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UC San Diego Ethics Bowl TeamUC San Diego ethics bowl team goes undefeated at California regional, earning berth to national tournament in March 2023

For the third year in a row of competition, the UC San Diego Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team received a coveted invitation to the March 2023 national tournament. On Dec. 3, 2022, the university’s team was one of only four undefeated teams in the California regional tournament, winning all three of its rounds and placing third out of 18 teams.

“It was a brilliant performance, and a great accomplishment,” said Department of Philosophy professor and team coach Sam Rickless.

Undergraduate students on the team include Ashley Feng, Tanmay Kulkarni, Rishabh Raj and Eva Zhuang, who were selected in late September from a pool of 14 potentials. Ph.D. students Aaron Chipp-Miller, Karina Ortiz Villa and Sam Ridge helped coach the undergraduate team, holding two-hour sessions twice weekly in the three months leading up to the December regional.

This is the fourth year of the UC San Diego Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team, after fielding its first in 2018 (with a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The Department of Philosophy and the Institute for Practical Ethics, both in the School of Arts and Humanities, sponsor the team.

Ethics Bowl involves a series of regional tournaments that take place in early December, with the top-four teams at each regional invited to participate in a national tournament. Other teams making it to nationals this year include California State University Sacramento, Stanford University and San Diego State University. UC San Diego is the only University of California campus represented.

The aim of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics Intercollegiate 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, and these cases are often taken from complex issues facing society today.

This year, teams were asked to discuss whether it is morally permissible to prosecute overworked nurses for gross negligence, whether professional sports leagues should continue to ban performance-enhancing drugs, whether knowledge “for the sake of knowledge” can be ethically justified, and whether the military is morally justified in denying religious exemptions from mandatory vaccination, among others.

Including UC San Diego, 36 teams qualified for the national competition in Portland, Oregon, to be held March 4 and 5, 2023. (Above photo from left: Eva Zhuang, Ashley Feng, coach Sam Rickless, Rishabh Raj and Tanmay Kulkarni. Initial text and photo courtesy Sam Rickless.)

News in Brief

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Arts and Humanities faculty and staff equity advisors selected 
Jessica Graham (History) will serve as the Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Faculty Equity Advisor, and Anthony King will serve as the inaugural Staff Equity Advisor. 
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Arts and Humanities Moments Newsletter

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Read the January 2023 issue