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31st January 2021

A burgeoning market in potentialy harnful face mask sprays has been brought to our attention by HuffPost contributor Dana Rose Falcone. The report highlights a myriad of possible dangers associated with these products from ingredients that could break down the fibres of the mask to those that could even damage the lungs of the wearer.

These face mask sprays are, as the image above illustrates, far from the first potentially hazardous product to have been foisted onto our seemingly under regulated markets, and that’s where microbiologust Virginia Ng and marketer David Frank come in

The digestible duo will regurgitate the history of dangerous products from asbestos to x-rays, bringing up a few, such as tomatoes and irradiated food, where the fear was unfounded, before finally vomiting out those, such as raw milk, that are still posing a risk.

Cambridge Skeptics

Dangerous Products: In The Home & In Our Stomachs
with David Frank & Virginia Ng
Thursday, 4th February 2021 at 7:00pm
 
The societal and scientific consensus says only irrational people fear things like WiFi, artificial sweeteners, and fluoridated water, but there have been legitimately dangerous products sold as safe in the past. ​Flammable, toxic, radioactive and generally bad for you, we'll look at products throughout history that killed, injured and poisoned, and the marketing campaigns that went along with them. ​Plus, we’ll explore some formerly dangerous things that turned out to be fine, and things we know are bad for us that we consume anyway. ​Come along. It'll be good for your health

David Frank is a marketer, a writer and a former radio show host. He is a former event organiser for Perth Skeptics in Australia, and Edinburgh Skeptics here in the UK. Pre-COVID he has toured talks across a dozen Skeptics in the Pub groups here in the UK, on such topics as "how to market yourself on online dating", and "how big tobacco circumvents marketing restrictions" (the latter of which you can watch on his website). He has a Master's of Science in Marketing from Edinburgh Napier University, and is currently based in Seattle. David is free range, organic, with no added hormones or unnecessary antibiotics

Virginia Ng is a food microbiologist and is the Director of Regulations and Food Processing at the Seafood Products Association in Seattle. She has a Masters of Science in Biological Sciences from California State Polytechnic University – Pomona, where she studied toxin formation and sporulation patterns in various Clostridium botulinum strains. In her day job, among other things, she is a sensory expert using organoleptic analyses to keep good quality seafood on the shelves. She has previously given talks on food preservation. ​Virginia’s favorite vices include ice cream, the extra dose of cosmic radiation that comes with flying, and movie marathons.

FIND OUT MORE
 
Trailer for Dangerous Products talk and Q&A. Written and presented by David Frank & Virginia Ng. To be performed on Twitch Feb 4 2021 as part of Skeptics in the Pub Online.
SoundCloud podcast includes 1 hr Dangerous Products talk + 20 mins Q&A. Written and presented by David Frank & Virginia Ng. Performed at Pacific Science Center Nov 26 2019 as part of their Science in the City talk series.
YouTube video includes 1 hr Dangerous Products talk + 20 mins Q&A. Written and presented by David Frank & Virginia Ng. Performed at Pacific Science Center Nov 26 2019 as part of their Science in the City talk series.
READ UP
 
The Qanon movement regurgiates old antisemitic tropes that echo back to the Illuminati conspiracy theories pushed by Nesta Helen Webster, writes Mark Horne for The Skeptic.
As skeptics, we hear the same sayings and mantras repeated again and again, but we rarely pause to consider if they're useful... or even true, writes Jonathan Jarry for The Skeptic.
'Deep Adaptation' is a perfect example of how climate doomsayers and denialists both use similar methods to tilt reality in their favour, writes Ted Lefroy for The Skeptic.
After years of anti-vaccine misinformation and bogus claims to cure autism, the Society of Homeopaths has lost its accredited status, writes Michael Marshall for The Skeptic.
Understanding the accuracy of PCR and Lateral Flow tests - and how they compare - is key in assessing the UK's community testing program, writes Alice Howarth for The Skeptic.
CATCH UP
 
Join Prof. Phil Scraton for a critique the reformist ‘rehabilitation’ agenda and an exploration of the potential for prison abolition. This event, which was streamed live on 28th January 2021, is now available for catch up on the SitP Online YouTube channel.
Join archaeologist and historian Mirko Gutjahr for proof that real archeology is much more exciting - and true - than archaeological fantasies. This event, which was streamed live on 21st January 2021, is now available for catch up on the SitP Online YouTube channel.
Join Partnership on AI Program Lead Rosie Campbell for a look at the high-stakes world of AI research. This event, which was streamed live on 14th January 2021, is now available for catch up on the SitP Online YouTube channel.
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GROUPS WE COLLABORATE WITH
We are a coalition of UK-based Skeptics groups. Formed as the COVID-19 pandemic brought our country to a standstill, we are working to deliver high-quality online events focusing on Science, reason, and critical thinking. Every Thursday at 7 pm BST, you will find us presenting live-streamed talks, all for free – you don’t even need to create an account. Simply open up twitch.tv/sitp. Take a look at our events, past and future, we’re sure you’ll see a lot of content you will find interesting.
The Good Thinking Society is a nonprofit organisation promoting scientific scepticism established by Simon Singh in September 2012. ​The society aims to raise awareness of and fund sceptical projects. The goal of the society is 'to encourage curiosity and promote rational thinking'. In partnership with its advisory board the organisation has run several successful campaigns promoting public awareness of such issues. To find out more about The Good Thinking Society, please visit www.goodthinkingsociety.org.

The Cambridge Humanist Group is a welcoming and diverse community of atheists and secularists. We are committed to good company and a good life without religion. We stand up for the right of non-believers to be free from imposition by religious views and organisations. We run Sunday coffee mornings at CB2 Bistro, hold a pub social at a central Cambridge venue on most 1st Thursdays of the month, hold discussions and various social events throughout the year.

The Cambridge Alehouse Philosophers are a group of people who enjoy talking about ideas, and who are philosophically inclined or would like to find out more about philosophy. Once per month, one of our members will prepare a short talk for the evening and discussions will start to spin off from that; we also have organised debates; otherwise, we simply meet up for a sociable chat. Everyone is welcome, we have absolute beginners to philosophy as well as people who been involved in the subject for some time.

The effective altruism community is a global community of people who care deeply about the world, make benefiting others a significant part of their lives, and use evidence and reason to figure out how best to do so. In Cambridge, our local effective altruism community runs plenty of events each week, including lectures, workshops, discussion groups, socials and trips away.
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