New York
Debate for Seniors: Examining Critical 21st Century Topics
Study a hot-button societal issue and learn debate strategies with Cornell faculty. Then participate in or be part of the audience for spirited debates.
Program No. 23297RJ
6 days
Starts at
Getting There
See travel details and required documents

At a Glance

Democracy requires healthy debate about public policy, not just by politicians and pundits, but also by the public at large. On this groundbreaking, new program on the campus of Cornell University, you will learn about a controversial and relevant issue in American society, like artificial intelligence and technology, from Cornell faculty who are experts on the topic. You’ll study a variety of debate formats and useful methods for analyzing arguments and presenting and defending a convincing case. Then, participate in or be part of the audience for spirited debates on your hot-button issue. Take home new skills to apply to day-to-day conversation with those whose views may differ from yours, and take a more active role in our country’s democracy.
Activity Level
Easy Going
Sitting for long periods of time.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • On the campus of Cornell University, learn the basics of a fun and empowering new activity: senior debate.
  • Participate in or listen to lively small-group debates on topics like computers, artificial intelligence and the human future.
  • Meet and hear special presentations by members of the Cornell faculty and the Cornell debate team.

General Notes

Max of 120 participants divided into smaller groups for workshops, field trip, and debates.There are two lodging options for this program. The Homewood Suites offers one king size bed per room and a kitchen, and the Hilton Garden Inn provides two beds per room.
Featured Expert
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Thomas L. Benson
Dr. Thomas L. Benson is the founding President of the International Association for Senior Debate. He has graduate degrees from Harvard University and The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Benson taught for fifteen years as a member of the philosophy faculty at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and is the co-founder of the ASIANetwork, a national consortium of 200 liberal arts institutions. He was twice a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University, and from 2005-2007, a visiting fellow at Oxford University.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Thomas L. Benson
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Sam Nelson
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