May / June / July 2022 Blog
This last week Mr Collins and I have delivered an assembly to all Houses celebrating the successes of the last year, as well as focussing on the developments lined up for next year, and we felt it would be a good idea to share these successes and developments to a broader audience.
We started by celebrating the relative normality of the year, in the sense that we had no year group bubbles, no one way system, hot food for all in the canteen again and the library reopened. On top of this we could end social distancing, return to the House system, and run events and trips. It has been on many levels - joyous! So much pleasure in returning to some of the simple but enjoyable aspects of College life that we never thought we would miss, but in fact we did… so much! Sports Day is a great example of this. To have all Houses back out on the field whooping, cheering, and dancing their way through the day was so much fun and after at least 18 years a well-deserved Romsey victory.
Over the year the value of having the House system back up and running and being able to encourage students to get involved has resulted in a steep increase in the number of House Points awarded. In 2021-22 we have awarded 53,116 House Points, compared to 20, 991 in 2018-19 (the last full year of comparable of data). This clearly indicates a significant improvement with student participation in House activities and students demonstrating the values of the Cornerstones Code. The fact that 74% of students in the College took part in a House event this year, compared to 55% in 2018-19 also supports this conclusion.
Likewise, the ethos of OPEN MIND is gaining traction as we have seen the number of commendations for academic work increase to 125,345 in 2021-22 from 88,704 in 2018-19; a 29% increase! This means an average 2400 commendations are awarded every week and 550 House Points. It is no surprise then that 77% of students in the College have got at least a Bronze certificate, with 37% gaining Silver and 15% gaining Gold. 39 students gained their Platinum Award and were seen by Mr Collins and I to be congratulated and presented with their Platinum Badge and the 14 Governor Award winners received their accolade at the Headteachers Rewards evening two weeks ago. These students have all gained these certificates against a much tougher criteria this year than any previous year!
Through OPEN MIND we have also seen a significant uptake in the number of students completing challenges on the Challenge Award. No fewer than 120 challenges have been completed compared to 75 the year before - a 38% increase! These challenge awards have been designed to encourage the love of learning through curiosity, and the intellectual outcomes have been stunning. I have attached 3 of the most recent challenges completed to this blog. Please do take a minute to read them and admire the quality, depth of thought and research that has gone into them.
As we have seen an improvement in engagement and participation, we have also seen an improvement in behaviour for learning. Over the course of the academic year, we have seen a 44% reduction in on calls to lessons, with a 32% reduction of students completing a sanction in the Student Inclusion Unit. Similarly, our number of suspensions has reduced by 67% and we are now in the lowest 10 schools in Hampshire out of 69 secondary schools for the number of suspensions. In Year 7 and 8, 91% of students have an average attitude to learning grade between exemplary and good. This is a 5% increase on last year. We are also incredibly proud of the way our Year 11 students committed to and engaged with their GCSE exams. We had exemplary behaviour and attendance throughout, and as staff we know that the students tried their very hardest and really, we cannot ask for more than that. We now look forward to Friday 15th July and the Prom where we have more students attending than ever before.
All of this has been achieved through the constant reiteration of the 3 strands of the College ethos, and it lays fantastic foundations for the growth of our College and its success over coming years. We are proud that our reputation is growing, and we remain significantly oversubscribed for new Year 7 students joining us. Coming out of the two years of disruption, uncertainty and at times fear, this is a great place for us to be.
As we look to the future and our next academic year, we have outlined to the students that there will be significant focus on two key areas: attendance and independent learning.
The pandemic has given us the boost we needed to get ‘itslearning’ up and running to its potential. We are now in an advanced position with this system, and it affords us the tremendous ongoing opportunity to facilitate learning even when the students are not in the classroom. The purpose for this is clear. Students have a lot of knowledge to retain whilst they go through secondary education. There is a need to train students in good lifelong learning habits such as constant retrieval practice which enables a brain to move key knowledge from the short-term working memory to the long-term memory. Much of our independent work for Years 9 through to 11 will be focussed on retrieval tasks all planned out on week-by-week revision plans, and resources, stored in ‘itslearning’.
We have reiterated to students the importance of attending Study Club to help ensure the personal practice of learning independently and this starts in Year 7 as we wish to build best practice from the start. To help the new Year 11’s understand how seriously we take this, we have made it clear that they need to attend Study Club 30 times over their next 37 weeks to be able to attend the Prom.
Our second focus on attendance is imperative. Our Education Secretary of State, (that being two Secretaries of States ago) Nadhim Zahawi, made attendance to schools an absolute priority. Due to the pandemic, attendance nationwide has really dropped. This year under relatively normal circumstances the national average attendance for secondary schools is 90.1%. We managed to stay just above this on 90.9% which is good, but ultimately still way too low. We know that for students to achieve their potential during their secondary education their attendance needs to be at 95% plus so this needs to be a real priority for every student next year.
So, 2021- 22 has been a good year; a really good year. We have set about the process of recovery with passion and commitment and the students are rising to the challenge of learning and participating, better than ever before. My pride as Headteacher of Crookhorn College continues to grow!
- Mrs Sarah Bennett
History Challenge: Who’s coming to dinner?
By Jamelia Allesh-West
- Queen Elizabeth I
- Sir Winston Churchill
- Joan of Arc
- William Duke of Normandy
- Tomas de Torquemada
I have had to do a lot of research into the dinner guests, to hopefully seat them in the right seat to avoid bloodshed.
I firstly seated Mahatma Gandhi. The two main people I felt I could not sit Gandhi next to at the table were, Sir Winston Churchill and Tomas de Torquemada.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi born 2nd October 1869 and was assassinated 30 January 1948, New Delhi, India. Gandhi was an Indian lawyer he was trained in law at the Inner Temple London and called to the bar at the age of 22 in June 1891. He was not just a lawyer but an anti-colonial nationalist and political ethicist, who believed in non-violent resistance. When he was forty-five, he returned to India and set about organising peasants, farmers and urban labourers to protest excessive land tax and discrimination, assuming leadership of the Indian Congress in 1921. Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women’s rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability and achieving self-rule, Independence from British rule.
It’s because of the Independence of British rule that I felt I could not sit Gandhi next to Sir Winston Churchill, as they had different views on the matter. Churchill felt the British had done good for India for example the railway lines they laid, the postal service they set up, were as Gandhi felt what the British did was done to suit the British not the Indians. At the time Churchill was angered by the Labour government’s decision to grant India Dominion status, he argued and knew from that it would lead to full Independence. Churchill stated that Gandhi-ism and everything it stands for will have to be grappled with and crushed. Churchill considered “a seditious middle temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir”. Gandhi and Churchill only ever met once in person.
The reason I didn’t think it was a good idea to sit Tomas de Torquemada next to Gandhi, is because Gandhi was a peaceful demonstrator and believed in non-violent demonstrations and was happy for people to follow their own religion and what they believed in, were as Tomas de Torquemada forced people to follow the catholic faith, he’s name has become synonymous with cruelty, religious intolerance and fanaticism. They are two very different characters and Tomas goes against everything Gandhi stood for.
Next to Gandhi I sat Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. Sometimes called the virgin queen as she never married. Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor, she was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth was imprisoned for a year on suspicion of supporting protestant rebels, this was when her half-sister was queen. This was one reason I sat her next to Gandhi because she supported what she believed in too. When her half-sister died, she took to the throne and became queen, as queen one of her first actions was the establishment of an English protestant church, which she became the supreme governor of. This Elizabethan religious settlement was to evolve into the church of England. Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor in an era when government was ramshackle and limited. After the short reigns of her half siblings, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity. She was eventually succeeded by her first cousin twice removed, James VI of Scotland, she had earlier been responsible for the imprisonment and execution of James’s mother Mary Queen of Scots.
The reason I sat Queen Elizabeth I next to Sir Winston Churchill was England’s defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, associated Elizabeth with one of the greatest military victories in English history. This made me think of Churchill and how he rallied the British people and led the country from the brink of defeat to victory. They both had a love and respect for England and the positions they held. I thought their conversations at the table would be very interesting
Next to Queen Elizabeth I sat Sir Winston Churchill.
