May 2nd, 2021
We are now two weeks out from a further scaling back of British lockdown restrictions- an achievement that seemed implausible when restrictions were re-imposed at the beginning of this year. It is surprising how fast the time has gone by- Churchill College was quite lonely throughout the Easter Break but the campus has regained life as students return for the Easter Term. In many ways, an active college feels a bit alien, as it is something we haven’t experienced throughout the academic year. Nevertheless, I hope that this upcoming term will provide the opportunity to fully appreciate all that Churchill has to offer- a bit of respite as reward for our diligent work throughout multiple lockdowns.
During this upcoming term, I will see my coursework shift from taught classes to largely independent study. I’ve greatly enjoyed most of my lectures, learning topics ranging from statistics to political theory, but now I get the opportunity to dive in-depth with topics I’m passionate about.
Unfortunately, my work placement with the NHS was disrupted at the last minute but luckily the MPP program was more than prepared to set me up with a new organization which fit my interests- the Centre for the Future of Democracy. In this placement, I’ve been helping to study the impact of COVID-19 on democratic satisfaction, drawing upon literature which describes the impact of previous disasters on public opinion. Getting the chance to study COVID’s potential impact on the future of global democracy has certainly been a unique opportunity and one which I am excited to build upon further!
Outside of my work placement, I am set to begin my independent research project, which will focus on the study of genetic editing technology being used to target LGBTQ+ individuals. In particular, I will be evaluating policy measures which might be able to minimize the risk of this technology being misused in dangerous or irresponsible ways- a daunting challenge which represents the cutting edge of global public health policy.
Although the upcoming term is set to be quite busy, I look forward to the opportunity to further my independent studies and perhaps witness a return to (partial) post-COVID normalcy.