Holdstock-Piachaud Student Essay Prize

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Holdstock-Piachaud Student Essay Prize

The Holdstock-Piachaud Essay Prize was set up to encourage students to explore the themes covered by the journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival,  in memory of Douglas Holdstock and Jack Piachaud who were for many years inspirational editors of the Journal. We are keen to receive essays that explore insights, concerns and original perspectives on issues relevant to the aims of the journal, from students who will be shaping the future. Whichever title you choose to tackle we encourage you to base your argument on relevant literature and to develop it drawing on your own experience and reflections.

Medicine, Conflict and Survival  is an international journal for all those interested in the health aspects of violence and human rights. Founded in 1985 it is a designated journal of IPPNW  and its UK affiliate, MEDACT. Published quarterly by Taylor and Francis/Routledge, the Journal plays an important role in debates around health, peace and violence.

Medicine, Conflict and Survival covers:

  •  The causes and consequences of war and group violence.
  • The health and environmental effects of war and preparations for war, especially from nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.
  • The influence of war and preparations for war on health and welfare services and the distribution of global resources.
  • The abuse of human rights, its occurrence, causes and consequences.
  • The ethical responsibility of health professionals in relation to war, social violence and human rights abuses.
  • Non-violent methods of conflict resolution.
  • Medical and humanitarian aid in conflict situations.
  • Relationships between the environment, development and global security.
  • The roles and responsibilities of governments and of international governance in reducing the risk of violent conflict.

The Holdstock-Piachaud Prize is made possible through the generosity of the Lionel Penrose Trust

Titles for the 2022 Holdstock-Piachaud student essay prize

  1. The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been characterized by a proliferation of misinformation about the virus, the vaccines, and mitigating public health measures. This is not a new phenomenon: there have been similar reactions to earlier public health crises. Has the popular reaction to COVID-19 and to ways of combatting it been influenced by the misinformation associated with earlier pandemics, from C17 onwards? Focusing on two of these, are there lessons from them in how to restore or develop faith in science and health professionals?
  2.  As the rich nations are showing moral failure over the equitable distribution of vaccines for COVID-19, how can similar failure be avoided when facing the crisis of global warming? Will the COP 26 resolutions help ensure equity in the distribution of resources needed to combat climate change?
  3. The risks of nuclear annihilation appear to have been overtaken in the minds of the public by those of climate catastrophe and/or uncontrollable viruses. Will the implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons redress the balance?
  4. A letter in the Lancet of June 2020¹ claimed the COVID-19 pandemic teaches lessons we must embrace to overcome two additional existential threats: nuclear war and global warming. What lessons can we learn from the global response to COVID-19 that could help the world address future threats such as climate change or the proliferation of nuclear weapons? ¹Muller and Nathan 
  5. In what ways are the internet and social media helping to spread equitable health care worldwide and in what ways are they hindering it? How can the beneficial effects be extended and the harmful ones controlled?

Competition details

  • The closing date for entries is 17.00 on 31 January 2022.
  • The competition is open to all students, including those completing their studies in 2021. 
  • The word limit is 2500 and essays should be submitted in Word.
  • The essay should be fully referenced, using the Chicago Author-Date system.
  • Entries must not have been previously published elsewhere.
  • The entries will be judged by members of the MCS editorial board and the Medact board. 
  • The winning entries may be selected by the editors for publication in MCS.
  • First prize: £500, three second prizes: £300; winners will also receive a year’s subscription to MCS.
  • E-mail your entry with a completed entry form (see below) to: [email protected]
For an APPLICATION FORM and for any queries, please contact: [email protected]

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