Category: 2015

2015, Business Plan

Glyphosate Misuse in Argentina

NICK BAKER, ALEXANDRA VAN NISPEN, CLAIRE SUH, JOLIE HUYNH, + CONOR ROSS

The team proposes the implementation of a Pesticide Field School (PFS) in Argentina to promote best practices for the use of glyphosate, a key pesticide that yields significant benefits if used correctly, but can result in serious health consequences if improperly handled. In order to prevent Argentina from banning use of the chemical completely, the team suggests that a carefully constructed education program can mitigate the risks of glyphosate use.

2015, Literary + Creative

Do Androids Play With Electric Toys?

ZACHARY BUSCH

Zachary’s ten-minute, single-scene dramatic play follows the story of Adam, a fully sentient android built for sexual gratification. After accidentally killing his owner, he is free to discover himself. In an effort to persuade the world that he is human in his own way, he takes his message to television. The play serves as a medium through which Zachary discusses the responsibilities that we as a society must bear for intelligent technology.

2015, Literary + Creative

True Names: The Vices of Knowledge and The Virtues of Ignorance

RADHIKA SAHAI

Radhika employs the fantastical science fiction concept of discovering one’s “true name” to draw parallels to the real-world experience of undergoing personal genome sequencing. Radhika recounts the compelling story of a fictional character weighing the decision to uncover their true name, subtly highlighting the many personal qualms and ethical questions that arise in the context of genome sequencing.

2015, Literary + Creative

Michael’s Small Collection of Poetry on Bioethics

MICHAEL POORTEN

Michael uses poetry to expose the nuances of complex bioethical issues, exploring the patient-physician relationship, global responses to epidemics, and organ donation. Michael’s poems are inspired by the Friday Bioethics Speaker Series at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, which brings practitioners and experts in bioethics to the Bioethics Research Library most Fridays of the academic year.

2015, Literary + Creative

Prognosis of a Modern Death

LAUREN RUBINO

Lauren Rubino (C’18) always thought she wanted to be a physician like her mother — but when a pathology internship two years ago exposed her to some of the hidden complexity of medical science, she became more interested in finding ways to articulate and share that complexity with others.

Her goal now is to work at the intersection of science and creative non-fiction writing, and her “Prognosis of a Modern Death” reflects on some of her experiences in the pathology lab of Manchester Memorial Hospital in Connecticut.

The piece grapples with society’s desensitization to the tragedy of death, and the evolution of her own understanding of mortality, blending personal experience and prose to reflect upon what is lost when we fail to recognize the weight of death.

2015 FIRST PRIZE WINNER

2015, Academic Paper

Harmful Humanitarians? When Food Aid is Morally Problematic

ALI CARTER

A bioethics minor whose essay was sparked by a class on global justice and environmental ethics she took with KIE Scholar Madison Powers, Ali Carter (C’15) was surprised to learn that hunger is responsible for more global deaths each year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Her analysis of “food aid,” which redistributes food from areas of plenty to areas of need, turned up some disturbing moral truths.

“[Food aid] programs are often carried out wastefully and in ways that are not necessarily the most helpful to countries in need,” Carter explains. She argues that food aid “is paternalistic, undercuts the resiliency of local markets, and does little to increase structural fairness around the world.” As a program to help those in need, she concludes, it stands in need of serious moral reform.

Her essay calls for reform in food aid practice, arguing primarily for initiatives that tie food aid to various health- and human rights-based initiatives, or promote locally-sourced food production to support the receiving nation’s economy and infrastructure-building endeavors.

2015 SHOWCASE GRAND CHAMPION

2015 FIRST PRIZE WINNER

2015, Academic Paper

The Pregnant Female Body in Jan van Riemsdyk’s Art and William Hunter’s Science

CHRISTINE SLOBOGIN

An English and Art History double major, Christine Slobogin (C’16) first became interested in the body and art and medicine through a curatorial internship last spring in which she worked directly on an exhibit on illness and the body.

Her paper analyzes of a series of images from a famous 18th century obstetrical atlas through the lens of the changing culture of obstetric medicine in the 18th century.

As Slobogin describes it, these meticulously detailed images of dissected pregnant bodies as scientific objects reflect a contemporaneous shift in the practice of birth from a home affair typically managed by midwives and other female caregivers to a more medicalized affair managed by male obstetric practitioners.

2015 FIRST PRIZE WINNER

2015, Academic Paper

The Moral Responsibility to Reduce Meat Consumption

RYAN CANAVAN

Ryan explores the environmental consequences of global meat production and conumption, arguing that currents patterns not only cause immediate damage, but will have significant international and intergenerational impact as well. Ryan argues fir a differentiated tax on meat, combined with public education programs to raise awareness of the moral underpinnings of the tax and its role in reducing meat consumption.

2015 SECOND PRIZE WINNER

2015, Academic Paper

Caster Semenya and Beyond: Gender Ambiguity in Athletics

REBECCA RINEHART

Rebecca questions the social and biological definitions of gender, incorporating an individual’s right to self-identify while weighing larger societal concerns surrounding established understandings of what it means to be a “man” or a “woman”. Rebecca concludes that psychological and physical conditions, as well as environmental factors, must be considered in addition to genetic markers when assessing gender identity, specifically in the context of athletics.

2015 SECOND PRIZE WINNER