Public Debate

Social media’s impact on society will be examined Feb. 24
Thursday, February 15, 2018

A leader in bringing people to the table to discuss issues of global significance, the ILR School is collaborating with Cornell Speech and Debate to host a series of public debates in 2018.

The first one, already filled to capacity, will be held in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 24. Cornellians will wrap their intellects around this: “Are We Better Off With or Without Social Media?”

Many wonder if social media’s infiltration of society has helped or hindered our personal well-being and the world in which we live.

Is constant connectivity worth it? Or, do we pay too high a cost for being tied to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

At the Feb. 24 event the Baker Hostetler on Connecticut Avenue, Kevin Hallock, ILR’s Kenneth F. Kahn ’69 Dean and Joseph R. Rich ’80 Professor, will deliver the welcome. Then, attendees will hear from Big Red’s best debaters, past and present, as they continue Cornell’s debate tradition of more than a century.

Alumni team Derek Shaffer ’96 and Kate Comerford Todd ’96 will face off against two current students, Emma Rose Wirshing ’19 and Dan Stoyell ’18. The moderator will be Arthur Spitzer ’71. They will be introduced by Sam Nelson, director of Cornell Speech and Debate.

Bios of the debaters and moderator can be accessed online.

More information about the public debates is available through Ming Shiao, outreach director of the Cornell Speech and Debate Society, at or by contacting Shiao at 607-255-2136.