With tuition fees at £9,000 a year and set to rise even further, the stakes are high, and a degree is becomingly increasingly viewed as a sales transaction, only worth obtaining if you'll do something economically 'useful' (read: science or technology-based) in the end. But, despite what Michael Gove and co might think, education is more than a commodity, and a chronic disregard for the merits of arts degrees could result in the steady erosion of our culture.
Our generation will not be the first to have a difficult conversation about emerging scientific technologies; just ask your parents about test-tube babies. But in my opinion, there has been no conversation as difficult as the one surrounding Synthetic Biology. Despite being a student of science, I am firmly of the belief that every one of us needs to be involved.
Young people need to have the tools to see the importance of having one's beliefs proportion to the evidence, to see the importance of having an implacable smidgen of scepticism paired to every all-encompassing ideal, and to be readily receptive to having their views challenged whilst, simultaneously, prompt in challenging the views of others in a constructive, accommodating and deeply informed way.
If punishment must be justified, and it must, it should be done so on the basis that morality is being restored. It is morally right and beneficial to society that people cannot get away with wrongdoing. To ensure people do not want to do wrong, weight must be given to making sure the punishment is justified on the grounds that the offender benefits to. Since deterrence did not stop them committing a crime in the first place, what would? A more moral and liberal system of punishment, surely?
It occurred to me that when he had got on the train, he instinctively gravitated closer towards me, another human being, to share his evening. We humans are social animals, and contact with others is very important to us. Having sat down opposite me, he ate his dinner and enjoyed his daughter's laughter in my company.
One of the memorable scenes of the Hunger Games trilogy - before its lacklustre final two-parter - sees Finnick facing the sharp end of Katniss' arrow, at which point he reminds the protagonist to "remember who the real enemy is". As academics and students criticise one another over free speech and insensitivity, this scene seems particularly apt.
It is now more important than ever to pay attention to the key details, all too often we overlook the obvious. What is key to understand is that colour is one of the most important parts in what makes up our experience and if an individual or business can refine their understanding of the subject then they can build a very successful brand.
Personally I have found that I couldn't even place myself in cultural groups around me. When my hair was short, afro-diasporic people gave me the nod of solidarity, when my hair was long south-Asian diasporic peoples spoke to me in their diversity of languages, yet I remained neither here nor there.
I need to both understand the impossibility and inevitability of the world of determinism, and yet attempt to widen the constraints by a pure belief in free agency. If I were to fully accept that the dye is cast, my job, and that of any other professional working in reforming or rehabilitating people, would be pointless.