Little Atoms with Kat Banyard – Friday 15th October 19.00 on Resonance 104.4fm

On this week’s show, Neil Denny talks to Kat Banyard.

Kat Banyard is author of The Equality Illusion and is a founder and Director of UK Feminista - an organisation supporting grassroots feminist activism. She is also the founder of FEM Conferences – an acclaimed series of national feminist conferences.

Kat was previously Campaigns Officer at the Fawcett Society – the UK ‘s leading campaign for women’s rights, and was a regular spokesperson for the organisation in national print and broadcast media. In 2007 she was profiled in Observer Woman magazine as one of ‘The New Feminists’. Prior to her work at Fawcett, Kat worked for the Northern Refugee Centre in Sheffield setting up women’s groups.

October 15, 2010 at 12:26 am | Events, Little Atoms, Skeptic News | Comments Off

Little Atoms with Tracy King and DC Turner (and Tim Minchin) – Friday 8th October 19.00 on Resonance 104.4fm

On this week’s show, Neil Denny Rebecca Watson are joined by Tracy King and DC Turner, and special guest Tim Minchin.

Tracy King is the Managing Director of February Marketing is the organiser of TAM London and co-organiser of The Big Libel Gig. She speaks on a range of topics including viral marketing, advertising psychology and using marketing in science communication and critical thinking. She is the Producer of Tim Minchin’s “Storm” movie, a regular writer for Skepchick and The Skeptic Magazine (UK), and her work has appeared in Nature and elsewhere.

DC (Dan) Turner is a designer and animator with a unique style of character design. He has worked for brands including Sony, Vodafone, Barclays, ITV, PKR, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, T Mobile and Woolworths. As well as animated shorts, he designs and builds award-winning Flash games and composes soundtracks.

Tim Minchin is.. well you know who Tim Minchin is.

October 8, 2010 at 12:31 am | Events, Little Atoms, Skeptic News | Comments Off

Little Atoms with Michael Brooks (and guest host Stuart Clark) – Friday 1st October 19.00 on Resonance 104.4fm

On this week’s show, Neil Denny and guest host Stuart Clark are joined by Michael Brooks.

Michael Brooks, who holds a PhD in quantum physics, is an author, journalist and broadcaster. He is a consultant at New Scientist, and the author of the acclaimed non-fiction title 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense and the techno-thriller Entanglement. Michael’s latest book is The Big Questions: Physics.

His writing has also appeared in the Guardian, the Independent, the Observer, the Times Higher Education, the Philadelphia Inquirer and (his proudest byline) Playboy. He has lectured at New York University, The American Museum of Natural History and Cambridge University. As well as contributing to traditional outlets for science, such as BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme and Material World, he has a regular live slot on the George Lamb Show on BBC’s 6 Music radio station, where he is regularly asked to explain everything in the universe.

Stuart Clark is one of the UK’s most widely read astronomy journalists. A former editor of Astronomy Now, He has a PhD in astrophysics and until 2001 was director of public astronomy education at the University of Hertfordshire. In 2001 the Independent ranked him alongside Stephen Hawking and Sir Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, as one of the ‘stars’ of British astrophysics teaching. A regular contributor to such magazines as New Scientist and BBC Focus, he is the author of several books, including Galaxy. But it was his first work of narrative nonfiction, The Sun Kings, that established him as a popular science writer par excellence. Stuart’s latest book is The Big Questions: The Universe.

September 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Events, Little Atoms, Skeptic News | Comments Off

Weekly news and blog roundup: I predict a riot

More than 10,000 people take to the streets to protest against pope

Saturday’s protest saw nearly 20,000 people unite against the pope, making it, by the National Catholic Register’s own admission, “one of the largest protests against a pope in modern history.” Meanwhile, around 80,000 Catholics amassed in Hyde Park, where the pope later led an evening prayer vigil. With only a reported 5% and 11% of British Catholics conforming to the pope’s stances on contraception and homosexuality respectively, we can only hope that most got the wrong address.

Read more here.

Watch or read speeches from the protest here.

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal stalls as US Senate Republicans block bill

The extent to which gay intolerance remains an issue never ceases to amaze me. This week Republican senators blocked Obama’s promised end to the ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy, which allows the dismissal of gays from the US armed forces if they reveal their sexuality. Democrats failed to swing even a single Republican’s vote, and a couple even voted against the policy’s withdrawal themselves.

