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How We Learned to Question Medicine. Science, Scepticism and Free Speech series

April 24 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm BST


The Free Speech Union is delighted to host a series of lectures and discussions in partnership with  Sense About Science, an independent charity that promotes the public interest in sound science and evidence. 

Critical thinking, open inquiry and the freedom to question have been fundamental to the development of the scientific method and the expansion of knowledge. The ideal of objectivity and the goal of truth require the discipline to abstract itself from individuals, from interests and from sentiment, all of which may explain why science is always subject to pressures on its integrity. 

SCIENCE, SCEPTICISM and FREE SPEECH is a unique series of three events – two lectures from eminent scientists and a final session bringing together public figures concerned with the relationship between science, the public and democratic decision-making. Each session will include plenty of time for audience Q and A. 

You are welcome to attend the entire series or individual events. It will also be possible to join online. 

In-person tickets for each event are £10 for FSU Members, £16 for members of the public, £12 for under-25s.  

Tickets include a glass of wine on arrival. 

Zoom option: FSU Members can join free of charge, others pay £5 per event. 


How We Learned to Question Medicine 

Wednesday 24th April, 7.30pm

In-person tickets

Public online tickets (FSU Members should register using links provided in FSU emails).

With Professor Paul Garner, professor emeritus in Evidence Synthesis in Global Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.  

Professor Garner will argue that scepticism is integral to good science and make the case for using the tools of science to hold authority to account. Building on the themes of Professor Sokal’s first lecture, Professor Garner will share noteworthy examples where an insistence on robust evidence and research has led not only to scientific breakthroughs but to the exposure of malpractice. 


About our speaker 

 Professor Garner stepped back from full-time employment in 2022 but continues as emeritus. He supports academic staff carrying out systematic reviews on infectious diseases, developing further research on post-viral syndrome, and continued collaborative work in developing guideline methods. He was previously Coordinator of the Centre for Evidence Synthesis in Global Health, Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group, and Director of the Research, Evidence and Development Initiative. Professor Garner is also on the Board of Trustees of Sense about Science. 


April 24
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm BST
Event Categories:


The Free Speech Union
020 3920 7865
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The Art Workers’ Guild
6 Queen Square
London, WC1N 3AT United Kingdom
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