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Grants programme and essay competition


Congratulations to the winners of our 2012 and 2013 essay competitions!

2013 competition

Title: How is contemporary biology used for ideological purposes?

Carmody Grey    First place: Carmody Grey

Carmody Grey holds a first class honours degree in Theology at Trinity College, Oxford, an MPhil in Theology and Religious Studies from King's College, Cambridge, an MA in Systematic and Philosophical Theology from the University of Nottingham, and a PGCert in biodiversity and ecosystems from the University of Edinburgh. After a period as Head of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics at Bedales School in Hampshire, she is now a doctoral student at the University of Bristol, looking particularly at debates concerning reductionism and vitalism in philosophy of biology. Carmody is involved in local and global conservation initiatives and is particularly interest in organic and sustainable agriculture.
Read Carmody's essay here.

Second place: David Pena-Guzman

David is a graduate student studying philosophy at Emory University, Texas
Read David's essay here.

Ryan Shinkel    Third place: Ryan Shinkel

 Ryan is currently an undergraduate student at the Residential College of the University of Michigan. In the LSA Honors Program, he studies Philosophy and Creative Writing and Literature. He aspires to be a professional philosopher and writer. He enjoys poetry, theology, political debate, classical music, English literature and midnight film showings
Read Ryan's essay here.

2012 competition

Title: Explore the ways in which contemporary genetics both challenges and underpins notions of human freedom, value and identity


    First place: Amber Gabb

Amber is currently in her final year at the University of Bristol studying BSc Biology. On graduating she hopes to begin a career in the environmental sector, and will also be studying part-time for MSc Science Communication. In her spare time she enjoys long-distance running, exploring the UK countryside and volunteering for the At-Bristol science museum.
Read Amber's essay here.

    Second place: Alex Cagan

Alex did his undergraduate degree in biological anthropology at the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies at the University of Cambridge. He is interested in the relationship between biology and cultures during the course of human evolution. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, with the goal of exploring the genetic changes that cause 'tameness' in domesticated animals.
Read Alex's essay here.


    Third place: Kate Howard






Kate is an undergraduate studying Psychology and Zoology at the University of Bristol. As well as essays, she writes occasional short stories, and also enjoy cycling, visits to the zoo and pub quizzes.
Read Kate's essay here.