definition of symposium

We understand by symposium it is a type of social gathering in which diverse individuals get together to debate, chat and exchange ideas on a previously established agenda. Today, the concept is almost exclusively related to academic talks in which one or more specialists present and develop theories on different topics for a previously organized and registered audience.

The word symposium comes from the Greek and means the action of 'drinking together'. This is so because in ancient times the symposium event was the time when different men gathered to enjoy a banquet, with large amounts of food and drink. It was therefore a social gathering in which the reason little and nothing mattered but the fact of getting together to enjoy a long time was central. However, the discussion and debate of timely topics was also present, although all of them had to do with the aristocratic lifestyle of the upper social classes.

At present, a symposium is an academic meeting in which a relatively more open and accessible presentation is generated than a theoretical class. At least two essential parts must appear in an academic symposium, although a third can also help its proper development. In this sense, we must speak of the expert or experts who will present on the chosen topic as well as the public that attends and who may intervene in a timely manner to question or refute what has been exposed. The third part is that of the coordinator who will be in charge of organizing the actions and who will know when each stage of the symposium begins and ends.

In general, when we talk about symposia from the academic point of view, we are talking about short events that can include a time of between fifteen or twenty minutes of exposure for each speaker as well as a similar period for questions from the attendees. .