Sir Winston Churchill born 30 November 1874 Blenheim, and died 24 January 1965, Kensington, London, honoured with a state funeral by Elizabeth II our present queen. He was a British political leader who served as Prime Minister of England from 1940 to 1945 during the Second World War and again from 1951 to 1955, he was best known for his wartime leadership as Prime Minister. He became Prime Minster at the most challenging time, France had already fallen against Nazi Germany, but he decided to still push forward, it was a heroic decision not just for Britain but for the world too, it was the most major decision in British history, he brought the nation together, it showed his courage and his powerful personality. He was also a Sandhurst educated soldier, a Noble Prize-winning writer and historian, a prolific painter and one of the longest serving politicians in British history.
I knew he could not sit next to Gandhi for reasons I have explained and there is a question that Churchill had an intense dislike of Indians in general and a pathological suspicion of one Indian which was Gandhi. I was wary to sit him next to William Duke of Normandy and Tomas de Torquemada, William invaded Britain and the battle of Hastings, he was the first Norman monarch of England. William would force the English to speak French and he would confiscate English land and declare it his personal property and then give it to his own people. I’m not sure what Churchill would have thought about him. Tomas de Torquemada had a dislike for Jews and would force them to convert to the Catholic faith or he would kill them, I felt this would be a reminder to Churchill of Hitler and how he treated the Jews, the absolute terrible treatment Hitler put the Jews through.
Across the table from Sir Winston Churchill, I sat Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc nicknamed “The Maid of Orleans” is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years War and canonized as a saint. Joan said that she received visions of the archangel Michael, Saint Margaret and Saint Catherine of Alexandria, instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from the English domination late in the Hundred Years War. Joan was also sent to the siege of Orleans as part of a relief army, she gained prominence after the siege was lifted only nine days later. On 23 May 1430, she was captured at Complegne by the Burgundian faction, a group of French nobles allied with the English. She was later handed over to the English and put on trial by the pro English bishop Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges, after Cauchon declared Joan guilty she was burned on the stake on 30 May 1431 at the age of about 19. In 1456 Pope Callixtus III examined the trail and found her innocent and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc is one of the nine secondary patron Saints of France.
I felt I could not sit Joan of Arc next to Queen Elizabeth I or Sir Winston Churchill as it was the British that killed her. I thought I could sit either Tomas de Torquemada or William Duke of Normandy next to her. Joan is Catholic and so is Tomas and he is Spanish, William is Catholic and French too, so I opted to sit William next to her. I think Joan of Arc would have liked what he stood for as he invaded England and even getting the English to speak some French. I hope I made the right decision.
Next to Joan of Arc I sat William Duke of Normandy
William Duke of Normandy (William the Conqueror) the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. He was a descendant of Rollo and was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onwards. His hold was secure on Normandy by 1060, following a long struggle to establish his throne and launched the Norman conquest of England six years later. The rest of his life was marked by struggles to consolidate his hold over England and his continental lands, and difficulties with his oldest son Robert Curthose. In 1050 he married Matilda Flanders, and this provided him with a powerful ally in the neighbouring county of Flanders, William was then able to arrange the appointment of his supporters as bishops and abbots in the Norman church. His consolidation of power allowed him to expand control of Maine in 1062, another neighbouring county. In the 1050’s and 1060’s William became a contender for the throne of England, also another contender was Harold Godwinson. William built a large fleet and invaded England in September 1066. William killed Harold at the Battle of Hastings on the 14 October 1066, he was then crowned king on Christmas Day 1066 in London. When is hold was secure on England by 1075, William spent most of his time in continental Europe. In 1086 he ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book. He did not try to integrate his domains into one but kept them separate.
I am not sure what the other guests would have thought about him especially Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Winston Churchill and what he would think about them. I sat him next to Joan of Arc as I thought maybe they would have things in common, they are both French and maybe share religious views.
Next to William Duke of Normandy I sat Tomas de Torquemada
Tomas de Torquemada was born 14 October 1420, Castile, Spain. He died 16 September 1498, Avila, Spain. He was a Castilian Dominican friar and first Grand Inquisitor in Spain’s movement to homogenise religious practices, with those of the Catholic church in the late 15th century, known as the Spanish Inquisition.
At the time the Spanish Monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella felt everyone should be Catholics, but Spain’s Jewish population, which was among the largest in Europe, soon became the target. Jews would need to convert, and some Jews converted but still practised their own religion in secret. The Monarchs thought superficial converts from Judaism were a threat to the religious and social life of Spain. Torquemada was one of the chief supporters of the Alhambra Decree that expelled the Jews from Spain in 1492. He used torture to extract confessions and advocacy of burning at the stake for those deemed guilty. The sentencing of the accused was an elaborate public expression of the Inquisition’s power, his methods were the product of a time when Judicial procedure was cruel by design. Tomas de Torquemada’s name became synonymous with the brutality and fanaticism associated with the Inquisition. The number of burnings at the stake during Torquemada’s tenure was exaggerated by Protestant critics of the Inquisition, but it is estimated to have been about 2,000.
It has been very hard to know where to sit Tomas because he was a cruel and ruthless man. I did not want to sit him next to Joan of Arc as Tomas burnt people at the stake and Joan of Arc herself was burnt at the stake, not by him but in the same way. I did not want to sit him next to Queen Elizabeth I because of him being a strong believer in the Catholic faith and Queen Elizabeth established an English Protestant church and is known for going against her Roman Catholic half sister Mary. I have already explained why I did not sit him next to Sir Winston Churchill and Gandhi. I have sat him next to William Duke of Normandy, I hope I made the right decision.
I enjoyed doing this challenge it took a lot of research and thinking about, sometimes it was tricky to know where to sit the guests, I hope I have sat them all in the right places and have avoided bloodshed at the table.
Politics Challenge: England’s political parties
By Phoebe Fielder
A political party is several people who have grouped to form an organisation to promote their shared ideas and achieve their aims in the government. Each political party has different ideas on how the country should be run, so in every election, the campaign to get the most votes and achieve the majority in the House of Commons is so that the party’s leader can become the prime minister. This is so that they can pass new laws, repeal (revoke) or edit old laws, this is to change the country into what they believe will be the ideal society.
How does each party promote itself?
There are several ways that a party can promote themselves, they need to do this to share their ideas and increase public interest in their party.
One of the ways that a political party can promote and share their ideas is through writing a manifesto, people mostly hear about manifestos through talking about the communist manifesto, as it is the most well-known, but every political party has a manifesto containing information about the party, their ideas, and their aims. All the ideas of a party are taken down in their manifesto so that all the information about the party is in one place and a person can find out about all the policies a party intends to implement by just reading the manifesto. A manifesto typically includes the ideas, opinions, and views, as well as a plan of action if they are elected to be prime minister.
The political parties also promote themselves through campaigning, this is when parties use leaflets, posters, adverts, and other forms of media to persuade the public to vote for them, and they get the funding to do this by using party members and supporters’ membership fees, subscriptions, and donations. This is done all year round but is most noticeable leading up to elections as this is when people are considering who to vote for. Newspapers play a big part in this because they usually choose to support and promote one of the bigger political parties, they will publish more positive stories about their chosen party than any other.
How many political parties are there?
In 2019 there were a total of 408 registered political parties, all having separate beliefs about how the country should be run, some of the parties may be considered similar, but none are the same, they all have slightly different ideas, however, some of the similar parties’ merge to make themselves bigger and increase the numbers of supporters.
The largest political parties in England include the conservative party, a right-wing party with ideas including economic liberalism (personal liberty, private property, limited government interference), the labour party, a left-wing party with socialist ideas (social justice and equality), the liberal democrats, a centre/left-centre party with ideas promoting civil liberties and a less centralized economy, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a right-wing party believing in conservatism and Euroscepticism, the green party, a left-wing party, believing heavily in environmentalism, and the Scottish national party, left/centre-wing party, which mostly campaigns for Scotland’s independence from the UK.
