Circular Reasoning: The Rise of Flat Earth Belief

Over the past few years, I’ve given almost 100 free talks to skeptics in the pub groups, humanists, students, conferences, degree courses and comedy festivals – including my talks:

  • Adventures in pseudoscience – a fun journey through almost a decade of my skeptical activism and investigations
  • Diluting NHS Homeopathy until it’s just a memory – a look at Good Thinking’s campaign to investigate and challenge NHS funding for homeopathy
  • Bad PR – how and why the media fell to publishing PR pieces as news, and why it matters.

My new talk, covering my investigations into the Flat Earth movement, is also now available. If you’d like me to talk for your Skeptics in the Pub, university group, humanist group or other, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to come speak for you. You can find dates of my upcoming talks below, and to arrange a talk in your area simply email marsh@goodthinkingsociety.org.

Circular Reasoning: The Rise of Flat Earth Belief

In 2013, when Michael Marshall first interviewed the Vice President of the Flat Earth society for his show Be Reasonable, people could scarcely believe that anyone could genuinely think the Earth was flat. Five years later, Flat Earth belief has gone mainstream, spawning thousands of hours of YouTube videos, gaining widespread international media coverage, and attracting countless followers. How did we get here?

In this talk, Marshall will talk through his experiences of the Flat Earth movement, take a look at the leaders and some of their reasoning, and report back from the weekend he spent at the UK’s first ever Flat Earth convention.

Michael Marshall is the Project Director of the Good Thinking Society and the Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. He regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast.

His work has seen him organising international homeopathy protests, going undercover to expose psychics and quack medics, and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has written for the Guardian, The Times and New Statesman.

Requirements: projector, screen.

Upcoming dates:

  • Skeptics on the Fringe, Edinburgh – August 16th, 2019
  • Oxford Skeptics in the Pub – September 4th, 2019
  • Sofia Skeptics in the Pub, Bulgaria – September 10th, 2019
  • International Society for Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners, London – October 10th-13th, 2019
  • Various events TBC, Brazil – November 16th-24th, 2019
  • Winchester Skeptics in the Pub – December 12th, 2019
  • Nottingham Skeptics in the Pub – January 7th, 2020
  • Bedford Skeptics in the Pub – January 16th, 2020

Previous talks:

