Tipping the scales

Wonderful news! We are meeting at 18:15 BST on Thursday, May 28! We are meeting on Zoom! Click on this text to join the chat room. If that doesn’t work on your device, the Meeting ID is 631 522 4568 and the password is speakers.

Our last meeting’s Word Of The Day was:

Definition 1: done without good reason; uncalled for.

Definition 2: done or given free of charge.

Example 1: enough of this gratuitous violence!

Example 2: the NHS gives gratuitous healthcare to UK residents.

Table Topics

We listened to an inspiring variety of Table Topics on “hypothetical questions” hosted by Rubab Rizvi.

Kenny was asked what he would do if he won half a million pounds. He said he would invest and spend as he believed the question was fundamentally a “false dichotomy”.

Katia would rather sign 100 autographs than be a CEO. She believes that fans are more interested in someone, such as herself, that can act as a “good influence” to them. However, she would rather sign books as opposed to self-portraits!

Would you rather be crowned as a beauty pageant, such as Ms. Universe, or with the highest civilian award? Pragya would rather be a beauty pageant! She believes that people are more influenced by beauty pageants.

When asked whether he would rather win an Oscar or the public speaking champion award, Chuka claims it’s a “no-brainer” that he would choose to win the public speaking award, as public speaking would pave the way for great acting.

Anand would like to work at Apple, obviously; he wants that money! Seriously, though, he would probably work hard at a tech startup. Who knows? The startup could even become bigger than Apple!

Ruslan would rather have a small ceremony with her family than the greatest party in town. She believes she would “feel much happier” surrounded by the ones that share mutual love.

Prepared Speakers

Lenka Tarábková revealed how she overcome her “dark story” in Master your Story.

Lenka was “excited” to start her new job. She was so good at her work that she got promoted a year later. Her colleagues seemed so nice and welcoming. Except when she felt “omitted and underappreciated” when she completed a difficult project.

One of her colleagues plagiarised her work! This caused Lenka to begin doubting herself. Now, she empowered us to overcome our own “dark stories”. We need to listen to them, analyse them, and let them go.

Name three Logical Fallacies, right now! Go! Well, Suneel Rathod can name more.

People unknowingly use logical fallacies all the time. For example, declaring the “wind is invisible because I can’t see it” would be a circular argument.

Suneel defines a slippery slope as “drawing a conclusion based on the premise that” one thing can induce a downwards spiral of events. A strawman argument is made when someone “misrepresents someone’s statement”. Impress whomever you speak to by avoiding these logical fallacies.

Patrick Kalonde explained why we should be interested about My Time Working with Humanitarian Drones in Malawi.

Drones “conquered” the skies of Malawi when research communities collaborated on the gargantuan project. This was the first of its kind in all Africa and a “dream come true” for Patrick when he was a student.

The project, although in its “infancy”, will “suppress mosquito progression”. Patrick finishes with the visionary flourish of Steve Jobs: drones need not be a toy or a technology of the future; they shall be a technology of the present.


Rahul evaluated the Table Topics.

Kenny was “precise” about how he would use his winnings, but he chose the “diplomatic” option, which was “easier”.

Katia structured her “thought process” effectively. She could experiment with “dramatic” voice modulations.

Pragya took the unpopular choice, which meant she may have had to think a bit harder. She, too, could have had more vocal variety.

Chuka clearly knew which he’d choose, but he should speak slower and more deliberately.

Anand’s reasoning was clear. However, he, like Kenny, chose both options of his hypothetical question.

Ruslan also gave clear reasoning, but her ending was abrupt.

Chuka evaluated Lenka’s speech.

She exercised mastery of rhetoric as described by Aristotle.

She could have used incorporated more pathos by using her body language to greater effect.

However, her ethos and logos was unrivalled.

Sean evaluated Suneel’s speech.

Suneel provided excellent examples to facilitate understanding of his technical topic.

Sean said Suneel did not need to thank the audience after his speech.

Suneel showed how “significant events” produce “significant results”.

Katia evaluated fellow science communicator Patrick’s speech.

Patrick was lively and made us feel as though we were sitting right next to him!

However, the “first 30 seconds” were quite confusing. This was particularly notable since the introduction is very important.

Katia applauded Patrick’s attempt to connect the importance of drones to humanitarian aid.

Lenka acted as our General Evaluator.

She noted the “excellent” format of questions the Table Topics Master, Rubab, posed to the audience.

Time management was a notable cause for concern (albeit, not just for Rubab).

Rubab also repeated the questions in case they were missed.