Silver medals for ethics team

A team of Year 10 Santa girls has won Silver in the Senior High School Ethics Olympiad. The students will represent Australia in the international final on 23 July, competing against teams from NZ, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Canada.

The Ethics Olympiad provides students with a creative vehicle for developing skills in communication, critical thinking and respectful discourse while exploring important ethical issues.

Santa Sabina’s Senior Ethics Teams were involved in a series of four heats where they were assessed by external judges according to set criteria that rewards, clear, concise, respectful discourse around interesting ethical cases.

Silver medallist Rosanna Cartwright described what it was like in 2021:

The Senior Ethics Olympiad was held online this year and it was a very enriching experience. My team and I had a wonderful time and we really enjoyed the day, placing second overall. My favourite case was about the ‘Ethics of Truth and Public Safety during the COVID-19 Pandemic’ and on the day, we were asked to discuss the following question: 

‘How much nuance or complexity should communication about important scientific issues contain, especially if it decreases the message’s persuasive value?’

We discussed the value and importance of providing nuance to scientific data contained in messages to the general public concerning COVID-19. The government needs to find a balance between scientific language and conveying key messages. The overuse of scientific jargon could obscure the key message and endanger the lives of those reading it. For example, if too much scientific jargon is used, a lay person will not fully comprehend the reality and danger of the pandemic and may not adhere to COVID-19 restrictions, endangering themselves and the people around them. We also considered an alternative point of view by questioning whether changing the terminology decreases the integrity of the message and whether one is really informed if information is altered. Another perspective we discussed was whether tacit consent justifies the nuanced information because the government has been elected by the people, and therefore the people have tacitly consented to the way the government chooses to govern them. 

I am very passionate about ethics as it encourages me to question our reality and assess the moral considerations behind global issues. It also helps me consider different perspectives in everyday life and is ultimately very enriching.