Ahead of his upcoming appearance at MSSX, we asked magician Dave Alnwick for his thoughts on scepticism, and what we can expect from him next month.
What can we expect from you at MSSX?
A magic show. I'm going to try out my new show, which is still a work in progress. It's pretty different to others shows I've done in the past. More of a theatre/story vibe. I'm looking forward to it.
Who is your skeptical hero, and why?
I've a few. Professor David Nutt is brilliant. I followed his work before I knew he spoke within the skeptic community. I'd really recommend his organisation’s website “Drug Science”. His stuff was a significant reason I quit drinking a while back. I also love Captain Disillusion because he never fails to be entertaining which means you listen more. Also Marsh! He got me into this community and the work you've done is truly astonishing.
Is there a form of pseudoscience that annoys you the most, and why?
I'm not sure if this counts but it's something we're all guilty of. Sometimes we’d rather prove someone else wrong instead of trying to question our own assumptions. Most bad beliefs come from putting our own biases on good data. It's good to be aware of yourself.
What is the most important or interesting lesson you’ve learnt as a skeptic?
Question myself before I question others. Validate knowledge before I use knowledge to validate myself. I'm full of wise sh*t like that.
As MSSX is the tenth anniversary of the MSS, and lots of other skeptical groups started in the UK around the same time, how do you feel skepticism has changed since you’ve been involved?
A passion for compassion has grown. The skeptics are an incredible accepting people. Now more than ever... I feel like I've taken these questions really seriously. I should have made more d*ck jokes. Can I start over?
You can catch Dave, as well as six main stage speakers, and much more, at MSSX on Saturday 6th July – pick up your £29 tickets today, and we’ll see you next month!