Skip to main content

St John's College News

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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…read more
  4. 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
  5. 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…read more
  6. 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…read more
  7. 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…read more
  8. 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…read more
  9. 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.…read more
  10. ‘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…read more
  11. Senior academics at St John’s receive University of Cambridge promotions

    Several senior academics at St John’s have been promoted to personal Professorships or Readerships at the University of Cambridge. These promotions will take effect from October 2019. The Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Academic Promotions Committee put forward recommendations for the promotions, which were considered by the General Board. The Board recommended the establishment of 43 Professorships,…read more
  12. Andrew Chamblin Memorial Concert 2019

    The hour-long programme will feature works by Bach, Wesley and Ritter
    The thirteenth annual Andrew Chamblin Memorial Concert will be given by David Titterington HonFRCO HonRAM at 8pm in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford on Thursday 19th September 2019. Mr Titterington will play an hour-long programme of organ works by Bach, Muffat, Scheidemann, Wesley and Ritter. Admission is free and everyone is welcome - there are no tickets required and no reserved seating.…read more
  13. The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2019

    Seven Johnians recognised for outstanding achievements in Queen's Birthday Honours List 2019
    Seven Johnians have been featured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2019, including an Opera Director, a Scientific Advisor, and a Director of Music. The Queen’s Birthday Honours List recognises the outstanding achievements of people across the United Kingdom. The following Johnians received awards this year: Professor Sir Ian Lamont Boyd (1979), Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for…read more
  14. Pivotal role played by St John’s in D-Day landings

    The Normandy invasion was one of the largest military assaults in history
    D-Day – a major turning point in the Second World War - was organised by army officers in the Senior Combination Room at St John’s College. On 6 June 1944, 156,000 British, US and Canadian troops landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of the Normandy region of France. Codenamed Operation Neptune and now known as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion…read more
  15. DNA from 31,000-year-old milk teeth leads to discovery of new group of ancient Siberians

    “These people were a significant part of human history, they diversified almost at the same time as the ancestors of modern day Asians and Europeans"
    Two children’s milk teeth buried deep in a remote archaeological site in north eastern Siberia have revealed a previously unknown group of people lived there during the last Ice Age. The finding was part of a wider study which also discovered 10,000 year-old human remains in another site in Siberia are genetically related to Native Americans – the first time such close genetic links have been…read more
  16. The Bumps are not just about speed – they are about the chase

    "It can be a very different race depending on who’s around you and where you are. You have a single clear focus – the boat ahead of you”
    Easter Term means exams, the May Ball and the Bumps. Hazel Lawrence talks to members of the Lady Margaret Boat Club to find out why no-one wants to get ‘spoons’. Along the banks of the River Cam there are 20 boathouses between Victoria Bridge and the Cambridge Museum of Technology. Most of them belong to Cambridge Colleges, 16 in fact, evidence of an historic sports scene which still thrives…read more
  17. Driverless cars working together can speed up traffic by 35 percent

    "Autonomous cars could fix a lot of different problems associated with driving in cities, but there needs to be a way for them to work together"
    A fleet of driverless cars working together to keep traffic moving smoothly can improve overall traffic flow by at least 35 percent, researchers have shown. The researchers from the University of Cambridge including Michael He, a second year Mathematics undergraduate from St John's, programmed a small fleet of miniature robotic cars to drive on a multi-lane track and observed how the traffic…read more
  18. ‘Marvels of modern life’ created by Johnians get national recognition with Royal Mail stamps

    "The UK is a global engineering powerhouse with many world firsts developed here"
    The Raspberry Pi computer and a synthetic bone-graft are among the feats of engineering from the past 50 years being celebrated by the Royal Mail in a new set of stamps. The 10 stamps feature ‘marvels of modern life’ created by British engineers and highlight inventions in medicine, travel, and infrastructure. Dr Dame Sue Ion, British engineer and judge for the Royal Academy of Engineering…read more
  19. Tony nominations for ‘fiercely gripping’ play by St John’s graduate

    The production opened on Broadway to rave reviews after a successful run in London's West End
    A play set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and written by an alumnus of St John’s has been nominated for nine of America’s most important theatre awards. Jez Butterworth’s critically acclaimed Broadway play The Ferryman has picked up nominations for Best Play for Butterworth, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Paddy Considine and Best Direction for Sam Mendes. The family…read more
  20. St John’s marks 150 year anniversary of famous College Chapel

    A programme of special services will take place on Sunday, May 12
    Celebrations have begun to mark the 150th birthday of the famous Victorian Chapel of St John’s College - an iconic feature of the Cambridge skyline. Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the great Gothic Revival architect, the building replaced a relatively modest Tudor chapel which was itself a rebuilding of that of the 13th century Hospital of St John which predated the College’s foundation in…read more
  21. From fractional quantum Hall effect to field-theoretic dualities: Dirac Lecture 2019

    Dirac Lecture 2019
    The annual Dirac Lecture 2019, entitled From fractional quantum Hall effect to field-theoretic dualities, will be given by Professor Dam Thanh Son, University of Chicago. The lecture will take place on Tuesday 14 May at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge. The Dirac Lecture, established jointly by St John's College and the University of Cambridge's Department of Applied…read more
  22. Research centre run by Master of St John’s wins prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry award

    "We are proud of the contribution the chemical sciences make to our global community"
    Academics at The Centre for Misfolding Diseases have been honoured with a Royal Society of Chemistry prize to celebrate their ‘inspirational’ scientific collaboration. The Royal Society of Chemistry’s annual prizes and awards recognise achievements by individuals, teams and organisations in advancing the chemical sciences and supporting chemical scientists. Professor Tuomas Knowles, Sir…read more
  23. College nurse campaigning to change UK university allergy rules

    "Those who have an anaphylactic reaction are at risk of death if adrenaline is not readily available"
    A campaign to make it easier for students with severe allergies to have access to lifesaving Epipens is being supported by the on-site nurse at St John’s College. Emma Dellar is fundraising for The Anaphylaxis Campaign which is lobbying for legal changes which would allow Higher Education medical staff to store Epipens and other adrenaline auto injector devices (AAIs) onsite. Staff at UK Higher…read more
  24. Discovery of RNA transfer through royal jelly could aid development of honey bee vaccines

    "Bees share ‘transmissible RNA’ among members of the colony, likely as a way of sharing immunity"
    A team of researchers including Dr Eric Miska, Fellow at St John’s, have discovered that honey bees are able to share immunity with other bees and to their offspring in a hive by transmitting RNA ‘vaccines’ through royal jelly and worker jelly. The jelly is the bee equivalent of mother’s milk: a secretion used to provide nutrition to worker and queen bee larvae. The findings suggest new ways to…read more
  25. Rugby and hockey captains win awards celebrating outstanding sportspeople

    The Colours Dinner recognises the exceptional achievements and good character of sporting students
    St John’s students Charlie Smith and Zengani Nyirenda were honoured with prizes for their significant contributions to College sport at this year’s Annual General Athletics Club Colours Dinner (known as the Colours Dinner). Smith, who captains the men’s rugby team, was presented with the Bob Fuller trophy and Nyirenda, captain of the women’s hockey team, was awarded the Jim Williams trophy by Dr…read more