I'm not frightened of speaking in public. In fact, I like doing it very much. Here are some talks I have given over the years.
I am available to speak anywhere at any time, provided that reasonable expenses are paid and I don't have to be away from work for too long (an honorarium may be negotiated in that case). My preferred topic at present is alternative medicine and quackery, but I can whip up a speech on other topics if needed.
- Y2K - Is there still time to panic? (Australian Skeptics 1999 Convention)
- Y2K - What went wrong? (Presentation given at a dinner held by the Australian Skeptics in February 2000)
- Anti-vaccination liars (Australian Skeptics 2001 Convention)
- Quackery (Presentation given at a dinner held by the Australian Skeptics in February 2003)
- Dangerous Practitioners Supplementary, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Australian Skeptics 2003 Convention)
- Conspiracy Theories (Australian Skeptics 2003 Convention)
- You could just die laughing (Australian Skeptics 2004 Convention)
- Internet Scams - old scams with a fresh new look. (Presentation to Victoria Skeptics in Melbourne, April 2005)
- Every generation believes that it has invented everything, and the Internet generation is no exception. Scams like the Nigerian letters, snake oil sales, pyramid schemes, credit card fraud and even phishing (using false documents to get sensitive information) have been around for decades, if not centuries. The Internet just makes it easier for some scamsters to go about their business. On the other hand, it has also made it easier to expose some of them. This talk will be about how to identify scams, how to fight them, and how to laugh at how transparent some of them are.
- Herbal remedies - the good, the bad and the ugly. (A forum discussion at the University of the Third Age in Canberra, July 2005. I did the "ugly" part.)
- Herbal Remedies: History, Heresy and Hereafter. (Presentation at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, July 2005.)
- A museum dedicated to the history of Australia might seem like a strange place to discuss herbal and natural medicines, but the Australia we know today only exists because of a natural medicine. The entire 207 years of the development of modern Australia is contingent upon one natural treatment for one disease. The use of natural medicines probably predates even the evolution of modern man (cats can only digest meat, which is why they eat grass to clean their insides out when they are sick). This talk will look at some of the myths about herbal medicine - that a long history of use proves efficacy, that natural is always better - and also how it integrates with, competes with and even conflicts with the reality of medical science.
- Multi-level Marketing - Financial scams and cult-like behaviour (Australian Skeptics 2005 National Convention)
In 2011, the Radio Ratbags podcast was relaunched. You can listen to it here.