The ‘Skeptics in the Pub’ idea is a one that has been spreading globally in for a while with a growing number of regular local events including plenty in England and a well established Dublin group. A branch has now been established in Belfast and the inaugural meeting will be at the Duke of York next Tuesday (12th) at 7pm.
While it’s key aim is to provide an organising hub for Rationalists and Secularists, in the case of the Westminster one (which I attend often), it has become – at least in part – a local blogger’s meetup. There’s a significant crossover with the concerns of many bloggers as free speech (particularly in the face of libel threats) is a common theme. Recent concerns that have energised attendees have included the various ways different alternative therapists promote themselves and sometimes use (ultimately futile) abuses of the libel laws to attempt to silence scientific critics.
The cause célèbre from the last year or so was the defence of Simon Singh’s right to criticise the British Chiropractic Association.
You can follow @belfastskeptics on twitter, and If you’re planning to go along to find out what it’s all about, register your interest on Facebook here. Alternatively, you can just turn up on the night.