Welcome to Science Court!
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 free and open to the public.
Watch talk by Prof. Ellad Tadmor on Science Court given as part of the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) Curiosity Drives Progress Lecture Series
Listen to an interview with Kerri Miller on MPR News discussing Science Court with Prof. Ellad Tadmor and student Like Diamond.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
SciCourt designs trial session plans for jury deliberation
With just three weeks until trial, Science Court students are preparing their final plans before trial on April 24th. Science team members completed research summaries while the legal team continued to develop arguments for trial.
Madeleine Stankiewicz, a member of the legal con team, said she sees the voluntary service plan as a flexible option for participants. With the mandatory service plan being more restrictive on age, the voluntary plan provides more flexibility when it comes to age requirements to serve. As both legal teams continue to develop their plan, members need to construct arguments to persuade the jury for which option, a mandatory or volunteer service program, is a better solution to combat polarization.
Depolarizing America: Episode 3
The University of Minnesota Science Court students are researching and debating whether mandatory service programs could work to create more political and racial harmony in the United States.
In this third episode of Depolarizing America, hosted by Matt Simonson, SciCourt examines educational opportunities and marketing volunteer service programs. Jessica Jurcek and Simonson interview members of the science and legal team. Jennie Lim discusses the importance of motivation and skill development for successful volunteer programs. Madeleine Stankiewicz talks about how the legal con team plans to market the volunteer service program and prepare for trial.
Follow us on social media -- Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at @scicourt -- and if you are interested in serving on our jury to decide this case, apply at z.umn.edu/scicourt-jury by April 5, 2021. You can also follow along by subscribing to the Science Court Podcast on Apple Podcast and Spotify
SciCourt begins planning for trial
Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Rank visited Science Court this week, providing tips on best practices for the legal team to prepare for trial. He stressed the importance of emotional appeal and teaching moments in opening statements. “You are telling a story,” Rank said. According to Rank, members of the legal team should prepare for their opening statements by acknowledging both their arguments and the other side’s counter-arguments, clearly explaining key topics, and telling the jury what to watch for during the trial.