Indiana University

News Release

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Last modified: Wednesday, November 18, 2009

IU Ethics Bowl team heads to national competition in March

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Nov. 18, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's 2009 Ethics Bowl team placed third last week in the Central States Ethics Bowl Regional competition, ensuring its place in upcoming national competition.

The team is comprised of five undergraduate students and is sponsored by the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions at Indiana University. The annual competition begins in the fall with ten regional matches that feed the national competition, which will be held in March 2010 in Cincinnati. A team from IU won the national competition last spring.

The IU team members are:

The coach is Luke P. Phillips, a doctoral candidate in philosophy. The advisor is Sandy Shapshay, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy, in the College of Arts and Sciences. The sponsor is Richard Miller, director of the Poynter Center and professor in the Department of Religious Studies, in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The regional contest includes three matches in which one team responds to a question about a case they have already studied. The second team responds to the first team's presentation; the first team responds to the second team; and then the judges ask questions of team one.

In the second half of the match, the second team answers a question about a different case, and the process is repeated. IU was matched with University of Michigan, Marian University and Belmont University. There were 18 teams in the competition this fall. A team from the University of Kentucky placed first in the regional with a team from Wright State University placing second.

This year the IU team fielded cases that included a discussion about the ethics of creating and using synthetic meat to feed the hungry, to address global warming and to lessen animal cruelty; the medical professions' role in torture; and open-pit copper mining in West Papua, which has resulted in changes in the environment and disrupted the lifestyles of two indigenous tribes.

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