Commitment to neuroscience wins Victorian Rhodes Scholarship

November 14 / 148

Rhodes Scholar Alexander Eastwood with His Excellency, Alex Chirnov, Governor of Victoria. Gavin Blue Photography.
Rhodes Scholar Alexander Eastwood with His Excellency, Alex Chirnov, Governor of Victoria. Gavin Blue Photography.

Alexander Eastwood has been awarded this year’s Victorian Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford in the 2015 northern academic year.

Mr Eastwood will graduate with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree and a Diploma of Modern Languages from the University of Melbourne this year. He hopes to study for Oxford’s Doctoral program in Neuroscience.

Mr Eastwood said he was thrilled to receive the scholarship, which will allow him to further his study of the mind.

“As the seat of learning and memory; of perception and action; of pleasure and pain, the brain is fantastical,” he said.

“The study of the mind coalesced, for me through my competing pursuits: chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy, cell biology, psychology, and neuroscience. This holistic approach to the mind and its functions, across my major, sustained and nourished my curiosity and ignorance about the changeable brain … the fourth frontier.

“An Oxford grounding in the cognitive sciences would provide me the foundation necessary for further intensive research in the field.”

Congratulating Mr Eastwood on the scholarship, Honorary Secretary of the Victorian Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee Professor Carolyn Evans, from Melbourne Law School, said all of the applicants had a strong commitment to engaging young people with the urgent problems facing the world and to making a difference in and beyond Australia.

“The Selection Committee was thoroughly impressed with all of the applicants for this year’s Victorian Rhodes Scholarship, and we commend them for their achievements so far. I’m also encouraged by their belief in their own abilities and those of their peers to address endemic and entrenched problems, whether political, diplomatic or medical,” Professor Evans said.

“I wish them all well as they pursue their dreams and put their educational, professional and community achievements to date to the best use possible. Alexander has demonstrated a commitment to his study and a passion for change, and is a deserving recipient of this great opportunity to be stimulated and stretched by Oxford’s intellectually stimulating environment.”

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