On 21st March, four of our Y12 students won the PERC Ethics competition at Oxford University. Aniqa H, Anny X, Neha G and Srihita K entered the competition back in the Autumn Term, submitting a video discussing the ethical question “Is it morally responsible for parents to modify their offspring’s DNA?” . It outlined the ethics of germline gene editing, and they challenged Julian Savulescu’s concept of procreative beneficence. They were selected as one of four finalist teams from a pool of over 30 entries.
The final took place at the Oxford Uehiro Centre, where the students watched a mock debate, learnt strategies to counter slippery slope arguments and listened to a talk on fairness in healthcare, which were highly insightful. In the first round, they elaborated on their earlier arguments and responded to the judge’s queries, which pushed AGGS to the top two teams. The final round was a debate on animal ethics and moral responsibility, where they were pre-assigned the opposition to the presented statement. The aim was to maintain argumentative rigour, clarity and originality.
The final was a rigorous day of ethical debate, but our students beat the very stiff competition (St Ambrose, Oxford Internation college and the Tiffin girls’ school) with their very measured and carefully prepared arguments. This was the first time this competition has run as a live final and so AGGS has set the benchmark for future winners.
Well done to Aniqa, Anny, Neha and Srihita! Thanks to Mrs. Hulme for accompanying them to Oxford for the final.
Ms Provost and Mrs Hulme