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National Bioethics Bowl


The National Bioethics Bowl is an annual competition where teams of undergraduates debate cases that raise difficult issues in bioethics. These cases are based on current events or live issues in public discussion pertaining to biotechnology, public health, medicine, etc. Beginning in 2018, the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics began serving as the administrative home of the Bioethics Bowl. The Prindle Institute provides general information such as where the bowl will be held, what the rules are, who is eligible to compete, and how to register. The bowl host remains responsible for all other information.

More Information about Bioethics Bowl

Undergraduate teams will receive the case packet several months before the competition. The case packet features 15 cases (each with 3 questions about the philosophical aspects of the case). Teams prepare arguments to support their responses to the questions and to respond to potential objections. At the competition, two cases are selected at random each round and presenting teams must give a response to the chosen question within 10 minutes. Opposing teams present a rebuttal. Then, judges ask the presenting team questions, to which the presenting team responds.

The Bioethics Bowl is governed by a small executive committee.

The 2020 National Bioethics Bowl competition that was planned for April 3-4, 2020 at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts has been cancelled due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus. The organizers are Katy Shorey and Benjamin Yelle. Information about the event can be found here.

If you would like to be placed on the list for updates, please email Jessica Mejía (jessicamejia@depauw.edu).

Bioethics Bowl Judges’ Guidelines

Bioethics Bowl Scoring Rules

Bioethics Bowl Procedural Rules

If your institution is interested in hosting the Bioethics Bowl, please email (mamck@depauw.edu) for further information.

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