Encaenia 2000 - (1) to No 4554



<br /> Oxford University Gazette: Encaenia 2000 (supplement)

Oxford University Gazette

Encaenia 2000

Supplement (1) to Gazette No. 4554

Friday, 30 June 2000


|To Gazette
No. 4554 (30 June 2000)
| To
Gazette Home Page |



(i) Speeches made by the Public Orator
in introducing the honorands

Degree of Doctor of Civil Law

Degree of Doctor of Letters

Degree of Doctor of Science

(ii) Creweian Oration 2000


University Acts

CONGREGATION 28 June

1 Conferment of Honorary Degrees

THE PUBLIC ORATOR made the following speeches in
presenting the recipients of Honorary Degrees at the
Encaenia held in the Sheldonian Theatre on Wednesday, 28 June:

Degree of Doctor of Civil Law


Mrs Helen Bamber, OBE

Founder and Director of the Medical Foundation for the Care
of Victims of Torture

Ad saeculi finem fere pervenimus quo cum maxima hominum multitudo
vitam invenerit et beatiorem et liberiorem quam ullo alio quod
novimus, tum permulti mortales crudelissimis tormentis, cruciatu
inhumanissimo sunt ad mortem usque lacerati. quippe tormentorum
usum exolevisse, eculeos ac flagra non iam hominibus terrori fore
somniabamus; ecce autem temporibus nostris revertuntur tortores,
et quidem novis cruciatus generibus instructi. nam et artifices
ingeniosi doctrina sua in hominum perniciem abusi sunt, et ei qui
civitates gubernant tyrannidis genus civibus suis inferre iam
possunt multo et gravius et praesentius quam aut Phalaris aut
Dionysius infligebat. nemo est, certo scio, in hoc hominum
humanissimorum coetu quin istius generis flagitia condemnet; sed
aliud est domi sedentem misereri, longe aliud saevitiae
obsistere, miseris succurrere, suppeditare perfugium curam
sanationem. haec quam produco nondum viginti annos nata in locum
Tartareum viva descendit:

hinc exaudiri gemitus et saeva sonare

verbera, tum stridor ferri tractaeque catenae

quibus portentis atque etiam peioribus (nam nemo maiorum ea animo
fingere audebat quae saeculum nostrum re vera effici vidit) haec
non perterrita sed incitata ad captivorum mentes curandas se
contulit, quos vix sanari posse sentiebat femina vere humana nisi
quisque cruciatus suos narrare et explicare posset. bene enim
exploratum habet istius modi vulnera non fomenta tantum verum
etiam [sumpatheian] desiderare. et mehercle cui melius narrari
possent nefanda ista tormenta tot innocentibus inflicta? nam
aures praebet misericordes haec quae scelerum per totum orbem
terrarum nefandissimorum testem se praestat indefessam. haec
perspexit infantibus aegrotantibus haud minus matrum praesentia
opus esse quam medicorum, haec leguleiorum formulis neglectis
sesquipedalia scribarum verba saepe perrupit, haec hominum
crudelissimo quoque iniuriae genere
laborantium et corpora et mentes restituere enititur.

Praesento miserorum praesidium, tyrannorum terrorem, quae opem
egenis vocem silentibus spem desperantibus reduxit, Helenam
Bamber, Excellentissimo Ordini Imperi Britannici adscriptam, ut
admittatur
honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Iure Civili.

Admission by the Chancellor

Femina quae hominibus aerumnosis misericordiam efficacissimam et
verbis et re ipsa adhibere didicisti, ego auctoritate mea et
totius Universitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Iure Civili
honoris causa.

Paraphrase

We are at the end of a century in which great numbers of people
have come to enjoy more wellbeing and more freedom than has ever
been known before. It has also been a time in which very many
others have suffered torture and dreadful forms of death. The
world had begun to believe that torture was a thing of the past,
that the rack and the knout had ceased to menace mankind. That
was all too hopeful. In our century we have seen the return of
the torturers, armed with torments more exquisite than ever:
technicians have turned their skill to evil purposes, and
governments are able to impose on their people a tyranny more
terrible than anything dreamed of by the worst rulers of the
past. I am sure that all of us in this civilised gathering
deplore such atrocities. But it is one thing to sympathise while
remaining distant and inactive, quite another to make a stand
against oppression, to bring comfort to the victims, and to
devise care, treatment, and a place of sanctuary. Mrs Helen
Bamber
was nineteen when she was sent to work in Belsen, a vision of
Hell, where there had been, in the words of the poet Virgil,

The sound of shrieks and groans and of the lash,

Grating of iron doors and dragging chains.

All this, and worse—the utmost imagination of previous ages
could not come up to the horrors which our times have witnessed
in reality—so far from daunting her, served as a stimulus
to work with the damaged minds of the survivors of such
atrocities. She realised that a vital part of the healing process
was telling their experiences: injuries of that kind were not to
be cured by physical treatment alone but needed to receive
sympathy, and there could be no one better than Mrs Bamber to
listen to such stories of the sufferings of the innocent. She has
a most sympathetic ear, and she has borne tireless witness to
reports of atrocities all over the world. She it was who realised
that children in hospital needed the company of their mothers as
much as they needed medical treatment. She has repeatedly
succeeded in breaking through legal complexities and bureaucratic
red tape. Her work has been to bring health to the minds and
bodies of those who have undergone the extremes of suffering and
ill-treatment.

I present Mrs Helen Bamber, OBE, the defender of the helpless,
the dread of tyrannical governments, the bringer of aid to the
needy, of voice to the silent, and of hope to those in despair,
for admission to the honorary
degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

Admission by the Chancellor

Bearer of pity to those in the depths of misery, you have known
how to make your sympathy effective both in speech and action.
Acting on my own authority and on that of the University as a
whole, I admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement


Degree of Doctor of Letters


Dame Judi Dench, DBE

Actress

Non nisi perraro Oratori contingit ut Reginam praesentet; quem
igitur ad modum Oratorem adfectum iri existimatis, qui
Cancellario et Academiae duas simul praesentare conetur? sed hanc
quam produco bis vidimus diademate regio ornatam, nunc
Elizabetham nunc Victoriam tam lepide tamque ad persuadendum apte
repraesentantem ut ipsas illas reginas, nobis a prima infantia
cognitissimas, intueri videremur. neque mehercle huic tantum
regno reginisque Britannicis vacavit, quippe quae et Cleopatram,
reginam Aegyptiam populique Romani terrorem, et Titaniam, numinum
silvestrium imperatricem, ita spectantibus proposuerit ut nihil
in illa luxuriae, nihil in hac elegantiae venustatisque
desideraretur. sed vehementer errat, si quis hanc sibi fingit
semper regiam, semper augustam. nam cum hoc praeteream, partes
eam sustinuisse olim omnium primas cochleae, tamen in Gulielmi
illius Quatipili Henrico Quinto personam sibi lenae versutae
imposuit Dominae si dis placet Properae, inter illas autem quae
cum tyranno Italo potione pomeridiana fruebantur Arabellae,
pingendi artificis benevolae sed eiusdem incomptae, quam tam
luculente repraesentavit ut nemo Anglus non aviam consobrinamve
suam agnosceret. tempore autem praetereunte familiaris facta est
focis nostris, quam totiens spectavimus ita matrisfamilias partes
in usitatis vitae
cotidianae vicibus agentem ut possit cum poeta satyrico dicere
Quidquid agunt homines, votum timor ira voluptas, gaudia
discursus, id artis meae farrago est. quid enim est aliud
speculum quoddam vitae opponere quam sic et tragoediae et
comoediae praeclarissimum quodque opus ad vivum posse depingere?
nemo enim est quin noverit vetus illud adagium, vitam humanam
Democrito comoediam visam esse, Heraclito tragoediam; quanto his
sapientibus est haec iudicanda esse prudentior, quae utramque tam
scite temperet atque moderetur! neque minus stylo usa quam
cothurnis excellit, quae de Cycno Avonensi libellum baronum
scilicet et fatuorum in usum, qua est verecundia, conscripsit;
et ipsa histrionum gregem dirigit, ipsa docet optime fabulas.