The conservative party
The conservative party is one of the largest parties in the UK, and is currently the party in power, with its leader, Boris Johnson, as Prime Minister. The conservative party currently has 365 seats out of 650 seats in the House of Commons, this is 56.15% of seats, giving them the majority.
Who leads the party?
As previously stated, Boris Johnson is the current leader of the conservative party and has been the leader of the conservative since the 23rd of July 2019, and he has been the prime minister since the 24th of July 2019. Before this, from 2016 to 2018, he was the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and from 2008 to 2016, he was the Mayor of London, he has an extensive amount of experience working in politics, which is one of the reasons why he selected by the collective conservative party to become the leader and the prime minister.
Another important figure in a political party is the chairman, the current chairmen of the conservative party are Ben Elliot and Oliver Dowden. The role of the chairman of a political party is to recruit and retain members and to organize activities of the party, as well as fundraising and internal party governance.
When did the party originate?
The conservative party was founded by Robert Peel in 1834, making it 188 years old, it was founded out of the older tory party, made in 1678. Throughout history the Conservative party has always campaigned for free enterprise, private ownership, and traditional social values, the party has also joined with other parties that had similar views. Such in 1886, the Liberal party split on whether they believed that Ireland should be given independence, those opposing it joined the conservatives, and the majority of conservatives today oppose Scotland being given independence as they wanted and still want to keep the UK as one nation.
What are the key ideas of the Conservative party?
Typically, conservatives hold the beliefs that Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland should remain a part of the UK, this is because they are usually nationalist and wish to keep the countries united as they have been during recent history. Conservatives also think that marriage should be encouraged through the tax system, this would mean that taxpayers earning under £44,000 where one partner doesn't use their full personal allowance would be given a tax break, while the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats are generally against this. As well as this, conservatives think that free markets and education should create an opportunity society because people are given the chance more freedom to do as they wish (economically), and having better education enables people to access more jobs that have higher pay.
Conservatives think that every child should be given a good education so that they have the best chance at a good future as they have good qualifications that can get them into higher education or a well-paying job that go allows them to contribute to society and the economy. It is also a common conservative idea that reforms to welfare and vocational skills are central to tackling social injustice because the current systems are not functioning to the standard that is possible. The welfare state should be there for people who are ill and people who are in need, and people who can find employment and careers should be supported to do so, if unemployed people are given the support to find jobs, the number of unemployed will gradually decrease.
Conservatives think that a person's pension should be tied to their average working earnings, this is because this would offer people who had worked harder in higher-paying jobs a higher pension, which would have been earned through the challenging work done previously. They also think that there should be less immigration to the UK, they think that people who have immigrated take advantage of the UK’s social welfare systems, such as the free education and the NHS. They also think that the UK should keep nuclear weapons to ensure national security, and the monarchy should be preserved to conserve tradition.
Who likes and benefits from the conservative part?
The conservative party benefits and is supported by a lot of the public, particularly the working, middle, and upper classes, this sounds like the majority of people, but it does not include the lower class, the unemployed, and people who are sick or disabled, or immigrants.
The conservatives benefit the working, middle, and upper classes because there are lower income taxes, and said income is usually higher, this is because the economy is benefitting from other tax cuts, reduced government spending and debt, and free markets and trade. So, people and businesses can make more money more easily, however, these benefits only affect the higher classes, the lower class can struggle with the conservative policies.
The lower classes may depend on things such as welfare because low-income families may not have enough money to support themselves, conservatives are generally against giving welfare to those who do not need it (they think people who are disabled or severely ill should have welfare). So, families who are not well off would struggle without enough money, as well as this, conservatives are against having immigrants in the UK. Due to this, under a conservative government, immigration would be stricter and more difficult, especially for those who come from poorer countries, as they would not be able to support themselves when they do get into the UK.
The Labour Party
The Labour Party is another of the largest political parties in the world, and one of the conservative’s biggest competitors. The Labour Party currently has 430,000 registered members, and they currently have 202 elected seats, so they have just 163 seats less than the conservatives and have 31% of the seats in the House of Commons.
Who leads the party?
The Labour Party is currently led by Sir Keir Starmer, he has been the leader of the Labour Party since the 4th of April 2020 to succeed Jeremy Corbyn. Starmer also has a long list of experience working in parament, which includes spending 9 months as the Shadow Minister of Immigration and 3 years as the Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union in Corbyn's shadow cabinet. As the Labour Party are not the majority in the House of Commons, they are acting as the opposition, this means that Starmer is currently the leader of the opposition, and he chairs the shadow cabinet.
The chairman of the Labour Party is Anneliese Dodds, the chairman of a political party is responsible for the administration of the party, overseeing general election campaigns, and is usually held concurrently with another position.
When did this party originate?
The labour was founded in 1906 as a successor of the Labour representative party by Keir Hardie, the party was dedicated to socialist ideas. The Labour Party won its first election in 1945 having Clement Attlee as its leader and the prime minister. The Labour Party has campaigned for socialist ideas, and Clement Attlee, along with all of the Labour Party had a large part in setting up the welfare state, which improved the health, education, employment, and social security of the UK.
What are the key ideas of the labour party?
One of the political beliefs of the Labour Party is that the railways in England should be brought back into public ownership, this is because train fares often rise above the rate of inflation and decision about the railways are often made in the interest of profit rather than in the interest of the public and nationalising the railways would put an end to this. Another labour belief is that the government should be investing more money into expanding and upgrading public transport, this is because it can help both the local, and the national economy, and it would help with social/public mobility, as well as this, using public transport is better for the environment than everyone using their car.
The tax on billion and multi-million-pound earning businesses and companies should be increased because they are earning extremely high amounts of money, and a lot of the money is not spent, it stays in company accounts, and if it was taxed more and put back into the economy, then the entirety of the public of England would benefit from the improvements that the government would be able to make with it. The Labour Party also believes that the tax on the top 5% earners should be increased, this is also because they earn an excess of money that the government could use to improve the quality of public places and transport to make the lives of the public that use them nicer. In addition to this, the Labour Party also believes that the government should do more to stop tax avoidance because it reduces the number of public services that the government can supply, and this can lead to negative effects on the economy.
The Labour Party thinks that trade unions should be supported, the Labour Party was founded by trade unions as they believed that workers should represent themselves in government, and trade unions can benefit the people by allowing them to negotiate pay, working conditions, and health and safety. The Labour Party also thinks workers’ rights should be supported, this is so that they are treated with the deserved respect and equality so that they know they are valued, and so they do not get taken advantage of in the workplace through things such as too-low-pay. The minimum wage should also be increased because, in some places, it is not a liveable wage when considering rent, food, bills, taxes, and other expenses, especially in large cities such as London.
The Labour Party thinks that the government should place limits on how much landlords can charge their tenants for rent, this is because many landlords overcharge for small and damaged flats or houses, some tenants have no other option but to stay and overpay for low-quality housing, this would protect these people. They support the welfare state, it was their party that put the welfare state into England to protect the rights of citizens by ensuring equality in healthcare and education for the public. The Labour Party oppose austerity, these are actions the government take to reduce government budget deficits, they do this by increasing tax, which can make it difficult for low-income houses to afford everything that they require, and by spending less, on thing such as public transport systems, this would have negative effects on local economies and the environment, as when less public transport is used, people find individual means to get to reach their destinations, like taking separate cars, which cause more pollution.
Who likes and benefits from the Labour Party?
The Labour Party benefits and is supported by some of the middle, the working, and the lower classes, as well as the unemployed, the disabled and the homeless, this is because it provides several resources and systems that can give people a way to improve their current and future lives.
The middle, working and lower-class benefits because the Labour Party stands for working and union rights, and they are against austerity, so they are against the government raising tax and spending less to minimise debt, as this would mean the public would have to pay the government more than they already do, which many people consider to be too much. The unemployed, disabled, homeless, and the general public all benefit from the welfare state, this is because it provides people with free healthcare and education, as well as improving employment and social security, and creates greater levels of equality, welfare can also provide people with cash and housing benefits if they are not able to earn enough for themselves.
Some people are against the Labour Party, these are mostly large businesses and the top 5%, this is because the Labour Party intends to increase tax on these, and to do more for tax avoidance.
