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.
2021 Mandatory Service
The Science Court case statement for 2021 was:
To fight polarization in American society, a mandatory national service should be adopted.
The pro side argued for a strategy centered on mandatory civil and military national service for Americans 18-30 years old. The con team argued for a major expansion of voluntary service programs with incentives to maximize participation for Americans of all ages.
The trial was held April 24, 2021 and results are in... click to see the trial details and verdict.