Praesento scaenae decus, spectantium delicias, et risus et
lacrimarum magistram perfectissimam, Iuditham Dench,
Excellentissimi Ordinis Imperi Britannici Dominam Commendatricem,
ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris.

Admission by the Chancellor

Mimarum praeclarissima, quae artem tuam tanta subtilitate exerces
ut nos libenter decipiamur, decepti autem veritatis aliquid
humanitatisque discamus, ego auctoritate mea et totius
Universitatis admitto te ad gradum
Doctoris in Litteris honoris causa.

Paraphrase

An Orator very seldom has the chance to present a Queen for a
degree, and so it is bound to be especially delightful when he
can present to the Encaenia gathering two Queens at once. We have
seen Dame Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth and as Queen Victoria,
both of whom she portrayed with such skill that we thought we
were seeing those monarchs themselves, familiar as they are to
us all from our earliest childhood. Nor has she limited herself
to British royalty. She has appeared as Cleopatra, the Queen of
Egypt and the terror of Rome, and as Titania, the Queen of the
fairies: the former all sensuality, the latter all grace. But it
would be a great mistake to suppose that she is
always regal. I shall not dwell on the fact that her very first
appearance before an audience was as a snail; but in
Shakespeare's Henry the Fifth she was the bawd
Mistress Quickly, while in Tea with Mussolini she
acted Arabella, a well-meaning but eccentric painter, whom she
portrayed so vividly that every Englishman recognised an aunt or
a cousin of his own. `As time goes by' she has become a
familiar figure in our homes, living through the experiences of
a married woman in ordinary life. She might claim, with the poet
Juvenal:

My art embraces people's hopes and fears,

Their whole routine, its laughter and its tears.

This is what we mean by holding up a mirror to life: the ability
to bring to vivid reality the greatest works, whether of a light
or of a serious cast. There is a familiar saying, that life was
a comedy to Democritus, a tragedy to Heraclitus; they were
philosophers, but Dame Judi shows a truer wisdom, in her ability
to manage both so well. She shows no less skill as an author,
having written a book which, with her usual modesty, she called
Shakespeare for Dummies; and she also is an
experienced and successful
director.

I present an ornament of the stage, a favourite of the public,
equally powerful in evoking tears and laughter, Dame Judi Dench,
DBE, for admission to the honorary
degree of Doctor of Letters.

Admission by the Chancellor

Great practitioner of the histrionic art, you have practised your
skill with such mastery that we love to be deceived, and in that
deception gain true understanding about
life and the art of living. Acting on my own authority
and on that of the University as a whole, I admit you to the
honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



Sir Howard Hodgkin, CBE

Painter

Tertio fere quoque anno contingit ut inter honorandos possimus
numerare pictorem, quae res nescio an huic
solatium adferat, qui civibus nostratibus artem pingendi et
difficilem esse adfirmarit et periculosam: Nescio equidem,
inquit, an pictoribus Britannis fato eveniat ut spem fallat
eventus. quam sententiam ipse manifesto redarguit, cum et domi
et foris merito sit amplissima laude cumulatus. produco enim
pingendi artificem egregium, qui ita naturam ipsam meditatur ut
rerum formas animo digerat commutet obscuret, colores autem et
nitidissimos et pulcherrimos tam sollerti manu disponit ut
Turnerum ipsum ante oculos habuisse videatur; et quidem cum
praemio tanti artificis nomine nuncupato honoratus est, Turnerum
alterum sine controversia salutavimus. tabulis suis saepe talia
imponit nomina qualia bonae sub regno Victoriae saepe pictores:
alteri enim subscribitur Ave, Sinus Neapolitane; alteri autem
Viro Forti Puellam Formosam. quid accuratius tempora illa
redolere videtur quam haec verba tabulae subscribere, Vera Esse
Non Possunt? quin etiam Zelotypiam depinxit. sed vehementer
errat, si quis a
b hoc certas illas figuras, fabellas illas aniles, infantium
mentibus accommodatas, exspectat. cum pictore rem habemus hoc
saeculo nato, qui penicillo suo audacter usus imagines fingit
coloribus splendidas, pulchritudine insignes (liceat enim mihi
hoc nomine virum ingeniosissimum laudare, quamvis ipse aliquando
pigere se dixerit), sed quibus hominum formae insunt quodam modo
obscuratae, sensus autem arcanus, quem primo intuitu vix
dispicere, diutius considerando sensim intelligere
possis. homines quos depingit aliquid habent subobscurum: quid
nuper evenerit, qua animi perturbatione sint affecti, quaerimus
ipsa difficultate delectati. a nobis hic minime est alienus, qui
et in Collegio Aenei Nasi
hospes acceptus artis suae aemulos instruxerit, et Musei nostri
amicus sit beneficentissimus, qui cum tabulas suas tum minutas
Indicas quarum aestimator est subtilissimus populo proponendas
accommodarit. neque quemquam reppereritis qui elephantos, bestias
paene divinas, oculo acriore, animo propensiore diligit.

Praesento temporum nostrorum Apellem, coloris magistrum
incomparabilem, Academiae amicum benevolentissimum, Howard
Hodgkin, Equitem Auratum, Excellentissimi Ordinis Imperi
Britannici Commendatorem, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum
Doctoris in Litteris.

Admission by the Chancellor

Artifex praeclarissime, qui tot luculentis operibus
exquisitam voluptatem hominibus venustioribus dedisti, ego
auctoritate mea et totius Universitatis admitto te ad gradum
Doctoris in Litteris honoris causa.

