Biology/Natural Sciences Personal Statement
I do not have to look far to find the source of my love of science. Just glancing around my living room my eyes fall upon a whole host of fascinating different organisms, seen and unseen they create a brilliant miniature ecosystem with billions of tiny processes and reactions for me to sit and unpick.
The direction of my interest in how the world functions has definitely changed and augmented over the years, but within the last few years it has been humans and higher organisms that have captured me most.
When learning about natural selection in A-level Biology I began to realise that understanding survival of the fittest could be the key to the explanation of why every living organism functions and behaves the way it does. I read Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection’ and ever since have found myself relating everything I observe in the world back to natural selection.
There are however limits and boundaries; the challenges of pinning down the behaviour of higher organisms and humans to biological processes, and then to genes, and then to survival of the fittest enthrals me and is where my passion lies.
Studying both chemistry and biology at A-Level I am constantly making links between the two. I now feel that they cannot be separated if I am truly going to understand the human body. My desire to understand the chemical basis of behaviour has leaded me towards the field of neuroscience.
The work of Rebecca Saxe on how we think about other people’s thoughts has deeply influenced me. After watching online lectures by her and reading ‘Words, Thoughts and Theories’ by Alison Gopnick; I am committed to spending a career in learning and researching about the brain and the cognitive processes that are key to understanding consciousness.
To further my knowledge of life and its origins I have completed an Open University module called ‘Human Genetics and Health Issues’. Not only did I gain fascinating knowledge on modern genetics, I also learnt to discipline myself and manage my time more effectively.
This was a useful skill to further develop as I am constantly juggling college, extracurricular studies, part-time work as a waitress, hobbies and a social life which has been a formidable challenge.
My curious nature has lead to my own small research projects. This year I entered one of my projects for the Google International Science Fair and my submission was chosen to be the only UK semi-finalist.
The project explored the topic of whether it is possible to use our sense of taste as a means to find a reproductive mate that is genetically compatible.
Articles about my work were featured in the Guardian by journalist and ecologist Grrl Scientist and a number of other science blogs. I cannot explain the joy at the fact that one of my studies was recognised by a respected scientist.
The experience not only taught me far better experimental technique and interpretation of data, but it assured me that I want to spend my life researching and learning more about the science of humans.
I am a dedicated musician and love to compose my own music; I recently re-scored a short film which was shown at Shambala Festival. I have played the piano and sung for 10 years achieving up to grade 5 in piano so far.
My ability to speak publically improved and my skills in reasoning and analysis of argument were enhanced when my debate team won the Iain Duncan Smith debate competition at the House of Commons this year.
The idea of being in an environment where people aren’t afraid to ask questions and find the answers for themselves is tremendously appealing to me. I am really looking forward to beginning my undergraduate degree not just because it’s a stepping stone for a research career but because I love to learn.
I'm using this to apply for cambridge so I hope its okay :S