What we're about

This is a group for those interested in intellectual conversation and a safe space for dangerous ideas. Topics might include scientific theories, social issues, political issues, etc. Each meetup will focus on one topic, with everybody in the group given the opportunity to express their opinion, followed by debate. This meetup welcomes gentle, open-minded, generous folk who love rational thinking.

The philosophy of the group is inspired by Bertrand Russell in his essay “The best answer to fanaticism: Liberalism”:

1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Upcoming events (5+)

152nd Debate: What's a living wage in Australia?

Level 4 Meeting Room 4D, State Library of Queensland

The Labour party promises to deliver a living wage instead of a minimum wage. “A living wage should make sure people earn enough to make ends meet, and be informed by what it costs to live in Australia today – to pay for housing, for food, for utilities, to pay for a basic phone and data plan,” Opposition leader Bill Shorten. How do you understand this concept? Do you think it's feasible? How will it impact the economy and jobs?

Talk: How Much Brain Do We Really Need?

Avid Reader Bookshop

Tickets here: https://avidreader.com.au/events/alexis-willett-how-much-brain-do-we-really-need Angela Dean is in-conversation with Alexis Willett discussing How Much Brain Do We Really Need. An entertaining and illuminating romp through the brain's past, present and future in search of an answer to whether we really need all of our brain - Which parts matter most? Could we afford to lose any? Is our brain at its evolutionary peak or do we have an even more brilliant future to look forward to? Your brain is shrinking. Does it matter? How Much Brain Do We Really Need? challenges us to think differently about the brain. Rather than just concentrating on the many wonderful things it can do, this entertaining insight into the complexities and contradictions of the human brain asks whether in fact we can live satisfactorily without some of it. The bad news is that our brains start to shrink from our mid-thirties. But the good news is that we still seem to generally muddle along and our brain is able to adapt in extraordinary ways when things going wrong. Alexis Willett and Jennifer Barnett shed light on what the human brain can do - in both optimal and suboptimal conditions - and consider what it can manage without. Through fascinating facts and figures, case studies and hypothetical scenarios, expert interviews and scientific principles, they take us on a journey from the ancient mists of time to the far reaches of the future, via different species and lands. Is brain training the key to healthy ageing? Do women really experience 'baby brain'? Is our brain at its evolutionary peak or do we have an even more brilliant future to look forward to? We discover the answers to these questions and more. Dr Alexis Willett is a science communicator who aims to make science accessible to all. She has a PhD in biomedical science from the University of Cambridge, where she studied at the Medical Research Council's Human Nutrition Research unit. She has lectured on human physiology and published on a wide range of health subjects. She spends much of her time turning cutting-edge research and health policy jargon into something meaningful for the public, patients, doctors and policy makers. She is often called upon to help influence decision makers, from governments to funding bodies, across the UK and Europe. In her spare time, Alexis drinks a lot of rooibos tea.

Politics in the Pub

Brisbane Powerhouse

Politics in the Pub is a free, Q&A style debate which tackles the most pressing contemporary issues for both Australia and the world. Join us on May 7th for a political special as we head towards a likely May election. Candidates for the Division of Brisbane will be discussing policy and answering your key questions on the night. Panelists will include Member for Brisbane Trevor Evans, Labor’s Paul Newbury, and the Green’s Andrew Bartlett. ABC Brisbane’s Rebecca Levingston will MC the event. Politics in the Pub is a free, Q&A style debate which tackles the most pressing contemporary issues for both Australia and the world.

For the Love of Science

Queensland Museum and Science Centre

Please get your ticket here https://thesciencenation.com/ Putting their reputation and relationships on the line in Brisbane are: burn biologist and cookie connoisseur, A/Prof Leila Cuttle; computer vision researcher and hockey addict, Dr David Hall; agricultural entomologist and karaoke queen, Dr Madaline Healey; and retinal biomaterial engineer and aspiring muso, Dr Natalie McKirdy. Time: 7:30-9pm (doors open at 7pm), 9 May 2019. Venue: Queensland Museum, South Brisbane. Tickets: $10 online, $15 at the door (cash only).

Past Events

151st Debate: Does Australia Need A Federal Commission against Corruption?

Level 4 Meeting Room 4D, State Library of Queensland

Photos (68)