I attended a talk yesterday morning that sparked some controversy and debate. The actual speaker and topic isn’t important, but the speaker spent some of the time during his talk downplaying the premises of other talks during the conference. While I didn’t agree with his tactics, I started to contemplate if there is a forum that encourages healthy debates among individuals or groups. We have outlets for networking, specifically the lunches and birds of feather, but people usually have a common ground on the topic.
What are your thoughts on this? How can we encourage healthy debate on topics where we don’t agree on a side of the issue? (Note: I think its healthy for the audience to ask challenging questions of the speaker at hand, but I don’t think the speaker should use the podium to downplay others work by name.)