An announcement from the Irish Skeptics Society, just circulated:
On Wednesday next, May 11th, we are very happy to welcome back Professor Brian Hughes, School of Psychology, NUIG, who will speak on the topic of his recently published radical and challenging book ‘Rethinking Psychology-Good Science, Bad Science, Pseudoscience’
Date and Time: Wednesday May 11th at 8.00pm
Location: Wynn’s Hotel, Abbey St., Dublin 1
Speaker: Professor Brian Hughes, School of Psychology, NUIG
Title: ‘Rethinking Psychology-Good science, Bad science, Pseudoscience’
Admission: €3 (Members and concessions); €6 (Non-members)
Brian has outlined his presentation as follows:
Psychology is a science that impinges on mental health, education, industry, public health, applied social policy, and social attitudes. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the most popular science subjects in universities around the world. Nonetheless, psychology regularly attracts practitioners — and academics — who hold negative views about science or who lack scientific rigour. This lecture examines the various technical risks, biases, and scientific shortcomings that undermine the capacity of psychology to assert its claim to be a rigorous scientific discipline. It will be argued that psychology is marred from within by widespread tolerance for pseudoscientific attitudes amongst psychologists. Such problems afflict all areas of psychology, including those typically identified as the ‘most scientific’. It will also be argued that bad science in psychology impedes the general public’s understanding of all science, and undermines the dignity with which we humans – as a self-conscious species – view our own behaviour.
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In due course, details of the talk will be posted here.
Wynn’s Hotel is a classy joint in Dublin city centre. For those interested, it was badly damaged during the 1916 Easter Rising — so allow me to gratuitously now claim a connection with the centenarian zeitgeist, just like everyone else seems to be doing these days. It is said that the guests at Wynn’s sat at their dining tables watching the mayhem unfold on the streets as if they were an audience watching a theatrical performance. That was until the hotel itself was bombed, at which point the guests fled, using a table-cloth as a makeshift white flag. What began as apparent entertainment ended as a life-threatening crisis that undermined the very fabric of society. But don’t worry, I am pretty sure that we won’t have anything like that next Wednesday.