Event Reports

First Alberta High School Ethics Bowl

ualta01On Saturday March 6, the Department of Philosophy hosted the first Alberta High School Ethics Bowl. Though we would have liked to welcome the teams and their supporters on campus, due to the pandemic, the competition had to be held online.

For our first event, two teams faced each other: the Spartans of Archbishop O'Leary Catholic High School (Edmonton) and the Spartans of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic High School (Spruce Grove). Unlike a debate, an Ethics Bowl pits teams against an issue, rather than against each other: each team competes to devise the most effective solution to the problem at hand, but also has the opportunity to pose and respond to questions about these solutions. Points are awarded to teams arriving at the most thoughtful, responsive, and collaborative solutions to the question at hand. Students on both teams offered great performances as they discussed ethical issues surrounding vaccine distribution and call-out culture and answered questions from the judges.

Spartans are great warriors and it was a tight match but O’Leary Spartans won the match 136-129. Both teams will represent Alberta at the National finals to be held online on April 16-17, 2021. More information about the National finals is available at ethicsbowl.ca.

We would like to thank our distinguished panel of judges for their insightful questions: Glenn Griener, emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alberta; Mike Blezy, Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Toronto; Rachel Loewen Walker, Ariel F Sallows Chair in Human Rights in the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan; and Jay Worthy, University of Alberta graduate student, who helped us with judging in the practice round. We would also like to thank the teachers who encouraged and supported each team: John Knechtel (O’Leary) and Lenna Zimmer (St. Peter Apostle) as well as the two graduate students who trained the teams: Eric Smith and Peter Andes. Special thanks also to Eric for moderating the tournament.

Congratulations again to both teams of Spartans and good luck at the National finals!