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2022 UC San Diego Ethics Bowl team, nationalsUC San Diego Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team reaches national quarter final, placing 7th overall

In just three years, the UC San Diego Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team has made a name for itself as one of the top, competitive teams in the nation.

At this year’s national tournament held virtually Feb. 26-27, the team complied a record of three wins and one loss, reaching the quarter finals and coming in seventh out of 36 teams. UC San Diego’s loss came from the second seed and eventual tournament winner, Macalester College of Minnesota.

“Although team UC San Diego lost to Macalester, it was a magnificent performance and a wonderful run,” said Samuel Rickless, Department of Philosophy professor and Ethics Bowl coach. “I am so very proud of everything that this team has accomplished.”

Members of the 2021-2022 team included students Sarah Kang, Rishabh Raj, Anthony Ruiz, Maximilian Zekowski and Eva Zhuang. Alexandra Michael took part in the national tournament, replacing Ruiz as he was unable to participate after December’s regional. This was the first Ethics Bowl experience for all students except Zekowski, who previously participated in the 2019 regional.

The team earned its place in the national tournament after an impressive showing late last year at the California regional tournament where, over four rounds, they complied a record of four wins and zero losses, placing second out of 28 teams.

“I am so very grateful to this incredible team. They manifested the virtues of open-mindedness, generosity, respect and consummate poise, all in the service of the truth. I have learned so much from all of them,” Rickless said.

Helping Rickless coach this year were Philosophy Ph.D. students Aaron Chipp-Miller, Karina Ortiz Villa and Sam Ridge. Coaching sessions were held twice a week, October through November, and again January through February. Sponsors for the UC San Diego team are the Department of Philosophy, Institute for Practical Ethics and School of Arts and Humanities Office of the Dean.

Organized by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, the aim of Ethics Bowl is to encourage thoughtful and respectful exchanges on important topics of ethical significance. Teams of undergraduates compete by providing extended answers to moral questions based on case descriptions that are provided ahead of time. This year marked the 26th annual tournament.

At the national tournament, cases discussed included the use of artificial intelligence in military applications, the regulation of gene editing, arguments for and against the banning of fireworks, the moral purpose of the Doomsday Clock, the moral permissibility of maintaining a market in non-fungible tokens, and the moral permissibility of space exploration.

Rickless said recruitment for the 2022-2023 team will happen at the beginning of fall quarter 2022, with interviews conducted in late September.

Above photo: National tournament team and coaches are (standing, left to right): Karina Ortiz Villa, Sam Ridge, Sarah Kang, Alexandra Michael, Aaron Chipp-Miller and Samuel Rickless, and (seated, left to right) Eva Zhuang, Maximilian Zekowski and Rishabh Raj (photo and original summary courtesy Samuel Rickless)



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