On Wednesday 8th January LVIth 60 scholars and staff enjoyed a formal dinner at Waterloo Hall as the conclusion of the inaugural Klaus Dodds Prize for Academic Extension. Last term scholars had carried out independent research into a topic of their own interest related to their future degree course and submitted a report. At the dinner, short-listed students presented a short summary of the findings before Prof Klaus Dodds (Benson OW 1982-87 and professor of Geopolitics at Royal Holloway) presented the prize and discussed their research – as well as his own.

Winner Elisya Faizal’s paper on ‘Does regularly brushing your teeth reduce the risk of heart disease?’ was commended in particular for how it had analysed a wide range of academic research, a technique Prof Dodds had employed in his own work on assessing consequences of climate change in the Arctic for a House of Lords sub-committee. Other short-listed papers included ‘How far did the creation of oil paint in tubes catalyse Modernism in Art?’ by Maddy Power and ‘To what extent would China’s Belt and Road Initiative Promote Global Economic Equality’ by Zoey Chen.

Congratulations not only to the shortlisted students but to all the LVIth Scholars who engaged in thought-provoking conversations over dinner and conducted themselves with maturity.