At the end of the Advent Term we were delighted to announce the winners of the popular Heresy Project for the academic year 2019-2020. Taking place in the Lower Sixth, the Project requires pupils to write an extended essay – they can choose whichever subject they wish as long as they are able to ‘challenge orthodox thinking by being intellectually heretical’. This is but one example of the myriad ways in which Lancing offers opportunities to Sixth Form pupils to extend themselves beyond the confines of the A Level curriculum.
Dr Damian Kerney, Head of Sixth Form Enrichment, writes:
'This term the Lower Sixth has produced an exceptional range of essays for the Heresy Project, as forceful, irreverent and witty as ever, even giving last year’s outstanding heretical work a run for its money. Comfortable intellectual orthodoxies have been mercilessly assailed; and, such was the quality of writing, nearly twenty more essays could have made the final short list. There has been some formidable writing: driven in intent, rigorously researched and sharply acerbic in argument, pushing the case for an extraordinary collection of heretical causes with magnificent flair, intelligence and gusto! Lancing’s long tradition of vigorous, independent intellectual thought is dangerously alive, and ready to take on all comers! Reality’s existence has been questioned, jealousy has been proclaimed a virtue and even the benefits of transhumanism have been advocated! Olesia G has also unpacked the historical resonances of the Maydan protests in Ukraine in a beautiful heretical investigation of the nature of photography itself. After much debate, a grand jury in the Common Room of Dr Kerney, Dr Herbert, Mr Harman and Mrs Mole has finally managed to agree on the winners from the shortlist; and it has been decided that three entrants should be jointly awarded top prize. These three essays were marked out by the force of their well researched analytical punch, and by the sheer panache with which they unpicked their heretical targets: precisely the qualities of top flight independent thought demanded by the very best universities.'
Lancing’s heretical triumvirate this year comprises:
- William P for his essay: 'To what extent does reality exist?'
- Will S for his essay: 'Jealousy is a virtue'
- Talia W for her essay: 'To what extent could CRISPR Cas-9 genetic modification negatively impact humans?'
The shortlisted pupils were:
- Emily B, 'To what extent should social media be regulated by the state?'
- Hannah G, 'Parents should not be allowed to have donor babies.'
- Olesia G, 'Maydan'
- Christina L, 'Is free will just a lie we tell ourselves?'
- Amélie R, 'Greta Thunberg: Hero or Terrorist?'
- Luci S, 'Is Base-10 counting system the best to use?'
- Dmitry T, 'Is being human not enough? A glimpse into the benefits of transhumanism'
- Yuan Y, 'Contemporary capitalism is unsustainable: How Marxist philosophy suggests capitalism’s demise is inevitable'