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St John's College news archive

  1. Skeletons in the Closet at St John's

    The exhibition is part of the Science Festival and will take place on Saturday 23 March from 11am-5pm
    The bones of men and women buried at a medieval cemetery found underneath the Old Divinity School will feature in a free exhibition held in College as part of the Cambridge Science Festival. Skeletons in the Closet at St John’s will explore the fascination we have had for centuries with human, animal and even insect skeletons. On display will be 15th century manuscripts including College founder…
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  2. Professor Serena Best wins award celebrating women in science

    Serena Best, Fellow of St John’s College and Professor of Materials Science, has been awarded a Suffrage Science Award for her scientific achievements. The fourth Engineering & Physical Sciences Suffrage Science Awards, held on International Women’s Day, 8 March, saw 12 leading and pioneering female scientists and engineers from around the world presented with awards of hand-crafted…
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  3. Keeping it clean: Housekeeping at St John’s

    Louise Offley has been a bedmaker at St John’s for 35 years, making her the longest serving member of the Housekeeping department
    From vacuuming around students in bed to cleaning Fellows’ rooms – Louise Offley, the longest serving member of the Housekeeping department, has seen it all. She tells Louise Hanzlik about her three decades at St John’s, and how climbing the stairs doesn’t get any easier. With the mirror polished, the bathroom gleaming, the washing up done, the surfaces dusted, and the carpet vacuumed, Louise…
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  4. From black armbands to withheld wages – the chequered history of women at St John’s

    “Is a pretty girl less pleasing to us because she can understand us when we speak something better than nonsense?”
    Women may not have come to study at St John’s until the 1980s, but as Hazel Lawrence finds out, they have played a crucial role in our history. St John’s would not exist if it wasn’t for women. One of them you will already be familiar with – Lady Margaret Beaufort. The financial legacy of the mother of King Henry VII enabled the foundation of St John’s in 1511. Our Boathouse bears her name and…
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  5. Women of the JCR

    "I love St John’s and the people in it, but there are things about the view people hold of the College that I want to change”
    When Sharon Chen Cooper, the first female undergraduate student to be admitted to St John’s, arrived in 1982 the flag was flying at half-mast and the Head Porter was wearing a black armband. Jo Tynan meets the female members of the Junior Combination Room (JCR) committee to find out how life has changed. Trekking across the courts in search of a toilet is thankfully a thing of the past for…
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  6. Newell Classics Event 2019

    What Have the Romans Ever Done For Us?
    The Newell Classics Event 2019, celebrating the classical world, will take place at St John’s College on 2 May. The lecture will be given by Walter Scheidel and is entitled: ‘What Have the Romans Ever Done For Us?’ Walter Scheidel will be presenting his hypothesis that the fall of Rome was the making of Europe, and will be discussing it with Professor Sheilagh Ogilvie. Walter Scheidel is…
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  7. Adams Prize winners 2018-19 announced

    The Adams Prize commemorates John Couch Adams’s role in the discovery of the planet Neptune
    The University of Cambridge has announced the winners of one of its oldest and most prestigious prizes. The Adams Prize is awarded jointly each year by the Faculty of Mathematics and St John’s College to UK-based researchers, under the age of 40, doing first class international research in the Mathematical Sciences. This year’s topic was 'The Mathematics of Networks', and the prize has been…
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  8. PhD student at St John’s selected as one of the 2019 ‘New Generation Thinkers’

    “More than ever we need the new insights that come from arts and humanities researchers to help us navigate the complexities of our globalised world"
    Ten researchers from across the UK have been announced as ‘New Generation Thinkers’ by BBC Radio 3, BBC Arts and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) today. From techno music in Berlin to the post-war ‘rag trade’, and divisive dams to fake news, the researchers from across the UK will have the opportunity to communicate their research by making programmes for radio and television for…
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  9. Cambridge University’s highest degrees for ‘distinguished research’ awarded to two St John’s Fellows

