On Monday 12 October, three boys from St Paul’s – alongside two girls from St Paul’s Girls School – presented in the Samuel Pepys Theatre on a topic they had independently chosen, and investigated over the summer.
These presentations marked the end of the High Master’s Prize competition at St Paul’s, capping off a season of activities and events that celebrate the best of Pauline scholarship.
The boys are invited to take part on a purely voluntary basis, and prizes are awarded to those who display both excellence in their discipline, and significant independent research. The essence of the Prize is not the awards to a few, however, but the chance for all who take part to exhibit the scholarship, determination and individuality, prized by universities, that should be a hallmark of Pauline intellectual life. We were delighted, therefore, that this year, 99 boys – a record – submitted such pieces to be considered for the prize.
The High Master’s Prize – and its previous incarnation, the Summer Essay – has now been running for four years, and with so many boys choosing to participate this year it continues to go from strength to strength. Scholarship is at the heart of a Pauline education, and the High Master’s Prize provides a vehicle for boys to roam far and wide in their academic interests, unconstrained by the sometimes narrow side-constraints of exam syllabus. The Symposia sessions revealed the striking and deeply impressive intellectual agility and sincerity of all participants.
Of these varied entries, four were chosen as winners of the High Master’s Prize, and four further boys were highly commended. Our winners included Michael Sackur on third-wave feminist literature, Darius Zarrabian on the evolutionary roots of DNA, Harveer Mahajan on the efficient market hypothesis, and Imran Mannan on the origins of human life in America.
Read their essays below:
Harveer Mahajan, If Markets Are Efficient, Why Do Crises Occur?
Imran Mannan, Who were the First Americans?
Michael Sackur, Feminist (Re)Writings: “Fun Home”, “Stories We Tell” and the Politics of Narrative
Darius Zarrabian, The RNA World and its Role in the Emergence of Replicators