positions at the AGM in person, but it looks good if you seem organised! If you can’t make it to the AGM for whatever reason, then you can send a statement to be read out on your behalf, or you can nominate someone else to speak on your behalf. You can also ask for more information by commenting here, on the AGM Facebook page, or by asking any of the current committee.

The committee positions up for grabs are :

  1. President 
  2. Vice President
  3. Treasurer
  4. Secretary
  5. AHS Representative – Represent the interests of the society within the AHS. They are usually a member of the caucus for the AHS AGM along with the president although they may delegate this responsibility. They are also co-responsible for coordinating attendance of the AHS AGM.
  6. General Committee position – role to be decided by new committee.
  7. General Committee position


You can also suggest your own ideas for the direction you’d like the society to go in the future, as well as suggest changes to how the society is run. You can do this by submitting constitutional amendments and motions. These should be submitted to Chris by the 15th April – he can help with drafting if needed.

We’ll be meeting in the Sydney Jones Library at half 5 on Tuesday 22nd April, and we’ll release the final agenda in due course, however, it will follow approximately as follows:

  • Welcome & Reports
    • President’s report on the preceding year.
    • Treasurer’s report on society finances.
  • Elections
    • Positions and candidates will be announced.
    • Candidates have a maximum of 5 minutes to speak, and 5 minutes to answer questions.
    • A secret ballot will be carried out for each committee position in accordance with the Constitution.
    • New committee will be announced.
  • Motions & Amendments Closing remarks & celebratory drinks.
    • Motions will be announced.
    • One proponent and one opponent each has a maximum of 5 minutes to speak, and 5 minutes to answer questions.
    • A secret ballot will be carried out for each motion or amendment in accordance with the Constitution.
    • Results will be announced.
  • Closing remarks & celebratory drinks.

Rant Night!

8pm, Tuesday 4th March, LGoS Bar, 5 Abercromby Square.

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Do you have a hobby horse or something you like to get on your soapbox about? Come to our Rant Night!

What is Rant Night?

It’s an open mic-style event where you can get on your soapbox for a few minutes, as well as hear about other people’s passions or bugbears – something that’s cool, interesting, funny or infuriating…

Everyone has something that gets them fired up, so why not give it a go? It can be as well-prepared or as shambolic as you like – it’ll only be for 5 minutes!

How do I take part?

If you’re interested in taking part, send us an email at livunihumanists@gmail.com or message one of the committee and let us know what you’d like to rant about. Also, feel free to volunteer on the night – the more the merrier! On the night, we’ll give you 5 minutes, a microphone and an audience. 😀 There may be prizes for the best rants…

What can I rant about?

Anything you like, really – if it’s about humanism, skepticism, science, philosophy, politics, ethics, or something like that, then it’s a shoe-in, and as long as it’s something interesting, funny or controversial, then we’ll probably say yes anyway, as long as no-one else is already down for the same topic. If you’re planning on being sexist, homophobic, racist, or anything like that, then we’ll probably say no! If you have lots of things to rant about, then we can likely get you a couple of slots.
This a new style of event for us, and is a bit of a departure from our usual lecture style, so we need your help to make it as fun as possible. We’re really looking forward to hearing your rants!

The Wonders & Worries of Genetic Modification – Geraint Parry

Apologies for the lull recently, but we’re back with another talk! I’m very happy to announce that we’ve bagged Geraint Parry, an expert on Genetically Modified Organisms, to give us a 101 and dispel some of the myths that are out there.

Join us at 20:15, Tuesday 18th February 2014, International Lounge, Liverpool Guild of Students, University Square.

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Yeah, it's a commons image. Don't panic. :P

GM produce gets a mixed press, and has been described as everything from evil frankenfood that makes people ill to a panacea against world hunger and environmental damage. The ethical debate on GM can be polarising, especially with the amount of misinformation in the media and popular culture. Geraint Parry will explain the science behind GM crops and touch on some of the controversies that go along with this technology.

Geraint is a lecturer at University of Liverpool, and undertakes fundamental research on transport of molecules in and out of a plant cell nucleus. He creates transgenic organisms and, it could be argued, has a vested interest in the science, politics and regulation of this somewhat controversial topic. Follow him on twitter at @liverpoolplants.

This event is hosted by University of Liverpool Humanists and is open to the public, free of charge. However, so that we can cover our costs and keep hosting events in the future, we must request a voluntary donation – £2 (or more!) per person is greatly appreciated.

Apologies for the odd start time – due to the limited space in the Guild, we have been shifted back a little from our usual start time to allow for us to set the room up.

See you there!

First Social of 2014!

Join us at the Augustus John for our first social of 2014, on 28th Jan at 19:30!

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First social of 2013!

Now that the exam period is over, we can all relax with a nice drink, with the University of Liverpool’s favourite Humanist society – if you want to find out more, make suggestions or just meet some nice people, we’d love to see you!

