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Circular Reasoning: The Rise of Flat Earth Belief with Michael Marshall

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Cambridge University Students Against Pseudoscience is delighted to welcome Michael Marshall, to discuss the curious rise of perhaps the strangest modern pseudoscientific belief: the flat Earth.

Michael Marshall is a prominent advocate for rational thought, freelance journalist, and editor of The Skeptic magazine, as well as co-founder and vice-president of the Merseyside Skeptics Society.

He coordinated the ’10:23 Campaign’, staging a mass homeopathic overdose to raise awareness of homoeopathy and its inefficacy. He followed this up as project director at the Good Thinking Society, leading a campaign to stop the NHS spending public money on unproven remedies from “homeopathic owl” to sugar pills.

More recently, Michael Marshall has been investigating the resurgence in flat Earth belief. While it may seem to be a trivial and ridiculous idea, Mr Marshall himself notes the intersection of many different, and often more pernicious, pseudoscientific movements with the new flat Earth societies.

In this talk, Marshall will focus on his experiences with the Flat Earth movement, from attending the UK’s first Flat Earth conference, to examining the ideological leaders and organisers who have brought this idea from the strangest fringes to a point where celebrities feel comfortable espousing its tenets to thousands of fans.

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Students Against Pseudoscience series.

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