Natural Sciences Personal Statement Example 8

For a long time, I had a perception of the sciences as deeply individual, even competing fields; but I have grown to realise that I was wrong. I have since learned to appreciate and admire the interconnectivity of the sciences. While there are many different ways of looking at the world, a full picture cannot be formed without considering it from every angle. This is why I want to study Natural Sciences; it would grant me a deeper understanding of how the universe works.

I have always admired the elegance of a mathematical proof, and the purer side of the sciences; however, the practical elements also fascinate me. In taking an abstract mathematical concept and applying it to biology, chemistry, or geology, we find uses for the patterns that surround us. Similarly, taking a concept learned in physics and using it to better understand what seems like a purely mathematical idea allows us to better appreciate the chaotic order of our universe. Reading 'Abel's Proof' by Peter Pesic helped me to unite the pure and the applied, inspiring me to appreciate how the fundamental laws that govern our lives apply to the transcendent beauty of the universe.

Over the summer, I participated in the In2scienceUK course, which was held remotely. The webinars on artificial intelligence especially captivated me, building on an already-kindled interest in the topic. Reading Tim Urban’s articles on ‘The AI Revolution’ simultaneously terrified and inspired me, as an ASI would have abilities far beyond human comprehension, which could involve granting us immortality or wiping us out altogether. Despite the huge stakes, we continue to develop self-learning AI, as the possibilities of an all-powerful 'Friendly AI' are too intoxicating.

I consider myself a confident and dedicated person, which is shown by my 12 years in the Woodcraft Folk, where I progressed through, and now help with, the younger groups. I have also grown my love of public speaking during my active role in the climate movement, speaking at a rally at Tooting Broadway station before a Fridays for Future march, as well as creating a Climate Club at my sixth form and giving an assembly to the rest of the sixth form on climate change. Furthermore, while I study Maths, Further Maths and Physics at A-Level, I am in the process of completing a CREST award on how bioengineering could help solve the climate crisis. This has taught me to manage my time productively and balance my extra-curricular interests with academia.

This has also helped me develop my problem solving skills, which I believe to be especially relevant not just for the course, but in the modern age - I believe that any problem can be solved logically if viewed in the right way, showing the importance of understanding the connections between the sciences. I have thus been inspired by the work of Alexander von Humboldt, who applied the idea of the harmony of the universe to our environment, linking his knowledge of physics to the field of biogeography. Reading ‘The Invention of Nature’ by Andrea Wulf, I discovered that Humboldt saw nature as an ‘interconnected global force’, and that he sought to unify the scientific fields with his work, viewing the universe holistically rather than in terms of individual sciences. This, to me, is the best way to view the universe - as one entity, watching for the patterns that emerge and linking them to each other.

I genuinely believe that studying Natural Sciences in an intense academic environment, surrounded by other like-minded people, would allow me to thrive. I have always had a strong desire to learn more about the universe, and the best way to do so, in my view, is through studying the connections between the sciences. Studying Natural Sciences would give me the opportunity to continue to discover more about the universe, not just for the duration of the course but also by opening doors for my future, in order for me to continue to expand my understanding throughout my life.

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Author's Comments

This has (so far) got me three offers (Lancaster, Nottingham and Exeter) and an interview at Cambridge. Waiting on UCL and Cambridge as to a decision, will update when I have more info on those.

I know the AI stuff is a bit tangential, but I wanted to include it to show the kind of interconnectedness and application stuff. Hope this helps someone!

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