Robinson College News
April 2021

Research news, women in science, Virginia Woolf: events and news

Good news in research: Professor Melinda Duer awarded prestigious ERC grant
Professor Melinda Duer has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant for her EXTREME project to explore the chemistry that happens when a biological tissue stretches or breaks. She is one of only 209 leading researchers across Europe to have been selected for a 2020 Advanced Grant, from 2,678 applicants in all fields of research. Female researchers submitted 22% of proposals and 23% of grants were awarded to women. So-called mechanochemistry leads to molecules being generated within the tissue that may be involved in communicating tissue damage to cells. Detecting and understanding this chemistry is highly relevant for understanding ageing, and for developing new therapeutics for degenerative diseases and cancer. Please read more here.
Spotlight on research: Robinson’s inspiring Master’s students
This month we celebrate the contributions of postgraduates to the Robinson College research environment and, more importantly, their potential impact on the world at large. Here are just two of Robinson’s inspiring Master’s students:

Introducing Asif Hossain (pictured; photo credit: Josue Brocca), a Criminology Master’s student. With support from Robinson and the University, Asif has not only been able to continue his studies but also to change the lives of others whilst doing so. The funding, only made possible by generous donations from alumni and friends of the College and University, has allowed Asif to expand his research on police training as well as dedicating his spare time to a non-profit organisation that helps orphans to get a meaningful education and live a better life. 

Meanwhile, Charlotte Salf (pictured) is researching how smart inhalers could potentially help detect the early warning signs of asthma attacks, reducing the risk of attacks for many asthmatics. When every 10 seconds someone in the UK has a potentially fatal asthma attack, this research may prove to be genuinely lifesaving.

These are just two of Robinson’s amazing Master’s students. With your support, we can help fund more. You can read how you can get involved by following this link. Find Asif’s and Charlotte’s stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

Women in Science Festival inspires students

The annual Women in Science Festival took place virtually for the first time to great success, with almost 200 Year 11 and Year 12 students joining College academics, staff, and students in exploring science and discovering university study. The 2021 Festival was this year spread across four days, with content released each day for attendees to watch. This content covered academic work currently undertaken by Robinson academics and postgraduate students, admissions information sessions from our Admissions Tutors and Schools Liaison Officer, discussion from current undergraduates about university life, as well as presentations of shortlisted posters from the Festival’s science poster competition. These posters will shortly be uploaded to the College website, where we hope alumni will join us in appreciating the work and energies of those who took part. 

Virginia Woolf: the everlasting inspiration

Robinson Fellow Dr Jeremy Thurlow’s composition I see a ring was featured in BBC Radio 3’s Breakfast Show with Petroc Trelawney. Dr Thurlow was also one of the writers and musicians contributing to a Sunday feature programme Riding the Waves which was aired on 18 April, about Virginia Woolf and her continuing inspiration to artists today. Listen here to the BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Show and here to BBC Radio 3 Sunday Feature. You can read Dr Thurlow’s blog about this composition by following this link.


Virtual visit to the Chandrakala and Mansukhlal Shah Building

Although the new home of the Robinson College archive, the Chandrakala and Mansukhlal Shah Building, has not been officially opened yet due to the pandemic restrictions of the past 12 months, the new building has already become a visible part of the fabric of the College. The College archive is now safe and secure thanks to our supporters. Before we can show you around our new addition in person, please have a look at the new web page devoted to the Chandrakala and Mansukhlal Shah Building and view the story of the building via this picture story.


News for Easter 2021 Bin Brook still welcome

Work on the forthcoming Easter edition of Bin Brook magazine continues. Please do tell us your latest news! We are always thrilled to hear and share news of your successes, births, marriages, matters that are close to your heart which you would like to share with your friends and the rest of the Robinson community.

Please write with your stories and news to by 5 May to catch the Easter edition of Bin Brook. Don’t forget to include photographs. Thank you!

Blood sculptures: an expression of common humanity

Marc Quinn (History of Art, 1983) recently delivered a lecture, Our Blood, in which he discussed his work, including Self and Our Blood, and examined the uniqueness of blood and the vulnerability of human life. Through his art, Marc Quinn explores the relationships that are the framework of our human existence: art and science, the human body and the perception of beauty, man and nature. His solo exhibition, Our Blood, will open in June 2021 in New York, featuring his not-for-profit artwork created with the help of thousands of refugees. To read more, follow this link. Or watch Marc Quinn’s lecture, Blood Sculptures, here

Film and Television Production Workshop
5 May (student event, by invitation only)

Hosted by Brickhouse Theatre Company and Robinson College Alumni Film and Television Group (RAFT), a group of 12 students will have a unique opportunity to get together with TV Development Assistant Producer, Film Production Assistant and Robinson alumna Anna Keeley (MML, 2014) to talk about how she broke into the industry and how they could do the same. Read more about this workshop and Anna’s work here.


Warden’s Asia Pacific Farewell Event
13 May at 7.00pm HK/SG time (12.00 noon UK)

The Warden says a personal farewell to friends and alumni in Asia Pacific. He usually travels to the region every year but this year has been unable to do so due to the pandemic. The event will be hosted by Adrian Li (Law, 1992). Registration is open for all alumni and friends in Asia Pacific. Please follow this link to book your place.

Crausaz Wordsworth Society Event, 26 April

Beyond coronavirus: How Robinson met the challenge of Covid-19 and plans to build back better in 2021

Crausaz Wordsworth Society members met virtually on 24 April to bid farewell to the retiring Warden, Professor David Yates, and to listen to a conversation between Dr Mary Stewart, Founding Fellow, President of the Crausaz Wordsworth Society and Dr David Woodman, Senior Tutor.

Dr Woodman talked about the past year in the life of the College and explained the measures the College has taken across all aspects of college life, from academic support to student wellbeing. You can read more about the event here.

With very best wishes from all at Robinson,

Sarah, Catherine, Liz, Helen and Norbert
Robinson College Development Office