Competition Winner: What if…?

It’s British Science Week all this week, and I am celebrating here on Soph talks science by sharing with you the winners of my first ever science writing competition. I had so, so many amazing entries in all the categories, and I really struggled to pick just one winner in each category, but I got there in the end after many hours of deliberation.

Today I wanted to share with you the winning entry in Category 2 for authors aged 13-15. Congratulations to Emily who is 13 years old and from the UK. They have written this piece called ‘what if…?’ – spoken like a true scientist at heart! Make sure to read and show Emily your support by giving this post a like!


What if…?

By Emily (Age 13)

What if several influential scientists from the past never made the discoveries they did.

What if, in 1687, Isaac Newton hadn’t stated that ​any particle of matter in the universe attracts any other with a force varying directly as the product of the masses​? Imagine if, in 1928, Alexander Fleming had ​not​ accidentally developed mould on a set of culture dishes growing staphylococci germ. Well, if that was the case then he would not have discovered the Penicillium mould​, and therefore penicillin would not have been discovered as soon, if at all! How about ​Alexander Graham Bell​: He created this generation’s dearly beloved phone, or at least an early version of it. Without his initial input, Motorola couldn’t have introduced early cell phones in 1980, and who knows how far we’d be from modern iPhones and Androids being developed.

Photo by Ready Made on

What if famous writers didn’t write their much loved books?

At first thought, the answer is not much. But imagine if ​J.K Rowling​, creator of smash-hit Harry Potter Series, had never dreamt up the widely-known orphan with dark hair and a lightning scar…
Well, first of all, multiple words (including veela, portkey, muggles and legilimency) would simply never exist. Many child actors, such as Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe would never have acted in the million dollar films that gained them recognition. Others, including myself, would never have discovered their love of reading!

Photo by Dzenina Lukac on

Who hasn’t heard of The Chronicles of Narnia? Treasure Island? Lord of the Rings? The Hobbit? Well, no-one would if the author’s hadn’t conceived their brilliant ideas!

What if the suffragettes had never made those protests?
What if the soldiers had never fought in the 1st and 2nd World Wars?

What if one single person, any random person in history died, or wasn’t in the right place at the right time to meet their partner; the entire family would be wiped out, or altered beyond recognition. Imagine your great-great grandfather turns left instead of right and therefore never meets your great-great grandmother. Well, that immediately eliminates the existence of one of your great grandparents, and in turn one of your grandparents, then one of your parents, and then… ​you.​

Finally, where the science really has a part…

What if the dinosaurs had never gone extinct?

Whether we consider the peaceful herbivores or the stereotypically violent carnivores, the fact remains clear that dinosaurs could never survive in harmony with humans. First of all, it is likely the dinosaurs could have evolved to become intelligent, like ourselves, and therefore more dangerous than ever. Of the larger species, those that were carnivorous are an obvious danger but few consider the risk of herbivore’s large, heavy feet and the damage they could do to both human settlements and human ​lives​.

Photo by cottonbro on

In conclusion, a single difference, at any second in history, could drastically alter life as we know it. Just take one event and imagine all it’s impacts for evidence.



Congratulations again to Emily who is our second Soph talks science competition winner!

You can check out our other competition winners here:


How do you think our world would be different if one of these things hadn’t happened? What is you ‘what if ‘ question? Share in the comments below.



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