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St John's College News

  1. Medieval library treasure goes digital

    "This manuscript is a finely written and beautifully illustrated example of early 13th century work"
    A 13th century illuminated manuscript that has been in the archives of St John’s College for nearly 400 years has been digitised so it can reach a new audience.  Detailed images from the early medieval religious text have been published online for the first time in the University of Cambridge Digital Library. The 377-page manuscript is a psalter that belonged to Robert de Lindsay who was Abbot…read more
  2. St John’s markswoman shoots and scores in inaugural University sports awards

    “The results indisputably make CUSBC the most successful university shooting club in the country”
    Third year St John’s student Cecilia Catuogno-Cal is on a winning streak after helping to break two shooting records and being named in the 'Team of the Year' in the first University of Cambridge Sports Awards. Cecilia is a member of the University’s Small Bore Club (CUSBC) 1st VI, which won first place at the annual British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Short Range Championships in…read more
  3. The Advent Visitor

    " I will give you my soul, if you will teach me learning and wisdom"
    Dr Christina J Faraday has a talent for writing fiction and her short ghost story set at St John's College, The Advent Visitor, has been published in a literary magazine. Here the St John's alumna shares her macabre tale... 'Quis est ille qui venit?' It was to be my first Christmas vacation in college. As soon as term ended, practically overnight the library emptied and the dining hall was…read more
  4. What the history of working motherhood can teach us during a global pandemic

    “It is a story of transformation for mothers but it’s a story of continuity for fathers”
    The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world of home and work upside down, blurring the lines between the workplace and family life. And although we are living through extraordinary times, a groundbreaking new book by St John’s College historian Dr Helen McCarthy reveals home and work life challenges are nothing new for mothers. With the world in lockdown, parents everywhere have been…read more
  5. ‘Exceptional’ St John’s alumni elected to prestigious Royal Society

    “At this time of global crisis, the importance of scientific thinking, and the medicines, technologies and insights it delivers, has never been clearer”
    Three outstanding St John’s scientists are among 62 newly-elected Fellows to join the world-renowned Royal Society. Professor Peter Nellist, Professor John Plane and Professor Nigel Scrutton have been selected to join the 2020 Fellowship for their exceptional contributions to scientific understanding. Their achievements range from pioneering new techniques for atomic-resolution microscopy, to…read more
  6. St John’s scientist leads research to reduce airborne Covid-19 spread in emergency hospitals

    “Our work aims to highlight simple yet effective solutions that are relatively easy to install, implement, service and maintain.”
    Cambridge scientists say low tech changes in makeshift emergency hospitals can reduce the dispersal of airborne Covid-19. Professor Andrew Woods, Fellow of Mathematics at St John’s and Head of the BP Institute, led a study with Professor Alan Short of the Department of Architecture to find ventilation designs and ward configurations to reduce virus dispersal. Emergency wards are being converted…read more
  7. Architecture student’s work to feature in Imperial War Museum refugee exhibition

    “Having your work exhibited at a major museum is a big deal for anyone – but especially for an undergraduate student”
    Drawings of refugee shelters by a St John’s student will be displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London to help unlock the personal stories of people who have been forced to flee their homes.  Refugees: Forced to Flee, a new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum (IWM), will explore a century of refugee experiences, from Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews and the Kindertransport, to the Calais…read more
  8. St John’s academics nominated in student-led awards for innovative teaching

    "To take good care of the academic development of the students should always be the priority of those involved in education"
    Three academics from St John’s College have been recognised for their teaching talent in annual awards run by the student community. The annual Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) teaching awards are presented in recognition of outstanding lecturers, supervisors, tutors, and Directors of Studies at the University of Cambridge.  Dr Georgina Evans has been nominated in the Inclusive…read more
  9. College lecturer awarded prestigious prize for teaching excellence

