This year all lower
sixth students undertook the BSIP programme. The Bedford School Independent
Project is a body of work encompassing various forms of academic extension and
the best students were selected to compete for the inaugural BSIP Presentation
Prize. The overall quality of the presentations heard on Wednesday evening was
judged to be excellent and the adjudicators commented on the ambition and range
of the work, the level of engagement shown with the research process, the
confident manner in which the material was delivered, and in overall terms the
tremendous degree of intellectual curiosity, analytical focus and critical
reflection shown.

Opening the Arts & Humanities
session, Jim Cooper used musical
excerpts to guide us through Mahler’s First Symphony, analysing Mahler’s
intentions and placing the work in a fascinating historical context. Robert Salvesen spoke on portrayals of
Satan in literature, structuring his presentation around an eclectic assortment
of literary quotations in pursuing an ambitious and controversial thesis, and Frank Kupshik was a pleasure to listen
to on the Judaeo-Spanish language, delving into a detailed textual analysis of
his chosen topic. Of all the candidates, Alex
Stammers
perhaps best reflected upon the nature of the research process. Quantitative
Easing was made accessible and Alex was Highly Commended but the final
candidate to speak, James Smith, was
declared group winner for his original analysis of Marx. The range of his
reading was most impressive and the confidence with which he spoke, first about
Marxist theory and the dialectic, then in some detail on the extent to which
Marxian analysis applied to a number of revolutions and historical events, was
really a defining quality. Competition was equally fierce in the Science
group. Ben Anstis opened with a
well-structured account of the history, applications and importance of stem
cell research. Charlie Clarke
impressed the adjudicators with his confident approach to the topic of sports
supplements and was the only candidate to leave the security of the A21
lectern, addressing his audience directly. Adam
Johnston
followed with his study of nutrition and its impact on athletes. A
topic with huge contemporary relevance, Adam dispelled many diet myths and was
Highly Commended. The Science winner was Jesse
Billington
, who displayed an excellent command of recent developments in
veterinary medicine and presented his findings in a clear and organised manner.
A combined audience listened again to the winning presentations and the
adjudication panel considered the criteria for the award: research; critical
analysis; communication. The inaugural winner was declared to be James Smith for his presentation on Karl Marx and the Class System. Many thanks
to all the boys who took part for their hard work, and to the staff
adjudication panel.

 

BSIP Presentation
Prize 2015: Summary of Results

Overall Winner: James Smith

Overall Runner-up: Jesse Billington

Highly Commended: Adam Johnston

Highly Commended: Alex Stammers

 

M Graham

June 2015

 

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