Magdalen talks

The Alumni Office offers regular webinars and livestreams 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.

18 June 2020

Professor Robin Dunbar & Professor Lucy Bowes: “Our social world: the most complex thing in the universe?”

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.

25 June 2020

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…

14 July 2020

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.

24 September 2020

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.

26 November 2020

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.

21 January 2021

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+.

18 February 2021

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.

15 April 2021

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+.