Paraphrase

It happens every three years or so that we can count a painter
among our honorands. That statistic will perhaps bring a little
comfort to Sir Howard Hodgkin, who has said that `to be a painter
in England is special, more difficult, more traumatic, and
probably more fraught with the absolute certainty of failure than
in any other country'. He is himself a considerable argument
against that view, having received both here and abroad so many
distinguished marks of the success that he well deserves. He is
a great painter, who reflects on the forms of nature and subjects
them to a process of digestion, transformation, and disguise. His
mastery of colour recalls no less a predecessor than Turner; and
when he won the Turner Prize, it was an uncontroversial
recognition of a worthy successor. He often gives his paintings
the sort of titles that suggest the practice of the Victorian
period: Goodbye to the Bay of Naples, or None but the
Brave Deserves the Fair
. Could anything sound more like the
style of those days than calling a picture It can't be
True
? He has also painted Jealousy. But it would be
quite out of place to look in his work for the unambiguous
figures and the straightforward stories, suitable for the
simplest souls, which delighted people in those days. He is
definitely a modern artist. He paints pictures which are rich in
colour and very beautiful to look at. I hope I may mention that,
although Sir Howard has been heard to complain `How irritating
it is to be constantly told tha
t my pictures are beautiful'. In them the figures are as it were
veiled, and the meaning of his work is not obvious at a first
glance but goes on revealing itself, the longer you look. His
people have something mysterious about them, and we are tempted
to enjoy the puzzle of wondering what has been happening, and
what are their emotional relationships. He is no stranger to
Oxford: as artist in residence at Brasenose College he gave a lot
of help to aspiring painters, and he is a friend and benefactor
of the Ashmolean Museum, to which he has lent for exhibition both
his own works and his distinguished collection of Indian
miniatures, on which he is an expert. There is nobody who has a
higher esteem or a keener eye for that god-like animal, the
elephant.

I present the Apelles of our day, an incomparable
master of colour, and a generous friend of the University, Sir
Howard Hodgkin, CBE, for admission to the honorary degree of
Doctor of Letters.

Admission by the Chancellor

Artist of great quality, your admirable work has given the
keenest pleasure to those with discriminating tastes.
Acting on my own authority and on that of the University as a
whole, I admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



The Viscount Runciman, CBE, FBA

Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge

Philosophorum deus Plato, quem senem hic luculenter explicavit,
adeo vitam sapientis beatam, adeo negotiatoris mercatorisve
existimat esse miserandam, ut in republica sua vim aliquam
adhibitam velit sapientibus, qua impulsi delicata illa oti
contemplationisque delectatione pro tempore saltem repudiata in
cavernam istam regressi, inter nos autem versati, vitae
cotidianae negotia gubernent: salutem enim nullam fore nisi aut
philosophi regnent aut reges philosophentur. libentissime igitur
hunc excipiat quem produco, qui cum sit in sapientibus si quis
alius
numerandus tamen iamdudum praeclaro negotiatorum collegio
praesidet; grato autem animo accipimus, his praesertim
temporibus, quod hic Minime credo, inquit, mercatores summos
hominibus academicis semper esse prudentiores. in scientia civili
quaestiones sibi tractandas eligit spinosissimas, qui rogaverit
qua fiat ut cum persaepe alii aliis plus possideant pecuniae
dignitatis facultatum, tum aliquando summi ordines invidia
careant, aliquando tenuiores dolore et querimoniis inflammentur.
miram autem esse iure dixeritis patientiam pauperum, quibus
maioris momenti sit quid exspectent quam quid sustineant. quas
quaestiones hic acutissime dividit, iustam aequamque rei publicae
descriptionem excogitare conatur. in civitatibus aestimandis
quattuor res et observandas esse existimat et accurate
distinguendas: primum qualis sit vivendi ratio, tum quare
exstiterit; has quaestiones scilicet scientiae civili proprias
esse; tum quale sit ita vivere ut apud istam civitatem vivitur,
qua de re poetas quoque fabularumque scriptores esse audiendos;
utrum denique bona an mala ista ratio aestimanda esse videatur.
quae quaestio ut ab eis discrepat de quibus disputant physici,
tum nihilo minus via et ratione solvi potest. hoc enim in quavis
civitate esse bonum ac salubre censere debemus, si civium
felicitati consulitur. neque patriae suae commodo defuit, qui cum
decemviris praeerat quibus propositum erat cavere ne innocentes
damnarentur, libellum protulit consiliis saluberrimis refertum,
cui
acceptum referimus quod civium iura hodie melius
proteguntur, iudicia purius exercentur.

Praesento virum in scientia civili praeclarissimum, in vita
publica eminentissimum, in utraque pariter admirabilem, Gualterum
Garrison Vicecomitem Runciman de Doxford, Excellentissimi Ordinis
Imperi Britannici
Commendatorem, Academiae Britannicae Sodalem, ut admittatur
honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris.

Admission by the Chancellor

De civitatum iure atque indole disputator acerrime,
civitatis nostrae decus ac columen, ego auctoritate mea
et totius Universitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris
honoris causa.

Paraphrase

The great philosopher Plato, on whose later thought our next
honorand has written an illuminating book, had such a high view
of the life of study, and such a low one of the life of business,
that in his ideal Republic he wanted his philosophic rulers to
be subject to a form of compulsion, to force them to go down from
time to time into the Cave, as he called it, to mingle with the
rest of us, and to
direct the affairs of everyday life. The only chance of
salvation, he thought, was for philosophers to become kings, or
kings to become philosophers. How delighted he would be with Lord
Runciman, who while he certainly is a philosopher, has for years
also been the head of an important business. We are indeed
grateful, in the modern climate, to hear that he has said, `I am
aware that the chairmen of companies are not always wiser than
university professors'. He has tackled some very difficult
problems in political philosophy, asking for instance how it is
that, while inequalities of income and status occur so regularly,
sometimes the upper groups do not attract resentment, while at
others their position is felt by the poor as a grievance. One may
well be surprised by the patience of the poor, for whom
dissatisfaction seems to be created less by their immediate
experiences than by their expectations. Lord Runciman analyses
such questions with great acuteness, in the search for a theory
of social justice. In judging a society he distinguishes four
questions to be asked: What is the case? How did it come about?
These are questions that belong to social science. What is it
like to live in it? Here we need to call in the aid of novelists
and artists. Is it to be judged to be good or bad? That question
is different from those which are discussed by physical
scientists, but it is still capable of being answered in a
methodically proper way: in any society we must judge
as good and healthy the maximising of wellbeing. Lord Runciman
has served the community, too: he was the Chairman of the Royal
Commission on Criminal Justice, whose Report has led to
improvements in the protection of civil rights and the management
of the courts.

I present a distinguished social scientist, an eminent public
servant, equally admirable in both capacities,
Viscount Runciman of Doxford, CBE, FBA, for admission to the
honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Admission by the Chancellor

Penetrating analyst of the nature of society in general, you are
also an outstanding contributor to our own public life. Acting
on my own authority and on that of the University as a whole, I
admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



Professor Quentin Skinner, FBA

Regius Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge

Quid philosopho dignius quam rerum a nostrae aetatis memoria
remotarum accuratam cognitionem habere? quid historico magis
decorum quam de rebus gestis non doctrinam tantum coacervare sed
exquisitius illud
ratiocinandi genus adhibere quo viri dialectici sensum
profundiorem, coniunctiones abstrusiores intellegere temptant?
cum sit difficillimum vel in utrovis scribendi genere ceteris
praestare, quotus quisque erit qui in utroque simul possit
excellere? sed avem licet raram ante oculos hodie habemus, cum
hic quem praesento inter philosophos insignis factus postmodum
inter historicos omnium consensu amplissimam laudem consecutus
esse videatur. nam ut ipse dixit, magni momenti erit si hinc
indicia quibus utuntur historici, hinc acumen illud et subtilitas
virorum dialecticorum simul conferri, simul ad controversias bene
resolvendas possint admoveri. haud pauci sunt ei qui summum
quemque philosophum
amplexi, ceteris neglectis, Platonis Aristotelisve scriptis
perlectis quid de quaque re senserint aequales quoque eorum
videantur sibi invenisse; hic contra adfirmat praeclara illa
ingenia omnium pessimum testimonium praebere, si quis hominum
aequalium sententias exquirit: contextum igitur quendam
contemplandum, auctorum minorum opera exquirenda evolvenda
perlegenda esse. sed ne illos patricios quidem philosophos recte
intellegi posse, nisi ipsorum mentibus consideratis hoc rogemus,
quid sibi tum voluerint, quid adsequi conati sint, cum sententias
suas conceptis verbis expresserint. sic fieri ut philosophi, et
ei praecipue qui politici dicuntur, de civitatis natura civiumque
officiis argumentati, casibus necopinatis ac vitae publicae
vicibus impellantur, libri eorum aliud aequalibus, aliud saepe
posteris significare videantur. neque hoc virum acutissimum
fallit, verborum vim paulatim immutari, quaestiones ipsas de
quibus disputent homines academici minime immortales esse:
singularum igit
ur notionum historias sine summa cautela non posse conscribi. in
controversiis hic gravis est, in orationibus facetus, doctrina
vero et litteris
admirabilis.

