August 18 2021
On the 30th of July 2021, Cohort 1 students joined the Sustainable Electric Propulsion (SEP) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) of Newcastle University for a debating competition on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).
A debate is an organised contest of thoughts in which the contributors provide an articulate account of their views on a given topic. For this day, participants were split into 4 teams. In turns, two teams were given a subject. One team would pitch in favour of the idea, while the second one would persuade the audience into disagreeing with the given statement. The remaining 2 teams would act as the audience and vote for the most convincing argument.
The topics given were in line with the main themes of both CDTs : green propulsion, electrification, and clean energy. By doing this, contributors were all intrinsically challenged by the struggle of defending, or pulling to pieces, their core beliefs and the building blocks of their work environment.
Being the first time for me, this activity made me realised how much more depth and solidity all my knowledge and statements could have, if I “pitched against” them more often. Standing in contradiction of my own views made me aware of things I often leave unnoticed. A better approach to critical thinking is what I gained from this experience, but it is not the only valuable skill I trained. Logically, organising thoughts with your teammates in a very short time, exposes your team- working and research abilities, making you recognise your flaws as well as your merits.
Finally, this exercise will conclude with a short meeting in September during which, in small groups, all students will give a brief overview of their Ph.D. projects with the intent of initiating a debate on RRI topics possibly linked to it. This will ultimately help with our Transfer report, the most practical and bureaucratic earning of this experience.
13 November 2023
18 September 2023
18 September 2023