    "I find the students' enthusiasm inspiring and energising. Their questions often lead me to dig deeper into the subject and I learn new things every time I teach"
    A St John’s academic has scooped a Pilkington Prize for his exemplary teaching of mathematics. Dr John R. Taylor has been named as one of the 12 winners of the University of Cambridge Pilkington Prizes which are awarded annually by the Vice-Chancellor to people who make a substantial contribution to the teaching programme of a Department, Faculty or the University of Cambridge.  Dr Taylor, who…read more
  10. St John's launches 'Virtual Chapel' during coronavirus pandemic

    "The Chapel wants to play its part and ensure that the College community, and all our friends wherever they may be, can have the opportunity to pause together and reflect"
    St John’s College Chapel will deliver digital services to give people the opportunity to 'pause and reflect together' during the global lockdown.  Services are currently suspended at the world-famous Victorian chapel, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last May, to protect the St John's community and visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Chapel team is now going to provide 'Virtual…read more
  11. Senior research 'stars' awarded European Research Council funding

    "I am very happy that with this new grant we as UK scientists can continue to play an important part in the vibrant research culture of Europe"
    'Daring and innovative' senior scientists have been rewarded with €450 million of funding from the European Research Council - and a St John's physicist is amongst the recipients.  Professor Mete Atatüre, Director of Studies in Physics and Astrophysics and in Mathematics for Natural Sciences at St John's, is based at Cambridge’s world-renowned Cavendish Laboratory. He has been awarded £2.5…read more
  12. Leo adds strings to his bow with Facebook family concerts

    "The real joy of music is making it with other people"
    St John’s violinist Leo Appel and his musical family are performing weekly Facebook concerts to lift spirits and raise charity funds during the UK coronavirus lockdown. The second year music student is live-streaming the performances at 3pm every Wednesday from his family home in Oxford in the series called 'An Afternoon with the Appels' on his Facebook page. Viewers can donate to a different…read more
  13. Cambridge engineers use industrial modelling techniques to help Addenbrooke’s manage COVID-19

    "Instead of production lines we’re now looking at hospital wards, and rather than products or raw materials we are examining the flow of patients and supplies"
    Modelling tools originally designed to improve the efficiency of factories are being used by Cambridge engineers to help Addenbrooke’s Hospital manage the COVID-19 emergency. The work enhances the hospital’s own modelling, and provides insight into how day-to-day activities might be affected by a rise in patient numbers in the coming weeks or months. ‘Discrete event simulations’ have been…read more
  14. Happy birthday Wordsworth! Celebrating one of the world’s greatest poets

    Celebrating one of the world’s greatest poets
    7 April 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Romantic poet William Wordsworth’s birth. Rebecca Watts, curator of a new Wordsworth exhibition in the Library, reflects on the life of this renowned Johnian. When the seventeen-year-old William Wordsworth arrived in Cambridge in October 1787, he wasn’t exactly bowled over by what he saw. ‘It was a dreary morning when the chaise / Roll’d over the flat…read more
  15. St John’s social media star shortlisted in law awards

    “It’s really exciting to be nominated with somebody I have looked up to on social media for so many years”
    A St John’s law student with a popular YouTube channel was shortlisted for an award celebrating the best legal social media users of 2020. Second year undergraduate Elena Handtrack has clocked up more than 31,000 YouTube followers for her Cambridge vlog where she offers a glimpse into her busy life as a university law student. Her videos have had more than two million views and cover all kinds…read more
  16. Top maths prize is out of this world

    “I feel inspired to work even harder to discover new horizons in mathematics”
    A prestigious £15,000 maths prize once won by Stephen Hawking has been awarded to two researchers for their impressive work in the field of algebra. The historic Adams Prize is named after John Couch Adams who used maths to predict the existence of the planet Neptune. Couch Adams graduated from St John’s College in 1843 as ‘Senior Wrangler’ – the top mathematics undergraduate at the University…read more
  17. St John’s launches series of self-isolation blogs

    "This is a weird and frightening time to live in. That being said, I hope that these posts serve to provide a sense of comfort in the absurdity"
    Self-isolation is usually only something our students have to do when they have a deadline. But as social distancing is the key to saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of our undergraduate and postgraduate community left Cambridge to travel back to their family homes. Some have stayed at St John’s and we are committed to looking after them. Do have a look at the coronavirus…read more
  18. One of Darwin’s evolution theories finally proved by Cambridge researcher