Praesento historicum subtilissimum, philosophum eruditissimum,
qui plurimis historiae provinciis peragratis ipsi Nicolao
Machiavelli haud impar conscripsit elogium, Quentin Skinner,
Historiae apud Cantabrigienses Professorem Regium, Academiae
Britannicae Sodalem, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum
Doctoris in Litteris.

Admission by the Chancellor

Annalium conscriptor eminentissime, iudex doctissime, qui cum sis
assiduus in legendo, tum in eloquendo es facundissimus, ego
auctoritate mea et totius Universitatis admitto te ad gradum
Doctoris in Litteris honoris causa.

Paraphrase

What could be worthier of a philosopher than to possess accurate
knowledge of events remote from the memory of the present
generation? What could be more appropriate to an historian than
to apply, not merely a mass of factual erudition, but also that
more subtle discourse with which philosophers seek to understand
the deeper sense and the less obvious connections? It is hard
enough to achieve distinction in either of the two disciplines;
the master of both will be a rare bird indeed. But such a bird
we now see before us. Professor Skinner first made a
distinguished mark as a philosopher, then attained, by common
consent, the highest rank among historians. He has said that he
attaches importance to the possibility of a dialogue
between philosophical discussion and historical evidence, in the
solving of controversial points. Many researchers into
intellectual history study the works of the great thinkers and
imagine that they understand what their contemporaries were
thinking; Professor Skinner insists that on the contrary these
outstanding figures give the worst possible evidence for the
thought of their times. It is the context in which they wrote
that needs to be studied, and the works of minor contemporaries
must be sought out and read. As for the great thinkers
themselves, their thought, too, cannot be understood without
careful consideration of their intentions, in the context of the
times in which they were working: what were they aiming to
achieve? Thus it is that philosophers, and those above
all who write on what is called political philosophy, the nature
of the state and the obligations of the citizens, are often
affected in their thought by unexpected events and the chances
of public life; and their writings have one meaning for their
contemporaries, but another for posterity. His sharp eye does not
fail to observe that the significance of words gradually changes,
and even the questions which philosophers discuss are by no means
immortal. It follows that to write the history of a concept calls
for the greatest caution. He is weighty in argument, but he is
a witty lecturer; while his learning and his scholarship are
admirable.

I present a most subtle historian and a most learned philosopher,
at home in many periods of history, and one who has composed an
elogium for Machiavelli which is not unworthy,[1] Quentin
Skinner, FBA, Regius Professor
of Modern History at the University of Cambridge, for
admission to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

[1] Compare the epitaph on Machiavelli's grave: Tanto nomini
nullum par elogium—No elogium can be equal to so great a
name.

Admission by the Chancellor

Eminent writer of history as well as acute critic of the
historical writing of others, as profoundly read as you are
eloquent with words: acting on my own authority and
on that of the University as a whole, I admit you to the
honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement


Degree of Doctor of Science


Professor Sir Martin Rees, FRS

Astronomer Royal

Aliud philosophandi initium quam admirationem nullum esse
adfirmat princeps philosophorum Aristoteles; admirationis autem
causam atavis nostris omnium potentissimam exstitisse cognovimus
splendidum illud caeli et praecipue siderum spectaculum. hic
igitur quem produco ex ipsis philosophiae penetralibus prodit.
audite, quaeso, quae adflatu paene divino instinctus proclamat
Cicero: Quo tandem gaudio, inquit, adfici necesse est sapientis
animum cum his habitantem pernoctantemque curis! ut cum totius
mundi conversiones perspexerit sideraque viderit innumerabilia
caelo inhaerentia cum eius ipsius motu congruere certis infixa
sedibus. horum nimirum aspectus impulit illos veteres et admonuit
ut plura quaererent. sic fatur oratorum dux et signifer; illorum
autem temporum homines cum stellarum naturam ac motus intellegere
vellent, nondum instrumenta excogitaverant quibus freti plus
doctrinae quam ipsa oculorum et ingeni acie possemus adquirere.
sed haec prius fuere: hodie et organa inventa sunt in
geniosissima quibus oculorum adiuvetur infirmitas, et ipsius
ingeni acumine abusi astrologi hodierni adeo provinciis potiti
sunt novis et quidem locupletissimis, ut cum poeta maximo
Lucretio adfirmare possim:

Vivida vis animi pervicit, et extra

processit longe flammantia moenia mundi.

nec quemquam longius processisse dixeritis quam hunc, qui a prima
usque aetate horum quae cernimus astrorum indolem motumque
scrutatus, mox ad ea progressus quae videre non possumus et
radiorum quorundam subtilissimorum fontes ultimos detexit et
caelestium istorum foraminum cum atritatem illustravit, tum vires
inauditas ac paene incredibilis adumbravit; tandem ad ipsum rerum
universitatis principium reversus, non sidera natalicia sed
siderum diem natalem contemplatus, ratiocinatur et quando et
quibus modis totius mundi compages ab initio perparvo ad hanc
quam admiramur immensitatem sit aucta et amplificata. neque eo
contentus quod ipse intellegit, ceteris explicator exstitit
eloquentissimus.

Praesento Eudoxum [eudoxoteron], stellarum observatorem
oculatissimum, ipsius mundi interpretem et sollertissimum et
sagacissimum, Martinum Rees, Equitem Auratum, Astrologum Regium,
Societatis Regiae Sodalem, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum
Doctoris in Scientia.

Admission by the Chancellor

Caeli contemplator ingeniosissime, explicator doctissime, rerum
et visibilium et invisibilium magister eruditissime, ego
auctoritate mea et totius Universitatis admitto te ad gradum
Doctoris in Scientia honoris causa.

Paraphrase

So great a philosopher as Aristotle has informed us that there
is no other beginning to philosophy than the sense of wonder; and
we know that for our ancestors the most powerful of all sources
of wonder was the magnificent spectacle of the stars of heaven.
Professor Sir Martin Rees thus comes from the very heart of
philosophy. Here is what Cicero, prince of orators, had to say,
in a moment of almost divine inspiration: `What delight must be
felt by the mind of the student who spends his days and nights
with occupations of this kind! He watches the countless stars,
fixed to the heaven, as they turn with the rotation of the whole
universe, settled in their places and keeping pace with the
motion of the sky. It must have been that
vision which impelled the men of old to seek yet further.' Of
course, when the ancients desired to observe the
nature and the movements of the stars, they had not
invented the instruments by which we can learn more than can be
acquired by unaided eyesight and pure thought. But that was
another world, and now we have instruments of extreme subtlety
which come to the aid
of our weak vision; while modern astronomers have by sheer
intellectual power conquered new provinces for their science. I
can say with the poet Lucretius:


The living force of mind prevailed and passed

The blazing ramparts of the Universe.

