Life Raft Debate

About the Life Raft Debate

In the annual UBCO Society of Scholars Life Raft Debate, we imagine that a catastrophic event has wiped out most of humanity and the survivors (the audience) must sail off to rebuild society.

Only one final seat remains on the life raft. Invited professors will each argue that their discipline is the one indispensable area of study that the new civilization will need to survive.

Finally, one professor will take on the role of devil’s advocate and argue that the survivors should actually choose no one and that their new society will be better off without a professor aboard.

You and the audience decide who, if anyone, gets to take that final seat on the life raft.   

If you are interested in being a part of the Life Raft Debate or you have a suggestion for a debater for next year’s event, please contact us at scholars.ok@ubc.ca.

2022 Life Raft Debate

Time Traveller Edition

Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Time: 7 pm
Location: 
Virtual Zoom event

Early registration bonus: Register by 11:59 pm PT on Friday, January 21 for your chance to win one of ten $10 gift cards to an ice cream shop of your choice.

REGISTER NOW

Humans have pushed the world to the brink of extinction. There is only one chance to reverse this: an experimental time machine capable of sending a single person on a one-way trip through time to the first known human civilization. Without any modern technology, our traveller must influence society to not make the same mistakes in order to prevent our downfall.

Which traveller will be the one to go back and restart our world? Who can convince humanity to be better the second time around? To make a civilized, well-rounded group of people, giving them the knowledge and skills they need to avoid the destruction of our world based on our traveller’s expertise? Is it even worth sending anyone back at all?

Our traveller must assert the importance of their discipline to lead the ancient society, fix the mistakes of the past, and lead us to a brighter, more promising future for the human race.

Presented by the Society of Scholars with support from alumni UBC and the UBCO Ice Cream Club.

OPENING REMARKS

Prof Santa Ono
President & Vice-Chancellor

Debaters

Dr. Tamara Freeman  
Chemistry

Dr. Liane Gabora  
Psychology

Dr. Vicki Komisar
Engineering

Michael V. Smith
Creative Writing

Tamara Ebl
Management

Devil’s Advocate

Dr. Greg Garrard
English

Host

Dr. Robin Young
Biology
2021 Debater 

CLOSING REMARKS

Dr. Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal
2021 Debater

 

Previous debates

2021 Life Raft Debate

Escape to Mars Edition

Presented with support from alumni UBC and the UBCO Ice Cream Club. 

Debaters

Dr. Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Dr. Greg duManoir
Health and Exercise Sciences

Dr. Sandy Hilton
Management

Dr. Ray Taheri
Engineering
2020 Defending Champion

Dr. Robin Young
Biology

Devil’s Advocate

Dr. Bryce Traister
English

Host

Dr. Stephen McNeil
Chemistry
2019 Champion

Winner

2021 Champion: Dr. Ray Taheri

2020 Life Raft Debate

Zombie Apocalypse Edition

Debaters

Dr. Deborah Buszard
University Administration

Dr. Greg duManoir
Human Kinetics

Dr. Stephen McNeil
Chemistry
2019 Defending Champion

Dr. Ray Taheri
Engineering

Dr. Bryce Traister
English

Devil’s Advocate

Dr. Jan Cioe
Psychology

Host

Dr. Peter Arthur
Education

Winner

2020 Champion: Dr. Ray Taheri

2019 Life Raft Debate

Debaters

Dr. Denise Kenney
Theatre

Dr. Stephen McNeil
Chemistry

Dr. Christine Schreyer
Anthropology

Dr. Ray Taheri
Engineering

Dr. Michael Woodworth
Psychology

Devil’s Advocate

Dr. Marianne Legault
Languages and World Literatures

Host

Dr. Peter Arthur
Education

2019 Champion: Dr. Stephen McNeil