After a great autumn series, we are please to annouce our exciting line-up for the spring pubTALK series.

pubTALK is a monthly series of informal lectures and discussions, held at the pub! A typical pubTALK features a short talk from an expert on a particular topic, followed by an open Q&A. Speakers and attendees are encouraged to stay for a drink afterwards to continue the discussion informally.

The spring pubTALKs will be held on the first Monday of every month, at 7pm, upstairs at The Jolly Sailor in Canterbury. The talks are free to attend, and everyone is welcome.

Please arrive from 7pm for a 7.30pm start. The Jolly Sailor offer a great range of food and snacks which you can order to have during the talk.

Please note that the talks are photgraphed and/or filmed. If you are unable to attend the talk, you can follow the event on Twitter @unikentqstep with #pubTALK.

This month:

Through Obamageddon and the Trumpocalypse: “Doomsday” Prepping and Contemporary American Politics

Dr. Michael Mills

Monday 3rd April 2017, 7pm, The Jolly Sailor

The last decade has witnessed a remarkable rise in the number of Americans engaged in so-called “Doomsday” prepping – a co-ordinated set of activities centred on storing food, water, and weapons for the purpose of independently surviving a (potentially apocalyptic) social collapse.

This talk will briefly look at some of the core attractions of prepping for those who engage in it, and will discuss the relationship between prepping’s rise and developments in mainstream American politics.

In particular, it will highlight how prepping’s rise from 2008 onwards has been affected by wider strains of right-wing alarm at the presidency of Barack Obama, and will speculate about how enthusiasm for prepping is being (and will be) affected by the rise of Donald Trump.


Upcoming pubTALKs:

Monday 15th to Wednesday 17th May - Pint of Science Festival

The University of Kent will be participating in the Pint of Science Festival for the first time.

Details coming soon!


Previous pubTALKs:

Negotiating with Terrorists: Is it ever an option?

Dr. Harmonie Toros

Monday 6th March 2017, 7pm, The Jolly Sailor

State leaders have repeatedly told us that they would never, ever negotiate with terrorists. Despite secret talks being held in numerous conflicts across the world, the rhetoric remains strong. Why can’t state negotiate with terrorists? Harmonie Toros has spent a decade investigating negotiations with terrorist groups and argues that such talks may, in some cases, represent the best way out of terrorist violence.

Paycheck to Paycheck: Lone parents as members of the “working poor”

Dr. Tina Haux

Monday 6th February 2017, 7pm, The Jolly Sailor

Recent reforms in the UK place increased pressure on lone parents to work.  In this talk, Q-Step director Tina Haux outlines the rationale for these reforms, before discussing the challenges lone parents face in finding “good jobs” and avoiding joining the growing group of “working poor” in the UK. The talk concludes by discussing the way forward for the government.

Trump and Brexit: the end of politicial polling?

Thursday 1st December, 7pm, The Jolly Sailor

The last six months have seen two cataclysmic events in politics. The UK voted to leave the EU, and Donald Trump was elected to the White House. Most polls saw neither result coming.

In 2015, after the general election polling ‘miss' in Britain, qustions were raised over the value of polling, with one Labour peer saying polls were ‘corrupt' and should be banned during election campaigns. After the polling fiascos of 2016, this debate is set to ignite once again.

In light of this, Q-Step are excited to host a panel discussion followed by a Q&A on the future of opinion polling in politics. Should polls be banned? Are they reliable anymore? What worth do they have for democracies today?

Confidence and hesitancy: The importance of the social sciences in vaccine uptake

Thursday 3rd November 2016, 7pm - The Jolly Sailor, Canterbury

Up until fairly recently women were broadly advised not to take medication during their pregnancy. This changed in 2009 when the influenza vaccination, and three years later the whooping cough vaccination, became widely recommended as effective means of protecting mothers during pregnancy, and infants shortly after birth, from potentially life threatening diseases. The change has presented a unique landscape for studying the concept of vaccine hesitancy and the reasoning behind why an individual may refuse a vaccine when offered.

