St John's College News

  1. Hinsley Memorial Lecture 2021

    The Hinsley Memorial Lecture will be given by Professor Patricia Clavin
    The 21st Hinsley Memorial Lecture will take place in person on Thursday 11 November and will be given by Professor Patricia Clavin FBA, Professor of International History at the University of Oxford. The lecture is entitled A History of Future Shocks: Turbulence in 20th-Century History and it will investigate the challenges of the inter-connected world by exploring the search for ‘sustainable…read more
  2. Poland honours St John’s Fellow and world expert on Chopin

    “The music of Chopin has a unique capacity to speak to listeners directly and individually, while uniting them in shared experience”
    A St John’s academic and world-renowned expert on the Polish composer and pianist Fryderyk Chopin has been awarded a medal of honour at a special ceremony in Warsaw. Professor John Rink received the Bene Merito, an honorary decoration of the Republic of Poland awarded by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for contributions to activities strengthening Poland’s position in the international…read more
  3. Humans did not cause woolly mammoths to go extinct – climate change did

    “Scientists have argued for 100 years about why mammoths went extinct – humans were blamed for hunting them to death”
    For five million years, woolly mammoths roamed the earth until they vanished for good nearly 4,000 years ago – and scientists have finally proved why. The hairy cousins of today’s elephants lived alongside early humans and were a regular staple of their diet – their skeletons were used to build shelters, harpoons were carved from their giant tusks, artwork featuring them is daubed on cave walls…read more
  4. Legal eagles walk together to help advice charities

    “Our amazing first years who showed up had only known each other for a week at the time, they really symbolise St John’s to me”
    Law students and Fellows from St John’s were part of a University team who put their best feet forward to support a justice charity helping people in need. It was the first time that the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law has participated in the Cambridge Legal Walk, part of a series of sponsored 10k events around the country that raise funds for The Access to Justice Foundation, which…read more
  5. Girls and women to sing as members of The Choir of St John’s

    “Extending membership to talented female singers creates an exceptional new musical opportunity for women and girls”
    St John’s College will continue its reputation for musical excellence by featuring male and female voices – both adults and children – in its world-renowned choir for the first time. Founded in the 1670s, The Choir of St John’s has a rich, warm and distinctive sound. Known internationally for its broadcasts, concert tours and more than 100 recordings, the choir is made up of around 20 choristers…read more
  6. ‘Mudcub’ sculptures continue College tradition of celebrating diversity

    “They express our desire to be an ally to students of any background - a supportive community of people from many cultures”
    A contemporary art installation that brings together the themes of diversity, inclusion, ecology and humanity has moved to St John’s College for the academic year. The ‘mudcubs … with the heart of a child’ exhibit features life-size bronze figures of children – along with two penguins  –  created by Nicola Ravenscroft, the award-winning British sculptor who was recently commissioned to create a…read more
  7. Queen Elizabeth I would tell Boris to tax the rich rather than cut universal credit

    “The evidence of history is that societies and economies fare much better with a strong welfare state and when you cut welfare to make savings, you damage society and the economy”
    A ‘compelling’ new book about how Covid-19 rocked the world argues that Elizabeth I would have supported the poor in the aftermath of the pandemic. The Tudor Monarch introduced the world’s first universal welfare state in 1601 – groundbreaking at the time – in response to repeated plague outbreaks and famines. The ‘Poor Laws’ required all of England’s 10,000 parishes to take responsibility for…read more
  8. Andrew Chamblin Memorial Lecture 2021

    From the possibility to the certainty of a supermassive black hole
    The fifteenth Andrew Chamblin Memorial Lecture, entitled From the Possibility to the Certainty of a Supermassive Black Hole, will be given by Professor Andrea Ghez, 2020 Nobel Laureate in Physics, from the United States. Professor Ghez, from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), will talk about new developments in the study of supermassive black holes. Through the capture and…read more
  9. Academic to work with AstraZeneca on developing new and safer drugs

