Intelligence Squared US, the organization that puts on Oxford-style debates in an effort to, as it describes, “restore civility, reasoned analysis, and constructive public discourse to today’s often biased media landscape,” is taking on the U.S. elections.
The organization has announced a series of seven debates that starts in September and continues through December that takes on topics relating in some way to the elections.
Each debate follows Intelligence Squared’s Oxford-based format, which works as follows: an idea is put up for consideration, with four pre-announced debaters called on to argue for or against the idea, two per side. Before discussion gets underway, the audience votes for/against the idea, so debaters get a sense of where they initially stand. Each debater then gets a 7-minute opening argument followed by a Q&A comprised of audience questions. Closing arguments follow, and then another audience vote that determines which side wins.
Intelligence Squared’s home base is New York City, but the elections theme means two of those debates are getting a Washington setting, taking place at the Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University. Those are the Sept. 7 opening debate arguing whether or not “the EPA has gone overboard” on climate change, and a Nov. 14 debate looking at whether “gerrymandering is destroying the political center.”
You can find out more and buy tickets (free for students) here.