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St John's College News

  1. Trainee primary school teacher turned Professor wins $3.9million Yidan education prize

    "Usha’s research is truly globally significant both to children’s development and to education"
    The world’s largest education prize awarded to someone who is ‘creating a better world through education’ has been won by Professor Usha Goswami. Professor Usha Goswami, a Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, a Director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education and a Fellow of St John’s College, is an international leader in literacy research and she has today been named as…
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  2. ‘Game-changing’ research could solve evolution mysteries

    "This new analysis will start an exciting new chapter in the study of molecular evolution"
    An evolution revolution has begun after scientists extracted genetic information from a 1.7 million-year-old rhino tooth – the largest and oldest genetic data to ever be recorded. Researchers identified an almost complete set of proteins, a proteome, in the dental enamel of the rhino and the genetic information discovered is one million years older than the oldest DNA sequenced from a 700,000-…
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  3. Online book of condolence launched to mark death of ‘intellectual giant’ Professor Sir Christopher Dobson

    An online book of condolence has now been opened by St John’s College
    Tributes to Sir Christopher Dobson, Master of St John’s, have flooded in from around the world after we shared the news of his death. An online book of condolence has now been opened by St John’s College to allow those who wish to pay virtual tribute to Sir Christopher who was a brilliant scientist, an inspirational mentor, a much-loved Master and a friend to so many. Messages can be left…
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  4. Tributes paid to Master of St John’s College who has died age 69

    "Chris was loved by so many and will be hugely missed by us all"
    Professor Sir Christopher Dobson, Master of St John’s College, died on Sunday, September 8 2019. He is survived by his wife, Dr Mary Dobson, their sons, Richard and William, and his beloved dog, Jimbo. He was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and died at the Royal Marsden Hospital, Surrey. Sir Christopher, known to most people simply as Chris, was a member of the St John’s community for…
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  5. Climate change, migration and AI explored at international summer school

    "International events of this nature are hugely important in the current times when global collaboration is required"
    A group of 100 German students came to St John's to take part in a special summer school to explore the big issues facing the future of society.  The week-long Studienstiftung Summer Academy was organised by St John’s in partnership with the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, the largest scholarship organisation in Germany, to bring students from the sciences and humanities together to…
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  6. No deal will lead to prolonged and severe political and economic uncertainty, new academic report finds

    "Leaving without a deal will have significant negative consequences for the UK economy"
    No deal will not “get Brexit done” rather, it will usher in a period of prolonged uncertainty for citizens, workers and businesses, which is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, a new report by academic think tank The UK in a Changing Europe reveals. The report – No deal Brexit: issues, impacts and implications – written by 11 academics from a variety of disciplines including Dr Meredith…
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  7. Dissertation inspired by refugee crisis wins John’s student £1000 MPhil prize

    "It is concern, grief and anger at the way in which European states were dealing with refugees which brought me to this research"
    Esther Luigi, who graduated with an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History from St John’s earlier this year, has been awarded the 2019 Quentin Skinner Prize. The prize, which launched in 2008, is presented by the Faculty of History for the best performance in the MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History. It is awarded annually to the student with the highest mark…
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  8. Exercise in pregnancy improves health of obese mothers by restoring their tissues, mouse study finds

    "A moderate level of exercise leads to important changes in different tissues of the obese mother"
    Exercise immediately prior to and during pregnancy restores key tissues in the body, making them better able to manage blood sugar levels and lowering the risk of long term health problems, suggests new research carried out in mice. Researchers at the University of Cambridge, including Dr Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri, an academic at St John's, who led the study published today in the journal…
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  9. Lost Irish words rediscovered, including the word for ‘oozes pus'

    "The Dictionary offers a window onto a fascinating and important past world"
    Researchers from Cambridge and Queen’s University Belfast have identified and defined 500 Irish words, many of which had been lost. They also unlocked the secrets of many other misunderstood terms. Their findings can now be freely accessed in the revised version of the online dictionary of Medieval Irish. If you were choosing where to live in Medieval Ireland you might insist on somewhere ‘…
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  10. Dean of Chapel wins prestigious theological book prize

