MCR Gazette – Michaelmas Week 1

Good morning Churchillians,

Slightly later than billed, but here is this week’s gazette. There are a couple of messages from college about talks that are going on in the next few weeks. Firstly, Athene Donald’s talk series “The Paradigm Shift” is continuing this year. These talks are in the form of conversations with influencial female academics, exploring the individual paths by which they made it to the top. The first talk is with Jackie Ashley, president of Lucy Cavendish College and political journalist and broadcaster. This talk is taking place on 2nd November, and is free, but booking is essential so click below for the link!

The second upcoming talk is hosted by the Churchill Archive Centre, and is on Churchill’s role in the development of nuclear weapons. Click the link below to register your interest.

As always, if you have something you would like to add to next week’s gazette, please email me at





2nd November – Give me inspiration! The Paradigm Shift with Jackie Ashley @ Wolfson Lecture Theatre, 17:30 – 19:00

A series of conversations with distinguished academics hosted by Professor Dame Athene Donald.

What do academics actually do? What motivates them to get out of bed each morning and to deliver what is — or in many cases what isn’t expected of them? For a student setting out, the life of senior academics may seem very mysterious, particularly as many may end up taking on responsibilities and activities far removed from where an individual started. The trajectory from student to senior academic is rarely a straight line, with twists, setbacks, time out and/or opportunities (taken or declined) all to be combined with a personal life.

This series of conversations aims to explore the individual paths of some eminent academics who have made it to the top in their own particular ways. How have they found their own solutions to ‘life’, what tips do they wish they’d been given earlier on, and what might they view, retrospectively, with most pleasure or regret?

The first in the new series will be Jackie Ashley — political journalist and broadcaster and President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.

Jackie Ashley has stalked the corridors of power in Westminster for over 30 years, working as a prominent political journalist and broadcaster, sitting on influential commissions and chairing conferences. Jackie became the president of Lucy Cavendish College in 2015.

Her career started in 1979, as a BBC trainee. A rich and varied working life has followed, including roles such as Producer and Newsreader on Newsnight, Political Correspondent with ITN, Channel 4 politics producer, Presenter of several political programmes on BBC2  and ITV and Political Editor at the New Statesman.

In her most recent role – as a Columnist and Political Interviewer at The Guardian – Jackie has covered Labour, Conservative and Coalition politics, women’s rights, the media and public services, with a particular focus on health. She has also closely followed the weekly political argument as the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Week in Westminster.

A graduate of St Anne’s College, Oxford, Jackie is acutely aware of how education transforms real lives. Her own father, Jack Ashley, Baron Ashley of Stoke, left school at 14 and worked as a labourer, but won a scholarship to Ruskin College Oxford, followed by Gonville and Caius College Cambridge. Ultimately this opportunity enabled him to pursue his political ambitions as a Labour MP and campaigner, despite completely losing his hearing.

Growing up in a home centred around politics made a lasting impression on Jackie. As well as forging a career in the field, she too has been a passionate campaigner on issues such as equal pay, support for carers, the elderly and the NHS.

This event is free, but booking is essential – please go to


15th November – Churchill and Nuclear Weapons: From the A-Bomb to the H-Bomb @ Wolfson Lecture Theatre, 17:30 – 19:00

The Churchill Archives Centre presents this talk on 15th November.

What was Churchill’s role in developing nuclear weapons, and in authorising the use of the atomic bomb, and how did his views change over time in response to the Cold War and the terrible destructive power of the H-Bomb?

This will be the subject of a discussion between the two foremost experts in this area, Dr Graham Farmelo (author of Churchill’s Bomb) and Professor Kevin Ruane (author of Churchill and the Bomb), chaired by Dr Helen Curry.

The Churchill Archives Centre holds the personal papers of Sir Winston Churchill, but also those of Sir John Cockcroft, Sir James Chadwick and many other politicians and scientists involved in this remarkable story.

