Essay success for Perse student leads to prestigious scholarship
1 Aug 2020
Seth Fletcher (Upper Sixth) has earned a scholarship to St Andrews University after winning an illustrious science and theology essay competition.
He investigated the question ‘How might the science of addiction and habit formation inform the Christian belief that everyone is a sinner?’ for the competition, organised by St Andrews’ New Visions in Theological Anthropology programme, having already applied for a theology-related course at the prestigious university.
Seth chose the title as he had already done some reading around the neuroscience of addiction and habit formation for his Rouse Awards project on ‘How modern technology is fundamentally changing how we think through the formation of new and damaging habits or addictions’.
He said: “I found this question drew on some of those key themes, such as neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to undergo structural or physiological change). I was interested in exploring how this connected to deeper Christian claims about the human condition that humans exist in a state of slavery to sin from which they need to be redeemed.”
Seth was thrilled when he discovered he had won the competition with the prize of a £20,000 scholarship to St Andrews.
He said: “St Andrews was one of my top two university options. It has an excellent theology faculty which had been highly recommended to me by various academic family friends. I was also excited by the fact that I could continue to have a broader education in the Scottish system, continuing, for example, with history and English literature as well as philosophy, which I have enjoyed at The Perse.
“Winning the competition felt like it was an amazing confirmation that St Andrews was the right place to be and I was glad they had appreciated my essay because I had been quite forthright with my ideas. The prize is also certainly going to help make university more affordable!”