Biology Personal Statement
Although my fascination with Biology is rooted in my academic study, its seeds were planted long before. I still recall the simple childhood awe I felt travelling down the River Nile, or the exhilaration of passing through valleys of dipterocarp forests in my father's native Malaysia. Encountering such natural wonders firsthand fostered my fascination with what I would later learn were complex ecosystems and engendered an appreciation for the remarkable tapestry created by interactions and adaptations of their components. I feel that an early captivation with the natural world, enhanced by a mature academic understanding of ecological biology, has shaped my world view and cemented my decision.
My interest in Biology was always a real world interest, to do with what I could see, what I could feel, and my academic interest is likewise fuelled by the immediacy of the subject, the crucial role it plays in our everyday lives and its wider implications for the sustainability of the entire planet. The part played by biologists in bringing to the world's attention the catastrophic implications of current industrialised practices and global warming is to my mind the quintessential example of the fundamental relevance of biological studies. Contrary to the view that scientific research is somehow divorced from our everyday lives, it was mounting scientific research that established the general consensus of scientists; a consensus now adopted by a majority of politicians, the media and the public concerning this issue. An A-level understanding of ecology has given me an appreciation of the interconnectedness of nature and its tentative balance; rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and changing seasonal cycles affecting species distribution, developmental changes and changes to life cycles. I believe it's crucial that the debate between the majority of scientists versus certain neo conservative stalwarts who say otherwise is won. How society faces a challenge, seemingly insurmountable, while perhaps more pressing than we've ever faced, is one that biologists and scientists are at the forefront of.
Richard Dawkin's 'The Selfish Gene' facilitated a broader understanding of my school studies and his attempts to popularise his gene-centric view of evolution, more controversial perhaps when it was written, gave me a sense of the fast pace in which the body of biological knowledge and thought moves forward. It is this fast pace in all arenas, whether the wondrous possibilities of pharmacogenomics or the bold proposals of geoengineering, that makes biology at once intriguing and exhilarating.
I participated in a week long field research project during the summer at the Flatford Mills Centre in Norfolk, using a variety of equipment to investigate how light intensity affects plant height and density. I enjoyed the opportunity to put into practice in the field what I'd learnt in the classroom, an opportunity I look forward to expanding on at university.
For the last 8 months I have worked for the Extra Tuition Centre; a company providing private and extra tuition for children from 5 years, up to GCSE level. I have tutored at all levels in Science, Maths and English. I overcame my initial anxiety in teaching a class of students who may not wish to be there on a weekend, and stuck with it, to find tremendous satisfaction in engaging with them and finding new ways to impart knowledge.
Outside school I am an active member of the Pak Mei Kung fu Lion Dance club, participating in public demonstrations and performances in Trafalgar Square and Chinatown for annual festivals. The martial aspect of my training has given me a hands-on appreciation of body mechanics and an esoteric understanding of the autonomic nervous system and its manipulation for both healing and self-defence purposes.
I relish the opportunity to immerse myself in university life and scientific study and await eagerly the challenges that both bring.
If i had to guess i'd say that this personal statement is the primary reason sussex gave me an offer