St Edmund Hall Blog
Sir Richard Blackmore—The Worst English Poet?
2 Dec 2020
Tom MacFaul reconsiders the work of Sir Richard Blackmore (SEH, 1669); is he the worst English poet?
Should we go back to Pluto?
25 Nov 2020
In 2015 we saw Pluto for the first time through a single flyby, now we ponder should we return with an orbiter?
Remembering Aularian Sidney John Heath Smith
11 Nov 2020
I would say at the majority of enquiries that I get relating to the Hall Archives are from family historians; one of the many that I found on my return from furlough related to an Oxford man, who had come to the Hall in 1938 bu…
Who Gets the Ventilator?
11 Nov 2020
Suppose that you have a ventilator with which you can prevent either Ahmed or Barbara from dying. Whilst Ahmed would live for nine years were you to save him, Barbara would only live for five. There are no other relevant differ…
Whose Hall is it Anyway? Annotation, Mutilation and a Mystery in our copy of 'The History of the University of Oxford'
4 Nov 2020
Annotation, Mutilation and a Mystery in our copy of The History of the University of Oxford
Tom Rocks Russia
28 Oct 2020
This is Dr Tom Crawford’s video diary of his visit to ITMO University in St Petersburg Russia
On genes, genetics and epigenetics
12 Oct 2020
What is a gene? Although the discipline within biology that we call genetics is well over 100 years old, this question remains an enigmatic one with fascinating new twists.
Update: A Coastal Mystery No More
24 Jun 2020
When the blog on the Hall’s painting by Edward Seago was published last month, I received numerous suggestions for its location.
Discovering the Earthworm’s Half a Billion Year Old Cousin
16 Jun 2020
The worms that gave rise to earthworms and leeches have half a billion years of history in the ocean. A new discovery of 514 million year old fossils from China unravels the early origins of annelids, the segmented worms.
This Time is Different: Economic Policy Challenges in the Time of COVID-19
9 Jun 2020
COVID-19 has already generated challenges to the global economy and the policy responses permeate political-financial-economic stability.
‘The same Sad Calamyties’: Oxford in a time of Plague
2 Jun 2020
One of the things about being a more than 700-year-old institution, as Teddy Hall is, is that we have faced many trials before. This is not the first time the Hall and the University have had to cope with the effects of a deadl…
Testing in a Pandemic
25 May 2020
What is the best way to use our limited capacity for infectious disease testing? This blog discusses how lives can be saved by optimal adaptive targeting of tests.
Did the Court of Appeal ‘Kill Off’ the Heathrow Third Runway?
19 May 2020
In February 2020 debates about the third runway at Heathrow took a new turn, but did the Court of Appeal really ‘kill off’ the proposal?
Don’t Stop! Your Reading! Hold on to that Fielding!
13 May 2020
Our Assistant Librarian, Sophie, updates us on the lengths the library team are going to ensure as comprehensive a service as possible is provided during ‘the weirdest Trinity Term most of us can remember’
A Coastal Mystery
6 May 2020
One of the best loved pictures in the college’s art collection is a coastal scene by the English landscape artist Edward Seago. However, despite many suggestions, the precise location of the scene is unknown. Can any…
A May Morning Portrait
1 May 2020
On one day in any given year (other than this), tens of thousands flock to the roads and gardens surrounding Magdalen College, Oxford, at six o’clock in the morning to hear the choir sing.
Censorship and Information Control
28 Apr 2020
For the past couple of years, I have participated in a similar comparative exercise run from the University of Chicago. This brings together people from a wide range of disciplines and occupations – historians, anth…
340 Years of the Chapel and Old Library
19 Apr 2020
At the start of this most odd of terms, it’s nice to be able to celebrate something – the birthday of the Chapel and the Old Library.
Make Your Own Pi
14 Mar 2020
March 14th is Pi Day, and as of 2020 is also the official UNESCO International Day of Mathematics.
How Should You Remember an Icon? The Story of Sophie Scholl
8 Mar 2020
How do we talk about individuals and groups who resisted Nazism? How do we do justice to the complexity of their lives and actions? Dr Alexandra Lloyd (Fellow by Special Election in German Studies) examines the case of Sophie S…
Britain, Europe, and Politically Convenient Myths
4 Mar 2020
Mikko Lievonen discusses Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community in the 1970s.
From Fertiliser to Fuel
25 Feb 2020
As the world seeks pathways to rapid decarbonisation, an old technology is gaining new attention as a carbon-free fuel. This month the BBC covered a special Royal Society report focused on using “green ammonia” for…
You Shall Not reveal the Secrets of It: The St Edmund Hall Copy of the University Statutes of 1634
19 Feb 2020
A rather guilty pleasure whenever I have to fetch a book from the Old Library is to examine those on either side on the shelf, which is how, when looking for one of the early catalogues of the Old Library last summer, I first c…
12 Feb 2020
How much do you know about how to find things in the library? Do you know your section like the back of your hand? Do you do your browsing in person or on SOLO? Do you stick to your reading list like a baby sloth to a tree or b…
Russian Revolutionary Posters
4 Feb 2020
An explosion of images accompanied the Russian Revolution. Posters were an important feature of the historical landscape: over 3,600 posters were designed and printed in millions of copies between 1918 and 1921, the period of C…
A History of Teddy Hall Silver
29 Jan 2020
During John Mill’s principalship, students were encouraged to leave to the Hall either a book for the library or an item of silver.
The 21st Century Global Economy
22 Jan 2020
The world changed dramatically in the latter part of the 20th century. The conclusion of the Cold War at the end of the 1980s heralded a period of not only profound political but also economic change.
12 Days of Christmas Puzzles
2 Jan 2020
Over the Christmas period we ran a Christmas puzzle challenge on our social media channels. Due to their popularity, we have compiled them all here and provided more for everyone to try in case you missed the posts.
Johannes Kepler on Snowflakes or what to give someone who has everything
4 Dec 2019
As Christmas approaches I find myself again, as every year, wondering rather desperately what to give friends and family. This is also the dilemma that led to the writing of one of the rarest examples of early scientific writin…