    "The Splash of Words will bring alive poetry to anyone who reads it and shows us how vital poetry is for all Christians"
    The Reverend Canon Mark Oakley, Dean of Chapel at St John’s, has been announced as the winner of the 2019 Michael Ramsey Prize for Theological Writing. The Archbishop of Canterbury named Canon Oakley’s book The Splash of Words: Believing in poetry as the winner of the prize at the Greenbelt Festival. As the winner of the prize Canon Oakley will receive £10,000. The Splash of Words: Believing in…
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  11. Mathematics Summer Camp for Girls launches at St John’s

    "I want them to know that if they want to study here, it is possible for them"
    A group of Year 12 girls took part in the inaugural St John’s Mathematics Summer Camp for Girls to find out what it is really like to study maths at Cambridge. The 24 students came from all over the world including Malaysia, Africa, and Japan with the majority from the UK. They spent nearly two weeks living and studying at St John’s and had the opportunity to explore Cambridge and visit several…
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  12. Dragons’ Den success for eco-friendly graduation gown business

    "It was probably one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever done"
    Two Cambridge entrepreneurs received a £60,000 investment when they pitched their business supplying graduation gowns made out of recycled bottles on the BBC television show Dragons’ Den. Ruth Nicholls, who graduated from St John’s in 2013 with a law degree, co-founded Churchill Gowns with Oliver Adkins in 2018. Churchill Gowns manufactures and sells graduation attire made from recycled plastic…
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  13. Graduates invited to apply for Research Fellowships 2020

    Research Fellowships 2020
    Applications are invited for Research Fellowships at St John’s College. These positions are intended for outstanding researchers in the early stages of their careers. The Fellowships offer an opportunity to carry out independent research in a stimulating and supportive academic environment, and the positions are tenable for up to four years from 1 October 2020. Applications will be accepted from…
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  14. Catering Manager wins ‘outstanding achievement’ award

    “It was amazing to be presented with this top award – it’s very special”
    St John’s Catering Manager Bill Brogan has been awarded the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award by The University Caterers Association (TUCO).   Bill Brogan with Matt White, TUCO ChairTUCO is the leading professional membership body for in-house caterers in the higher education and public sector. The organisation aims to advance the learning and development of catering and hospitality teams…
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  15. St John's students win University and departmental prizes for outstanding achievements

    University and Departmental Prizes - July 2019
    Several St John's College students have recently been awarded prizes by the University or other academic institutions thanks to their excellent work and achievements: Daniel Blick, 3rd year undergraduate in Theology, was awarded the Sheikh Zayed Prize. Alex Butcher, 1st year History & Politics undergraduate, received the Faculty of History and Department of Politics & International…
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  16. St John’s Professor elected to the British Academy

    Election to the Fellowship is one of the highest honours for academics in the UK
    Professor Emily J Gowers, College Lecturer in Classics and University Professor of Latin Literature, has been announced as a new Fellow of the British Academy. The British Academy is the UK’s most prestigious organisation for the Arts and Humanities. Established in 1902, the Academy has a Fellowship of over 1,000 leading scholars spanning all disciplines across all subjects that make up the Arts…
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  17. Game of Dragons Maths Challenge 2019

    Students participate in outdoor maths treasure hunt
    The fourth Game of Dragons Outdoor Maths Challenge took place at St John’s on Saturday 29 June, an event which aims to promote mathematics and a healthy lifestyle. Seventy students from 10 different schools all across Cambridgeshire and Suffolk participated in this outdoor maths treasure hunt, finding their way through the maze of maths puzzles to complete the Challenge as quickly as they…
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  18. St John’s graduate in winning Varsity Match sailing team

