Postgraduate symposium

Tomorrow I’m off to the School of Healthcare Sciences’ first-ever Postgraduate Research Student symposium, taking place in the grand surroundings of Cardiff University’s Glamorgan Building.

This has given me the perfect excuse to find out, once and for all, the particular meaning of the word ‘symposium’ (as opposed to ‘colloquium’, for example). So for those interested (which won’t be many of you, I’m sure), the Collins English Dictionary defines ‘symposium’ thus:

  1. a conference or meeting for the discussion of some subject, esp an academic topic or social problem
  2. a collection of scholarly contributions, usually published together, on a given subject
  3. (in classical Greece) a drinking party with intellectual conversation, music, etc

A ‘colloquium’, on the other hand, is:

  1. an informal gathering for discussion
  2. an academic seminar

I’m glad that’s sorted. Looking at the third definition of ‘symposium’ above, and then at the organising committee’s Socratic quotation reproduced in the flyer at the top, I now realise I ought to prepare for an event in the ancient Greek style. I may bring my guitar, all the better to join in with.


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