Michael West wins Arts vs Science writing competition

5 July 2010

Michael West, a current Physics Honours student completing his Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Engineering degrees, has won SydneyTalent's Opinion Editorial Competition. Entrants were asked to write their opinion on Arts vs Science in a newspaper style opinion editorial.

Michael West.
Michael West.

Championing science in his piece, Michael's central argument is that science is not only essential, practical and "one of humanity's greatest academic achievements", but that science, just like the arts, is inherently fascinating and relevant to people's lives: "Science takes the poetry of discovery and adds the prose of implementation."

The intelligently and beautifully written piece has won Michael a $500 voucher for the Campus IT store, plus the publication of his opinion editorial piece on the SydneyTalent website.

"The writing competition was advertised with posters and I decided to enter to have the chance to contribute to the discussion. I am a passionate believer in the ability of science and technology to deliver solutions to the significant global challenges that we'll face in the coming century," said Michael.

"I think it's vital that we have as many people studying science and innovation as possible, but also that people outside of science have an appreciation for its importance and social relevance - not to mention the beauty it has in its own right."

Michael is currently completing his Honours year in the School of Physics researching scientific literacy - the public understanding of scientific concepts and processes.

"I'm thrilled to have won, but more importantly it was fantastic to have the opportunity to share with other students why I think science is so vital to society. It's elegant and artistic, but also powers our economy and cures the sick, improving all of our lives every day; very few other fields can make that claim," explained Michael.

"Thanks to SydneyTalent for running the competition - sparking debate about the value of different degree paths is really worthwhile, especially when there are so many options available."

This is not the first writing competition Michael has won - earlier this year, he won a contest run by the Global21 Foundation, based at Yale University and having a chapter at the University of Sydney, which asked students to predict what life would be like in 2021. Michael wrote about the direct impacts of innovation, technology and global trends on our lives.

Michael is also currently in the process of establishing a national competition for student science writing to be launched in National Science Week in August 2010, sponsored by New Scientist.

The Arts winner of the SydneyTalent Opinion Editorial Competition was Joseph Ware, with runners up Philippa Melaniphy (Arts) and Prakash Ravindran (Science).

Read Michael West's winning essay at:

Read more about the Arts vs Science Opinion Editorial Competition at: