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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Murray Edwards College Franklin Society: Essay Competition

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    03 Feb
    Murray Edwards Franklin Society poster

    Franklin Society Essay Competition 2020

    Every year, Murray Edwards’ science society, the Franklin Society, hosts an essay competition for Sixth Form students (or equivalent). The competition aims to encourage students to explore scientific issues beyond those covered in the school curriculum and this year there are a range of current topics to choose from.

    To enter the competition, students should choose one of the following questions to answer:

    1. “I think in the next five years the most profound thing we’ll see in terms of CRISPR’s effects on people’s everyday lives will be in the agricultural sector.” - Jennifer Doudna (April 2019)
      Describe the mechanism of the CRISPR/cas9 genome editing system. How could it be used to revolutionise agriculture?
    2. Discuss the potential of new solar technologies, such as dye-sensitised solar cells and perovskite solar cells, in the move towards a renewable energy future.
    3. In December 2019 the first cases of a pneumonia-like disease caused by the Wuhan coronavirus were reported, and fears that the virus will be spread are prevalent.
      How do vaccines work to prevent viral infections? Could an effective vaccine be developed against the Wuhan coronavirus?
    4. What are the characteristics of a good scientist? Discuss with examples of women in science (historical and/or contemporary).

    The writers of the best essays will receive a prize: £50 for first place, £30 for second place and £20 for third place.

    If you would like to take part, send your essay (between 1,000 and 3,000 words) as a PDF to by 12 noon on 20 April 2020. Please include your full name and the name of your school/college with your submission.

    Take a look at the following documents for further information:

    Judging criteria and top tips

    Terms and conditions

    Good luck!