The Liberal Democrats
The liberal democrats are another large political group, with a membership of 98,247, they have 18/650 seats in the House of Commons, 105/793 seats in the House of Lords, 16/73 seats British seats in the European government, 5/129 in the Scottish parliament, and 1/60 in the Welsh assembly.
Who leads the liberal democrats?
Edward Davey is the current leader of the liberal democrats, in 2019 he first ran for the liberal democrat leadership, but he lost to Joanne Swinson, he later became the deputy leader, but when Swinson lost her seat, he became acting leader, until the 27th of August 2020, when he was elected to be the leader of the liberal democrats. Before this, he had been the MP for Kingston, and then the Secretary of State for energy and climate change.
The president of the liberal democrats is Mark Pack, he has been the president since the 1st of January 2020, and the role of the president of a political group is similar to the role of the chair of a party, this is being responsible for party administration and overseeing the campaign headquarters.
When did this party originate?
This party was formed more recently than the others previously talked about, it was officially made on the 2nd of March 1988, it was made from joining the liberals, who had been a powerful party in the 19th and 20th century, and the social democrats, who had formed in 1981 from the Labour Party. The first leader of the liberal democrats was Jeremy Ashdown, he led the party from July 1988 – to August 1999.
What are the key ideas of the liberal democrat party?
The liberal democrats have supported the EU, this is because of several reasons, one of them is that without the EU, England cannot negotiate trade with other EU countries, and trade deals with other countries may not have results as beneficial for the country as they would be in the EU. They support environmentalism and believe that there should be more renewable energy and cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, this is because non-renewable resources, such as oil, gas, and coal, are running out, and releasing gasses, the country is overly dependent on the power that they supply, when they do run out the country would struggle to find adequate power resources, so they should create renewable energy stations, such as wind turbines, to take the place of non-renewables before they run out.
Liberal Democrats also think that England should not be involved in the Iraq war, this is because it has and will continue to result in the deaths of hundreds of Iraqi civilians, and it will damage the peace and stability built in the region and has had effects over the entire world.
They think that the House of Commons should be elected using proportional representation, this means that if a particular party won 40% of votes, they would receive 40% of seats in the commons. They also think that there should be elections held for the House of Lords, this is because the House of Lords have more power than the House of Commons and can have an extreme influence on the process of the creation of laws in England, if the public were able to vote on who they wanted to represent them and their ideas, then the public would have slightly more power over what goes on in the country.
Who likes the liberal democrats?
The liberal democrats are primarily followed by the people who share their opinions, such as people who are against the war in Iraq, and environmentalists, who are against the use of non0renewable energy and want there to be more environmentally friendly alternatives to get power in the UK, especially on places like the coast, where there are frequent storms and strong wind, which could be used for wind, tidal, and wave energy production.
United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)
The United Kingdom Independence party is large but is smaller compared to parties such as the conservative party, with only 20,000 registered members. UKIP currently has only 1/650 seats in the House of Commons, this is not because they have few votes, in the 2015 general election, UKIP received 3.8 million votes.
Who leads the United Kingdom Independence Party?
The United Kingdom Independence Party is led by Neil Hamilton, he has led the party since 2020, he is a former barrister, former teacher, and he was the Conservative MP for Tatton from 1983-1997, then he became the UKIP MS (member of the Senedd). He became the acting leader of UKIP on the 12th of September 2020 until the 18th of October 2021, when he was elected the leader of UKIP.
The chair of UKIP is Ben Walker, he has been the chairman of UKIP since 2020, and he is a former county councillor, local authority vice-chair and town mayor. His role in UKIP is to control the party’s permanent organisation, and has general control over UKIPs strategy, particularly during campaigns.
When did this party originate?
UKIP was formed in 1991 by Alen Sked, the party was originally the Anti-Federalist League, which was a Eurosceptic party, on the 3rd of September 1993, it was renamed the United Kingdom Independence Party. The party first won seats in the European government in 1999, they won three at the time, and in 2004 they had won a total of twelve seats, thirteen in 2009, and they currently have nine seats
What are the key ideas of UKIP?
UKIP has always been Eurosceptical, so they wanted to leave the EU, this has already happened, and they want this because they want the UK to have more control over immigration to the country, this means that people from other EU countries can no longer just come to England to work or live, they now have to apply for a visa, and UKIP has said that they want England to be able to curb immigration.
UKIP also believes in economic liberalism, which means that there should be less government intervention in the economy, so UKIP opposes public ownership and the regulation of the industries, and they want the government to support a market economy, and private ownership.
UKIP don’t think that British citizens should have to carry ID, they think this because they do not think that British people should have to prove who they are to officials as it is not “the British way of doing things”. They think that there should be more referendums (voting/proposing laws on something that may change the government or the constitution of a country) on certain issues, this would give the public more control over what goes on in government, but, in the UK, referendums are only advisory (the result is only to help the government make the final decision), not mandatory (the government must do what the result says), because parliament was elected to make the final decisions for the country.
Who likes and benefits from UKIP?
UKIP benefits people sharing their beliefs, such as Eurosceptics, because the party supported Brexit and the independence of the UK, they may think this because they think that the EU allows high levels of immigration, or because it allows England to trade more freely with non-EU markets.
UKIP is also supported by some national conservatives, this is because they promote traditional cultural values, family values, as well as opposing immigration, which some people believe negatively impacts the national identity of a country.
The Green Party of England and Wales
The green party is another large party with a total of 53,000 registered members, at this time they only have 1/573 seats in the House of Commons, 2/767 seats in the House of Lords, and 3/25 in the London assembly. They may have lower numbers of seats, but this is not because of a lack of votes, in 2019 the green party received 850,000 votes.
Who leads the green party?
Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsey co-lead the green party at this time, Denyer has been a Bristol city councillor since 2015, and she had a lead role in Bristol city councils’ declaration for a climate emergency in 2018, Ramsey was a Norwich city councillor before he because the deputy leader of the green party from 2008 until 2012. Before then, the green party was co-led by Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry, they were elected in 2018 after winning 6,279 of 8,329 votes, Bartley has previously co-led the green party with Caroline Lucas, who is the only current MP of the green party in the House of Commons.
The deputy leader of the green party is Amelia Womack, she has been the deputy leader since 2014, the role of the deputy leader of a political party is to help with party management and they are the second in command, they also temporarily take the place of the leader if the elected leader is unable to perform their duties.
When did the party originate?
The green party was first formed in February 1972 as the People Party, by four people, Michael Benfield, Freda Sanders, Tony Whittaker, and Lesley Whittaker, in 1975 they renamed the party the Ecology Party, they renamed it again in 1985 as the Green Party, the Scottish branch of the party because independent in 1989, and the Irish followed soon after. In the 1989 European Parliament elections, the Green Party got 15% of the votes (2.3 million votes), this was the third-largest share of the vote, but they failed to gain a seat due to the first-past the-post voting system in place.
What are the key ideas of the green party?
The green party promotes environmentalism, and like the liberal democrats, they support the idea that England should transfer completely to renewable power resources before the damage done to the environment by non-renewable resources becomes too much to fix, and before oil, coal, and natural gas run out and England’s power supply becomes unstable. They also agree with the liberal democrats that proportional representation should be used for British elections, they think this for several reasons, including because proportional representation would give minority parties and independent candidates a better chance of winning seats in Parliament, and fewer votes are wasted than in the first-past-the-post system.
The green party stands for animal rights, meaning that they are against factory farming and prefer small, free-range farms because they think that animals deserve the highest levels of welfare in their lives, they want to ban caged rearing of poultry, and prohibit all mutilations such as beak trimming of poultry and tail docking of pigs. They stand for LGBT+ rights and want to ban conversion therapy as it is extremely harmful, they want to end the spousal veto which makes Trans people have to seek permission from their spouse for their legal gender recognition, and they want to ensure hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity or disability are treated equally to those based on race and faith.
