Science Debates

 

Debates are a great way to learn the art of persuasion and the power of words. The Science Festival Debates seek to encourage participants to challenge, question, research, seek, and think for themselves. Science and technology are having a huge impact on society and on the human condition. It is important to be informed members of the public and to contribute to the dialogue in a scientifically literate manner. These debates aim to explore a few scientific issues that are of pressing concern to the world at the moment. 
 

Debate 1 

Motion: This house believes saving endangered species is futile.

Duration: 45 min.

Age Group of Debaters: 15-17

Target Age Group of Audience: 10-17 years old

Details: Since the dawn of life on planet earth over 90 million species have gone extinct. However the rate of extinction of species is now increasing because of human activity. This debate explores whether it’s worth the time and effort to save species that will go extinct in the near future.

 

Debate 2

Motion: This house believes that The exponential growth of technology is a force for good.

Duration: 45 min.

Age Group of Debaters: 15-17

Target Age Group of Audience: 10-17 years old

Details: Technology is now growing at an exponential rate. Rapid progress in the fields of Genetics, Robotics, Nano-technology, Space Exploration, Brainscanning, and Neuroscience means the world in the near future will be radically different and our lives will be utterly transformed. This debate explores whether this rapid change is good for humanity and the planet.

 

Debate 3

Motion: This house believes Space exploration is a waste of time and money

Duration: 45 min.

Age Group of Debaters: 15-17

Target Age Group of Audience: 10-17 years old

Details: Space is the final frontier. There are over 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone. Given the scarcity of resources on our planet and the native exploratory drive of our species is it wise to spend money on space exploration. This debate explores whether the billions of dollars spent on space exploration would be better spent on alleviating poverty and sickness and other problems that beset human society.

               

Debate 4

Motion: This House believes that extra-terrestrial life does not exist.

Duration: 45 min.

Age Group of Debaters: 15-17

Target Age Group of Audience: 10-17 years old

Details: There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand in the universe. Our solar system alone has 8 planets. Astronomers are discovering exo-planets around other star systems at a staggering rate. Given what we know about biology, what does all this mean for the existence of life out there in the universe? This debate explores whether or not alien life exists and whether humans have had visitors from space.

 

Debate 5             

Motion: This House believes De-extinction is a dangerous idea.

Duration: 45 min.

Age Group of Debaters: 15-17

Target Age Group of Audience: 10-17 years old

Details: We now have the ability to bring back species that have recently gone extinct. This process is called De-extinction. If we wanted, we could bring back the mammoth, the sabre-tooth tiger, dodos, the Tasmanian tiger etc. This debate explores whether it is ethical and sensible to bring back these species. Should we do it just because we can?      

 

Debate 6

Motion: This house believes that govts. should have access to private data of its citizens

Duration: 45 min.

Age Group of Debaters: 15-17

Target Age Group of Audience: 10-17 years old

Details: We now live in an age of information. Vast amounts of data are being generated. How much of this should be accessed and stored by governments and other authorities? The debate explores whether it is ethical for the governments of countries to store and access the private data of their citizens.

 

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