Ever wondered what kind of university professor would be the best companion if there was a zombie apocalypse?
On Jan. 14, a panel of various professors at UBC Okanagan will defend their practices and expertise as an essential need if human civilization needed to be rebuilt after an apocalpyse. The professor with the best rhetoric will be crowned winner of the 2020 Life Raft Debate.
“The concept is definitely absurd,” said event organizer and chemistry student Jesse Lafontaine.
“But it’s also refreshing and entertaining to hear very accomplished UBC professors explain their expertise and argue how their work would help human civilization recover from such an unlikely disaster.”
In the make-believe situation, the audience of the Life Raft Debate is the last of humanity to survive and there’s only one seat left in the life raft: which UBC professor should they pick to join them?
The professors will make a plea to the audience which will highlight the lighthearted fun of a debate and showcase the skills needed to defend an argument and expertise.
“As university professors, we’re used to speaking to students who are already interested in our fields of study,” said chemistry professor and defending champion Stephen McNeil.
“Defending the power of chemistry to a room full of people who probably aren’t as passionate as I am about organometallic reaction mechanisms is certainly humbling.”
McNeil said that his winning argument last year was that as a chemist he knows how to take simple molecules and manipulate them into creating into something new.
The defending champion will be up against five other speakers this year, all looking to dethrone the chemist’s claim to fame.
“We have some heavy hitters from our campus this year,” said Lafontaine.
Along side McNeil will be other experts from the faulty’s of anthropology, engineering, psychology and theatre. One other professor, a Devil’s Advocate, will debate that the survivors would be better off without the aid of any of the speakers.
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