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Saturday, May 31 • 4:00pm - 6:00pm
(Closing Session) The Great Debate

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Are you ready for San Francisco and all that goes with the AIC Annual Meeting?

The one thing I know I am ready for is the 2014 AIC Great Debate (4:00 – 6:00 pm on Saturday, May 31). And this one is going to be bigger and better than ever! Again, I will have my crew, Kristen Adsit and Laura Kubick on hand to help emcee the event. And again there will be a cash bar to keep things running smoothly. Will I be the only one wearing a bow tie? We’ll just have to see on that one.

But this time around I wanted to shake it up a little and have a topic debated by teams of “Rookies” (current graduate students) and another topic debated by teams of “Veterans” (folks that have been in the field for many years). With the added twist that rookies got to choose the debate topic in which the veterans have to debate, and vice versa. I thought this would be a good way to see the topics that each side wanted to hear about from the other.

While the old fogies, er veterans, quickly came up with their topic for the rookies to debate, it took the rookies a lot longer to come up with a solid topic for the veterans. Maybe the rookies were nervous, busy with graduate school, or maybe they wanted to take their time and come up with a topic that would make the veterans sweat a bit. In any case, this is whole thing is meant to show that conservators are clever enough to not take themselves so seriously, and that we can see both sides of any topic.

I created the Great Debate to be a fun, intellectual exercise and a place where debaters are challenged to debate from a position that they may not represent, or agree with (it’s not really a place to represent your institution, company, or any kind of official view point). And remember, a team wins the Debate by convincing you, the folks in the audience, to change your mind about the topic.

2014 AIC Great Debate

The rookies will be the first to debate and then the veterans will take the stage for the main event. So without further ado, here are the topics, teams, and sides:

Rookies Debate Topic:

“The most important aspect of conservation practice is no longer the treatment of cultural property.”

Rookies Team 1: Affirmative

  • Marie-Lou Beauchamp
  • Jena Hirschbein
  • Alexandra Nichols

Rookies Team 2: Negative

  • Tessa Gadomski
  • Tom McClintock
  • Kari Rayner

Veterans Debate Topic:

“AIC is successfully promoting the advancement of recently-graduated conservators in today’s work force.”

Veterans Team 1: Affirmative

  • John Burke
  • Thomas Edmondson
  • Paul Himmelstein

Veterans Team 2: Negative

  • Margaret Ellis
  • Rick Kerschner
  • Joyce Hill Stoner

If you want some background info on the Great Debate, here are links to the articles I wrote for the past two Debates in this blog: 2013 Great Debate2012 Great Debate.

See you San Francisco!

-Richard McCoy

Saturday May 31, 2014 4:00pm - 6:00pm PDT
Grand Ballroom A