    The LittD and ScD are highest level of degrees given by the University and only a handful of them are awarded each year
    The President of St John’s and Professor Eske Willerslev both received the highest possible academic accolade from the University of Cambridge at a ceremony on Saturday. Dr Frank Salmon, President of St John’s, and Professor Eske Willerslev, College Supervisor in Zoology, were awarded a Doctor of Letters (LittD) and a Doctor of Science degree (ScD) respectively. The LittD and ScD are highest…
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  10. Decade of academic excellence celebrated as St John's marks 10 years of Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarships

    "The values, the ideas and the discipline instilled in me at Cambridge have lasted through my life”
    Ten years ago the first Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarship students arrived at St John’s – now 19 scholars have completed their doctoral studies and another four are in residence. Dr Singh was Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014. He is a graduate and Honorary Fellow of St John’s College where he was awarded a BA in Economics in 1957. It was an experience that had a profound impact on him, and…
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  11. Harper-Wood Studentship Applications 2019

    Harper-Wood Studentship Applications 2019
    Applications are now being accepted for the Harper-Wood Studentship for English Poetry and Literature 2019. This one-year Studentship is an opportunity for a student who has graduated from any British University (i.e. England, Scotland and Wales), Ireland, the Commonwealth or the United States of America to pursue their own creative writing project. Previous holders include Thom Gunn, Michael…
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  12. Physicists get thousands of semiconductor nuclei to do ‘quantum dances’ in unison

    "This is a Holy Grail breakthrough for quantum dot research – both for quantum memory and fundamental research"
    A team of Cambridge researchers have found a way to control the sea of nuclei in semiconductor quantum dots so they can operate as a quantum memory device. Quantum dots are crystals made up of thousands of atoms, and each of these atoms interacts magnetically with the trapped electron.  If left alone to its own devices, this interaction of the electron with the nuclear spins, limits the…
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  13. When real men wore feathers

    “We’ve all heard the phrase ‘to put a feather in your cap’ but Schwarz took this to another level”
    The recreation of a Renaissance headdress reveals how European men harnessed the seductive power of ostrich feathers. From burlesque dancers to catwalk models and Hollywood stars, ostrich feathers have helped countless women steal the limelight. But this wasn’t always the case. In the sixteenth century, it was Europe’s men who wielded the sensual plume to increase their fame and fortune. Now,…
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  14. Butterflies are genetically wired to choose a mate that looks just like them

    The male butterflies were introduced to female butterflies of two species and were scored for their levels of sexual interest
    Male butterflies have genes which give them a sexual preference for a partner with a similar appearance to themselves, according to new research. A team of academics from the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, observed the courtship rituals and sequenced the DNA from nearly 300 butterflies to find out how much of the genome was…
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  15. Applications open for College Research Associates 2019

    Applications open for College Research Associates 2019
    Applications are now open for College Research Associates at St John's College.  St John's will be appointing up to six College Research Associates from 1 September 2019. College Research Associates are post-doctoral Research Fellows of the University with specialist research fields. Each College Research Associate is appointed for several years, and they provide a relevant point of contact…
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  16. Geologist’s Association announce St John’s student as winner of £1000 thesis award

    The national competition is run by the Geologist’s Association for postgraduate students studying earth sciences
    Graduate student Caroline Soderman has won the 2019 Curry MSc Prize for her ‘outstanding’ work on the origins of Iceland's volcanic hotspot. She is the first student from the University of Cambridge to win the prize since its launch in 2009. Caroline Soderman (far left) with colleagues from the Department of Earth Sciences in Scotland The national competition is run by the Geologist’s…
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  17. Olympic athlete, leading biochemist and The Duke of Cambridge elected as Honorary Fellows

    "Their outstanding contributions to society resonate strongly with the ethos of St John’s"
    Five distinguished people have been named as Honorary Fellows of St John’s College in recognition of their exceptional contributions in their respective fields. World champion rower Annamarie Phelps, businessman Mark Coombs, chair of the Food Standards Agency Heather Hancock, Biochemist Sheena Radford and The Duke of Cambridge have all been announced as Honorary Fellows of St John’s College,…
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  18. Student wins prestigious award from the Serbian Government for contributions to science