Rosie and Richard are current PhD students associated with The Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In this talk they will discuss some of the social science literature on vaccine hesitancy and talk about their current research into vaccine hesitancy during pregnancy. Rosie from an anthropology, qualitative perspective and Richard from a psychology, quantitative perspective.

The pursuit of the super you...

Dr. Amir-Homayoun Javadi

Thursday 6th October 2016 - The Jolly Sailor, Canterbury

Would you like to have a better memory, to make better decisions, to be physically stronger, to sleep better, to become a better musician, or to be faster?

In this talk Dr Amir-Homayoun Javadi gives an introduction to electrical brain stimulation. He talks about its applications and how it can transfer you to super-you, before discussing whether it can really be used in everyday life, and whether we should (or should not) use it for physical and cognitive enhancement.

EU Referendum Special

Tuesday 7th June 2016 - The Parrot, Canterbury

This June, for the first time since 1975, the people of Britain will get a say about their relationship with Europe. With both sides making compelling arguments, we think it’s vital to get a broad and accurate picture of the pros and cons of EU membership, and the changes we can expect should Britain vote to Leave on the 23rd June.

This pubTALK special provides just that. The format will be a panel discussion, featuring representatives from both the Remain and Leave campaigns, as well as academic and student speakers. We hope to get a range of opinions and perspectives on the key issues the referendum is being fought around.

There will be plenty of opportunity to get involved in the discussion, through social media (both leading up to the event and live on the night) and a good old-fashioned live Q&A with the speakers. As always, both attendees and speakers are encouraged to stick around for a few drinks afterwards, to continue the discussion informally.

Iceland, the Panama Papers and the rise of the Pirate Party

Dr. Ben Leruth

Tuesday 3rd May 2016 - The Dolphin, Canterbury

The release of the Panama Papers had a huge impact around the world. According to these leaks, thousands of bankers, businessmen and politicians have had links to anonymous offshore companies. Among them, David Cameron’s father, Silvio Berlusconi, Vladimir Putin, and the prime minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Daví Gunnlaugsson. What happened in Iceland is particularly remarkable: more than 20,000 people (around 7 per cent of the whole population) protested in front of the Icelandic parliament, and the Prime Minister eventually stepped down.

In this month's pubTALK, Dr Benjamin Leruth will discuss what happened in Iceland, and why this small island is a fascinating case study for analyzing successful protest movements. He will also discuss the rise of the Icelandic Pirate Party, which has topped opinion polls for more than a year, and is likely to form a government after the upcoming elections in the Autumn.

The Implications of Brexit

Zach Paikin

Tuesday 12th April 2016 - The Dolphin, Canterbury

Due to a late change in speaker, we do not have a full blurb for April's pubTALK. PhD candidate Zach Paikin kindly stepped in at very short notice and delivered a blisteringly perceptive talk on the possible implications of a UK exit from the EU, which was followed by an engaging Q&A session.

Mind the gap - Why pay-gap statistics don’t tell the whole story

Eva Kleinert

Tuesday 2nd March 2016 - The Dolphin, Canterbury

Despite increases in women’s employment, by many measures women remain at an economic disadvantage in all developed countries. Women are less likely to be in the labour market, more likely to work part time, hold only 20% of top executive positions and are paid less on average for like-for-like roles. Despite this, more and more families depend on women’s work, with 61% of mothers acting as “breadwinners” or “co-breadwinners”.
Recently announced legislation will require all medium and large UK companies to publish pay-gap figures from 2018, showing differences in wages between male and female employees. In this month’s pubTALK, Phd candidate Eva Kleinert shows how such pay-gap measures can be misleading, and presents the case for a more nuanced approach to women’s employment discrimination.

Between a rock and a hard place

Dr. Trude Sundberg

Tuesday 2nd February - The Parrot, Canterbury

Welfare tourism, swarms of immigrants, a drain on already scarce jobs and housing these are all commonly used descriptions of what immigration means for the UK. This lecture breaks down these narratives, qualifies them, and analyses them with a view to understanding what drives them. It attempts to tell an alternative story about immigration, a story of discrimination, destitution and despair.




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Last Updated: 16/03/2017