Campendium: Lent Term 2018
Tributes to the late Professor Hawking; a new ice rink; and the complex minds of sheep
The New Ice Rink
Ninety years after David Gattiker (Christ’s 1929) dreamed of winning a Blue for ice hockey on a University rink, work has begun on the Cambridge Ice Arena – and it is all down to Gattiker himself. Gattiker captained the University team during his time studying chemistry in Cambridge from 1929 to 1931. Later, he helped to smuggle uranium ore out of Germany during the second world war. But he never lost his love of ice, and, before his death in 1993, he bequeathed most of his estate to the University to build an ice rink for the city. Thermal insulation and solar panels will make it one of the most energy efficient in Europe, and the new facility will host competitions, displays, training sessions and more.
Professor Stephen Hawking
As CAM went to press, friends and colleagues from the University paid tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking, who died in March. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, said: “Professor Hawking was a unique individual who will be remembered with warmth and affection not only in Cambridge but all over the world. His exceptional contributions to scientific knowledge and the popularisation of science and mathematics have left an indelible legacy. His character was an inspiration to millions. He will be much missed.”
£85m Dolby gift is biggest ever to UK science
The University has received an £85m gift from the estate of sound pioneer Ray Dolby – the largest philanthropic donation ever made to UK science. The Dolby family’s gift has enabled the Dear World…Yours, Cambridge fundraising ILLUS campaign to surpass £1bn – halfway to its £2bn target. The money will support the Cavendish Laboratory, the world-leading centre for physics research where Dolby received his PhD in 1961. Its flagship building, expected to open in 2022, will be named the Ray Dolby Centre, and will host the Ray Dolby Research Group. “My father’s time at the Cavendish provided him with an environment where he got a world-class education in physics, and many of his successful ideas about noise reduction were stimulated by his Cambridge experience,” says Dolby’s son, David. “Our family is pleased to be able to support the future scientists and innovators who will benefit from the thoughtfully designed Ray Dolby Centre.”
Two-Minute Tripos: Sheep can recognise Fiona Bruce. Discuss with reference to last night’s news headlines
Well, hello, Dolly. What’s that you’ve got in your mouth?
Baa baa. Baa. Baa.
Why, it’s a picture of well-known TV newsreader Fiona Bruce. Are you searching for her? Has she fallen down a well? This is a bit surreal, isn’t it?
Baaa. Baa, baa, baa.
No, you’re quite right to walk away. I’m not Fiona Bruce. Wow, that’s amazing. I never realised sheep had the capacity for facial recognition.
Baa. Well, we’ve known for some time that sheep are capable of recognising fellow sheep and our beloved shepherds. But scientists led by Professor Jenny Morton at the Department of Physiology,, Development and Neuroscience wanted to find out if we could recognise people from photographs.
I supposed picking Fiona Baa-ruce made sense.
As did including Baa-rack Obama, which works much better as a pun. Anyway. The study used pictures of celebrities to train sheep to recognise faces. Which, it turns out, we can do.
That’s amazing. I always thought sheep were stupid. You know, sheep-like. Sheeple. Not like us clever humans.
Actually, we sheep might be cleverer than you think. Professor Morton says our brains are similar in size and complexity to those of some monkeys. This allows us to be used in studies looking into how brain disorders such as Huntingdon’s disease affect cognitive abilities over time.
Yeah, fantastic, amazing. Oh look, my friend just sent me a gif of a penguin dancing and wearing a jacket. Awwww.
It also might enable us to silently plot how we would run the world much, much better than you, while looking like we’re just eating grass. Baa.
Wait. What? Did the sheep just say something? Did anyone else hear that?
Double win for Blues rugby teams
It was a double celebration for the men’s and women’s teams at Twickenham in the 136th Varsity match, the first time both teams have shared victories at rugby’s HQ. The women’s dominant 24-0 win, coming nearly 30 years after the first game and three years after the inaugural match at Twickenham, is the 13th time they have won. The men’s team, featuring former World Sevens Player of the Year Ollie Phillips in his last ever game, recorded back-to-back victories for the first time in a decade, and extended their record of wins to 64-59.
Tweet of the term
“Gravity is a mystery. We know what it does. But we don’t know what it is.” This cover of the @Cambridge_Uni alumni mag is just drop-dead gorgeous Matt Potter (Caius 1990) @Cambridge_Uni
Cambridge academics have been recognised in the New Year Honours list. Professor Sir Keith Peters was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the British Empire for Services to the Advancement of Medical Science. Professor Diane Coyle, Cambridge’s inaugural Bennett Professor of Public Policy, was awarded a CBE. OBEs were awarded to Ian Goodyer, Emeritus Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Dr Tina Barsby CEO of Cambridgebased crop science organisation NIAB and Fellow of St Edmund’s College.
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