Read the Guardian’s news coverage here.

‘Draw Muhammad’ cartoonist Molly Norris changes name, goes into hiding at FBI’s insistence

The cartoonist who inspired ‘Everybody Draw Muhammad Day’ has changed her name and gone into hiding at the advice of the FBI after a fatwa was issued against her. A radical Islamic leader linked to the recent Times Square bombing attempt placed her on an execution hit list and wrote that her “proper abode is hellfire.” This in response to her published cartoon with an anti-censorship message, which itself followed Comedy Central’s editing of a South Park episode that depicted the Islamic prophet. RIP Molly Norris: a martyr for a noble cause.

Read the Washington Post’s news coverage here.

[Via HumanistLife]

Mass suicide fears over LA sect allayed

When a group of sect members went missing, leaving behind letters wishing goodbye to their living relatives and claiming they would soon meet their deceased ones in heaven, they naturally ignited fears of a mass suicide. Fortunately the group, which included several children, has been found alive after a tip off to police. CNN reported that one sect member said they were all “perfectly OK”, and were angry to find that such an extensive search was under way.

Read Sky’s news coverage here.

[Via Richard Dawkins]

Science reporting on the BBC. Your chance to have a say.

The BBC has commissioned Steve Jones, UCL’s star geneticist, to write a report on the impartiality of science reporting on the BBC. It’s an issue that many of you will have some strong opinions on, and luckily you can make them heard by emailing them to

Read more here.

[Via DC’s Improbable Science]


Please feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to reply as quickly as possible. Until next time, take care of yourself, and each other.

If you come across something that you think our readers would enjoy, send a tip my way at will [at] skeptic [dot] org [dot] uk.

September 24, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Blog Round-up | Comments Off

Weekly news and blog roundup: The evil has landed

Pope’s visit marked by lower attendance

The Queen and the Prime Minister have expressed warm welcomes towards Pope Benedict XVI, but no one else seems to care about his arrival. The pope landed in Scotland yesterday, but was welcomed only by sparse crowds, and thousands of tickets to that evening’s open mass remained unsold. I guess when you alienate yourself from women, children, gays and anyone else with any sense, that doesn’t leave many left.

Watch Channel 4’s news coverage here.

[Via Atheist Media Blog]

Shots fired at Afghanistan Koran protest

Despite the Koran burning event’s cancellation, at least two people have been killed and nine injured in violent protests in Afghanistan. In Kabul, police prevented protesters from marching into the city centre, but still they blocked a road chanting “death to America”. As tyres were burned and stones thrown, police fired warning shots into the air, and were met by Taliban fire.

Read the BBC’s news coverage here.

British Science Festival

The British Science Festival is underway in Birmingham. Although you’ve already missed Dr. Petra Boynton on ‘the science of pulling’, you can still catch ‘the rap guide to evolution’, ‘archaeology through the ages’ and other events. And if the kids get restless, Cadbury World is only around the corner.

Find out more and buy tickets here.

Irish Minister for Science in anti-science scandal

Conor Lenihan, the Irish Minister for Science, had planned to attend the launch of a book in which evolution is described as “a fairytale for adults”, until widely criticised for his decision. Lenihan said he “remains to be convinced” by the author’s arguments, but defended his original decision saying that “diversity of opinion is a good thing”. His withdrawal was reportedly in response to a request from the author, but opinions on the matter are diverse.

Read more here.

[Via NeuroLogica]

Imam in the box

Dragons’ Den here we come! The imam of a large Parisian mosque has invented an easily-erectable ‘mosque in a box’, suitable for Parisian’s on the move. Simply pop one up in your office space to recreate the feelings of a traditional place of prayer suitable for all your spiritual needs. Available in polystyrene and deluxe models.

Watch the BBC’s news coverage here.


Please feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to reply as quickly as possible. Until next time, take care of yourself, and each other.

If you come across something that you think our readers would enjoy, send a tip my way at will [at] skeptic [dot] org [dot] uk.

September 17, 2010 at 9:57 am | Skeptic News | 1 Comment »

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