    Previous winners include inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla and political activist Helen Keller
    Graduate student Filip Bošković received the Serbian Svetosavska Prize in recognition of his ‘innovative work and research’ during his undergraduate degree. At a ceremony in Belgrade Bošković, who is now studying for an MPhil in Physics at St John’s, was presented with the award by Mladen Šarčević, the Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development. Filip Bošković (centre) at…
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  19. ‘Transformational’ biotech company receives $31m backing from investors

    "We are always looking for the brightest thinkers and we have found that in Fluidic Analytics"
    Biotechnology firm Fluidic Analytics has raised $31m - £23.5m - to continue developing products to unlock the biology behind major diseases. Fluid Analytics was started in 2015 by Dr Andrew Lynn, a graduate of St John’s, and Professor Tuomas Knowles, a College Fellow, to gain advanced knowledge of how biology unfolds in daily life by developing products for characterising proteins and their…
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  20. Company founded by St John’s academics to combat Alzheimer's secures £18 million funding

    "Protein misfolding diseases are one of the most critical global healthcare challenges of the 21st century"
    A biopharmaceutical company set-up to develop drugs to treat related illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s Diseases has announced that it has completed a Series A financing round. Wren Therapeutics raised a total of £18 million from an international syndicate led by The Baupost Group with participation from LifeForce Capital and a number of high net worth individual investors. Founded…
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  21. Placentas adapt when mothers have poor diets or low oxygen during pregnancy

    "Mitochondria have a remarkable ability to adapt and compensate for environmental impacts"
    Cambridge researchers have discovered the placenta regulates how much oxygen and nutrients it transports to babies during challenging pregnancies in a study using mice to model conditions in the womb. The placenta is the least understood organ in mammals, like humans, and is notoriously difficult to study in pregnant women. But its ability to function properly is vital as it impacts on pregnancy…
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  22. Historical scenes in Les Misérables brought to life with help from St John’s Fellow

    "I think the overall production of Les Misérables is faithful to the original and to the historical period, and it looks fantastic."
    A BBC adaptation of Victor Hugo’s tale of poverty, injustice and love in 19th century France had expert advice before it hit our television screens. Professor Robert Tombs, French historian and Fellow at St John’s, worked as a historical advisor on the new drama to help bring 19th century France to life – a period Tombs specialises in. He provided the production team with an accurate picture of…
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  23. Johnian lawyers named as new ‘silks’ in Queen’s Counsel appointments

    "I am confident that those appointed today truly deserve to be Queen’s Counsel"
    Three alumni of St John’s described as ‘truly excellent advocates’ have been announced as Queen’s Counsels (QCs). Alec Haydon, Fionn Pilbrow and James Todd were awarded the honorific titles by the Queen on the advice of the Lord Chancellor following consideration by the independent Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel.  Queen’s Counsels (QCs) are also known as ‘silks’ because traditionally QCs wear…
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  24. Memorial Service for Dr Christopher Johnson

    The memorial service will take place on 27 April
    A Memorial Service for Dr Christopher Michael Paley (Chris) Johnson, M.A., Ph.D., Fellow and former Senior Bursar of St John’s College, will be held at St John’s College on 27 April 2019. Dr Christopher Johnson died on January 5 2019, just three days short of his 88th birthday. Born in Blackpool on January 8 1931, Dr Johnson was educated at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Blackburn before…
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  25. Professor Serena Best to give the Linacre Lecture 2019

    The annual Linacre Lecture will take place at St John’s College on 5 February and will be given by Professor Serena Best. Professor Best’s lecture is entitled: ‘Scaffolds for Tissue Regeneration: Do We Understand the "Hole" Story?’ Serena Best is a Professor of Materials Science and a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge. She is the Deputy Head of the Department of Materials Science and…
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