No one has gone further than Sir Martin. From boyhood he has been
a watcher of the stars. Soon he moved on to the objects which are
not visible to us. He succeeded in identifying the source of
radio emissions, and he worked on black holes, with their
fantastic and almost unimaginable powers. Latterly he has turned
to the beginning of the universe itself, doing research not on
people's birth stars but on the birth of the stars themselves;
he has been
exploring the questions when and how the universe, starting from
a tiny beginning, achieved the colossal size which we marvel at
today. Not content with doing such work himself, he is also a
most effective public spokesman for the subject.

I present an astronomer who has raised the profile of his
subject, a lynx-eyed observer of the stars, both ingenious and
profound as a guide to the universe, Professor Sir Martin Rees,
FRS, Astronomer Royal, for admission to the honorary degree of
Doctor of Science.

Admission by the Chancellor

Perceptive observer and eloquent explainer of the heavens, you
are a most learned master of phenomena visible and invisible.
Acting on my own authority and on that of the University as a
whole, I admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



Professor Janet Rowley

Blum-Riese Distinguished Professor, University of Chicago

Hospitum agmen claudit haec quae olim apud nos in loco discipulae
versabatur, hodie redit summis honoribus
ornanda. bis enim hanc hospitio accepimus, cum totam fere vitam
ad duos praecipue morbos curandos contulerit, utrumque metuendum:
leucaemiam dico, qua sanguinis et naturam et colorem videre
possitis adeo vitiari ut simulacra ista Maroniana imitentur,
scilicet modis pallentia miris, sive cum poeta tragico Aeschylo
dicam, [epi de kardian edrame krokobathes stagon]; et carcinoma
istud mortiferum, quod ipsius corporis humani compagem sese
devorare compellit, quod adeo mortalibus terrori est ut a multis
non nisi nuda c littera significetur, adeo calamitosos et cruciat
et caedit. haec autem quam produco et olim abstrusa radiorum
doctrina hic imbuta est et cum ipsa animadvertisset cellulas quae
chromosomata dicuntur vicibus quibusdam adfici materiamque inter
se permutare in hominibus qui morbi genere alii alio laborarent,
hic iterum artificio studuit quo illae cellulae concidi
observarique possent. laborem diuturnum, patientiam paene
infinitam impendebat haec, quae oculis
intentis minutas tot corpusculorum commutationes contemplabatur;
neque deerant qui tam religiosam mentis intentionem tot annos
conlatam irridere conarentur:
scilicet hanc singulas harenae micas coacervare atque
numerare. dura tamen molli, inquit, saxa cavantur aqua, Ovidius
poeta, et deditae huius operae acceptum referimus quod iam
carcinomatum et naturam et progressum multo melius intelligimus,
quae cum hodie cognoverimus ex innata corporis structura oriri,
restat ut homines docti istas cellularum migrationes observent
describant intellegere conentur. quo fit ut hodie per totum orbem
terrarum magna medicorum multitudo huius inventa subsecuta
morborum taeterrimorum indolem indaget, haec autem praemiis
plurimis adfecta honorificentissimo numismate Americano sit
ornata. neque hoc velim praetermittere, hanc vitae exemplar nobis
proposuisse multis nominibus imitandum, cum tot honores adepta
adhuc sine iactantia perseveret laborare.

Praesento medicam beneficentissimam, quae patientia insigni,
diligentia admirabili, ingenio acutissimo intima valetudinis
humanae arcana et detexit et detegit, Janet Rowley, a plurimis
Academiis Doctorem honoris causa creatam, ut admittatur honoris
causa ad gradum Doctoris in Scientia.

Admission by the Chancellor

Aesculapi famula eminentissima, quae tuis egregiis laboribus
obscurissima corporum nostrorum secreta tam clara luce
inluminavisti, ego auctoritate mea et totius Universitatis
admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Scientia honoris causa.

Paraphrase

The last in order of our honorands is a scientist who spent some
time here as a student, and who now returns to receive the
University's highest honour. She has in fact lived here twice,
while spending the greatest part of her life on the study of two
terrible diseases. One is leukaemia, which makes the diseased
blood change its colour, reminding us of the dead as described
by Virgil, `pale in wondrous wise', or of the expression of the
poet Aeschylus: `To my heart there rushes the blood, stained
yellow [by fear]'. The other is cancer, which causes the
substance of the body to prey upon itself, and which is so
dreaded that many people will only refer to it as `the big C'.
Janet Rowley studied radiobiology in Oxford; she observed that
chromosomes in leukaemia and cancer patients both lost and
exchanged genetic material. Returning to Oxford, she worked on
chromosome banding, which permitted detailed observation of
segments of chromosomes. She devoted infinite
patience to the exact observation of these changes in cells,
while some critics were sceptical of such detailed work over a
period of years, regarding it as simply counting the grains of
sand on a beach. But the poet Ovid reminds us that `Water, though
soft, can wear hard rocks away'; and it is thanks to her devoted
work that we now understand better the nature and progress of
cancers, which she has shown to be genetic in origin. It remained
to observe and describe those changes in the cells, in the effort
to understand them. Today many scientists are at work all over
the world, following up her work, and investigating the
nature of these dreadful diseases; while Professor Rowley has
been honoured with many awards, including the
National Medal of Science. It should not fail to be mentioned
that she has set a model for others in her style of life, as
despite the honours she has received she continues without
ostentation to get on with her work.

I present a medical scientist who has benefited the world, and
who by extraordinary patience, admirable application, and high
intelligence, has revealed, and continues to reveal, some of the
most intimate secrets of health, Professor Janet Rowley, the
recipient of many
honorary doctorates, for admission to the honorary
degree of Doctor of Science.

Admission by the Chancellor

Eminent agent of healing, your outstanding work has shone beams
of light on the most hidden areas of our physical health. Acting
on my own authority and on that of the University as a whole, I
admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



CREWEIAN ORATION 2000

THE PUBLIC ORATOR delivered the following Oration `in commemoration of the
Benefactors of the University according to the intention of the Right
Honourable Nathaniel, Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham'.

Honoratissime Domine Cancellarie: But no, the Orator
displays again the
full range of his talents by speaking not only in Latin but also
in English.
The original purpose of the Creweian Oration was commemoration
of our
benefactors; it has also long been the custom to include in it
some reference
to events of the past year. For many years it was in fact given
in Latin.