For more information about the speakers and details of how to register follow the link:




11th October – MCR Academic Seminar – Olivia Remes talks about “Anxiety: what is it, what causes it, and how can it be treated?” @ MCR TV Room, 19:30


12th October – Curry and Quiz @ P’lodge, 20:00


13th October – Bar Training (& pizza) @ MCR Bar, 18:00 -19:00


14th October – Hill College’s Bar Crawl @ MCR Bar, 19:15


15th October – Intercollege Sport Day @ Gonville and Caius Sports Ground, 15:00 – 19:00

Come meet some people from other Colleges on the MCR Sports Day!   Show off your skills in football, cricket, rounders, ultimate frisbee and/or netball.   Following, the bar at the Sports Ground will be open for a social

15th October – International food potluck @ Seminar rooms 3 & 4, 19:20



11th October – Cambridge University Real Tennis Taster Session @ Cambridge University Real Tennis Club on Grange Road, 19:30

Come and try the game of real tennis at a free taster session on Tuesday 11th Oct at 7:30 pm at the Cambridge University Real Tennis Club on Grange Road. Everyone is welcome.

Real Tennis is the king of all racquet sports, a game where subtlety and thought are more prized than power and fitness. It is played in an asymmetrical court which contains many unusual features, sloping roofs, openings (the galleries) in the walls and a main wall which has a kink in it (the tambour) so the ball on hitting the sloping face moves across the court instead of continuing down the line of the main wall. It has the classic elements of warfare where a failed attack is punished by a counter-attack. The game was a favourite of Henry VIII and the oldest of the historic Cambridge courts has just turned 150 years old. It would be great to see more Churchill Student’s playing the game and perhaps taking on Oxford in a varsity rivalry that has been going for over 150 years. For more information on the game or to contact the club see:


16th October – Speakeasy is BACK! @ ADC, 20:00

SPEAKEASY is back this term! The popular slam poetry night kicks off again on Sunday 16th October at the ADC; tickets are £5 for students, and £6 for non-students, and can be bought at If you fancy signing up to perform up to 3 minutes of your own original poetry as part of the Open Slam, please message Rhiannon Hartwell ( With two great feature poets and our excellent Open Slam, Speakeasy’s shaping up to be better than ever – join us, and feel free to speak: it’s easy!


Ongoing – Oboists, Bassoonists and Horn Players required for CGO

Cambridge Graduate Orchestra (CGO) is a friendly orchestra which rehearses on a Sunday evening during term time. We are actively seeking new members, especially for our oboe, bassoon and horn sections. Interested players of any instrument can register their interest on the “Join” section of our website and will be contacted by section leaders.


Ongoing – Join the Cambridge University Science Police Exchange (CUSPE)!

Interested in the impact of your research and science-policy more broadly? Apply to be a part of CUSPE this year. CUSPE strives to strengthen the ties between academia and policy for early career researchers. There are several ways to get involved:

1. Join the CUSPE Team

We are looking for enthusiastic and motivated individuals for the following roles: Head of Finance and Fundraising (, Secretary (, and Treasurer ( as well as members of the Finance and Fundraising Team (, Marketing and Communications Team (, the Workshop Team ( and the Publications Team ( For more information please feel free to contact the former/current team leaders. If you are interested in applying, please send one paragraph explaining why to by Friday 7th of October. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis – be sure to apply early!

2. Apply to join Cambridgeshire Policy Challenges

CUSPE and Cambridgeshire County Council are joining forces to offer early-career researchers an opportunity to help solve real problems facing local communities and public service organisations. The Council has identified a list of “policy challenges” (see here: These are challenges to which the Council’s politicians want to bring new thinking and research, in order to help identify new solutions.

To apply to join a Cambridgeshire Policy Challenges team, please email with a CV and cover letter highlighting your interests and any relevant experience by 9am on Monday 10th October. Please email James Dolan (CUSPE; and Ian Manning (Cambridgeshire County Council; if you have any questions.

