Skip to main content

St John's College News

  1. Medieval bible returns to its former home after 700 years

    Staff at the Gisborough Priory Project arranged for the Gisburne Bible to be borrowed from St John’s
    A medieval treasure from St John’s Library is the centrepiece of a special exhibition being held to mark the 900th anniversary of a Yorkshire priory. The Gisburne Bible – a richly decorated, handwritten copy of the Vulgate Bible – was bequeathed to Gisborough Priory by a prominent Yorkshire clergyman in 1333 after a catastrophic fire destroyed most of the Priory’s library. The manuscript…read more
  2. Live retelling of Virgil’s epic poem comes to Cambridge

    "However 'literary' Virgil, Ovid and others have become, the magic of their voices is the most thrilling dynamic to come out of their world."
    A rare live performance of one of ancient literature’s masterpieces will be hosted at St John’s in November. Adapted from Virgil’s first-century BC epic poem the Aeneid, The Song of Arms and a Man tells the story of legendary hero Aeneas’s struggle to fulfil his destiny as the founder of Rome. It charts his escape from the burning ruins of Troy and his doomed affair with the Carthagian queen…read more
  3. Freshers awarded £81,000 in pre-admissions prizes

    A group of 15 new undergraduates at St John’s College have been awarded up to £8000 each on the day they arrived in Cambridge to begin their studies. Prize-winners were selected on the basis of their academic track record, potential and broader financial need.  The exceptional new students were invited with their families to a special ceremony at St John’s to mark their achievements. A total of…read more
  4. Vice-Master appointed at St John’s College

    Professor Tim Whitmarsh has been named as Vice-Master of St John’s College. The interim position will build on the principled and engaged leadership of Professor Sir Christopher Dobson, the late Master who died in September. Professor Whitmarsh is Director of Studies in Classics Part IA & IB at St John’s s, A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge, and Co-…read more
  5. St John’s graduate to appear in new BBC war drama

    Jonah Hauer-King plays Harry Chase, one of the leading characters in World on Fire
    Jonah Hauer-King, actor and St John’s alumnus, is to appear on our TV screens at the end of September in BBC One’s new epic war drama World on Fire. Rising star Jonah, who graduated from St John’s in 2017 with a first-class honours degree in Theology, plays Harry Chase, one of the lead characters in the drama. Credit: BBC/© Mammoth Screen 2018World on Fire, starring Sean Bean, Helen Hunt, Lesley…read more
  6. Diary of polar scientist on ill-fated Shackleton voyage donated to St John’s

    “We left the ship this evening: it still floats, but has been so badly damaged by the pressure of the last 24 hours that it will never float again once the ice opens."
    When explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance became trapped on ice in Antarctica and eventually sank in 1915, Sir James Mann Wordie was one of the crew that escaped in lifeboats to an uninhabited island. Wordie, who was a student, Fellow and eventually Master at St John’s College, was recruited in 1914 as the geologist and chief of scientific staff for Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic…read more
  7. Ancient story of revenge shortlisted for film award

    The film tells the story of a compelling folk tale found etched on a clay tablet in South-East Turkey
    The world’s first ever film in Babylonian – a language that died out 2,000 years ago ­­– has been nominated for a top research prize. Students led by Dr Martin Worthington, a Fellow at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, made the innovative film based on a Babylonian folk tale about a violent and comic story of revenge from 700 BC.   The Poor Man of Nippur has now been shortlisted in…read more
  8. 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…read more
  9. ‘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-…read more
  10. 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…read more
  11. 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…read more
  12. 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…read more
  13. 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…read more
  14. 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…read more
  15. 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…read more
  16. 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 ‘…read more
  17. 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…read more
  18. 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…read more
  19. 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…read more
  20. 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…read more
  21. 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…read more
  22. 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…read more
  23. 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…read more
  24. 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…read more
  25. 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,…read more