This year I thought we might begin with Nathaniel, Lord
Crewe, Bishop
of Durham, whose hard strawberries and harder peaches have been
enjoyed
over the centuries by the Nomenklatura of the University. The
account of him
in the DNB, from the pen of Mandell Creighton, Bishop of
London and
historian of the Papacy, is strikingly unfriendly. Its opening,
or
throat-clearing, statement is that `the barony conferred upon his
father seems
to have imbued Nathaniel's mind with a desire for the sweets of
royal
patronage'. It goes on with the pronouncement that when, as royal
commissioner, he dismissed the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge for
refusing to
obey a royal command to admit to the degree of MA a person
disqualified by
the statutes of the University, his action `shows that his
sycophancy was
boundless'. The scorn of the Bishop of London for his brother of
Durham is
tempered only by the aside that `a man of such a time-serving
spirit was in
no way formidable'; and he sweeps on to the conclusion that
`Crewe is a
remarkable instance of a man whose posthumous munificence has
done much
to outweigh a discreditable career'. How these Christians love
one another! But
there is a moral here somewhere. If anyone present has an
acquaintance whose
career has been discreditable, it is worth reflecting that
benefactions to
Oxford University can do much to outweigh it.

Now for some more recent incomings and benefactions. The
research
income of the University last year was £179,000,000. It sounds
like a lot; but,
of course, it does not compare with the incomes available to the
great
universities of North America. And, of course, the state persists
in its now
traditional stinginess, and the grant for next year from HEFCE
is again
increased by an amount below the rate of inflation. The idea, it
seems, is the
interesting one---`vibrant' is, I think the term of the
moment---that we can
compete on the international level without spending as much money
as our
competitors do; just as, for example, one might very reasonably
hope to run
a top-level international tennis tournament, attracting all the
top international
stars, while giving a top prize of £5,000. The reluctance of the
state to pay
the rate for the job in higher education, either to individuals
or to
institutions, does not, of course, mean that politicians are
inhibited in their
criticisms. Criticism of universities, by ancient custom, does
not have to be
accurate or well informed. That, after all, is our job.

The state, which has lost so many of its toys---to
privatisation or to
globalisation, to loss of Empire or to membership of
multinational bodies---and
which therefore plays ever more obsessively with the few that it
still
possesses, is confident that it could run the nation's
universities very
differently from the tiresome academic persons who are making
such a hash
of it at the moment. And in a way one does share its confidence.
More
complete control by the political establishment no doubt would
indeed have the
effect of transforming our performance and the value we give for
money. We
need only look at the contrast between Tate Modern, where those
who knew
were left alone to get on with it, and the Dome, sticky with the
fingerprints
of politicians of both parties, to see the kind of difference
that we should
expect to see.

Meanwhile, our expenses are great. Apart from the costs of
teaching and
research, the massive and very important Millennium Buildings
Project, which
both restores old buildings and pays for new ones, will in total
cost
£150,000,000. It has for instance already put a new roof on Duke
Humfrey's
Library.

It was especially welcome that last autumn eleven new
members were
admitted to the Chancellor's Court of Benefactors. The Court is
now so firmly
established in the heart of the University that it is hard to
remember that its
inception was so recent. How did we manage without it?

The Bodleian Library is grateful to its old friend the
Oxford Historic
Buildings Fund for a generous contribution to the Bodleian Old
Library
Development Project, BOLD for short; to Lincoln PLC for generous
support,
again, for the Blind Recording Centre; to the Garfield Weston
Foundation and
the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, for partnership funding for
the Library's
application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a Visitor Programme:
it is good
news that this application has received Stage One approval; to
Lovells for
continuing to help the Law Library stay open longer; to Rosemary
Sprague for
generous support for the Vaisey Fund; and to the estate of the
late Margaret
Sowers, of Santa Cruz, for a contribution to the general income
of the
Library. And, for a donation to support the Science Library, to
Dr David
Holmes (no relation).

A devoted friend of the Library, and a Distinguished Friend
of the
University, steps down as Chairman of the Bodleian's Development
Board: Mr
Jonathan Taylor, formerly Chairman of Booker PLC. In more than
ten years of
service he has been outstandingly successful in this vitally
important post.
A retirement dinner was held for him in the dream setting of the
Divinity
School. A sadder loss still, this time by death, is that of
Professor Colin
Matthew, for many years (in addition to being Editor of the
New DNB)
the Chairman of the Friends of the Bodleian. He brought in many
gifts and
benefactions. We also greet the generous endowment by Mr and Mrs
John
Griffiths of a studentship in the field of the history of the
book before
1625.

The Bate Collection of old instruments, to which the Orator
seldom looks
in vain, reports the sad news of the death, at the age of ninety,
of Philip
Bate. The Collection has received this year a magnificent
assembly of
instruments from the collection of M.Jean Henry, who was moved
to make it by
his admiration for the role of the Bate Collection in playing and
teaching
within the University. It includes nine flutes, six flageolets,
four violins, and
other interesting items, including a banduria, a zither, an
epinette de Vosges,
and a psaltery. Another remarkable gift is that of a special
flute made for a
player who had lost the tip of his right index finger, which is
designed to be
played with the thumb. It may point the way, says the Bate, for
other
digitally challenged flautists.

Another kind of challenge: the Designated Challenge Fund has
given a
total of nearly £420,000 to the support of the University's
museums. The
University Museum has received a grant from the Museum and
Galleries
Commission, for electronic access to collection data; and
another, both to the
University Museum and to the Pitt Rivers Museum, from the
Heritage Lottery
Access Fund, for improving public access to the museums. The
Museum has
also launched a CD, played by the European Union Baroque
Orchestra.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, too, has given a generous
challenge
grant to establish a new lectureship at the Centre for Refugee
Studies, and
for the Centre's library. That Centre has received a generous
grant from the
Ford Foundation for a number of valuable projects, including a
visiting
fellowship and a workshop.

Hans and Maerit Rausing and Joseph and Lisbet Koerner have
given a
munificent endowment, via the Michael Aris Trust, to endow a
University
Lecturership in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies. The Michael Aris
Trust has
also made a generous donation to support for three years a
Librarian in
Tibetan at the Bodleian.

Sir Martin Wood has given a splendid donation for the new
Martin Wood
Lecture Theatre, with a complete conference centre, including
seminar and
exhibition space. An anonymous donor has given a munificent gift
for the
Oxford Centre for Molecular Sciences, for the library of the
Queen's College,
for undergraduate scholarships both at the University and at
Queen's, and for
the Museum of the History of Science.

Large contributions have been received on the various
medical fronts
from many donors. The Imperial Cancer Research Fund is expanding
its
research in Oxford and planning further investments of several
million pounds.
The Medical Research Council has made a very substantial grant
to a group
in the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology for research into the
workings of
the immune system; and the BBSRC has made a very significant
grant to
another group for research into bacterial cell division. In that
School a
generous donation from an anonymous source has been received for
a Chair
in Molecular Biology. The Wellcome Trust is giving support which
is both
important and, I am obliged by Oratorical precedent to add,
welcome, to the
Oxford Tropical Network, for research into tropical diseases; and
it has made
a generous grant to a group at the Nuffield Department of
Clinical Medicine
for research into the HIV virus. The James Knott Family Trust is
to make a
substantial endowment for postgraduate medical scholarships at
St Cross
College. And the E.P. Abraham Research Fund has made a generous
grant to
the Chemistry Research Laboratory.