    “The more academics can help our industrial colleagues, the more impact we can have in producing improved medicines”
    A pharmacologist at St John’s has been awarded a prestigious Royal Society Industry Fellowship to work with AstraZeneca on developing life-changing medicines. The fellowship will enable Dr Graham Ladds to be seconded for four years to AstraZeneca, which was among the first in the world to produce a Covid-19 vaccine with scientists at the University of Oxford. Dr Ladds, who is a Fellow of St…read more
  10. St John’s author writes historical saga of Middle Eastern conflict

    “I thought I would write a novel because people can be drawn into the lives of the characters”
    A story based around the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which has preoccupied a St John’s Fellow since boyhood, has been published as a novel. A world-renowned expert in microwave energy, author and co-author of more than 200 academic publications, The Young Alexandrians is Dr A.C. (Ricky) Metaxas’s first work of fiction. He became aware of the Middle Eastern conflict while growing up in…read more
  11. PhD student to run London Marathon in memory of late Master

    “Pancreatic cancer is tough to diagnose, tough to treat, tough to research, and tough to survive. I want to do my bit to make sure that everyone affected by it gets the help they need”
    On Sunday morning, Ryan Geiser will pull on his trainers and head to Blackheath to take part in the London Marathon to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK. It may be the postgraduate student’s first ever marathon but it is now the 40th time the iconic race has taken place in the capital. The marathon will follow the usual 26.2 mile route from Blackheath to Pall Mall. Ryan joined the Centre for…read more
  12. Oldest College boat club in Cambridge welcomes former members back for special naming ceremony

    “The club is renowned for its strong and supportive community and its passion for excellence, sportsmanship and welfare”
    Rowers gathered at the Lady Margaret Boat Club to celebrate the launch of two new boats. A men’s eight was named after Professor Sir Christopher Dobson, scientist and late Master of St John’s College, and a women’s four was named after Dame Louise Makin, businesswoman and Honorary Fellow of the College. Around 50 former members of Lady Margaret Boat Club (LMBC) attended the ceremony, led by…read more
  13. Bride and groom who met at St John’s celebrate graduation together

    “We met at a freshers’ party in our first year. We are so pleased we both came to St John’s”
    Newlyweds Joshua Snyder and Hania Adamczyk met at St John’s College as undergraduates – and today walked down the ‘aisle’ together as graduands, a year after finishing their postgraduate studies. The pair were among a congregation of around 50 students to graduate or return to celebrate achieving their degrees in person from the University of Cambridge, some a year late due to the pandemic.…read more
  14. Choral work based on top mathematician’s battle with Covid-19 to be performed at Royal Festival Hall

    “It is a huge honour to take experiences from my brush with death and turn them into verse that captures the very human desire to have hope even in the darkest of days”
    A collection of diary entries written by nurses when a St John's Fellow was in a coma after being struck down by Covid have been transformed into a concert by an award-winning composer. Professor Peter Johnstone was kept alive by a ventilator after he caught Covid at the start of the pandemic. The 72-year-old is a tenor with The Bach Choir, one of the world’s leading choruses, and on 4 March…read more
  15. Research Fellow receives Royal Society funding to harness the power of quantum technology

    “The URF scheme honours high calibre early career scientists throughout the UK and Ireland”
    A physicist from St John’s College has been awarded a University Research Fellowship by The Royal Society to push the frontiers of quantum science. Dr Dorian Gangloff is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, working in the group of Professor Mete Atatüre, physicist and Fellow of St John’s. In October, Dr Gangloff will take up his Royal Society…read more
  16. Ancient Greek ‘pop culture’ discovery rewrites history of poetry and song

    “The diction is very simple, so this was clearly a democratising form of literature”
    New research into a little-known text written in ancient Greek shows that ‘stressed poetry’, the ancestor of all modern poetry and song, was already in use in the 2nd Century CE, 300 years earlier than previously thought. In its shortest version, the anonymous four-line poem reads “they say what they like; let them say it; I don’t care”. Other versions extend with “Go on, love me; it does you…read more
  17. Students awarded prizes for outstanding performances

    University and Faculty prizes 2020-2021
    Fourteen undergraduates from St John's College who achieved excellent results in the 2020-2021 academic year have been awarded University and Departmental prizes. Third year History student Radka Pallová was awarded several prizes. She received the Winifred Georgina Holgate-Pollard Memorial Prize for achieving outstanding results in the Historical Tripos Part II; the Gladstone Memorial Prize for…read more
  18. Student tours set to return to St John’s College during September Open Days

