The Sherrington Society is a University-wide medical society based at Magdalen College. Named in honour of the 1932 Nobel laureate Sir Charles Sherrington, a former Waynflete Professor of Physiology and tutor at Magdalen, the society regularly hosts distinguished speakers in the medical sciences to encourage debate on topical medical and life-science issues. The society’s roots stretch back to the start of the 20th century, making it one of the College’s oldest and most venerable student-led institutions.

The society has a long history of hosting a range of esteemed doctors, scientists, philosophers and politicians from the UK and beyond. In recent years, our guests have included Sir Paul Nurse (former President of the Royal Society), Professor Dame Sally Davies (the Government’s Chief Medical Officer), Johann Malawana (former Chair of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee), Dr Nessa Carey (author of The Epigenetics Revolution), Lord Robert Winston (pioneer of IVF) and Professor Semir Zeki (founder of the field of neuroaesthetics).

In 2018, we are delighted to announce that our speakers will include Professor Thais Russomano (space and aviation physiologist and member of the Mars One advisory board), Ms Clare Marx (former President of the Royal College of Surgeons), Dr Paul Harrison (inflammation biologist and former President of the British Society of Haemostasis and Thrombosis), Dr Sophie Acton (cell biologist and tumour immunologist) and Professor Robin Franklin (cellular and molecular neuroscientist and recipient of the 2017 Barancik Prize for Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research).

The Sherrington Society is open to students reading subjects within the Medical Sciences Division including Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, Experimental Psychology, Biochemistry and Human Sciences, although we also welcome attendance from other members of the university as well as the general public. Our speaker events are free to attend and include wine, soft drinks and nibbles.

For more information or to be added to the mailing list to be notified of upcoming talks, please contact the committee of the Sherrington Society at