The green party supports progressive social reform, meaning that they want to address problems caused by industrialisation, urbanization, immigration, and political corruption, this would benefit ordinary people. They support drug reforms, meaning that they want to create a system where drugs are legally and safely regulated, this would lower the amount of the harm associated with drug use and with its production and supply.
The green party wants to implement a UBI (a Universal Basic Income), this is a programme where all citizens of the country regularly receive an amount of money from the government, this money would have no conditions and would help to support thousands of people across the country, especially those in low-income households.
Who likes and benefits from the green party?
The green party benefits a lot of people, this would include the homeless, unemployed, LGBT, and environmentalists. The homeless and unemployed would be able to provide for themselves more easily with UBI and would have fewer struggles with support from the government. LGBT people would benefit from the green party’s LGBT rights policies, and environmentalists would like the changes to the sources of power and energy that the government would put in place as they would be less damaging to the environment and would cut down greenhouse gas emissions.
The Scottish National Party (SNP)
The Scottish National party is a very popular Scottish party and has 45 out of the 59 Scottish seats in the House of Commons, as well as having 62 out of 129 seats in the Scottish parliament, and they have over 119,000 registered members.
Who leads the party?
The party leader is Nicola Sturgeon, in 2004 she became the Deputy Leader of the Scottish National Party, she then became the MSP (Member of Scottish parliament) for Glasgow Govan, and she assumed office and became First Minister of Scotland on the 20th of November 2014.
The leader of the Scottish national party in the House of Commons is Ian Blackford, he has had this role since the 14th of June 2017 and has been an MP since 2015, before this he worked as an investment banker and was from 1999 to 2000, he was the national treasurer of the Scottish national party.
When did this party originate?
The party was formed in 1934 through the merge of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, its first leader was Sir Alexander MacEwen. The first Scottish national party MP was Robert McIntyre, he got into parliament in a by-election (a special election held in-between general elections) for Motherwell in 1945, but he lost the seat at the general election of that year, only 1 seat was won at the 1970 general election, but this changed when the party won 7 seats in the February 1974 general election.
What are the key ideas of the Scottish National party?
One of the things that SNP stand for is Scottish independence, they want Scotland to become an independent country again, they want this because independence would mean that Scotland has democratic control over the political affairs of the nation, Scotland would also be able to implement nuclear disarmament as they would have control over the defence and foreign policy. Independence would also mean that Scotland could utilise and exploit its national resources for economic purposes, like the North Sea oil and gas, as well as this, Scotland would be able to re-join the EU. This is another key idea of the SNP, they are pro-EU and in the 2016 EU referendum, 62% of Scottish votes were to remain.
Populism is promoted by the Scottish National party; populism is a political movement where populists try to make a difference between common people and ‘elites’, the common people don’t have some of the privileges that the elites do, and populists want to help the common people get some of the rights and privileges that the elites have.
SNP wants social democracy, which is a government system where the government helps people whose jobs don’t pay a lot, while still supporting a competitive economy and allowing people to have a say in government actions.
Who likes and benefits from the Scottish National party?
The Scottish national party benefits people who want to be in the EU because of reasons such as the freedom for EU citizens to live, study or work anywhere in the EU, and the single market enables most goods, services, money, and people to move freely in the majority of Europe, and most of the countries make this easier by using the Euro. People who have lower-paying jobs would also benefit from the support given by the government if a social democracy were put in place.
Science Challenge Award: Top five scientists
By Phoebe Fielder
I have chosen my top five scientists based on their accomplishments, the importance of their discoveries, and how their work is still used today. There are and have been thousands of scientists throughout history, each having individual and important works, I have chosen the top five based on who benefited the world the most, this could be any means, including through the development of medical science, the development of important chemical weaponry, or just the understanding of the universe and world as it is.
To justify each of my decisions I will be evaluating each scientist and creating a small profile on who they were, what they did, how they did it, why they did it and their influences, what their work led to and why that is important, and how their work still affects us today.
5. Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Pavlov was a Russian scientist who won a Nobel Prize in 1904 for his work in the physiology of digestion.
Pavlov began his career in religion, following in the footsteps of his father (a priest). However, he was motivated to abandon his religious career and devote his life to research by Russian literary critic D.I.Pisarev and Russian physiologist I.M.Sechenov. He began his studies in natural science by enrolling in the physics and mathematics faculty.
He became passionate about physiology (the biological science of understanding the mechanisms of living things) and he won a medal for his first learned treatise (written work), which he made in collaboration with another student, Afanasyev, on the pancreatic nerves. In 1875 he received his degree in the natural sciences, he then decided to continue his studies in physiology at the academy of medical surgery, after completing this course he won a fellowship at the academy and was able to continue his research.
In 1890 he was invited to organise and direct the Department of Physiology and he was appointed Professor of Pharmacology at the military medical academy, then the chair of physiology.
Pavlov did the majority of his work in the physiology of digestion at the institute of experimental medicine between 1891 and 1900. His research on the physiology of digestion in dogs led him to his research on the conditioned reflex, which is the reason I selected him as one of the most significant scientists.
What did he do and how did he do it?
Pavlov’s major work was in psychology, even though he was not a psychologist, he was a physiologist. His work was on classical conditioning, this is when two stimuli can be linked together to create a learned response.
He accidentally discovered the concept when he was researching dogs and the physiology of salivation in response to being fed. He had fitted devices in the dog’s mouths to measure when the dogs started salivating, and how much was produced.
However, he noticed that the dogs did not begin salivating when the food was put in front of them, they began salivating when they heard Pavlov’s assistant’s footsteps, as he brought them their food.
He realised that this was because they had a trained psychological response. Before this, the conditioned reflex was considered an elementary psychological phenomenon. Sechenov (another Russian physiologist, and one of Pavlov’s inspirations), had previously theorised reflex mechanisms of psychic activity, his work involved stimulating the brain in frogs to cause inhibition of spinal reflexes.
Pavlov experimentally proved Sechenov’s theory by clicking a metronome before each feeding, after continuing this for some time, Pavlov found that the dogs would salivate on command when hearing the metronome. This proved that a reflex mechanism could be trained in an animal.
What did his discovery lead to? Why is that important? How does it affect us today?
Why is he one of the most important scientists?
Pavlov’s theory was later trialled to see if it worked in humans by Watson and Rayner in the ‘Little Albert’ experiment. This experiment showed that classical conditioning could be used to instil behaviours in humans, by learning phobias (irrational fears).
They did this by presenting Little Albert with a white rat, when he showed no fear towards it, they, again, presented him with the white rat, but this time they also presented it with a loud bang. This frightened him and caused him to cry.
After continuously presenting the white rat with the loud bang, Little Albert was classically conditioned to fear the white rat, even with no sound, this led him to also experience fear when presented with other similar stimuli, which included a fur coat, some cotton wool, and a Father Christmas mask.
This proved that Pavlov’s work on classical conditioning was also effective in humans. Although the Little Albert experiment was never reversed, leaving Little Albert traumatised with a fear of rats and similar stimuli. It benefitted psychological research because it showed humans can have a trained response to a set stimulus.
This research is used today in aversion therapy and systematic desensitisation to help people overcome phobias. Classical conditioning is also used as a form of treatment in behaviour modification, to treat the things like substance abuse and help people quit smoking and drinking.
This benefits us today because it gives multiple large groups of people in society help, this includes people with addictions, who can be helped with behaviour modification therapies using classical conditioning. This is an effective method of treatment because unintentional classical conditioning is often the cause of addiction, by creating positive associations with highs and negative associations with withdrawals. Creating the opposite of this, positive associations with being sober, and negative associations with being high/drunk, people can quit.
And classical conditioning can help people who have irrational phobias, such as Agoraphobia, which is the fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult. This makes some people unable to leave their own homes as they feel like they are in danger, Classical conditioning helps people unlearn these behaviours so that they can have a higher quality of life.
4. Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin was an English geologist and biologist who did the majority of his studies on natural history.
His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, had believed in and written about the general concepts of evolution in his book ‘Zoonomia’, which he had shared with Darwin. However, the ideas in his book that had related to evolution were undeveloped concepts, which Charles Darwin would later expand on in his most famous studies on the theory of evolution.
