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Politics prize for Caian

  • 21 July 2021

Tom Powell (HSPS 2020) has been awarded the Geoffrey Hawthorn Prize by the Part I examiners in Human, Social, and Political Sciences.

Tom achieved the highest average mark across the POL1 and POL2 papers, claiming the annual prize, which is named in memory of Professor Geoffrey Hawthorn (1941-2015), a former Head of Department.

Tom says: “I was pretty ecstatic. When you’re waiting for your results, you can’t really hope for higher than a 2:1, because you don’t want to get your hopes too high and tempt fate.

“I was very happy, and even more happy that I’d done the best in the two parts of the Tripos I’m interested in carrying on next year. They were always my favourite papers, so I was glad.”

The focus of POL1 is on domestic politics and democracy, and POL2 is focused on international relations.

Tom’s political interest was largely forged around the kitchen table growing up with his politically diverse family. And his future areas of interest lie in environmental policy.

He adds: “This has been something I was interested in before, but the module on climate change and the Anthropocene (describing the impact of human activity on climate and ecosystems) in the POL2 course really piqued my interest. It was one of the only modules where I managed to get through almost all of the supplementary reading.

“I was really interested in digging deeper in the arguments, counter arguments and counter-counter arguments around the climate emergency and questions of environmental justice.

“It’s something a lot of people in my generation see a lot of inaction on, so I’d really like to pursue that line of work in the international arena when I’m older.

“Environmental policy is definitely one of my main areas of interest.”

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