    “We have worked hard during the past 18 months to move all our Admissions events and open days online, but there really is nothing like an in-person experience”
    It has been nearly two years since St John’s students have been able to show prospective applicants around the College’s stunning grounds - but now in-person tours are coming back. The College’s last open days tours took place in September 2019 due to the pandemic. Across the Collegiate University, this year's September Open Days are for students in Years 12 and 13 and equivalent and mature…read more
  19. New intake of undergraduates triumph over pandemic adversity to join St John’s

    "My experience pushed me towards wanting to apply to university, and Cambridge in particular"
    Meet some of our new undergraduates who, after another ‘rollercoaster’ year, achieved their required grades to begin their degrees at the University of Cambridge. We spoke to three successful applicants to St John’s College about their path to University and what they are looking forward to most at Cambridge. Zoe Porter Zoe is celebrating gaining a place to study History at St John’s after…read more
  20. ‘Best lecturer’ honour from students for St John’s Law Fellow

    “I am immensely grateful for Dr Gardner’s personal and academic support throughout my time studying Law”
    A group of Cambridge Law students has awarded a ‘best lecturer’ accolade to St John’s Fellow Dr Jodi Gardner. The Cambridge Law ‘Facul-Tea’ dished out ‘The Trial by Jury Award for the Best Lecturer’ to Dr Gardner at its virtual awards night on 25 July. Dr Gardner, Director of Studies for Law (Part IA) and College Associate Lecturer in Law, was delighted to be recognised by her students,…read more
  21. St John’s launches fund to support new generation of historians

    “In Peter's memory, St John’s College is launching a fund to support a new generation of talented young academics with their research into the medieval Mediterranean world”
    A fundraising campaign in memory of a ‘legendary historian’ has been launched to financially support students at Cambridge as they uncover the secrets of the past. A historian of medieval Spain, Dr Peter Linehan, Fellow of St John’s College, died peacefully at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge in July 2020 after several months of ill health. He was 76. He arrived in Cambridge in 1961 to study…read more
  22. Behind the scenes with a Cambridge University Admissions Tutor

    “I've seized opportunities as they came along”
    Former windsurfing centre manager Dr Victoria Harvey, Tutor for Undergraduate Admissions, talks about her eventful road to St John’s that included leaving university due to ill-health and returning as a single parent. Did you go straight into academia after university? No, I got chronic fatigue syndrome after I caught glandular fever during my GCSEs and flogged myself during my A-levels. I went…read more
  23. Ella’s summer lab work leads to world-class research

    “I don’t think it happens very often but my experience shows that if you want it to, then it can – it’s just about putting yourself out there and asking for the opportunity”
    Natural Sciences undergraduate Ella de Csilléry was a first year at St John’s when she became involved in research with the potential to transform the treatment of cancer and other diseases – and even reveal the origins of life on Earth. She tells Karen Clare what it was like. Ella was studying Physics, Chemistry, Biology of cells and Maths in 2019 when she decided to try to get some summer…read more
  24. Learn about student life during virtual Cambridge Open Days and new College tour

    “Explore College through our brand new 360 virtual tour, meet students and Directors of Studies on our live panels, and chat to the Admissions team”
    Year 12 students considering applying to Cambridge can get a taste of life and study at St John’s thanks to two virtual open days – and a new College tour. St John’s is taking part in this year’s online Cambridge Open Days and is holding a variety of live online panels and chats with current students, tutors and the Admissions team. The events are aimed at prospective applicants from Year 12, or…read more
  25. New initiative offers students £2,000 funding for green project

    “This is an exciting opportunity for students to get involved in making the College a more sustainable place”
    A competition has been launched to fund a project that will help reduce the carbon footprint of St John’s and improve sustainability. The College’s Climate Crisis Committee has announced that the new £2,000 Sustainability and Crisis Award will cover the costs of the project and is open to all current students of St John's. The award has been funded thanks to the generosity of a donor. Earlier…read more