Sunday, 10 February 2013


Oxford Literary FestivalTo buy tickets go to the website here:

Wed 20th March 2013, 10am

Alternative Medicine: Facts And Fallacies
Edzard Ernst

Professor Edzard Ernst explores to what extent our love affair with alternative medicine is based on good evidence and to what degree it is due to fallacious thinking and misunderstandings.  Ernst has conducted two decades of research into alternative medicines and published a number of books on the subject, including Trick or Treatment: Alternative Medicine on Trial.  
His life-long interest in this area started while working in a homeopathic hospital. As a clinician, he admits to have been impressed with several alternative treatments he employed. After becoming a scientist, his attitude gradually became more self-critical. When he was appointed in 1993 as chair of complementary medicine, he decided to critically evaluate alternative medicine with the tools of science. The results of his research and his outspoken comments often generate public attention and controversy.

Presented by the Centre for Inquiry.

Thursday 21st March 2013, 4pm

Weird Science: An Introduction to Anomalistic Psychology
Chris French

Professor Christopher French explains how anomalistic psychology attempts to provide psychological explanations for reports of paranormal phenomena that have been made throughout history. He will illustrate his talk with examples relating to a range of ostensibly paranormal phenomena. French is head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. He frequently appears on radio and television, casting a sceptical eye over paranormal claims. He writes for the Guardian and The Skeptic magazine. His most recent books are Why Statues Weep: The Best of The Skeptic and Anomalistic Psychology.

Presented by the Centre for Inquiry.

Saturday 16th March 2013,12.00

The God Argument
AC Grayling 

Humanist, writer and academic A C Grayling deals with all the arguments against religion and puts forward the alternative, humanism, in The God Argument, published on the eve of the festival. Grayling calmly examines all the points in support of religious belief. He does so from an understanding of all the reasons and motives people have for belief, and asks whether the arguments stand up to scrutiny.  Grayling goes on to ask what the alternative is to religion as a view of the world and foundation for morality.

Grayling is Master of the New College of the Humanities, London, and a vice-president of the British Humanist Association. He has written and edited more than 30 books on philosophy and other subjects including The Good Book; Ideas That Matter; Liberty in the Age of Terror; and To Set Prometheus Free. He is a frequent contributor to national newspapers and BBC radio.

Presented by the Centre for Inquiry.

Thursday 21st March 2013, 12.00

Are We being Watched? The Search for Life in The Cosmos
Paul Murdin

Leading astronomer professor Paul Murdin assesses whether life really could exist outside our planet. If it does, what form might it take, and could it be as advanced as life on Earth? Or, are we simply alone in the universe? He approaches his subject in an accessible way, assuming no scientific knowledge on the part of the reader.

Murdin is former president of the European Astronomical Society. He has been director of the British National Space Centre and is a fellow of the Institute of Astrononmy at Cambridge University and visiting professor at Liverpool John Moores University. His works include Catalogue of the Universe and Secrets of the Universe.

Presented by the Centre for Inquiry.

To buy tickets for these events go to the website here:

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