Chemistry/Chemistry with Biomedicine Personal Statement
I was told I couldn’t have the opening paragraph I had originally written, so to begin I’ll to describe the scientific processes in my own words as this is what will underlie my degree and hopefully my foreseeable future. You begin with intuition, preferably based on sound understanding. If you trust this intuition you can use it to form a hypothesis. You then need an experiment to test your hypothesis; this must replicable, preferably inexpensive and hopefully the results will be attainable in your lifetime.
Once you have the results, and they have been verified, if they do not agree with your hypothesis your hypothesis is wrong. Regardless of whether you’re right or wrong, you’re back to square one, but with the knowledge you’ve gained. Next hypothesis next experiment.
My studies in A-Level maths and physics are complementary to Chemistry, due to the overlaps between the subjects. Maths provides the tools required to build models of natural processes and patterns, and allows the expression of hypotheses which can then be tested in the lab. Physics at its heart endeavours to provide the rules under which the universe operates. Although I find astrophysics awe-inspiring physics’ main relevance to my chemistry degree will be the areas relating to physics on the nano scale. Knowing the four main fundamental interactions and how the atom is constructed from fermions provides a useful background for studying the atom and how atoms interact.
Richard Feynman once said something like “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself. “ I bore this in mind when volunteering at family science day sponsored by Shell last summer. A friend and I ran an experiment on the varying levels of vitamin C in fruits explaining how the indicator was being reduced by the citrus fruit and that the change in oxidation states was what brought about a change in colour. I likened it to a Gecko, changing colour due to the change of the surrounding environment.
After completing my GCSEs my elder brother took me to rural Malawi. He’s a structural engineer and had designed a school for charity. He wanted to show me the importance of education. The children in the village were only educated to primary school age. This experience had a profound effect on me and I feel because I’m lucky enough to have an opportunity at higher education I should take full advantage of it.
I like listening to music and going to festivals; I stewarded at the Reading and Latitude last summer. I’ve been told I’m quite a good cook, cooking majority of the food at home. I enjoy reading, my favourite science reads are the New Scientist and Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science column (until he stopped writing it), however the rest of the Guardian’s science coverage is pretty weak.
To surmise I’d like not just a degree in chemistry but a career. I’m excited by the prospect of life-long learning, knowing there’s always more to discover. This is in itself is quite humbling and gives me the impetus to keep going. I would be very grateful for this opportunity.
Widely described as the most original personal statement ever read by the chaps interviewing me and friends who read it