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Disinformation Superhighway

February 22 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

event poster

Important notes:

  1. This event is in Edinburgh
  2. You need to book a (free) ticket to attend
Brought to you thanks to a collaboration between Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh Skeptics, and Glasgow Skeptics, we will be spending the evening dissecting elements of the Disinformation Superhighway. The event will feature short talks from each of our three expert speakers, followed by a panel discussion / Q&A where you the audience get to have your say!
Please note that places are limited so you must reserve a free ticket on Eventbrite so we can manage numbers: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/disinformation-superhighway-tickets-817390546127

Speakers

Dr Alice Howarth – From Oddities to Extremities: Unmasking the Conspiracy Continuum
Embark on a thought-provoking journey as we delve into the intriguing realm of quirky beliefs and their unexpected connections to radical ideologies. In this eye-opening talk, we explore how seemingly innocuous ideas, like the belief in a flat Earth, can act as gateways to a labyrinth of more extreme conspiracy theories.
Join us as we unravel the mechanisms that propel individuals down the rabbit hole, tracing the path from seemingly harmless ideas to the adoption of radical beliefs. Gain insights into the slippery slope of conspiratorial thinking and discover the surprising connections that tie the seemingly unrelated threads of unconventional beliefs to the fabric of extremism. Are these beliefs merely eccentricities, or do they serve as indicators of a deeper vulnerability to radicalisation?
Dr Alice Howarth is cancer cell biologist, science communicator, podcaster and writer. She has been part of the skeptical community for more than a decade, and is co-host of Skeptics with a K, vice president of the Merseyside Skeptics Society, deputy editor of The Skeptic Magazine, co-organiser of the QED conference and co-founder of Skeptics in the Pub Online. Alice has delivered lectures on the topics of science and skepticism all over the world, written for publications such as The Guardian, and worked on numerous investigations into pseudoscientific claims. In her day job, Alice is an open research advocate for the University of Liverpool and the UK Reproducibility Network, working to make research available beyond academia. She believes that accessibility and inclusivity is crucial to how we engage with science and critical thinking.

Dr Faye Skelton – Suspect Confessions
Have you ever admitted to something you didn’t do? How about confessing to a crime you didn’t commit? It’s surprisingly common for innocent people to confess to crimes they haven’t committed, and for juries, confessions trump most other forms of evidence. Though some people might voluntarily confess, others may succumb to investigative pressure, and some may even come to believe that they are guilty. From personality factors to lies, threats and torture, Dr Faye Skelton (Edinburgh Napier University) explores the psychology of false confessions.
Faye is a lecturer in Cognitive Psychology at Edinburgh Napier University. She leads the popular MSc Applied Criminology and Forensic Psychology programme and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. An experienced public engagement performer, Faye has written and performed shows on false confessions, eyewitness testimony, miscarriages of justice, and lie detection for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh International, Northern Ireland, and Cheltenham Science Festivals as well as to several other groups across the UK. In 2019 she also featured in the BBC’s popular Witch Hunt podcast.
Over the last decade she has worked on improving the recognition of facial composites (‘E-FITs’) of suspects using different software systems. Most recently she has been researching the impact of COVID-19 on the
justice voluntary sector and is currently leading a British Academy/Leverhulme funded project exploring experiences of miscarriages of justice.
X @LightFayber
https://blogs.napier.ac.uk/psynaps/faye-skelton/
www.napier.ac.uk/people/faye-skelton
BBC Witch Hunt: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07rn38z/episodes/downloads

Henry Otgaar – The Dark Side of False and Repressed Memories

In this talk, I will explain the relative ease by which false memories can be created, compare forensic and media-based false memories, and show the disastrous consequences they can have in the courtroom. Furthermore, I will show that some of these false memories are caused by a belief in the existence of one of the most controversial topics in psychological science: repressed memory

The Royal Society of Edinburgh supported network addresses the spread of false information by uniting scientific findings with policy makers to combat the misinformation pandemic. The network is made up of cognitive psychologists, computer scientists, cognitive scientists, and experts in cyber threat, immunology, behaviour change, journalism, politics and social media.

Prof. Dr. Henry Otgaar works as a research professor at the Leuven Institute of Criminology (KU Leuven) and as a professor of Legal Psychology at the section Forensic Psychology, Maastricht University. Furthermore, he is a visiting fellow at the City University London and the Center of Memory and the Law (London).

Prof. Dr. Otgaar’s research concentrates on developmental changes in memory from childhood to adulthood. Specifically, he is interested in factors that relate to the development of memory illusions. He collaborates with research groups in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada, Sweden, and North America.

https://henryotgaar.wixsite.com/henryotgaar


The Royal Society of Edinburgh supported network addresses the spread of false information by uniting scientific findings with policy makers to combat the misinformation pandemic. The network is made up of cognitive psychologists, computer scientists, cognitive scientists, and experts in cyber threat, immunology, behaviour change, journalism, politics and social media.
All our events are free of charge but we will ask for a voluntary donation. Please note there are some steps in the venue so if you have motor difficulties, please let us know and we may be able to make other arrangements.

Details

Date:
February 22
Time:
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Website:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/disinformation-superhighway-tickets-817390546127

Venue

The Three Sisters
139 Cowgate
Edinburgh, EH1 1JS United Kingdom
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