    Cambridge retained all four match trophies
    St John’s graduate Michael Smith was part of one of the winning sailing teams in this year’s Varsity Match, in which Cambridge retained all four match trophies. Cambridge Mixed: (Back) Alex Smallwood, Michael Smith, Henry Morley, Hugh Tomkins, Alex Baxter, Ollie Jagger. (Front) Robbie King, Paris Thomas (Capt-holding Yule Oldham Cup), Jamie Webb.The Varsity Match, which took place between 3 and 5…
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  19. Trio of family members announced as joint winners of one of the biggest cash prizes in world economics

    "Welfare provision should be reconceptualised as an absolutely crucial economic growth promoter"
    A ‘radical’ plan by three members of the same family to boost UK growth has been named as one of the first winners of the £100,000 Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Economics Prize. The inaugural IPPR prize was introduced to reward innovative ideas to reinvigorate the UK economy that force a ‘step change in the quality and quantity of the UK’s economic growth’. Simon Szreter,…
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  20. Foetuses ‘speak’ to their mother’s placenta new research finds

    "This study is the first to identify the significance of a metabolic signalling pathway in the fetus compared to in the placenta"
    Developing foetuses communicate directly with the placenta when they need more nutrients, a new study has discovered. The placenta is often thought of as part of the mother but it is actually a separate organ that develops with the foetus and acts as a boundary between the two. Its growth begins at conception and it attaches to the wall of the mother’s uterus and regulates the foetus’s…
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  21. Cambridge professor wins €30,000 prize for witch trial book

    "At the peak of his career, Kepler's old mother was imprisoned for witchcraft and would have been burnt alive if he had not courageously defended her"
    The story of an elderly German widow who was accused by her neighbours of being a witch has won a top history prize. Professor Ulinka Rublack, Early Modern European History specialist and a Fellow of St John’s College, wrote The Astronomer and the Witch: Johannes Kepler's Defence of his Mother about Katharina Kepler who was caught up in the witch hunts which swept across Europe in the 16th and…
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  22. Second year student follows in the footsteps of legendary comedians

    'Look Alive!' places its five performers as humans in an earth exhibit in an inter galactic museum
    Angela Channell, a second year English student at St John’s, is setting off on a global tour with the internationally acclaimed Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club (the Footlights). She is one of five cast members in the comedy sketch show Look Alive! and will travel with the show around the UK, including a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the US with performances in San…
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  23. Children’s treasure hunt book written by alumnus launches this summer

    'The Riddle of the White Sphinx' by Mark Wells will be published in July
    A treasure hunt book aimed at children and written by former St John’s Fellow and Domestic Bursar Mark Wells will be published in July. Riddle of the White Sphinx is the first in the Hidden Tales series of children’s treasure hunt books. The illustrated adventure story takes children and their families around Cambridge museums where they have to crack codes and solve clues, with the aim of…
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  24. Climate change campaigner, mathematician and news editor amongst winners of prestigious 2019 Larmor Awards

    "They truly reflect the tremendous talent of students at St John’s and we will watch with great interest what this exceptional group will achieve in their careers."
    Six exceptional St John’s students have been honoured with Larmor Awards – an annual prize begun in the 1940s to recognise “intellectual qualifications, moral conduct, or practical activities". Named after Sir Joseph Larmor, the 20th-century physicist and mathematician who was both a student and Fellow at St John’s, the awards are presented in the Master’s Lodge on the morning of graduation.…
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  25. ‘Ambitious’ PhD thesis awarded €3000 prize

    "His dissertation re-interprets Frederick the Great of Prussia as military commander and military thinker"
    Analysis of the reputation of King Frederick the Great of Prussia by a graduate student at St John’s has scooped a prestigious prize. The International Commission of Military History (ICMH) has awarded Dr Adam Storring the 2019 André Corvisier Prize for his PhD thesis on Frederick the Great. Dr Storring, who completed his BA, MPhil and PhD at St John’s, finished his thesis in 2018 which was…
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