Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl
Each year the Jackson Center fields up to two teams to participate in the Ethics Bowl. The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl is a widely recognized and awarded team competition that combines the excitement and fun of a competitive tournament with an innovative approach to education in practical and professional ethics for undergraduate students.
In advance of the competition, all participants receive a set of 15 case studies, each of which raises a contemporary issue in practical and/or professional ethics. The case studies cover a diverse range of topics including: the morality of buying looted middle-Eastern artifacts, that would otherwise face the threat of destruction by ISIS; the costs and benefits of conservation efforts for endangered bird species; taxing those who choose not to vaccinate their children against common diseases; and censoring misogyny in the computer gaming community. Other cases cover difficult issues in medical, legal, social and political ethics.
The teams prepare their analysis of the case studies, and objections to various positions that might be taken on it. During the competition itself, a moderator poses a question based on one case study, one team presents their position and then fields critical commentaries from the other team, and responds to judge's questions. Performance on presentations is scored on deliberative thoughtfulness, clarity, thoroughness and awareness of contrary viewpoints; while the debate potion is scored on the accuracy of objections, the ability to respond directly and respectfully to valid counter-claims.
The Jackson Center has fielded teams, and has been improving from our initial showing:
2015 Team 1
2015 Team 2