July Newsletter 2020

Trinity will be welcoming five new Gates Scholars to the College this September. Gates Scholarships are offered each year to 80 outstanding international students, enabling them to study for an MPhil or PhD in any subject offered at Cambridge. The research areas of Trinity’s Gates Scholars-elect include race relations, colonialism, astronomy, the nature of consent in rape cases, and mental health. Read.

Cambridge alumnus and former Global Chief Investment Strategist of BlackRock, Richard Turnill has been appointed Senior Bursar of Trinity, bringing 28 years’ experience in asset management and financial services to the role. He joins the College on 1 September 2020, initially as Assistant Bursar, working with Senior Bursar Rory Landman (e2006), who will step down in January 2021. Read.

Guy Gunaratne (e2019), author and Fellow Commoner in the Creative Arts, offers the latest entry in the series of Reflections by Trinity Fellows – ‘Approaching’. Read.

The other recent articles in the thought-provoking Reflections series are also available on the website:

  • Professor Philip Allott (1955) – Me. Us. Them: We must all be social philosophers now. Read.
  • Dr Alyce Mahon (e2000) – How art can break down barriers. Read.
  • Ali Smith (e2018) – The Litmus. Read.


  • Professor Horace Barlow FRS (1938), 1921-2020 – neuroscientist and Trinity Fellow. Read.
  • Dr Ian McDonald FRS (e1979), 1938-2020 – chemist and Trinity Fellow. Read.

On 24 June, Trinity held virtual Graduation Celebrations to mark the achievements and resilience of its remarkable students, who joined the online events from around the globe. The Praelector, Dr Hugh Hunt (e1990), Senior Tutor, Professor Catherine Barnard (e1996), and the Master, Dame Sally Davies (e2019) shared their heartfelt congratulations and good wishes for the future, followed by a screening of a specially compiled film of favourite moments and memories submitted by the graduating students. Some of our other Fellows and alumni also contributed to the day by sending in their messages: Watch Film 1 and Film 2.

Although the College was unable to hold the event at Trinity this year, graduates will be invited to a celebration in Cambridge in 2021, and we look forward to raising a toast together and welcoming back our newest of alumni! You can watch the Celebration on YouTube.

Congratulations to Professor Catherine Barnard (e1996) on her election to the Fellowship of the British Academy. Professor Barnard joins 85 other new Fellows who have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to subjects within the humanities and social sciences. Read.

While the Wren Library has been closed to visitors over the last few months, the Library team has put together a wonderful digital display so that you can still enjoy a virtual visit, at any time of day.  You can browse a selection of its treasures – from the notebook Isaac Newton (1661) used to manage his expenses during his Trinity undergraduate days, to a page of Srinivasa Ramanujan’s (1914) mathematical workings – and you can read more about items in the collection in the blog posts. Browse.


We have an exciting series of virtual events coming up over the next few months – please join us online!

On Tuesday 11 August, Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald (e2002) will be delivering a Trinity Research Talk: ‘Catching Cancer Early: How Long is a Piece of String?’ Register online. You can discover how her latest research and ‘Pill on a string’ test will help to transform oesophageal cancer diagnosis on the University website.

Professor Greg Hannon (e2016), Director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, will be our next Trinity Research speaker on Tuesday 8 September – final details will be confirmed in the near future.

For alumni based in the Tokyo area, do join the next Trinity in Japan Meeting on Friday 28 August from 7pm, with President of the Royal Society, Professor Venki Ramakrishnan (e2008), who will join by videolink. Please register by Friday 21 August. Register online.

We are putting the finishing touches to the virtual events programme, and will share the details with you as soon as they are finalised, but don’t forget to keep an eye on our Events pages.

Many congratulations to Dr Barnali Ghosh (1999), Technical Director at Mott MacDonald, on her Women’s Engineering Society ‘2020 Top 50 Women in Engineering: Sustainability’ award. Read.

‘The work of these people has saved lives. It was my great privilege to have been part of this collaboration.’ Dr Tobias Wauer (2011), Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, has been helping to build up the largest coronavirus testing centre in the UK, and he has written an account of his new life as a coronavirus tester for The Conversation. Read.

Trinity Admissions Tutor, Dr Glen Rangwala (1993) shares the challenges and surprises of delivering the July University Open Days as virtual events for the University’s ‘Unexpected Experiences’ series: ‘Scheduled to participate in five events over the two days, was I going to be spending those long hours talking to myself?’ Read.

Congratulations to Dr Marta Zlatic (1996), research leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, who is one of the eight Cambridge researchers elected as members of the European Molecular Biology Organisation. Read.

We hope that you will have seen the email we sent on Wednesday 29 July regarding the Blackbaud data breach. If not, please see the statement on our website.

Trinity College Choir’s recording of music by Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi will be released on 25 September 2020. At Evensong on 14 November 2019, the Choir premiered five especially commissioned works featured on the recording. The ‘Trinity Service’ includes responses, canticles, as well as settings of the Ave Maria and O Lux beata Trinitas. If you don’t want to have to wait until September, the service is available to listen again to on the Choir’s website.

PhD candidate Henry Anderson-Elliott (2011) has written a fascinating article for The Conversation about his search for Misha, the world’s most famous polar bear: ‘For years I have been tracking her, through data, personal stories, film footage, photos, and across the Svalbard ice. Through this journey, she has led me to new understandings of her species and what their conservation means.’ Read.


If you have 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.

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Header photo: Detail from the Wren Library’s new digital display site.