Science Court Course (HSEM 3511H)

Science Court Course  (HSEM 3511H)

Cartoon showing two men who can't agree on how many sticks are on the ground.

Students invited to take Science Court!

Science Court (HSEM 3511H) is an unusual course. The students taking the class run a mock trial in which a controversial societal issue is debated in front of a judge and a jury of citizens. The objective is to fight polarization and strengthen our democracy by getting people with different points of view to reason about a complex issue based on a common set of facts and sound scientific research. The students work together in three teams led by experts (Science, Legal, Media), to select the case, research the facts, prepare and present pro and con legal arguments, and educate the public through engaging media. It is a dynamic exciting course, which is both highly educational, and also makes a difference in the real world. Students of all backgrounds from the liberal arts, sciences, and engineering are invited to participate. Space is limited, so enroll early to save a spot for Spring 2022!

This year Science Court is being done in partnership with the UMN Student Senate. We will choose a topic of interest to students with the objective of proposing new approaches that can lead to policy changes at the U.

The class is scheduled for T,Th 04:00 PM - 05:15 PM during Spring 2022. It is co-taught by Ellad Tadmor (Aerospace), CJ Sinner (media, journalism), William McGinnis (law), and Kiley Gilbert (Psychology, PhD student).

To learn more about Science Court, watch this short video by Prof. Ellad Tadmor about Science Court:

For lots more, including the theory underlying Science Court, teaching staff bios, the student blog from Fall 2018, Fall 2019 and Spring 2021, and other content, visit the Science Court website at

If you have any questions, email Prof. Ellad Tadmor at [email protected].