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The Name: Disastrous Dinners

Someone has been in contact with me regarding the name of my series of talks: Disastrous Dinners. They have suggested that it may be insensitive and asked if another name might be more suitable. I understand the concern and I had discussed it with a few fellow iChemE members prior to the initial event announcement.

The name itself may seem rather flippant however I believe that it is suitable for an event like this. Is it referring to the topic of discussion or the evening event itself? Considering my laptop died half way through the first presentation, it did live up to the name in one sense.

As for applying it to the event as the whole -- the main goal of the events is to improve knowledge and understanding about previous events in the hopes of avoiding similar events in the future. In some aspects, I feel it would be more disrespectful to ignore the events, fail to learn from them and lead to a similar accident in the future. The name, as it is, is very good at catching people's attention. One of the attendees of the first event commented that “If it was named ‘process safety dinners’ people would just stay in the house and watch TV, ‘I get enough of that at work’”.

Most importantly, the name suggests the character of the event. It is a relaxed discussion with room for social interaction rather than a stuffy conference or seminar. Yes, we are covering serious topics with important things to learn, but we can still do it in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

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