Isabella Davis

Isabella Davis

HAPP MSc Scholarship in History of Science, Medicine & Technology

Joining us from: Maine, USA

MSc Scholarship in History of Science, Medicine & Technology (2021)

Some of the most special moments in my life have either been out in the wilderness of Maine or inside the pages of a book. Up until age 15, I was adamant that when I grew up, I would be both a teacher and an author. At Waynflete School in Portland, Maine, I fell in love with the hard sciences. My love of the natural world paired with my desire for academic challenge made biochemistry an absolute joy. When I went off to university, I worked hard to not lose out on opportunities to write and think critically outside of the sciences. So, I studied biochemistry and philosophy at Goucher College, joined the Writing Centre as a tutor, and spent a year abroad at St Anne’s College — where I clearly got hooked on the Oxford experience.

Now, I have moved on to studying the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology to better understand our relationship with information in the digital age. My thesis work will address our ever-evolving information sources, and how the accessibility of these sources has created an environment where pseudoscientific conspiracy theories thrive. As a part of my course, I am taking papers Manpower and State Power and Historical Approaches to the Psychology of Religion. The diverse academic and global backgrounds of my peers have made Oxford an excellent place to understand the complex and unique relationships people have with information, truth-seeking, and communication.

I hope to use my degree to dial my communication skills so that I can effectively convey scientific concepts to a mainstream audience. Without the generous scholarship I received from St Cross, there is no way I would have been able to come back to Oxford for study. The opportunity to be a HAPP Scholar and attend termly events has deepened my understanding of methods for sharing information amongst field experts. This opportunity I have now to work with such wonderful people, in such beautiful libraries, and with such abundant resources will endlessly influence my future as a science communicator.