The Alumni Office offers regular webinars featuring Magdalen students, Fellows and alumni. You can find upcoming events here. You can find recordings of our previous webinars below and on our YouTube channel.
Fellow by Examination: Dr Michelle Pfeffer: “Astrological forecasting of epidemic disease in early modern England”
Did you know that before epidemiologists began modelling disease, it was the job of astrologers? Dr Michelle Pfeffer will show how early modern astrologers used the tools of their trade to predict the diseases that they thought were likely to impact the health of their community and took on many of the activities we associate with public health today, such as the communication of health information to the public; the forecasting of disease at the population-level; and the surveillance and analysis of epidemic disease.
Professor Tim Barraclough: “A virtual tour of Addison’s Walk”
Watch a video tour of Addison’s Walk and the Fellows’ Garden with Garden Master and Professor of Evolutionary Biology Tim Barraclough and Dinah Rose, President of Magdalen, along with Scrumpy the College dog.
Learn more about the history of Addison’s Walk, its flora and fauna (including the origin of Magdalen’s fritillaries), the importance of the unique biodiversity it supports… and much more.
Professor Rahul Santhanam: “Through the Computational Lens: Sudoku, the Game of Life and the Nature of the Universe”
In this family-friendly webinar Prof Santhanam will use games and puzzles such as Sudoku and Conway’s Game of Life to show how computational thinking is helpful in understanding the nature of our universe. Suitable for ages 14+.
Professor Richard Cornall: “A Journal of the Pandemic Year, 2020”
‘…it was a most surprising thing to see those streets which were usually so thronged now grown desolate, and so few people to be seen in them’ Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year, Publ. 1722 COVID-19 is the latest of many pandemics that have shaped human history; but never has the human host attempted to fight back on such a scale. In this talk, Magdalen Fellow Richard Cornall, the Nuffield Professor of Medicine, discusses the University’s research response, its successes, challenges, and plans to address future threats.
Professor Laurie Maguire: “Sharespeare’s second thoughts” (family friendly)
There is no such thing as good writing, only good re-writing’ (Robert Graves). It is often assumed this sentiment doesn’t apply to writers like Shakespeare; after all, his first editors in 1623 advertised ‘his hand and mind went together … that we have scarce received from him a blot in his papers’. In fact, Shakespeare rewrote lines, transposed speeches, and cut scenes. In this talk, Professor Laurie Maguire shows us how to uncover Shakespeare’s revisions. Suitable for ages 14+.
Prof Simon Horobin: “Bagels, Bumf, and Buses: A Day in the Life of the English Language”
After a sold-out alumni book talk in London earlier this year, Professor Simon Horobin gave an online talk on his recently-published book Bagels, Bumf, and Buses which explores the fascinating histories of everyday words.
Professor Robert Douglas-Fairhurst: “Can Poetry make you happy?”
Could something as simple as reading a poem really help to make us happier? In this talk, hosted by Dinah Rose QC, President of Magdalen College, Fellow in English Professor Robert Douglas-Fairhurst explores why poetry has traditionally been associated with doom and gloom, and shows how it might be a helpful resource in keeping up our spirits in difficult times.
Dr Alexy Karenowska: “The magic of magnetism: intrigue and adventure from antiquity to the modern day”.
A family-friendly webinar for all ages by Fellow in Physics Dr Alexy Karenowska. Magnetism is among the most mysterious of everyday phenomena. Join in this whistle-stop tour for all ages of the fascinating two-thousand year history of magnetic science and an opportunity to explore some of its most recent developments.
Professor Robin Cleveland, & DPhil candidates Rob Staruch and Tom Kirk: “Innovating in a crisis: developing a ventilator for Covid-19”.
Magdalen Fellow and Professor of Engineering, Robin Cleveland, talks to Magdalen DPhil candidates Rob Staruch, one of OxVent’s founders; and Tom Kirk, a key member of the OxVent team, about the process of inventing and developing a ventilator in rapid response to Covid-19.
OxVent has been built with readily available off-the-shelf components and is a safe, simple design that can be easily assembled and operated. It is now established as a social enterprise to help developing countries meet Covid-19 demands in emerging economies. Read more…
This talk forms part of the Magdalen Means Business event series for those interested in entrepreneurship, enterprise and innovation. More information.
25th June 2020
Professor Robin Dunbar & Professor Lucy Bowes: “Our social world: the most complex thing in the universe?”
Humans are intensely social. Close relationships, whether with family or friends, are our way of buffering ourselves against the stresses of life. Friendships have a huge beneficial effect on our quality of life as well as our ability to resist and recover from illness. Yet there is a dark side to relationships – bullying and victimisation can lead to lasting psychological and physical harm.
Professor Robin Dunbar will discuss the positive side of relationships by exploring the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms involved in friendship, and Professor Lucy Bowes will discuss the dark side of relationships including how an individual’s genetic makeup may make it more likely that they will experience victimisation over the course of their life.
You can find further webinars, talks, and podcasts by Magdalen Fellows below.
Former President of Magdalen, Professor Sir David Clary
On Schrödinger and his equation – click here
On Schrödinger’s contribution to science as well as a look at the real chemistry infused into the worldwide phenomenon that has erupted from the Japanese manga series, “Full Metal Alchemist.” – click here
Emeritus Fellow Professor Oliver Taplin
Collection of talks and podcasts on a variety of subject, the most recent one being on ‘Epic Performances from the Middle Ages into the Twenty-First Century’. – click here
Emeritus Fellow Professor Robin Dunbar (Experimental Psychology)
Podcast on, amongst other things, how to better facilitate virtual meetings, and the importance of laughter in building strong, productive relationships. Interviewed by Tracey Camilleri – click here
Podcast entitled, What makes us human? — Being human in a digital context Robin Dunbar – click here
Professor Jeremias Adams-Prassl
The Corona epidemic has brought the gig economy back into focus: what are the promise and perils for workers and consumers? In this lecture, Prof Jeremias Adams-Prassl revisits some of the predictions made in his prize-winning book Humans as a Service (OUP 2018), and explores key lessons for the future of work. – click here
Emeritus Fellow Professor John Stein (Medicine)
On the cause of dyslexia – click here
On creativity and dyslexia – click here
On dyslexia overlays: Using Coloured Lenses – click here
The brain basis of reading difficulties – click here