January Newsletter 2020

Two Trinity women were recognised in the Queen’s 2020 New Year Honours List for their achievements and contribution to society. Master of Trinity, Dame Sally Davies (e2019) received the honour of Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB). Professor Lynn Gladden (1983), Fellow, and Shell Professor of Chemical Engineering, was also honoured as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Read.

Colleagues across Cambridge have paid tribute to Professor John Davidson (1944), Fellow in Chemical Engineering, who sadly passed away on 25 December 2019 at the age of 93. Read.

On Saturday 1 February, Dame Sally Davies will raise the rainbow flag outside Great Gate to celebrate the start of LGBT+ History Month. The flag will be flown during daylight hours until the end of February. Read.

A hearty round of applause for the Trinity University Challenge team of Joseph Webber (2016), Lillian Crawford (2016), Liam Hughes (2015), and Nadia Hourihan (2016), who beat Manchester University in the quarter finals with an impressive 300 points. No wonder Jeremy Paxman called them the ‘big beasts of the competition’! If you missed episode 25, you can watch the team in action on BBC iPlayer.

Senior Bursar Rory Landman (e2006) will be retiring at the end of the year and the College has begun the search for his successor. If you are interested in discovering more about this key leadership role within the Trinity Fellowship, full details are available on the website. The application deadline is Friday 14th February. Read.

Congratulations to Jonathan Coe (1980), whose novel Middle England was named the best novel of 2019 at the Costa Book Awards. The brilliantly funny, Brexit-inspired book was described by the prize’s judges as ‘the perfect read for now.’ Visit the Guardian Books Podcast to hear Jonathan reading excerpts from his novel, and discussing the influences behind it.

Pittoni’s painting ‘An Allegorical Monument to Sir Isaac Newton’ has returned to hang in its spot on the Wren Library staircase after a year on display at exhibitions in the Grand Palais, Paris and the Doge’s Palace, Venice. Read.

If you’re based in the Tokyo area or are visiting the city over the next two months, do join Trinity in Japan for their next two events. The group will be getting together on Friday 21 February from 7pm for their regular monthly meeting, and on Monday 23 March from 7pm for ‘Excavating a Provincial Capital of the Assyrian Empire’ – a talk by Dr John MacGinnis (1982), followed by kaiseki dinner and drinks. Register.

Mathematician and author Professor Steven Strogatz (1980) has launched ‘The Joy of x’, a new podcast for Quanta Magazine featuring conversations with some of the world’s leading scientists about their lives and research: ‘I wanted to know why they do what they do, what they’ve discovered, and why it matters to them and to the world.’

In the first episode, Steven talks with theoretical astrophysicist Professor Priya Natarajan (1993), who shares her lifelong fascinations, including black holes, mapping the universe, and early personal computers. Listen.

Booking is now open for the Cambridge Science Festival 2020, from 9 – 22 March.

The programme features many Trinity contributors including Dame Sally Davies (e2019), who will deliver the 2020 Annual WiSETI lecture entitled ‘You Could Die of Infection’ on Wednesday 11 March, focusing on the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs and what is being done to tackle it. On Thursday 12 March, Lord Martin Rees (1960), Baroness Bryony Worthington, Dr Emily Shuckburgh (1994) and Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta (1962) will discuss ‘Climate change and biodiversity: time for action!’

The Festival proves more and more popular each year, and events fill up quickly, so do book early!


If you are the author of a recent or forthcoming book and you haven’t shared the details with us yet, please get in touch.

We want to hear from you! Do keep us up-to-date with your latest achievements and activities for our Global Alumni News pages in The Fountain and the Alumni Achievements section in the Annual Record. Please send your news, appointments, and publications to alumni-comms@trin.cam.ac.uk.


  • London: Trinity College Choir Association Drinks, Monday 10 February. REGISTER ONLINE.
  • Tokyo: Trinity in Japan Meeting, Friday 21 February. REGISTER ONLINE.
  • Tokyo: Trinity in Japan – Excavating a Provincial Capital of the Assyrian Empire, Monday 23 March. REGISTER ONLINE.
  • Cambridge: Medics’ Association Dinner, Saturday 28 March 2020. REGISTER ONLINE.
  • Newmarket: Trinity Golf Day, Thursday 25 June 2020. SAVE THE DATE.
  • Cambridge: Trinity Family Day, Sunday 5 July 2020. SAVE THE DATE.
  • Cambridge: First and Third Trinity Boat Club Association Biennial Dinner, Saturday 26 September. SAVE THE DATE. 
  • Cambridge: TrinTalk, Sunday 27 September. SAVE THE DATE.

Please send your achievements/news/address updates to alumni-comms@trin.cam.ac.uk.

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