The inaugural Ethics Cup (known at that time as The John Stuart Mill Cup) was held on 6 June 2018. The tournament featured high school students matching wits with each other on a variety of ethical topics, including the new tax on sugary drinks, burqa bans, and fake news on social media. Ten schools, from across Scotland and England, brought a team to the event, with a total of about 50-60 students taking part.
The championship match pitted Banchory Academy, from Aberdeenshire, against Wellington School, from Ayr. They discussed two issues: the #MeToo movement and the rise of the gig economy. In a split decision, Wellington triumphed and will proudly display the cup until next year’s event.
The judging panel for the championship match comprised Sally Mapstone (Principal of the University of St. Andrews), Magnus Llewellin (Scottish Editor of The Times), and Willie Rennie MSP (leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats). During the day the dueling teams were judged by non-academic professionals and scholars from a wide variety of fields (e.g. international relations, philosophy, economics, modern languages, English and classics), but always on the same criteria: thoughtfulness, insightfulness and civility.