3. Join our mailing list

To make sure you don’t miss out on any events and workshops this year, join our mailing list here:


Ongoing: Cambridge University Lunchtime Concerts

After a long summer break, Cambridge University Lunchtime Concerts are back! Taking place every Tuesday at 1.10pm in West Road Concert Hall, these free concerts are the perfect study break and showcase some of Cambridge’s best student performers. Drop in next week (11 Oct) for Mendelssohn and Shostakovich Piano Trios, or stop by the week after (18 Oct) for Gurney and Fauré Song Cycles, accompanied by string quartet.

After that, we have a unique opportunity to experience styles of music rarely heard in the concert hall: an exciting programme of saxophone music by contemporary composers followed by twentieth century music for solo trumpet makes up our concert on October 25th – it’s not to be missed! Hope to see you there!



Ongoing: McKinsey & Company October Evening Lecture Series

We would like to invite PhD students as well as Rhodes, Gates and Marshall Scholars to attend a series of evening lectures focused on various interesting topics

Join us in Cambridge & London to discuss how the future of the world is being re-imagined and also how you can transfer you academic skillset into the ‘real world’ (the latter will be presented to you jointly by McKinsey and QuantumBlack).

You are welcome at more than one lecture. We will be also organising a Content Lecture in Oxford led by our Managing Director Dominic Barton; we will email you with further information once the sign up is opened later this month.

To sign up for the Cambridge and London Events, please use the links below, noting the application deadlines (deadline for the Cambridge Lecture is fast approaching: Thursday 13 October at 12 pm/ noon).  The location of each lecture will be confirmed closer to the time. Unfortunately sign up is limited only to PhD students as well as Rhodes, Marshall and Gates Scholars.

Cambridge Lecture: Global forces: Re-imagining the future of the world.

Date: Monday 17 October

Deadline for applications: 13 October at 12 pm (noon)

Sign up:

What next for the global economy and society? Disruptive technologies, urbanisation, the rise of India and Africa, the re-balancing of China, populism and nationalism, aging – these are only a handful of the forces that are fundamentally reshaping markets, operating models, and sources of value for the private, social, and public sectors.

Please join us as Matt Stone; Marshall Scholar, an Engagement Manager in McKinsey’s London office and former Ian Davis Fellow with the McKinsey Global Institute (the economics research arm of McKinsey-, discusses McKinsey’s recent research into global forces and how we bring big-picture insights to our clients’ challenges.

London Lecture: From first principles to performance: How to transfer an academic skillset into the ‘real world’.

Date: Monday 24 October

Deadline for applications: 18 October at 12 am (midnight)

Sign up:

Please join us on Monday 24 October as our colleagues from McKinsey and QuantumBlack join forces to take you on a journey that shows the hidden potential behind academic skillset.

QuantumBlack is an advanced analytics subsidiary of McKinsey. McKinsey and QuantumBlack apply analytic rigour to solve our clients’ practical business problems. We will talk through some case studies of the work we’ve done and explain the process and techniques used – including many of the skills PhD students will have acquired. This includes a case in which QuantumBlack worked with an automotive manufacturer, substantially reducing the cost of the R&D process for new cars by using a variety of different data sources to understand the process, identify best and worst practices, and define change initiatives to capture value. We will discuss how far your academic experience can take you, and what else you need to learn in order to be successful, and give examples of some of the many opportunities in McKinsey for holders of advanced degrees.


Amy Challen is an Engagement Manager in McKinsey’s London office, and is currently seconded to QuantumBlack. She studied and worked at Oxford, Princeton, Sciences Po Paris, the Free University Amsterdam, and the London School of Economics, obtaining a PhD in applied econometrics, before joining McKinsey as a Junior Associate.

Anna Watkins is VP, business development at Quantum Black. She is a Cambridge graduate, Olympic Gold medalist and recent PhD student. Anna will tell her story of how she transitioned from the academic world to the Olympics, then back to academia and on to consulting and QuantumBlack.

If you have any further questions, please email


The Churchill MCR Gazette exists for the purpose of publicizing events to students. The MCR does not back any particular set of political or religious beliefs or lifestyle. Inclusion of events in the Gazette does not imply endorsement by the Churchill MCR.