June Newsletter 2020

‘A political leader’s recommendations on preventive behaviour are taken seriously by followers, regardless of how scientifically based the statements are.’  Dr Tiago Calvacanti (e2013) of the Faculty of Economics considers the influence of political leaders on people’s behaviour in the latest in the series of Trinity reflections. Read.

Do read the other latest articles in our Reflections series, a selection of ruminations and recommendations by College members.

  • Reverend Olga Fabrikant-Burke (e2019) – Reinventing Evensong. Read.
  • Professor Richard Hunter (e2001) – Social Distance. Read.
  • Dr Carys Brown (e2019) – The Intimacy of Ink. Read.
  • Professor Adrian Poole (1967) – Monuments, Now and Then. Read.
  • Professor Angela Leighton (e2006) – A Counting Song. Read.

In an article first published by The Times on Wednesday, 20 May 2020, Lord Rees (1960) explores the impact of lockdown on universities. While we wait to return to ‘normal’, there are elements of the university experience and method that should be examined and, where necessary, updated to reflect the modern world, and the modern student. Read.

To mark the release of her new book, The Marquis de Sade and the Avant-Garde, Dr Alyce Mahon (e2000) has written a piece exploring a different take on the role of the humanities under lockdown. Read.

The May Week Mega Event, spearheaded by Human, Social and Political Sciences student George Rosenfeld (2017), took place on Sunday, 28 June 2020. Areeg Emarah (2017) and Tom McGachie (2018) played a part in hosting the event, in which students, staff, and alumni came together to showcase the talent and diversity of the Cambridge community. The event was designed to celebrate the end of the academic year while making the world a better place. Read.

Congratulations to all those who took part in the first ever Virtual May Bumps, which saw men’s, women’s, and miscellaneous ‘boats’ running 800m each day with the bumps run ‘live’ each evening on Cam FM. Special mention to Trinity’s alumni boats – the Black Prince Boat Club men held off a Selwyn challenge to finish second on the table, and the mixed crew successfully bumped on the final day to finish twelfth. Read and Listen.


We would normally be in full flow, wrapping up our graduation celebrations and preparing to welcome almost 1000 alumni and friends back to College for Family Day and Annual Gatherings in July.

Sadly, however, we are not currently able to welcome you back to College. What we have been doing instead, is using this time wisely to review our programmes of events and to make sure that, when we are able to open the College doors and be together once more, we can provide the best and safest possible series of events for you.

We have also been further developing what we can do now, enhancing our communications, and we will soon be launching a series of virtual events for you to enjoy. Our first event was held last week as we welcomed our graduands – and therefore our newest alumni – to the Trinity alumni community. A highlights video of this event will be shared soon.

We cannot wait to welcome you back to College when we can, and we hope you’ll also join us virtually in the coming months.

Congratulations to Barnali Ghosh (1999), who has been named one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering: Sustainability in the WE50 awards. The WES50 awards celebrate the achievements of women in engineering and related roles, and highlight the opportunities available to engineers of the future. Barnali has been awarded this prestigious title for her work and dedication delivering sustainable strategies and solutions and the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as her continual advocacy for women in sustainability and STEM. Read.

Many of us have found trying to explain the pandemic to our children easier said than done. Claire Standley (2003) has co-written a new book, Coronawho? designed to comfort and reassure young children about the changes to their lives caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The book is free to download as an ebook or pdf file. Download.

‘I’ve been thinking lately that education has become the new social divider, perhaps even more than wealth’ – Tara Westover (2008) writes for BBC Rethink about the changes she has noticed during lockdown, and how we can become a less divided world. Read.

On Friday, 31 July 2020, Trinity in Japan will be meeting in central Tokyo for a discussion with Lord Martin Rees, who will be joining the meeting via videolink to speak on Trinity, astronomy, and the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk. Following the discussion, the Society will go for dinner and nijikai drinks nearby. Register.

The Institute of Continuing Education’s Virtual Summer Festival of Learning is taking place in July. The programme includes a number of free online talks, as well as courses spanning a wide range of disciplines for a discounted rate of £49 per course. Alumni should complete the booking form and select ‘University Member’ in Step 5 to access the discount. Learn.

You may have noticed alumnus Alexander Armstrong (1989) on ITV over the last few weeks – his series Land of the Midnight Sun is still available to view. Watch.

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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