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April Newsletter 2021

A letter written by Casanova in 1791 has been discovered in the Wren Library, pasted into the flyleaf of a book from the Crewe Collection. Library Assistant, Maria Giovanna De Simone shares the excitement of the discovery, and what the letter reveals about the man behind it. Read.

Trinity Fellows Professor Emma Widdis (e1998) and Dr Carlos Fonseca (e2019) pay tribute to their colleague, Dr Erica Segre (e1998), whose legacy lives on in her writing and the generations of students she inspired. Read. You can also read a selection of memories of Dr Segre from Modern and Medieval Languages alumni. Read. Professor Widdis would be pleased to receive any further memories or tributes by email.

Anthropologist of religion Dr Naomi Richman is one of the eight Junior Research Fellows who will be joining Trinity in October this year. Currently a postdoctoral researcher for the Wellcome Trust funded project, Hidden Persuaders, based at the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London, Dr Richman discusses her research and what she plans to achieve at Trinity on the website. Read.


The College was saddened to learn of the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021 – Honorary Fellow of Trinity, and Chancellor of the University of Cambridge 1976-2011. Read.

Do watch the special short film ‘The Fitzwilliam Museum: Promoting the Increase of Learning’ with Luke Syson (e2019), Director of the Museum, in which he shares his thoughts on the purpose of the Museum and discusses items with a direct connection to Trinity.

The film was produced as part of this year’s Great Court Circle event on Thursday 29 April, and Luke was joined by Nick Thomas (e2006), Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, for a fascinating conversation on leading a major museum. Thank you to Luke and Nick for making the event possible. Watch.


We regret to inform you that our two Annual Gatherings, scheduled for 17 July (1996, 1997, 1998) and 21 July 2021 (1968, 1969, 1970, 1971), will be further postponed until a later date.

While we know that this delay will come as a disappointment, we very much look forward to welcoming you back to Trinity and hosting the events once local and international restrictions have eased. With the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, and the safety of attendees being of the utmost importance to the College, we feel it is best to delay these events until we can meet the standard the occasions deserve.

Our two Annual Gatherings scheduled for 11 September (2008, 2009, 2010) and 15 September 2021 (1965, 1966, 1967) remain in the College diary, but will continue to be subject to ongoing review. We will keep all those eligible for these Gatherings up-to-date with any developments.


We have been busy planning plenty of events to keep you in touch with Trinity and with one another over the coming weeks. You will find the full event listing at the bottom of this page, but here are the next two opportunities.

Take the time to join us for a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Trinity Clock with Keeper of the Clock, Dr Hugh Hunt (e1990), on Thursday 6 May (6-7pm BST). Explore King Edward’s Gate and discover what makes the Trinity Clock tick. Register.
Take a seat for Davey Jose (2001) in conversation with his brother, Bobby Seagull on Tuesday 11 May (6-7pm BST). Davey will share how his childhood spinal injury shaped both his art and tech know-how. Read Davey’s article on pages 18-21 of the recent edition of The Fountain for a preview of his amazing art and film projects. Register.

We are pausing the Trinity Research Talks series while we focus on our summer events, but we will be bringing you more research news from our Fellows in the near future. Thank you to everyone who joined the events and asked such fascinating questions of our speakers. Visit the website to catch up on all of the Talks.

2019 Physics Nobel Laureate, Professor Didier Queloz (e2013) is leading the Cambridge Initiative for Planetary Science and Life in the Universe, a new University research initiative bringing together physicists, chemists, biologists, mathematicians and earth scientists to answer fundamental questions on the origin and nature of life in the Universe. Read.

All alumni are welcome to join the Cambridge Society of Paris  online via Zoom on Thursday 3 June at 7pm for their event ‘The World in 2050 – and Beyond’, with Lord Martin Rees (1960). Please book via the Society’s website.

Don’t move a mussel! PhD student Josh Brian (2018) is the first author of a new report published in the journal Conservation Letters, which highlights that conservationists may be unintentionally spreading pathogens between threatened animal populations. Read.

Congratulations to two Trinity BAFTA 2021 nominees. Actor Paul Chahidi (1987) is the Reverend Francis Seaton in the comedy series ‘This Country’, which has scooped an impressive six nominations this year. TV producer and writer Richard Osman (1989) has been nominated for the best daytime show category for ‘Richard Osman’s House of Games’. Read.

One to watch – Dr Jonathan C M Wan (2014), Academic Doctor at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital features in Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 Europe list, in the Science & Healthcare category. Read.


Tim Davies (1978) – Euthanasia and the Ethics of a Doctor’s Decisions: An Argument Against Assisted Dying, Bloomsbury, 22 April.
Meet the Author

Amanda Dennis (2006), Her Here – Amanda’s debut, published in March this year, has been described as an ‘existential detective novel’. Read her Gates Cambridge interview about what has inspired and influenced her writing. Read.
Alex Michaelides (1996), The Maidens – Following 2019’s global bestseller The Silent Patient, Alex’s second thriller out in June weaves a tale of jealousy, lies, murder and obsession set in a fictional Cambridge College. Read Alex’s interview with Publisher’s Weekly about his ‘contemporary Greek tragedy’. Read.
If you have a recent or forthcoming book, blog or article, podcast or production, and you haven’t shared the details with us yet, please get in touch.

Professor Oliver Linton (e2011) has been elected President of the Society for Financial Econometrics. Read.


Online: Meet The Master – USA. Dame Sally Davies will be joined by Richard Turnill, Senior Bursar, and by Michael Banner, Dean and Chair of Alumni Relations and Development. Tuesday 4 May (5-6pm). REGISTER.
Online: Behind-the-scenes Tour of the Trinity Clock, with Keeper of the Clock, Dr Hugh Hunt. Thursday 6 May (6-7pm BST). REGISTER.
Online: In Conversation – Artist Davey Jose (2001) with Bobby Seagull. Tuesday 11 May (6-7pm BST). REGISTER.
Online: Meet the Master – USA. Dame Sally Davies will be joined by Richard Turnill, Senior Bursar, and by Michael Banner, Dean and Chair of Alumni Relations and Development. Tuesday 11 May (1pm-2pm). REGISTER.
Online: In Conversation – Performer & composer Owain Park (2013) with composer Michael Waldron (2006). Tuesday 8 June (6-7pm BST) REGISTER.
Newmarket: Trinity Golf Day at Newmarket & Royal Worlington Golf Club. Tuesday 24 June (all day). REGISTER.
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: [email protected]

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Header image: Trinity tulip time © Graham CopeKoga

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