Talks and public speaking

We provide a range of inspirational and informational talks based on our experiences. We are used to communicating with audiences ranging from the general public to international academic conferences.

This page describes some of the talks we give. We’re happy to discuss other topics that might interest you.

Problems and solutions: beyond the usual suspects

These talks are about practical problems, and how to solve them. Each talk is relevant to industry and a range of practical fields, including applied research. Topics include:

  • Why it’s so difficult to find out what people really want, think or believe, and how you can solve the problem
  • Tracking down elusive errors in your reasoning or processes
  • Checking whether you’re missing some key issue.

For researchers: useful methods from different sources

These talks are about methods that give researchers more insight into the problems they’re studying. Topics include:

  • Going beyond the usual methods for data collection from people, with particular regard to knowledge that people find difficult or impossible to put into words
  • Going beyond the usual methods for representing people’s categorisation and reasoning, in ways that give a better understanding of what’s happening.


Not a usual suspect: Visualising the weight of evidence for and against a hypothesis


Contact us about our talks

For students:

We have extensive experience in helping students to achieve dreams they thought would be impossible, and in helping students understand the academic world. Gordon is co-author of The Unwritten Rules of PhD Research, a widely-read guide to the world of academic research. Our talks for students include the following topics:

  • Should I do a PhD? This is intended both for students feeling pressured towards a PhD, and for potential students who have never thought this was an option for them.
  • Beyond the usual suspects; considering a wider range of methods for data collection from human participants, with particular regard to cross cultural issues
  • Making sense of the literature; what a literature review is, and why and how to do one efficiently and well
  • Academic writing; the reasons for academic writing being so different from other forms, and when and how to use academic writing style
  • Beyond the PhD; ways of trying possible post-PhD pathways, and of preparing for what you choose.

General interest: The mystery of the Voynich Manuscript

A centuries-old document that defied the world’s best codebreakers for over eighty years. Gordon Rugg tackled it with a method that he and Jo Hyde had developed, and found a solution that everyone else had missed. What are the implications for other long-standing problems, in medicine and elsewhere?

The Voynich Manuscript: image courtesy of the Beinecke Library





Material on this website is copyright of Hyde & Rugg unless otherwise stated.