Summary of IQ2 Debate for the File
The debate and trip last night were unforgettable.
Everyone that was expected to attend arrived on time and we were on the road. The first five Scholars to arrive received a “Symphony” candy bar.Â After all, we were heading to Symphony Space.Â After a quick stop in Bloomsburg for lunch, it wasn’t long before the New York skyline was on the horizon.Â Scholars were very excited about the trip and passionate about the topic.Â There was little silence along the way as many discussed passionately their views on carbon emissions and more while others asked questions about the debate, panelists and topics for future programming.Â Another group kept busy teaching others how to write and speak their name in Chinese!
19 Scholars attended (3 Business majors; 6 Liberal Arts; 1 Engineering; 5 Earth & Mineral Science; 2 Science; 1 Agricultural Science; and 1 Arts & Architecture student)
Upon our arrivalÂ the students were pleasantly surprised to learn that the group had front row seats. After dinner and an opportunity to talk with Mr. Donvan, correspondent for ABC News Nightline, the Scholars experienced an intellectual debate while part of a live television audience complete with cued applause, moderator retakes and technical glitches.
After 7 minute presentations by each panelist, the Hall was open for Q&A from the audience followed by 2 minute rebuttals and a final vote.Â The initial vote was 16% for; 49% against and 35% undecided; the final vote following the debate was 42% for; 48% against and only 10% undecided.Â Ah….the value of conversation.Â Â Mr. Donvan selected Scholar Andrea Leshak’s question to be asked on air and met with her prior to the debate.
Andrea is a sophomore Scholar majoring in Agriculture.Â Her winning question:
“In terms of economic costs, environmental impacts (such as those resulting from carbon emissions) have consistently been regarded as “externalities.”Â Al Gore suggests including environmental impacts withing total economic costs. How greatly would American industries be affected if carbon emissions suddently became economic costs.”
And, yes, I have a picture of her with Mr. Donvan and gave her my SHC Anniversary pin to wear–do you think the camera will pick up on that one 😉
Mr. Donvan was dynamic, intelligent, motivating, humble and warm.Â He has the Dean’s business card and thank you note and expressed interest in visiting PSU someday.
The student evaluations were an affirmation that this type of program was “well worth the money” if carbon emissions is not.
Our departure was delayed by a technical glitches on stage and retakes coupled with Scholars speaking with panelists after the debate.Â (see photo notes below)Â Even L. Hunter Lovins president and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions was more than happy to talk with the group outside Symphony Space following the debate.Â The group then boarded the bus and arrived safely on campus a little after 1:00 a.m.
The Debate will be broadcast to 150 NPR stations and in 270 countries and heard by 80 million listeners.Â I’m so proud of Andrea who will be our TV star…she did a great job.Â I asked her, Samuel Settle and Michael Cronin to email you with their perspectives on the trip and quotes if you need them.
Saturday, March 7Â 2:10 a.m., 10:10 a.m., 3:10 p.m., and 8:10 p.m. (EST)
Sunday, March 8Â 2:10 a.m., 10:10 a.m., 3:10 p.m. (EST)
I asked for a DVD of the Debate that should be sent to us later in the semester at no additional cost.
The dean’s vision is to start an annual “Oxford-style” debate on campus.Â This format has been (re)introduced to the US through the “Intelligence2″ (read: intelligence squared”) series of debates.Â What a great opportunity for intellectual conversation!