We have more things  that we’ll announce in the near future – watch this space. (Or come to the social and ply the committee with drink if you really can’t wait!) 😉

Mike Homfray – Sex, Religion, Humanism & the Gay Issue

Coming up on Thursday 28th November, 20:00, Dining Room, Liverpool Guild of Students, 5 Abercromby Square.

Join us for a whistlestop tour through the history of sexual liberation!

File:Gay flag.svg
Find out how religious and social views have changed through the ages, and affected campaigns for equal rights: from ancient Greece to the liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s and recent campaigns for marriage equality. With Mike Homfray, we’ll look at the positions of Humanism and Christianity on homosexuality, the evolving position of the Church of England and how Humanism has taken on issues faced by gay, lesbian and bisexual people.

This talk and discussion is a great opportunity to brush up on our background knowledge and ask questions – particularly Humanists and those involved in LGBT issues, although of course anyone who’s interested is welcome!

Mike Homfray is an ex-Christian and a gay man who has experienced both ‘sides’ of the religious divide. He has been involved in a range of initiatives to reform the Church with regard to its position on sexuality, but came to the conclusion that brick walls are not for beating heads against. Now embracing a humanist outlook, he still admires those working for change in the church. Mike is a sociologist and the author of ‘Provincial Queens’, a study of the gay and lesbian community in the north-west of England.

This event is hosted by University of Liverpool Humanists (with  help from Liverpool Guild LGBT Society) and is open to everyone free of charge. However, so that we can cover our costs and keep hosting events in the future, we must request a voluntary donation – £2 (or more!) per person is greatly appreciated.

Campaigning for Fair Admissions – Richy Thompson

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20:00, Tuesday 12th November, Liverpool Guild of Students, 160 Mount Pleasant.

Support the Fair Admissions Campaign

We will be welcoming Richy Thompson to talk about how to set up a local Fair Admissions Campaign group here in Liverpool and why we should do it!

Liverpool faces a unique set of conditions as a historically very religious city, with a reduced population, as well as being the home seat for the former Shadow Education Secretary, Stephen Twigg MP. Richy will be advising us on how to deal with these factors as part of a campaign.

Richy is currently the Campaigns Officer for the British Humanist Association and an expert on issues relating to religious selection in schools. He has been President of Oxford’s AHS society, the founder of Oxford Think Week, Press Officer then President of the AHS, Campaigns Volunteer for the European Humanist Federation before becoming the BHA’s lead campaigner on education and faith schools.

This event is hosted by the University of Liverpool Humanist Society, a student group. You don’t have to be a member to attend – anyone who is interested in the campaign is welcome.

We will not charge for entry, but will accept donations to cover costs such as speaker expenses. We request a donation of £2 per person.

Introduction to Humanism and Fair Admissions

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19:00, Tuesday, 1st October, International Lounge, LGOS

Support the Fair Admissions Campaign

This event is the perfect chance to come and find out more about Humanism as well as a great opportunity to meet everyone! The committee will be hosting two mini talks –

‘Introduction to Humanism’
Daniel Newman will discuss the fundamentals of Humanism and what Humanists do and don’t believe, and the Humanism as a modern movement.

‘Fair Admissions’
Chris Malburn will be introducing the Fair Admissions campaign, which aims to open state-funded schools to everyone regardless of their religion. The aim is to set up a local campaign group made up of secular minded individuals from all across the community regardless of religion here in Liverpool.

The talks will be kept relatively short to allow for a little mixer and most likely the the pub afterwards! (Neither of which are mandatory of course!)

 

This will be held in the International Lounge, in Liverpool Guild of Students.

This event is hosted by the University of Liverpool Humanists, a student society. Our events are open to all, but we request a voluntary donation to cover our society’s expenses.

See you there!

How to be a Psychic Conman – Ash Pryce

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September 24, 2013 at 18:45

Dining Room, LGOS, 5 Abercromby Square

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I’m delighted to announce our first event! The wonderful Ash Pryce will be performing his fantastic show – How to be a Psychic Conman!

Are Psychics REALLY psychic, or are they just deceiving people?

No one can say for sure, but, as Ash Pryce will show us, it is possible to look psychic by bending spoons, finding hidden objects and appearing to remove someone’s tumours, without actually being psychic. In this fantastic show, we’ll find out how we can all be a psychic conman!

Ash Pryce is an entertainer and performer, founder of Edinburgh Skeptics and a theatre company in Leicester. He had toured his show How to be a Psychic Conman around the UK and recently debuted his new show How to Talk to the Dead in Edinburgh.

This event is hosted by the University of Liverpool Humanists, a student society. Our events are open to all, but we request a voluntary donation to cover our expenses.

See you there!

Follow Ash Pryce on twitter

Check out his blog

And you may find this video entertaining

Credit to Richard Cooper Photography

Credit to Richard Cooper Photography

Thanks to Richard Cooper for the use of photos.