Schools Writing Competition Hilary Term 2018

In the HT2018 issue of The Oxford Scientist magazine, we announced our first ever UK-wide schools science writing competition for students in Years 10-12. We hoped to encourage students to think about science outside of the classroom, and give them the opportunity to explore their own scientific interests in a creative way. The students were asked to write a short article about a “scientific discovery” of their choice.

We received 120 entries written to an extremely high standard, and covering a huge range of scientific topics. These articles were judged by a panel of experts, who selected the winning article to be published in our TT2018 issue and receive a £50 Amazon voucher sponsored by Oxford Sparks.

The winning article, as selected by our panel of judges was:

Could Suspended Animation Change the Future of Accident & Emergency? by Banda Chisomo, from King Edward VI Five Ways School, Birmingham.

The five runners up for the competition were:

Our Judges

  • Dr Tristram Wyatt is a senior research fellow at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, who is interested in how animals use pheromones to communicate by smell. His TED talk on human pheromones has been viewed over a million times, and he is also an accomplished scientific author; the second edition of his book Pheromones and Animal Behavior won the 2014 Royal Society of Biology’s prize for the best postgraduate textbook, and his most recent book Animal Bahaviour: A Very Short Introduction, was published in 2017.

  • Dr Chico Camargo is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Data Science at the Oxford Internet Institute, where he uses tools from theoretical physics and data science to develop new approaches to questions in the social and biological sciences. He is also is part of the Portuguese-speaking YouTube educational channel BláBláLogia, and has spoken at FameLab and at Oxford’s Science Cabaret.

  • Professor Marina Jirotka is a Professor of Human Centred Computing in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford. She leads an interdisciplinary research group investigating the responsible development of technologies that are more responsive to societal acceptability and desirability. Her current projects include leading the Responsible Innovation initiative for Quantum Technologies, Principle Investigator of multiple projects within the EPSRC Digital Economy TIPS project, and co-director of an Observatory for Responsible Research and Innovation in ICT (ORBIT).

  • Jacqueline Gill is a DPhil student in Evolutionary Microbiology in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. She was Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Scientist for MT2017, where she established the first ever national Oxford Scientist schools science writing competition. Since its launch, she has managed all aspects of the competition.

  • Dr Michaela Livingston-Banks manages the Oxford Sparks digital engagement programme at the University of Oxford, which aims to open up Oxford science to the public, teachers and students. She helps researchers think about, plan and do public engagement with research. Michaela also sits on the University-wide Public Engagement with Research Advisory Group.

If you have any questions about the competition, please email [email protected].

If your school, sixth form or college would like to subscribe to The Oxford Scientist for just £15 per year, please contact [email protected].