Mon, 29 Nov | Location is TBD

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe (Happy Readers Book Club)

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The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe (Happy Readers Book Club)

Time & Location

29 Nov, 19:30
Location is TBD

About the event

*** If you wish to attend and are not already on our email list, please contact g.m.glansdorp@gmail.com and ask to join. ***  This event will be held online using Zoom.  ===  

This month we’ll be discussion the following book, published in 2018:  “The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe: How to Know What's Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake”, by Steven Novella.  

This is the book version of the popular podcast of the same name, commonly referred to as SGU. SGU promotes the principles of critical thinking and the epistemology of scientific skepticism (otherwise known as “science”!)  

The book surveys logical fallacies, cognitive biases and perception errors which commonly lead us astray. These are the stock-in-trade of the skeptical movement.  

Elsewhere Novella reviews the scientific method: occam’s razor, placebo effects and p-hacking have star billing here.  These tools are applied to historical examples of various woo and flim flam, such as cold reading, homunculus theory, pyramid schemes and ghosts. 

And the book discusses how the principles are often not applied by journalists.  

The book ends with a discussion of the ways in which pseudoscience literally kills: alternative medicine. This is one of Novella’s specialties.  

The book is highly rated on both Goodreads and Amazon, and has received positive reviews from the likes of Neil De Grasse Tyson, Bill Nye and Simon Singh.  

Novella is the main author, but the book also has contributions from his podcast co-hosts, Bob Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Jay Novella and Evan Bernstein. (Yes that’s three Novellas, they are brothers). It also contains posthumous material from former co-host Perry DeAngelis.  

About the author:  Steven Novella is a clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine. He is the author of the award-winning NeuroLogica blog, and senior editor of the website Science-Based Medicine.  Novella is also the author of two lecture series published by Wondrium (formerly called “The Great Courses”), one on medical myths and the other on critical thinking.

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