Other benefactions have not been lacking. Mr Jack Friedman
has
handsomely endowed the annual Mendel Friedman Conference on
Yiddish
Studies of the European Humanities Research Centre. Mr Francis
Finlay has
made a substantial gift to Merton for a new building. Mr Philip
Wetton has
generously endowed the Wetton Chair of Astrophysics. And a very
substantial
grant has been received from the Particle Physics and Astronomy
Research
Council for Astrophysics and for the Gemini Telescope Project.

Ten groups in the University have been awarded grants under
the 1999
Joint Research Equipment Initiative: including the purchase of
a mass
spectrometer for use in the development of a mass spectrometry
technique,
described as non-destructive, which is a relief, and help with
the BEOWULF
supercomputer project, which will model the formation of
galaxies. Four bids
have been successful to the Joint Infrastructure Fund. Five of
our colleagues
have been successful in getting Leverhulme Major Research
Fellowships. Ten
research groups in the University won grants under the 1999 Joint
Research
Equipment Initiative. Like the man says, the joint is jumpin'.
Congratulations
to them all.

It has been a good year for Institutes. The Environmental
Change Unit
has advanced to the status of an Institute. An Institute for
Particle Physics
is to be established with a generous grant from the Leverhulme
Trust, to
investigate `dark matter'. A new Institute of Orthopaedic
Research is to be
established, in a fine new building of vaguely Tibetan
appearance: as we
launch an appeal for Tibetan and Himalayan studies. And an
Institute for the
Advancement of University Learning will be launched in
October.

Not an Institute but a Unit: a Stroke Prevention Unit has
been set up in
Oxford with money from the MRC and the Stroke Prevention Council
(nothing
to do with stopping sexual harassment). They are preventing
strokes; but in
another part of the forest strokes are being actively encouraged.
A dream is
to become a reality. Yes, the Swimming Pool, a phrase kept
permanently set
up in type by all Orators of recent decades, is to descend from
Plato's ideal
sphere and find physical form. Gipsy violins, please! We thank
Mr Lief D.
Rosenblatt, who has made a munificent benefaction; Mr and Mrs
Michael G.
McCafferty, who have made a very generous gift via the San
Francisco
Foundation; the Rhodes Trust, which has given a splendid
challenge grant;
and Lady Kenny, lately chatelaine of Rhodes House, who nobly led
the
successful fund-raising team. In fund-raising the crawling must
precede the
splash; in the pool, of course, it will be the other way round.
To keep us in
a more metaphorical swim, an electronic archive of more than
20,000 articles
on modern affairs has been donated to the University by Oxford
Analytica.

Thoroughly modern, indeed; but in sharp contrast, Neolithic
bread has
been found at Yarnton, 5,000 years old. The railway companies are
reported
to be keenly interested. At the Institute of Plant Sciences the
team of the
aptly named Dr Juniper (can this be an accident?) has tracked
down the
origins of the apple: in the high valleys of the eastern Tien
Sha, in the north
western part of the Xinjiang province of China. That presumably
implies the
discovery also of the site of the Garden of Eden. And Dr
Stephanie Dalley has
identified two skeletons discovered in northern Iraq as those of
Hebrew women
of royal birth who married the father and the grandfather of
Sennacherib. In
those days, it appears, `JAP' stood for `Jewish Assyrian
Princess': a truly
intimidating conception.

Meanwhile, Professor Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics, has
proved by
a survey of the Y-chromosomes of 250 men of his name that `99 per
cent of
Mrs Sykeses have been well behaved for the past 700 years'. We
always knew
that Bill Sikes---of a cadet branch only, of course---was wrong
to be so
jealous of poor Nancy. But: what vistas open up of posthumous
prurience,
what bumper numbers of Ye News of Ye World (Medieval
edition). But we
can only imagine what Chaucer would have given us as the
Geneticist's
Tale
.

Nor is even that all. An Ancient Biomolecules Centre is to
be set up in
Oxford, to work on the DNA of extinct animals and proto-humans.
A team which
includes members from Oxford has finally proved that Neanderthal
Man was
carnivorous, that he was in fact, in their slightly unexpected
phrase, `a top
carnivore'; `in terms of carnivory they were up with the wolves
and hyenas'.
As the lady said to the optician, when she asked for glasses and
he sat her
down to read off a chart of letters of different sizes, I hadn't
realised it was
a competition. We await demands for access to Oxford for
Neanderthals. Putting
even that antiquity into perspective, we have had £300,000 from
Viridor Waste
Management, the Greenbank Trust, and the Museum of Natural
History, for a
more realistic display of dinosaurs, including a Tyrannosaurus.
Some people
thought it unkind of the University Gazette to announce
this, two weeks
ago, with the headline `Dinosaur and dodo collection unveiled',
and illustrate
it with a photograph of the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar.

All that gives an almost vulgar look of modernity to the
generous
research grant received over five years by the Archive for the
History of
Performances of Greek and Roman Drama. And, to come right up to
date, the
Ashmolean mounted an exhibition, called `In the Red: a History
of Debt, 2000
BC--2000 AD'. It was opened, I see, by the Chancellor of the
Exchequer. But
that, of course, was in the first half of the year.

It is a pleasure to record that this year again the Botanic
Garden has
won a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show, for an educational
exhibit on
the reasons why plants produce smells. Among its exhibits was a
dragon arum,
which attracts flies by imitating the odours of rotting flesh.
The Botanic
Garden is not just a pretty face, or a delicious aroma. The
University has
opened a fine new Business and Science Park at Begbroke. And: the
Humanities Computing Development Team has been launched, with all
sorts of
vibrant applications and implications; and, no doubt,
duplications and
complications, too.

The administration of the University has been reformed and
reshaped. I
am in a position to reveal that, after agonising debate and much
heart-searching, it has been agreed that its new aims include
excellence,
vibrance, and transparency; unless indeed I am confused, and
those are not
its aims but its goals, or possibly its mission statement. Some
more modern
titles seem in order: his Serene Transparency, the Chancellor;
his Harassed
Transparency, the Vice-Chancellor; their Vibrancies, the Heads
of the Academic
Divisions... As for excellence, one remembers Groucho Marx, when
by some
shady deal he had become a head of state and was addressed as
`Your
Excellency', replying with a jaunty `You're pretty good
yourself!' The Heads
of the five new Academic Divisions have been named. So have the
four
Pro-Vice-Chancellors. You know who you are; we know where you
live.
Greetings, congratulations, and commiserations to you all. It's
the first time
for us: be gentle with us!

It would seem absurd to ignore, but affected to dilate upon,
the renewal
of the Vice-Chancellor, from 2001 to 2004, to see through the
reforms in the
`governance' of the University. That was a setback for Balliol
College, which
had been able to boast that it produced the Chancellor, the
Vice-Chancellor,
and the Orator; and, this year, the Senior Proctor, too.
Fortunately, Balliol is
not the sort of place that boasts. We have always emphasised
that. The Vice-
Chancellor made a powerful speech at the beginning of the year,
full of
weighty matter. Connoisseurs of University oratory, if they
exist, will detect
much overlap with this one. The Recognition of Distinction
exercise was
abandoned, not without a regretful official statement that it was
not achieving
its purpose. Well, well, Sir. A new scheme was unveiled, to
applause less than
unanimous, for allowing University Lecturers and CUFs to compete
with each
other for small financial increments. There occurred to
irreverent minds an
image applied by Cyril Connolly to some critical writing about
modern poetry,
but now more and more replacing the fuddy-duddy image which we
used to
have of collegiality: jackals snarling round a dried-up well.

