September Newsletter 2020

Dame Sally Davies (e2019) launched the Trinity Challenge earlier this month, which brings together leading business, academic and philanthropic institutions, to harness the potential of data and analytics in order to better protect and prepare the world against health emergencies. A £10 million prize fund will be available to Challenge Teams to support and scale their innovations across economics, behavioural sciences, and epidemiology, which can be translated into improvements in the identification of, response to, and recovery from disease. Read.

Congratulations to second-year medical student Aisha Brown (2019), who aced it and became a Cambridge Blue earlier this month after the Cambridge University Lawn Tennis Club beat Oxford by eighteen to three games in the annual Blues Varsity Match. Aisha talks about the tennis heroes who’ve inspired her ever since she first picked up a racket. Read.

The Fitzwilliam Museum has acquired three important paintings from the estate of merchant banker and art collector George Pinto (1950). The two portraits of young boys by Adriaen van Ostade (1610-85), and an Italianate coastal view by Francesco Guardi (1712-93), are now on display in Galleries 7 (The Courtauld) and 15 (Dutch gallery). Director of the Museum, Luke Syson (e2019), said: ‘Now, thanks to his life-long connoisseurship, and of course the entirely admirable Acceptance in Lieu Scheme, these lively, delicate works now come to the Fitz for our public to enjoy for generations to come.’ Read.

From 10 September to 25 September, the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Studies hosted ‘Future Pandemics’, a wide-ranging series of talks by a raft of leading international experts including Former Master, Lord Rees (1960). Films of the talks are now available to watch on the Institute’s website.


  • On Friday 23 October from 6-7.30pm (GMT), join the Trinity Engineers’ Association for their first virtual meeting, on the theme of re-opening during a pandemic using engineering solutions. Dr Hugh Hunt (e1990) will talk on ‘Coping with COVID-19 in Cambridge’, and Dr Shaun Fitzgerald (Girton) will discuss ‘COVID mitigation measures and the challenges of re-opening public venues’. The talks will be followed by a breakout session for further discussion by discipline. Register.
  • On Thursday 19 November from 6-7pm (GMT), Fellow in History, Dr Duncan Hardy (e2016), will deliver the next Trinity Research Talk: ‘The rise of nation-states? Alternative pathways of political change in late medieval and early modern Europe.’ Details.

Thank you to alumni who joined us online for the two Trinity Research Talks this month. Don’t worry if you missed Professor Greg Hannon (e2016) on ‘Lessons from Studies of Tumour Heterogeneity’ because you can catch up with his talk on YouTube. Dr Alyce Mahon’s (e2000) Talk ‘How Art Can Break Down Barriers: The Marquis de Sade and the Avant Garde’ is also available to enjoy on the website.

Congratulations to William Dalrymple (1984), on the shortlisting of The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company for the Cundill History Prize 2020, which recognises the best history writing in English. Read.


Congratulations to Robert N. Shapiro (1972) who has been elected Chairman of the Board of Governors of The Handel and Haydn Society. Read.

You can now watch two of the great recent events organised by Trinity in Japan Chair, Dr Gerhard Fasol (1978), on our website. Lord Rees (1960) joined the group via videolink in July, to discuss astronomy, Trinity, and existential risks to humanity, and Professor Venki Ramakrishnan (e2008), President of the Royal Society,  joined the group online in August. Watch.


Dear alumni,

On Thursday 1 October 2020, the Master of Trinity, Dame Sally Davies, will admit Fellows new to Trinity.
For the first time, the Admission of Fellows’ ceremony will take place online, at noon (BST.)

This academic year, Trinity welcomes 11 new Fellows, who under the College statutes ‘before being admitted shall in the presence of the Council read aloud…a declaration.’

You can hear that declaration and the entire ceremony, including a speech by Dame Sally, via a Zoom webinar, the details of which are as follows:

Zoom link
Webinar ID: 999 0746 3356
Passcode: 953933

There is no need to register, you can simply log onto zoom and watch proceedings, which will end at approximately 1pm.

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:

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Header photo: Tranquil Trinity. © Joanna Cooney