Debate: a formal interactive discussion of opposing ideas on a specific topic.
In science debate is a way of dealing with disputes over theory since both sides get to make their case. An example of this is debates on Creation Vs Evolution how ever it seldom actually settles the dispute.
Benefits are that both sides get to make their case and get to a chance to learn about the other side as well as their own. It works best when both sides are given equal footing respect which doses not always happen.
The problem is that debate seldom actually settles the dispute and one side can actually get insulting ruining the discussion. In practice it is only as useful as the participants’ ability to learn from it. If no one learns anything from a debate it’s a waste of time.