Academic Scholars: The Next Round of Seminars
Wednesday 3 March 2021
The next round of topics for our Academic Scholars’ seminar ‘carousel’ has been announced, and once again students will be exploring a fascinating array of subjects.
Academic Scholars are given two weeks to complete a number of reading and research tasks on their given topic.
In week three, they come together with a member of staff in year group bubbles to discuss what they have learned, and to bounce ideas off each other.
Finally, they are set a compulsory written or artefact task to complete, with prizes awarded to the best work.
The new topics are as follows:
- How does the golden ratio affect our lives and the natural world?
- When did the 20th Century begin?
- Does reading change your intelligence and does it matter what you read?
- Are truth and fact the same thing?
Here are the tasks set at the culmination of the last round of seminars.
- Design a message to send into space to alert nearby life forms to our existence. Decide what the message will contain, how it will help other life forms to find us, and how it will be sent. In each case, the explanation is more important than the fact, and you might like to use the Aricebo message, the Pioneer plaques and the Voyager discs as a starting point.
- Suppose that at some point in your lifetime, scientists develop what they call a full body ‘transporter’. This device can take an exact scan of your body (down to the last atom), including your brain, and perfectly recreate it anywhere else in the world, so that you instantly disappear in one place and appear in another, with an identical physical body and all your existing thoughts and memories. They offer you a free return trip to anywhere you want to go. Should you accept the offer? Would ‘you’ actually survive the journey if you did?
- ‘What is the point of poetry?’ Explain what you think the value of poetry is; make sure to consider any objections or counter arguments and try to find at least two poets or poems you can write about in supporting your opinion.
- How has our understanding of heroism changed over time? Answer with relation to ancient heroes and modern, fictional and real life.