Take it to Science Court: Brainstorm for the Next Controversial Case


Science Court will be held again in the Fall, and SciCourt staff and students are hosting a free and public event on Saturday, June 15, 2019, from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. in the Gary Balas Atrium located in Akerman Hall, University of Minnesota (110 Union Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. For directions and parking information, see here).

To attend, register with Professor Ellad Tadmor by emailing him at tadmor@umn.edu and provide your name and email address.

The purpose of this event is to bring together members of the public with SciCourt staff and students to identify controversial issues for the Fall semester. Following a short introduction to Science Court and a discussion of what makes for a “good” SciCourt case, participants will be divided into small groups and brainstorm ideas for cases. Each group will then pitch one case idea, which will be assessed and improved by the entire assembly. The cases formulated in this event will serve as a pool for students to pick from in the fall.

Science Court (SciCourt) (https://scicourt.umn.edu) is a project aimed at addressing the double threat of record low trust in institutions and record high polarization facing the U.S. democracy. It is run as an interdisciplinary course in the University of Minnesota Honors Program involving students from both the liberal arts and sciences. The students select a controversial issue and spend an entire semester studying it in depth to determine the facts (based on sound scientific research) and then argue the pros and cons in a mock trial in front of a heterogeneous jury of citizens with a mix of views and backgrounds.

This event is co-organized with Better Angels (https://www.better-angels.org/), a non-profit organization seeking to depolarize America by united red and blue citizens in working alliances employing principles that bring people together rather than divide them.