Darwin had had an interest in natural history throughout early childhood but ended up becoming an apprentice doctor. He later went to the University of Edinburgh Medical School, which was the best medical school in the UK. However, he found the lectures dull and the surgeries distressing, so neglected his studies, he learned taxidermy which fuelled his interest in the natural world.
In his second year of university, he joined the Plinian Society, a club interested in natural history, where he had debates challenging the orthodox religious concepts of science.
He assisted Robert Edmond Grant's investigations about the anatomy and life cycle of some marine invertebrates, and on 27 March 1827, he presented at the Plinian his discovery that black spores found in oyster shells were the eggs of a skate leech. Grant commended Lamarck's evolutionary ideas, which was unusual at the time because many people were deeply religious, and Darwin was taken aback by Grant's boldness, but he had read similar ideas in his grandfather Erasmus' diaries.
Darwin's neglect of medical studies annoyed his father, who sent him to Christ's College, Cambridge, to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree. Darwin became a close friend and follower of botany professor John Stevens Henslow. He also met other prominent parson-naturalists who considered scientific research as a form of theological natural theology.
Darwin devoted himself to his studies and liked William Paley's Evidence of Christianity for its language and logic. Darwin scored well in his final examination, finishing tenth out of 178 candidates for the ordinary degree in January 1831.
Darwin was compelled to remain in Cambridge until June of 1831. Paley's "Natural Theology or Evidence of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity," which argued for divine design in nature by explaining adaptation as God acting via natural laws, was one of the books he studied.
He admired the scientists and men he met studying the natural sciences, and he had the desire to contribute.
What did he do and how did he do it?
From 1831 to 1836, he was a member of the HMS Beagle survey expedition, which made stops in South America, Australia, and the southern tip of Africa. Darwin had the opportunity to observe and categorise the indigenous plants and animals at each of the expedition's sites.
Darwin began to notice remarkable patterns in organism distribution and characteristics. An example of this is that he discovered that neighbouring islands in the Galápagos had finch species that were similar but not identical.
He also mentioned that each finch species was well-suited to its environment and function. Huge, thick beaks were found in species that ate large seeds, while narrow, sharp beaks were found in species that ate insects. Finally, he noted that the finches found on the Galápagos Islands were comparable to species found on Ecuador's mainland but different from those found elsewhere in the world.
On his journey, Darwin didn't figure out everything. It wasn't until he showed his specimens to a professional ornithologist (bird biologist) years later that he realised that the finches were a related but unique species.
This pattern, Darwin hypothesised, would make sense if the Galápagos Islands had been colonised by birds from the mainland long ago. Finches on each island may have gradually adapted to local conditions (over many generations and long periods). On each island, this process might have resulted in the emergence of one or more unique species.
Darwin claimed that species can evolve, that new species emerge from existing species, and that all species have a common ancestor. Each species has its own set of genetic distinctions from its common ancestor, which have developed over lengthy periods. Branching events, in which new species split off from a common ancestor, resulting in a multi-level "tree" that connects all living organisms.
He called this idea “descent with modification”, but it is now known as evolution. Darwin also proposed a mechanism for evolution: natural selection. He came to this conclusion based on several observations:
- Traits are frequently inherited. Many qualities are inherited or passed down from parent to offspring in living beings.
- There are more offspring than can live. Organisms can produce more offspring than their surroundings can sustain. As a result, each generation competes for limited resources.
- Heritable qualities in offspring differ. Each generation's offspring will differ slightly in terms of qualities (colour, size, shape, and so on), and many of these characteristics will be heritable.
Based on this, Darwin concluded that some organisms in a group will inherit features that help them survive and reproduce. Because the features make them more effective at living and reproducing, individuals with advantageous traits will have more offspring in the next generation than their peers. And creatures with the beneficial qualities have more offspring, they will become more common in the next generation. Over generations, the population will become adapted to its environment.
What did his discovery lead to? Why is that important? How does it affect us today?
Why is he one of the most important scientists?
Understanding evolution aids us in resolving biological issues that affect our daily lives. In the world of medicine, there are numerous examples of this. Researchers must grasp the evolutionary processes of disease-causing organisms to keep one step ahead of harmful diseases. Researchers examine the evolutionary histories of disease-causing genes to regulate hereditary disorders in humans. Evolutionary knowledge can improve the quality of human life in several ways.
The theory of evolution can be used to understand the reasoning and origin of numerous physical and mental health problems.
An example of this is anxiety disorders and phobias. Anxiety was required in ancient times for humans to flee from a predator. Our neural systems have a built-in "fight or flight" response. In those with panic disorder, it is triggered at the incorrect time. It would, however, be useful if a predator approached. In modern civilizations, agoraphobia, or the fear of open spaces and the tendency to keep close to home or escape at the first sign of danger, is considered a phobia, yet it is the best response if predator assaults have been frequent.
His discoveries were also significant because he made the first fully formed and justified theory of how different species came to be. Before him, there were few other theories, including Lamarck, who believed that an organism would evolve what it needed, such as a giraffe, beginning with a short neck, would need to reach up high to get food during its lifetime, so its offspring would be born with a slightly longer neck, to make getting food easier. This theory was wrong because evolution is based on genetics and genetics aren’t changed by acquired traits.
3. Marie Curie
Marie Curie was a Polish physicist, famous for her work in radiation.
She was born in Warsaw Poland as Maria Skłodowska, her family had lost their land and money as a result of their patriotic participation in Polish national uprisings aimed at reclaiming Poland's freedom from the Russian empire. As a result, the next generation, including Maria and her older siblings, was doomed to struggle to make a living.
Her father, Wadysaw Skodowski, was a math and physics teacher as well as the director of two Warsaw gymnasia (boys' secondary schools). He transported much of the school laboratory equipment home and taught his children how to use it after Russian authorities removed laboratory education from Polish schools. His Russian bosses eventually fired him for his pro-Polish views, and he was forced to pursue lower-paying jobs.
Maria began her education at J. Sikorska's boarding school; after that, she attended a gymnasium for girls, where she received a gold medal on June 12, 1883. She spent the following year in the countryside with her father's relatives, and the following year in Warsaw with her father, where she tutored. She and her sister Bronisawa became associated with the clandestine Flying University, a Polish patriotic institution of higher learning that welcomed women students because she was unable to enrol in a conventional institution of higher education due to her gender.
Maria agreed to provide financial aid to her sister, Bronisawa, during Bronisawa's medical studies in Paris in exchange for similar assistance two years later. Maria became a governess as a result of this: first as a home tutor in Warsaw, and then for two years in Szczuki with a landed family, the Żorawskis, who were relatives of her father.
Bronisawa invited Maria to join them in Paris at the beginning of 1890. Maria declined since she could not afford university fees and would have to wait a year and a half to save enough money. Her father stepped in to assist her, and he was able to arrange a more profitable position for her. She continued her education by reading books, writing letters, and tutoring herself. She returned to her father in 1889. She worked as a governess until 1891.
She tutored and studied at the Flying University, and her practical scientific training began at a chemical laboratory in the Krakowskie Przedmiecie Museum of Industry and Agriculture, near Warsaw's Old Town.
She left Poland for France in late 1891. Maria (or Marie, as she was known in France) stayed with her sister and brother-in-law for a short time before renting a garret in the Latin Quarter closer to the university and continuing her studies in physics, chemistry, and mathematics at the University of Paris.
She received her physics degree in 1893 and went to work for Gabriel Lippmann in an industrial laboratory. In the meantime, she resumed her studies at the University of Paris, where she received a second degree in 1894 thanks to a fellowship.
Skłodowska had begun her scientific career in Paris with an investigation of the magnetic properties of various steels, commissioned by the Society for the Encouragement of National Industry.
She met Pierre Curie, an instructor at The City of Paris Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution, through Józef Wierusz-Kowalski, who had discovered that she was looking for a larger laboratory facility, which Wierusz-Kowalski believed Pierre could obtain. Even though Curie did not have a huge laboratory, he was able to locate some room for Skodowska to start working.
