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Knightsbridge School Debating & Interview Club - 29th February

Updated: Mar 19

This was a great session with our Knightsbridge Debating & Interview Club. Our skill focus this week looked at POIs and how best to implement these important interjections during debating competitions and weekly discussions. 

Our warm up question asked:

'If you could study a new language, what would it be and why?'

This saw a wide range of options including amongst others Greek, German, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin - with very good explanation in each case, from widening cultural understanding to spending time with friends and family, and potential business opportunities later in life. We also saw a number of the group put forward Classics - as important to wider knowledge of other subjects in the curriculum, with Latin as the foundation of so much of language. 

Our newsround saw topics raised from the 2-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine, sporting news from tennis to football, the conflict in Gaza, Red Sea Shipping disruption, and Space exploration. 

With The Today Programme (on the BBC in the UK) covering the story of exploration in the Antarctica and our very own Socratic colleague Georgina having just been on an expedition there, we looked at the motion:

(i) 'This House would allow tourism to Antarctica'.   

Voting was split throughout, but with a sizeable group wishing to visit Antarctica if ever the opportunity arose.

It was strongly felt that experience, time spent in Antarctica helped with learning about this precious space and raising awareness more generally. Checks and balances (perhaps having a cap on the 100,000 record hit this year) biosecurity and expeditions accompanied by professional researchers were put forward as ways of allowing tourism to continue. Members were very concerned about the carbon footprint to visits and a Venice style cruise ship situation developing. 

The landing of a first commercial spacecraft on the Moon has sparked excitement about a new age of possibilities in the Solar System. News of the touchdown of Odysseus near the lunar south pole was greeted with cheers by staff at American firm Intuitive Machines' (IM) mission control in Houston, Texas, on Thursday. It is the first time an American craft has successfully landed on the Moon since 1972 - and the first time ever that a private company has done so. On the back of this news our second motion asked whether:

(ii) 'This House would allow private funded space travel'.

Here again, as with the first motion, it was felt that the opportunity should not be denied, but given the complexities, importance of discovery and research, and the danger involved, it was unlikely that such travel would be without professionals. A small group pointed out that investment would be needed for space discovery, but organisations such as NASA were raised as the key to organising missions into space rather than private enterprise if at all possible. 

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