School News

London Research Trip Presentation Evening

The six winners of Birkdale’s London Research Trip competition presented their findings and conclusions last week. This was the culmination of a research process which began in London back in June when the students spent two days studying in the capital’s libraries and archives, an opportunity they’d won by submitting the best of this year’s research proposals.   

Our annual Research Trip is a chance for academically gifted pupils to work independently on a project unrelated to exam syllabuses, simply following their curiosity.  Our winners once again demonstrated just how strong a motivation ‘intellectual curiosity’, or learning for learning sake, can be…

Rishin Madan and Bailey Neal set out to ask a crucial question in human evolution: why did modern humans migrate from Africa and settle in Europe 40,000 years ago?  Their clear, well-crafted presentation helped us understand the struggle to survive for pre-historic humans and the inevitable clash with the Neanderthals.   

Isobel Abebrese outlined the current situation in Syria, describing the complexity of the conflict.  Her key question was this: can democracy ever be successful in Syria?  Isobel’s incisive presentation not only explained Syria’s political context but also defined and explored the meaning of democracy.

Danial Rostami set out to consider the contribution of Ancient Persia to medicine.  In an informative, wide-ranging speech, Dan introduced us to some of the exceptional minds at the birth of modern, scientific approaches to medicine, particularly Rhazes and Avicenna.

Max Doody’s presentation helped us make sense of one of the most difficult and intriguing problems there is: how do physical processes in the brain add up to our subjective experience of consciousness? His erudite analysis considered the best theoretical options open to us, settling on Russellian Monism as his personal favourite!

Drawing on her visits to the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, Harriet Freeman presented a comparison of classical and modern representations of beauty.  Her fascinating speech took us from Athenian statues of the gods to Vogue magazine, explaining the political and social meaning of beauty.

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