She later returned to Warsaw, but she was denied a place at Kraków University because of sexism in academia, and she could not continue her work in Poland. She returned to France to continue her studies.
What did she do and how did she do it?
Marie and Pierre Curie were inspired to research radioactivity after Henri Becquerel discovered it in 1896. She discovered that an ore containing uranium was significantly more radioactive than its uranium content could explain. This led to the discovery of a new element 400 times more radioactive than uranium by her and her husband. It was designated polonium after Curie's native country when it was added to the Periodic Table in 1898.
Then Curie discovered radium, which is an even more radioactive material, and made a major discovery by observing it: Radiation was not dependent on the molecular organisation of atoms; something was going on inside the atom itself. The atom was not inert, indivisible, or even solid, as physicists assumed at the time.
For her research on “radiation phenomena,” Curie became, in 1903, the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize. She won another Nobel Prize, this time in chemistry, in 1911 for the isolation of radium. She was and still is the only individual to win Nobel Prizes in two different fields of science. Curie was already well-known around the world at the time, and she was the director of the newly founded Radium Institute's Curie Laboratory.
Curie believed that scientific research was beneficial to the general population and advocated for it. She and her husband had discovered that radium killed cancer cells more quickly than healthy ones, implying that radiation may be used to cure tumours.
Curie advocated the use of X-rays, which had been invented by W.C. Röntgen, during World War I, and she developed radiological automobiles (later known as "Petites Curies") to allow battlefield doctors to X-ray wounded soldiers and operate more precisely.
The Curies were unaware of the dangers of the radioactive elements they worked with. When Pierre Curie purposefully exposed his arm to radium, he developed a lesion. They were also extracting radium salts from tonnes of pitchblende ore in a poorly ventilated shed for years.
Both Curies suffered from radiation sickness, and Marie Curie's death from aplastic anaemia in 1934, at the age of 66, was most likely caused by her exposure to radiation.
What did her discovery lead to? Why is that important? How does it affect us today?
Why is she one of the most important scientists?
Curie’s work in the discovery of polonium and radium led to the discoveries and inventions that created radiation therapy as a form of cancer treatment, and x-rays so that doctors could better help the injured and ill. This has helped many people, not just the people in the world wars, when they were invented, but also thousands of people since who have suffered injuries that require x-rays, and people with tumours.
As well as the contributions to medical science, Curie’s work on radium was crucial in the construction of the atomic bomb in the future, although Marie curie did not directly work on the atomic bomb.
It did not only benefit the public and people with injuries/illness because the discovery and isolation of radium were regarded by chemists as the most significant event in chemistry since the discovery of oxygen. The discovery that an element might be transmuted into another element for the first time in history revolutionised chemistry and marked the beginning of a new epoch in science.
2. Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist with several significant works including microbial fermentation, and pasteurization, but I think that he is one of the most significant scientists because he created some of the first few vaccines after Edward Jenner discovered immunisation to viruses was possible.
Louis Pasteur was born in Dole, France, on December 27, 1822. Pasteur's father was a tanner, and his family was poor, but they were anxious to give their son an excellent education. He was admitted to the local secondary school at the age of nine, where he was known as an ordinary student with artistic talent.
Pasteur went to Paris to pursue his schooling when he was 16, but he returned home after getting homesick. He enrolled in the Royal College of Besançon and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He stayed to study mathematics, but his final exams were a failure. He relocated to Dijon to complete his Bachelor of Science degree. He applied to the Ecole Normale in Paris in 1842, but he did not pass the entrance exam. He reapplied and was accepted in the fall of 1844 when he worked as a graduate assistant to Antoine Ballard, a chemist who was one of the first to discover bromine
His work on Crystallography:
- Louis became interested in the physical geometry of crystals while working with Ballard. He began by combining two acids. The chemical composition of tartaric acid and paratartaric acid was the same, but the crystals looked different when seen under a microscope. Louis discovered that when the two chemicals are mixed, they rotate polarized light in opposite directions.
- Louis then painstakingly separated crystals of the two acids using his microscope and a dissecting needle. He observed that two crystal varieties were mirror reflections of one another. The chirality of chemical substances was first demonstrated in this way. In 1847, he received a double doctorate in physics and chemistry for his thesis on this. He was awarded a position at the University of Strasbourg in 1848, and it was there that he met and married Marie Laurent. They had five children, three of whom died of typhus, which impacted Pasteur's interest in infectious diseases later on.
His work on Fermentation and pasteurization:
Pasteurisation is the partial sterilization of a product, such as milk or wine, to make it safe for consumption and improve its keeping quality.
- Pasteur began exploring fermentation while in Strasbourg. His contributions to the brewing and winemaking sectors resulted in several advancements. Louis acquired a position at the University of Lille in 1854 when he was tasked by a local businessman with determining why some of the fine vinegar casks created from beet juice were spoiled. Pasteur used a microscope to analyse both the good and the spoiled vinegar. He was aware that the yeast responsible for the fermentation of the beet juice was a living thing. Casks that produced good vinegar had healthy yeast, whereas those that produced spoiled vinegar had microscopic rods that harmed the yeast.
- These minuscule "microbes," according to Pasteur, were also live organisms that could be killed by boiling the liquid. Unfortunately, this would also alter the vinegar's flavour. He discovered that infectious bacteria might be eliminated by boiling vinegar to 50-60 degrees Celsius and then quickly cooling it. Today the process is known as pasteurization.
His work on spontaneous generation:
Spontaneous generation is the alleged creation of live organisms from non-living substances, as evidenced by the development of life in supposedly sterile situations.
- Many scientists believed that microbial life evolved only from the air in the 1860s. Pasteur was not convinced that air was to blame. Microbes adhering to dust particles, he argued, multiplied when they dropped out of the air into a medium suitable for reproduction. Louis Pasteur set out to prove that microorganisms could only develop from parent microbes in 1859, the same year that Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" was published.
- Pasteur moved jars containing sterile solutions of nutrient broth to several different places to demonstrate that dust in the air may carry microbial contamination. He'd then open the containers for a few seconds, exposing them to the air. He demonstrated that vessels exposed to high concentrations of dust particles at low altitudes became polluted with significantly more microorganisms than those exposed to purer air at higher altitudes.
- When critics continued to argue that spontaneous generation was caused by the air, Pasteur found a simple and elegant solution. He had special "swan-necked" glass jars made for him. These glass’s tops were bent in an S-shaped curve, allowing air circulation but trapping dust. Nutrient broth never demonstrated microbial growth when placed in the glasses, indicating that spontaneous generation is not possible.
His work on the silkworm crisis:
When the disease hit the silk industry in 1865, it was known as the silkworm crisis. This presented a threat to an entire region's economy in France, and the disease spread to other silk-producing countries such as Italy, Austria, and Asia.
- Pasteur was appointed to lead a group charged with investigating the disease that afflicted silkworms. He noticed globules on the bodies of adult moths and infected worms using his microscope. When mature moths with globules reproduced, he determined that they made sick eggs. He told the silk producers to keep all adults with globules separated and only breed healthy individuals. Unfortunately, these "healthy" moths produced hundreds of sick eggs the next spring. Pasteur received a lot of criticism over the next two years before figuring out what the cause was.
- Moths with globules were infected with one illness, but the silkworms were killed by two diseases. Although the globules were caused by one sort of microorganism, Pasteur discovered a previously unknown ailment. He also discovered that factors like temperature, humidity, and sanitation influenced susceptibility to both diseases. This work aided in the development of epidemiology (the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states and occurrences in defined populations) as a science.
What did he do and how did he do it?
Pasteur was positive he had isolated the pathogen that causes chicken cholera in the spring of 1879. Chickens inoculated with a solution containing the probable pathogen all developed the sickness, according to tests. Pasteur left his lab for a vacation in Paris, leaving instructions for his students to inoculate particular birds at specified times.
While he was away, a batch of cholera pathogen was left to dry out by accident. Students were shocked to learn that poultry exposed to the tainted bacteria did not become ill. They proceeded to inoculate the hens with a new batch of cholera pathogen when Pasteur returned. Pasteur found that chickens that had been administered the "useless" pathogen exhibited no signs of infection a few days later. Pasteur's observation led him to the realisation that a pathogen's intensity or harmfulness can be purposefully manipulated.
