Science Court is a project designed to combat polarization in American society and strengthen democracy. It is run as an interdisciplinary course in the University of Minnesota Honors Program involving students from across the university. 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 it in a mock trial in front of a jury of citizens with a mix of views and backgrounds. The public is engaged through compelling audio, video and online content generated by the students about the preparations, trial and verdict. The trial is open to the public.
2019 Science Court Case
The Science Court Case Statement is made up of two parts: a problem that needs to be addressed, and a proposed solution. This year's case is:
Problem: Nuclear power, which is a clean and highly efficient source of energy, is underutilized in the United States.
Solution: The U.S. government should increase funding for the development and construction of nuclear power plants with the aim of significantly increasing nuclear power use.
The class is currently researching the facts in this case. The Science Court trial will take place on Sautrday 11/23 at 9am-4pm and Tuesday night 11/26 for the verdict announcement and discussion. A jury of citizens will be presented with the facts and two competing strategies to address the problem, one on the pro side of the solution and one on the con side. The event is free and open to the public.
If you would like to participate in the jury, apply here.