The OED is now online. It runs to 60,000,000 words
and has 9,000
new entries; its revision cost £35,000,000; it can keep up with
`vibrant and
colourful varieties of English'. Vibrant, of course; but not
(fortunately)
transparent, or I suppose there would be no need for a
Dictionary. And now
accessible online are the works of Robert Grosseteste, the
University's first
big-headed Chancellor, known to more trendy students of
scholasticism as the
Vibrant Doctor.

In the Clarendon Laboratory a fine new superconducting
magnet has set
a world record by generating a continuous field of twenty teslas
at the
atmospheric boiling point of liquid helium. And I don't need to
remind anyone
here what that means.

An Oxford scientist is a member of the international team
which is trying
to conserve the Raratonga and the Tahiti flycatchers. The
University is also
well represented in the struggle to save the painted hunting dog
of Zimbabwe,
and in that to rescue the lions of the Kalahari; and, less
exotically, but
suitably for that underprivileged minority of scientists who get
air-sick on
long journeys to exotic and expensive places, in the quest to
preserve the
British water vole.

Interesting lectures were given during the year. On 28 June
1999 Mr Kofi
Annan, Secretary General of the UN, came and lectured us on `The
Dialogue
of Civilisations and the Need for a World Ethic'. He is to
receive an honorary
degree some time next year.

The Prime Minister gave the Romanes Lecture in Michaelmas
Term on
`Education and Human Capital in the Next Century'. His message
was that
education has two points: one is the advancement which a good
c.v. brings to
the career and the earning power of its fortunate possessor; the
other is that
education enriches the country economically. In his striking
phrase,
`Universities are wealth creators in their own right'. So that's
all right,
then.

Ms Beryl Bainbridge gave the Richard Hillary Memorial
Lecture on the
theme: `What makes a writer'. Yet again we saw the importance to
the artist
of an unhappy childhood. Lord Melchett, Director of Greenpeace
UK, gave a
lecture on `Campaigning for Environmental Solutions'. Mr Rupert
Murdoch gave
a lecture at University College on his vision of the future. It
was refreshing
to hear him state his view that increasing choice of media is
empowering the
consumer to an unprecedented extent, and that the media will be
swiftly
punished if they `misjudge public taste or morals'. Mr Jeremy
Paxman lectured
on `Surviving Spin'. In a more innocent day, I suppose, that
would have
suggested something about cricket.

New this year is the Public Interest Disclosure Act (1999),
and the
consequent issuing of a code of Academic Integrity in Research.
`At last!' we
academics murmur gratefully. Misconduct includes `failure to
follow an agreed
protocol if this failure results in unreasonable risk of harm to
humans, other
vertebrates or the environment'---a curious list; but it is a
comfort to feel
that the only invertebrates at risk from my own current
researches on Attic
Tragedy are a few colleagues in the subject at certain other
universities.

There have been some significant comings and goings. The new
Rector of
Lincoln, in succession to Dr Eric Anderson, who returns from the
academic
hurly-burly to Elysium, as Provost of Eton (in the phrase of
Horace, `adscribi
quietis ordinibus deorum'), is to be Professor Paul Langford,
Chief Executive
of the AHRB.

The new President of Wolfson, in succession to the eminent
biologist Sir
David Smith, who continues as President of the Linnaean Society,
is Sir Gareth
Roberts, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield University and a
distinguished scientist,
who has in his time served as Chairman of the CVCP and is a
member of the
Board of HEFCE.

A new President of Corpus succeeds Sir Keith Thomas, a great
figure in
the writing of history, and a dynamic Chairman of the University
Press. He
is Sir Tim Lankester, Director of the School of African and
Oriental Studies,
London University, and formerly Permanent Secretary at the
Department for
Education. At St John's the new President, in succession to Dr
Bill Hayes,
scientist, ex-Bursar, and central figure in university finance,
is to be a
Scholar; in fact, Sir Michael Scholar: who made his career mostly
in the
Treasury, including tax and public expenditure; and who ended as
Permanent
Secretary at the Department of Trade and Industry.

One begins to see something like a pattern in some of these
appointments.
There was a time, thirty years ago, when colleges felt that the
most urgent
menace was from their own revolting young. As their Heads they
elected
lawyers and philosophers. Now they see it as coming from the
Government and
the civil service, and they look to the ranks of those who know,
and can
presumably handle, that dark and alarming world. Perhaps the
BEOWULF
supercomputer could come in handy here, too, to deal with the
monsters that
emerge from the mere.

At St Catherine's a new Master succeeds Lord Plant, whose
retirement
was announced last year. The new man is Sir Peter Williams,
currently
Chairman of Oxford Instruments Group PLC; and Chairman of Isis
Innovation
Ltd.; and of the Trustees of the National Museum of Science and
Technology.
He is President elect of the Institute of Physics. He works
closely with the
University and its spin-off companies.

And now we come very close to that rarest of journalistic
events, a world
scoop for the Creweian Oration, with the news, announced to the
world today,
that Balliol has pre-elected its Acting Master, Mr Andrew Graham,
to succeed
in 2001 to Dr Colin Lucas, the Vice-Chancellor, whose merits have
just been
so signally recognised by the University. Mr Graham is an
economist and, we
note without all that much surprise, a former adviser to the
Government.

We turn to honours awarded in the year. And here there
should surely
be a flourish of trumpets before each honoured name; but you must
imagine
that. You will want me, I am sure, to give special prominence to
the fact that
in May Sir Roger Penrose, formerly Rouse Ball Professor of
Mathematics, was
appointed to the Order of Merit. It also gives great pleasure
that the High
Steward, Lord Goff, has been awarded the Grand Cross of the
Federal Republic
of Germany.

In the two Honours Lists of the year five of us were
knighted: the
Warden of Nuffield, Dr Anthony Atkinson, for services to
economics; Professor
Royston Goode, lately Norton Rose Professor of English Law, for
services to
academic law; Professor Charles Hoare, lately James Martin
Professor of
Computing, for services to education and computer science;
Professor George
Radda, Professorial Fellow of Merton, for services to biomedical
science;
Professor John Rowlinson, lately Dr Lee's Professor of Chemistry,
for services
to chemistry, chemical engineering, and education. It also gave
general
pleasure that two of our recent Encaenia honorands received
knighthoods;
Laurence Whistler, Honorary Fellow of Balliol, was knighted for
services to art,
and Professor Andrew Wiles, Honorary Fellow of Merton, whom the
University
honoured last year, was made KBE for services to science. And Mrs
Vivien
Duffield, Honorary Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall and Member of the
Chancellor's Court of Benefactors, was created DBE.

Mr Timothy Garton Ash, fellow of St Antony's, was created
CMG. Professor
Susan Greenfield, Professor of Pharmacology; Professor
Christopher Leaver,
Sibthorpian Professor of Plant Sciences; the Reverend John
McManners, Fellow
and Chaplain of All Souls; Professor Richard McCrory, Fellow of
Linacre; Dr
Ann McPherson, Fellow of Green College; Professor Patricia
Nuttall, Director of
the Institute of Virology; and Ms Barbara Stocking, of the
Faculty of Clinical
Medicine, were created CBE; Dr Gerald Draper, