Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St, Exeter EX4 3LS

Due to the train strikes this event has been cancelled. We are rescheduling the event and will be in touch with ticket holders once the new date is confirmed.

Once they were a fringe interest, now conspiracy theories seem to hit the headlines every year – from QAnon to Flat Earthers. Why are they more popular and is this dangerous?

This event runs the gauntlet through the scary world of conspiracy theories – their psychology, history, and philosophy. Find out the best ways to talk to believers and what conspiracies tell us about society today and ultimately ourselves.

We’re delighted to welcome world-leading thinkers on the topic

Come along to make questions and comments and join the conversation – or just sit and listen!

This event is part of Futures 2023


Stephan Lewandowsky

Chair in Cognitive Psychology
School of Psychological Science
University of Bristol

Professor Stephan Lewandowsky is a cognitive scientist at the University of Bristol and the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council, a Wolfson Research Merit Fellowship from the Royal Society, and a Humboldt Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation in Germany. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science (UK) and a Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science. He was appointed a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry for his commitment to science, rational inquiry and public education.

He has published more than 240 scholarly articles, chapters, and books.

Professor Lewandowsky also frequently appears in print and broadcast media and has contributed around 100 opinion pieces to the global media.

Jason Reifler

Professor of Political Science
University of Exeter

Jason studies political behaviour, with most of his time devoted to studying public opinion about foreign policy, correcting factual misperceptions held by citizens, and voting behaviour.

Jason received a BA from Colby College and a PhD from Duke University. Prior to grad school, he spent four years in Washington, DC working for the polling firm Bennett, Petts, and Blumenthal.

Dr Elena Gadjanova

Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics
University of Exeter

Elena studies political communication, elections, and ethnic politics with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Her work combines extensive fieldwork with statistical methods and survey experiments to examine parties’ campaign strategies, targeting decisions, and electoral appeals, and the effects these have on citizens’ self-identification, trust in government, and support for democracy.

Dr Daniel Jolley

Assistant Professor in Social Psychology
School of Psychology
University of Nottingham

Dr Daniel Jolley is a social psychologist who takes a unique experimental approach to study the social psychological consequences of conspiracy theories.

He is an Assistant Professor in Social Psychology at the University of Nottingham (UoN), where he joined the School of Psychology in February 2022. Before joining UoN, Daniel held academic posts at Northumbria University (Senior Lecturer, 2019 – 2022) and Staffordshire University (Lecturer in Psychology, 2015 – 2017; Senior Lecturer, 2017 – 2019). Before his lectureships, Daniel was employed as a Research Associate at Lancaster University (2014 – 2015), working alongside Prof. Paul Taylor and partners in industry.