This year the Lower Sixth has produced a range of truly exceptional essays for the Heresy Project, even more spikily punchy and brilliantly iconoclastic than last year. They have joyfully shaken entrenched intellectual complacencies; and, to paraphrase Tom Sharpe, that great Lancing comic satirist, they have forcefully proved that ‘if a little knowledge (is) a dangerous thing, a lot (is) lethal!'
This year nearly thirty essays could have made the final shortlist; and there has been some truly outstanding writing: wise, well researched and wittily biting in argument, pushing the case for an extraordinary collection of heretical causes with knowing, forceful, feisty flair. Lancing’s long tradition of engaged, independent intellectual thought is alive and kicking, and dangerously so! There is no pedestrian dullardry here! The elderly have been disenfranchised, the French monarchy has been restored and π rejected! Olly H has even cast his impressively caustic heretical gaze towards Dr Kerney in his artfully constructed photograph: ‘Students are more intelligent than teachers’!
A grand jury in the Common Room of Dr Kerney, Dr Herbert, Mr Harman and Mrs Mole hammered out an agreement on the winners from the shortlist, and it was agreed that three entrants should be jointly awarded top prize. These three essays were defined not just by their formidably well researched analytical verve, but by the sophisticated flair with which they deconstructed their heretical targets: precisely the qualities of independent thought sought by the very best universities.
Lancing’s heretical triumvirate this year comprises:
Avery K for her essay: ‘Organ "Donation": Who matters more? The living or the dead?’
Lohith K for his essay: ‘The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill wasn’t a disaster after all…’
Nat O for his essay: ‘It is impossible to live authentically’
The shortlist also included:
Nicole BP: ‘Why we should disenfranchise the elderly’
Monica C: ‘Pi? No Tau!’
Olly H’s heretical photograph: ‘Students are more intelligent than teachers’
Poppy H: ‘Sappho presents a more nuanced and complex version of female sexuality than modern day feminism’
Cecily M: ‘De Regibus Anglorum: who was the first King of England?’
Yana M: ‘Assisted death: is the UK healthcare system missing the point?’
Dante P: ‘The restoration of the Orleans Dynasty will finally bring out political stability in France’
Aidan S: ‘To what extent are tempi used for classical music today historically accurate?’