BTW, Speaking about justice…

The End of My Chevening Year, The beginning of life.

Posted on: September 8, 2010

For months I have been missing from the blogosphere only to immerse myself in my 60 credit project due this Friday. The research is about UK Biotech and British Social Justice.

A year ago, I came to the UK to do an MA in Social and Global Justice. Taking a leap of faith to be the only person from the School of Politics to take a module in Biotech and Biomedicine, I had to think about what I was going to do for my dissertation. Being the experimental geek that I am, I figured why not mix and match. Biotech and justice, should be interesting…

Sure I get raised eyebrows, cringes, talk-to-the-hand gestures along the way. I even get the occasional “What are you talking about? There is no justice! Biotech and justice? You’re crazy!”

15,056 words later, I have now finished my dissertation on UK Biotech and Social Justice. (short version here on FCO’s Chevening Conversation, full version here).

What was most interesting during the whole process was that I realised how much scientists from both natural and social sciences love to stay in their own box. Sure there are a lot of talk about going outside the box, embrace the world of knowledge yadda yadda yadda… but most of the time, they simply upgrade their box to be made of glass, see-through, so that they don’t have to step outside of it but can still see what’s going on outside. That’s even if they want to look outside!

How can one say one has swam in the ocean with the fish while all one does is sit in a submersed glass tank?

My research findings show that there is a gap between wanting social justice, pursuing social justice with the right means, and sustaining social justice. At times, social justice became a rhetoric but still a shared vision.

The central question in my research is whether or not biotech promotes social justice. I want to say yes, but I cannot say it with confidence looking at the long to-do list Britain has to cross-out for biotech to secure social justice.

In a matter of days, my Chevening year at the University of Nottingham will close with the hand-in of my dissertation. As a student, all I need is a good mark. As an idealist, I need to carry this vision of a just society to the next level. Being the geek that I am, the next level is a PhD. LOL.

Which I am proud to say, I will be doing a PhD in Governance for Excluded Communities. The end of my Chevening scholarship is marked by the beginning of another, from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh this time. Wish me luck!


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Lishia Erza

Searching for answers about life, these are the ones I have found.

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