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:

  • Chichester Skeptics in the Pub – June 18th, 2019
  • High Wycombe Skeptics in the Pub – June 19th, 2019
  • International Symposium of the SRUK, Liverpool – June 28th-30th, 2019
  • MSSX – July 6th, 2019
  • London Skeptics in the Pub – August 5th, 2019
  • Skeptics on the Fringe, Edinburgh – August 16th, 2019
  • Sofia Skeptics in the Pub, Bulgaria – September 10th, 2019
  • International Society for Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners, London – October 10th-13th, 2019
  • Bedford Skeptics in the Pub – January 16th, 2020

Previous talks:

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