Pasteur shifted his focus to the rabies problem in 1882. Rabies is transferred through contact with an infected victim's bodily fluids, particularly saliva. A rabid animal bite is extremely harmful and often lethal. Pasteur examined rabid animals' saliva and tissues. He was unable to identify the bacteria that was causing the illness. Today, we know that rabies is produced by a virus that is too small to be seen with Pasteur's microscopes.
For his tests, Pasteur required a consistent source of infectious material. He got the material by having a rabid dog restrained by several persons. He then forced the animal's mouth open so that he could collect the saliva in a bottle. Unfortunately, injecting infected animals' saliva into test animals did not consistently result in rabies. Pasteur discovered through dissection and experiments, that the "causative agent" had to be concentrated in the victim's spinal cord and brain to cause the sickness.
Pasteur was certain that vaccination with a weakened strain of the disease, followed by increasingly vigorous treatments, would aid in the development of immunity. His assistant solved the challenge of weakening the unseen "causative agent" by inventing a unique bottle for drying infected tissue. The longer the infectious material was dried, the less probable it was to develop rabies when injected, according to Pasteur.
Pasteur perfected an immunisation strategy that effectively protected animals from getting rabies over time. After a 12-day course of increasingly strong rabies injections, rabies extract was administered directly into the brains of the dogs. To Pasteur's delight, all of the dogs were rabies-free.
Pasteur was naturally apprehensive about putting his cure to the test on humans. He only had experimental data to prove that drying inhibited the causative agent because he couldn't see the microbe that caused the sickness.
An urgency drove Pasteur to act on July 6, 1885. Joseph Meister, nine years old, had been bitten by a rabid dog several times. The situation was dire; the boy would almost certainly contract rabies and die horrifically unless Pasteur could properly treat him. Pasteur hesitantly consented to perform the procedure. Despite his reservations, Pasteur's immunizations were effective, and Joseph Meister recovered completely.
What did his discovery lead to? Why is that important? How does it affect us today?
Why is he one of the most important scientists?
He had a large impact on the medical sciences, this is because his studies popularised germ theory, and he introduced the idea that all infectious diseases could be prevented with vaccinations, which are still used today.
Pasteur saw that old bacterial cultures had lost their harmfulness and toxicity. The idea of employing a weaker form of the disease to offer protection was not new, but Pasteur was the first to apply it to the laboratory, influencing all virologists who came after him.
His contributions to science include not only showing that microorganisms cause disease and producing vaccines from weakened, or attenuated, bacteria, but also the spontaneous generation and pasteurisation.
His work that disproved the spontaneous generation of germs in the air was important because it benefitted and progressed scientists understanding of germ theory. This improved people's understanding of germs and how they worked, and as a result, doctors were and are better equipped to treat patients with viral and bacterial infections because they understand the pathogens that caused them.
Pasteurisation, which he pioneered, is still used in many businesses today to prevent fermentation and rotting in beer, milk, and other products. Pasteurization is frequently used instead of chemical treatments because some people believe pasteurised food is safer than chemically treated food.
1. Alexander Fleming
Sir Alexander Fleming was a Scottish physician and microbiologist who is most known for developing penicillin, the world's first widely effective antibiotic.
Alexander Fleming was born on August 6, 1881, in Lochfield, near Darvel, Ayrshire, Scotland. He attended Louden Moor School, Darvel School, and Kilmarnock Academy before moving to London to attend the Polytechnic. He worked in a shipping office for four years before enrolling in St. Mary's Medical School at London University, funded by a scholarship and a legacy from his uncle.
There he won the 1908 gold medal as a top medical student at the University of London. In 1906, he graduated with honours and he had intended to become a surgeon, but a temporary post in the Inoculation Department's laboratories at St. Mary's Hospital convinced him that bacteriology was his future. He began research at St. Mary's Hospital with the vaccine pioneer Sir Almroth Wright.
Fleming served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War I and worked as a bacteriologist studying wound infections in a laboratory set up by Wright in a military hospital housed in a casino in Boulogne, France. He showed there that using strong antiseptics on wounds did more harm than good, and that wounds should merely be maintained clean with a simple saline solution.
Fleming discovered lysozyme, a mild antibacterial enzyme found in bodily fluids such as saliva and tears, in November 1921. That was the start of his significant breakthroughs. It started when he had a cold and a drop of mucus from his nose landed on a bacterium culture plate. He added his mucus into the culture after realising that it would affect bacterial growth, and a few weeks later found signs of the germs being dissolved.
Fleming's research on lysozyme, which he regarded as his best achievement as a scientist, contributed significantly to our understanding of how the body fights infection. Unfortunately, lysozyme had little effect on the pathogens that were the most harmful.
What did he do and how did he do it?
Fleming realised that a culture plate of Staphylococcus aureus he was working on had become contaminated by a fungus on September 3, 1928, shortly after his appointment as professor of bacteriology. The bacteria's growth had been hindered by a mould later identified as Penicillium notatum (now classed as P. chrysogenum).
He dubbed the material "mould juice" at first, then "penicillin" after the mould that created it. Fleming chose to investigate further because he believed he had discovered an enzyme that was more powerful than lysozyme. It was an antibiotic, not an enzyme, and it was one of the first to be found. By the time Fleming had established that he was interested in penicillin for itself.
With the help of two young researchers, Fleming was unable to stabilise and purify penicillin. He did, however, mention that if penicillin could be separated and refined, it could be used as a topical antiseptic and an injectable antibiotic.
What did his discovery lead to? Why is that important? How does it affect us today?
Why is he one of the most important scientists?
Even though Fleming ceased researching penicillin in 1931, his work was continued and completed by Howard Flory and Ernst Chain, University of Oxford academics who are credited with developing penicillin for use as a treatment in mice.
Florey and Chain were inspired by Alexander Fleming's research and began researching mould’s antibacterial characteristics in 1938. Chain started by purifying and concentrating penicillin "juice" through a time-consuming and labour-intensive process of freeze-drying the product repeatedly. Another researcher, Norman Heatley, improved on this slow and rather inefficient procedure by altering the acidity, or pH, of penicillin.
Florey's team successfully healed diseased mice with penicillin on May 25, 1940, much to their delight. Heatley oversaw the trials and recorded in his diary, “After supper with some friends, I returned to the lab and met the professor to give a final dose of penicillin to two of the mice. The 'controls' were looking very sick, but the two treated mice seemed very well. I stayed at the lab until 3:45 am, by which time all four control animals were dead.”
Florey and Chain's report on the mice trials piqued the scientific and military organisations' curiosity. In Europe, World War II was well underway, and the ability to combat disease and infection may determine success or loss. Florey and Heatley travelled to the United States in July 1941 to continue their study and seek assistance from the American pharmaceutical industry because British facilities were producing other drugs essential for the war effort in Europe. Merck, E. R. Squibb & Sons, Charles Pfizer & Co., and Lederle Laboratories were persuaded to assist in the manufacturing of penicillin.
Penicillin was used to treat the first human bacterial infection, demonstrating to scientists the drug's critical relevance in saving lives. However, that single treatment depleted the entire supply of penicillin in the United States. Following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, scientists and military planners realised that producing the vast amounts of penicillin required to win the war would require a collaborative effort. In preparation for the D-Day invasion of Normandy, 21 American corporations teamed up to produce 2.3 million doses of penicillin. Penicillin was rapidly dubbed the "miracle drug" of the war, treating infectious diseases and saving millions of lives.
During World War II, penicillin helped to minimise the number of deaths and amputations among troops. During the first five months of 1943, just 400 million units of penicillin were accessible, according to data; by the conclusion of WWII, American companies were producing 650 billion units every month.
This discovery was important because penicillin became the world's most effective life-saving medicine, curing syphilis, gonorrhoea, TB, gangrene, pneumonia, diphtheria, and scarlet fever, among other ailments. Since its first use as a treatment in 1942, penicillin is thought to have saved at least 200 million.