Wentworth Medal

Established in 1854 by a gift of £200 from W.C. Wentworth, initially a medal was presented as a reward for the best essay in English prose. The Medal is now supplemented by a prize of $10,000. The competition is open to all students enrolled at the University of Sydney in the current year, except for previous winners of the Wentworth Medal. The award of the Medal is made annually by the Wentworth Medal Committee, provided that there is an entry of sufficient merit.

The topic or topics for the essay will be set, and the examiners of the essay will be appointed by a committee consisting of the Chair of the Academic Board, the Deans of the Faculties of Arts, Economics and Law and the Registrar, with the power to co-opt. The committee reserves the right to share the prize if there are two or more entries adjudged to be of equal, highest and sufficient merit.

The Medal seeks to reward an outstanding essay addressing the nominated question. In assessing the quality of the essay the panel will consider its clarity and accessibility, its originality- specifically its ability to shed new light on the given topic- and the quality of the argument upon which it is constructed. The essay should demonstrate a breadth of research, and be of high scholarly standard, with appropriate referencing.

Eligibility: All students enrolled at the University of Sydney in 2017, except for previous winners of the Wentworth Medal.

Value: Medal and $10,000

Topic for 2017: 'Big data' is not just more or different information but constitutes a revolution in the production of knowledge: algorithms and 'machine learning' are generating masses of information that lie beyond human grasp. In this context, who should be responsible for the ethical production, curation and use of this data?

Length: Approximately 3000 words (not including referencing)

Open date: 2nd August 2017

Close date: 30 August 2017

How to apply: Applications are now closed

The winner will be announced by 31 October 2017