  1. London Skeptics in the Pub – August 5th, 2019
  2. MSSX – July 6th, 2019
  3. International Symposium of the SRUK, Liverpool – June 28th-30th, 2019
  4. High Wycombe Skeptics in the Pub – June 19th, 2019
  5. Chichester Skeptics in the Pub – June 18th, 2019
  6. Cambridge Skeptics in the Pub – May 21st, 2019
  7. Sheffield Skeptics in the Pub – May 20th, 2019
  8. Liverpool Skeptics in the Pub – May 16th, 2019
  9. Ignite, Liverpool – May 13th, 2019
  10. University of Liverpool “Science and Fake News” – May 10th 2019
  11. Greenwich Skeptics in the Pub – May 1st, 2019
  12. Czech Skeptic Society Sisyfos, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague – April 17th, 2019
  13. Leicester Secular Society – March 31st, 2019
  14. Brighton Skeptics in the Pub – March 28th, 2019
  15. Humanists UK – March 28th, 2019
  16. Exeter University Humanists – March 19th, 2019
  17. Cambridge Science Festival – March 12th, 2019
  18. University of Sunderland (PR/Journalism lecture) – March 12th, 2019
  19. Coventry Skeptics in the Pub – February 20th, 2019
  20. Cardiff Humanists – February 11th, 2019
  21. Leicester Skeptics in the Pub – December 18th, 2018
  22. Bournemouth Skeptics in the Pub – December 13th, 2018
  23. Bournemouth University (PR/Journalism lecture) – December 13th, 2018
  24. Glasgow Skeptics in the Pub – November 12th, 2018
  25. Barnsley Skeptics in the Pub – November 1st, 2018
  26. Maidstone Skeptics in the Pub – October 29th, 2018
  27. QED conference, Manchester – October 13th-14th, 2018
  28. York Skeptics in the Pub – September 24th, 2018
  29. Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub – September 12th, 2018
  30. Teeside Skeptics in the Pub- September 6th, 2018
  31. Camp Quest UK – August 21st, 2018
  32. Gravesend Skeptics in the Pub- August 15th, 2018
  33. NECSS, New York, USA – 13th July 2018
  34. Humanist Students Southampton – 5th March 2018
  35. Stellenbosch University, South Africa – 19th November 2017
  36. Newcastle Skeptics in the Pub – 13th September 2017
  37. Edinburgh Festival – Skeptics on the Fringe – 17th August 2017
  38. IHEYO annual conference, London – 4th August 2017
  39. Stoke Skeptics in the Pub – 10th May 2017
  40. Horsham Skeptics in the Pub – 24th April 2017
  41. High Wycombe Skeptics in the Pub – 19th April 2017
  42. Glasgow Skeptics in the Pub – 27th March 2017
  43. Bangor Science Cafe – 18th January 2017
  44. Sydney Skeptics in the Pub – 29 November 2016
  45. Australian Skeptics National Convention, Melbourne – 25th November 2016
  46. Greenwich Skeptics in the Pub – 2nd November 2016
  47. QED 2016 – Manchester – 14th-16th October 2016
  48. Brighton Skeptics in the Cafe – 27th September 2016
  49. Norwich Skeptics in the Pub – 13th September 2016
  50. Essex Skeptics in the Pub – 14th September 2016
  51. LIDo PhD Retreat – High Wycombe – 8th September 2016
  52. Edinburgh Festival – Skeptics on the Fringe – 10th August 2016
  53. Leicester Skeptics in the Pub – 19th July 2016
  54. Portsmouth Skeptics in the Pub – 14th July 2016
  55. Teesside Skeptics in the Pub – 7th July 2016
  56. Southport Philosophy in the Pub – 6th June 2016
  57. Bedford Skeptics in the Pub – 21st April 2016
  58. Sheffield Skeptics in the Pub – 29th February 2016
  59. Reading Skeptics in the Pub – 15th February 2016
  60. Brighton Humanists – 3rd February 2016
  61. Cork Skeptics in the Pub – 29th January 2016
  62. Dublin Skeptics in the Pub – 28th January 2016
  63. Eastbourne Skeptics in the Pub – 27th January 2016
  64. CFI UK: Science in the Media, Conway Hall, London – 12th December 2015
  65. Durham University Humanists – 25th November 2015
  66. Leeds Skeptics in the Pub – 24th November 2015
  67. High Wycombe Skeptics in the Pub – 18th November 2015
  68. Exeter Humanists – 14th November 2015
  69. Cardiff Skeptics in the Pub – 17th November 2015
  70. Bristol Skeptics in the Pub – 28th October 2015
  71. Liverpool Skeptics in the Pub – 15th October 2015
  72. Milton Keynes Skeptics in the Pub – 14th October 2015
  73. York Skeptics in the Pub – 24th August 2015
  74. Malmo Skeptics in the Pub, Sweden – 21st September 2015
  75. Cambridge Skeptics in the Pub – 28th July 2015
  76. Oxford Skeptics in the Pub – 22nd July 2015
  77. Gravesend Skeptics in the Pub – 15th July 2015
  78. Bournemouth Skeptics in the Pub – 8th July 2015
  79. Nottingham Skeptics in the Pub – 7th July 2015
  80. QED, Manchester – 24th-26th April 2015 (new talk)
  81. Liverpool SciBar – 7th April 2015
  82. Cheltenham Skeptics in the Pub – 31th March 2015
  83. Northern Ireland Science Festival, Belfast – 24th February 2015
  84. Dublin Skeptics in the Pub – 6th February 2015
  85. Cork Skeptics in the Pub – 5th February 2015
  86. Greenwich Skeptics in the Pub – 4th February 2015
  87. Glasgow Skeptics in the Pub – 12th January 2015
  88. Brisbane, AUS – 1st December 2014
  89. Australian Skeptics National Convention, Sydney, AUS – 29th-30th November 2014
  90. Liverpool Skeptics in the Pub – 20th November 2014
  91. Horsham Skeptics in the Pub – 13th November 2014
  92. Milton Keynes Skeptics in the Pub – 11th November 2014
  93. Southport Philosophy in the Pub – 3rd November 2014
  94. Guildford Skeptics in the Pub – 24th September 2014
  95. Coventry Skeptics in the Pub – 17th September 2014
  96. Bournemouth Skeptics in the Pub – 10th September 2014
  97. Barnsley Skeptics in the Pub – 4th September 2014
  98. Winchester Skeptics in the Pub – 28th August 2014
  99. Cambridge Skeptics in the Pub – 27th August 2014
  100. Edinburgh Skeptics on the Fringe – 15th August 2014
  101. Nine Worlds Geekfest, London – 10th August 2014
  102. Nottingham Skeptics in the Pub – 5th August 2014
  103. Lincoln Skeptics in the Pub – 4th August 2014
  104. Greater Manchester Skeptics in the Pub – 10th July 2014
  105. Newcastle Skeptics in the Pub – 9th July 2014
  106. Stoke Skeptics in the Pub – 2nd July 2014
  107. Bristol Skeptics in the Pub – 25th June 2014
  108. York Skeptics in the Pub – 23rd June 2014
  109. Leicester Skeptics in the Pub – 17th June 2014
  110. Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub – 11th June 2014
  111. Brighton Skeptics in the Pub – 10th June 2014
  112. Ealing Skeptics in the Pub – 12th May 2014
  113. Oxford Skeptics in the Pub – 8th May 2014
  114. University of Liverpool Humanists – 29th April 2014
  115. Sheffield Skeptics in the Pub – 28th April 2014
  116. Exeter Skeptics in the Pub – 23rd April 2014
  117. Plymouth Humanists – 22nd April 2014
  118. Teeside Skeptics in the Pub – 3rd April 2014