    "We found the evolutionary relationship between mammalian species and subspecies differs depending on their habitat"
    Scientists have proved one of Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution for the first time – nearly 140 years after his death. Laura van Holstein, a PhD student in Biological Anthropology at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, and lead author of the research published today (March 18) in Proceedings of the Royal Society, discovered mammal subspecies play a more important role in evolution…read more
  19. ‘Visionary’ professor presented with world's largest education prize

    “Thanks to this award, my team and I will be able to undertake new research which I hope will enable us to apply our research to open a new window on the causes of developmental language disorders, and one that will hopefully lead towards remediation"
    An academic at St John’s College was awarded with the $3.9 million Yidan Prize at a major conference for leading education researchers. 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 a global leader in literacy research. She was presented with the prize at The Yidan Prize…read more
  20. Celebrate the end of term with music from Fleabag and Beethoven

    Jazz bands, vocal groups, orchestras and choirs perform to bring Lent to a close
    Music composed for Fleabag and big jazz band numbers will entertain audiences at St John's during an eclectic series of concerts to mark the final week of the Lent term.  The female a cappella vocal group Aquila will be performing in a special concert on 9 March to mark International Women’s Day. The group, which is directed by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange, will sing a mixture of folk, pop, jazz and…read more
  21. Victorious Lady Margaret Boat Club finish Head of the River in Lent Bumps

    "A huge amount of effort goes into training and preparing for the Bumps and the results are a credit to the crews who have worked incredibly hard"
    The men’s first boat of St John’s College won the ultimate prize during the Lent Bumps and finished top of the first division known as ‘Head of the River’. Lady Margaret Boat Club (LMBC), the St John’s College boat club, entered five crews into the Lent Bumps – one of the most important fixtures of the Cambridge rowing calendar. The men’s first boat, known as M1, were Head of the River in 2017…read more
  22. College computers donated to homeless charity Emmaus

    "We have donated three batches of hardware in the last six months, and we will be donating again in the future. It is great to know we are supporting such a good cause.”
    More than 200 used desktop computers have been donated to Emmaus by St John’s to be recycled and reused by people who use their services. The charity provides a home and ‘meaningful work’ for homeless people. St John’s has also donated printers, monitors, cables, laptops, network switches, and keyboards that were no longer needed. The equipment will be repurposed and sold on at low prices – the…read more
  23. Leading experts talk at student food security conference

    "The students should be really proud of all they achieved, bringing together such a wide range of expertise and crafting their own interventions so carefully throughout the conference"
    How a growing global population can be fed sustainably was explored in a student-led conference designed to bring together innovative thinkers.  The free 2020 Lady Margaret Beaufort Intellectual Connections Conference, organised by undergraduate and postgraduate students and titled A Lot On Our Plate: Food Security in the 21st Century took place in the College on 14 February. The event brought…read more
  24. Inside the head of a neuroscientist

    "It is a privilege to be part of St John’s, I never tire of hearing about people’s research, meeting students and staff, and going to fascinating talks and incredible concerts"
    Meet Dr Steve Edgley, neuroscientist and President of St John's. You have been a Fellow of St John’s for more than 30 years. What brought you to the College? I studied for a PhD in Bristol and worked as a postdoc in Sweden before coming to Cambridge as a lecturer in Biological Sciences. In my first year I supervised next door at Magdalene College, but was recruited by St John’s in 1989 to teach…read more
  25. The race is on for the former soldier raising money for veterans

    “I’m from an ex-mining community where the attitude towards education is that people think you are pratting about and need to get a proper job”
    Postgraduate student Gav Topley talks to Jo Tynan about juggling his London Marathon training regime with his PhD. Gav Topley is entertaining company – he has stories about everything, from his first job as a trainee falconer to being imprisoned in Bangkok for a week. What should have been a quick chat about his marathon training turned into a much livelier conversation about why Gav thinks we…read more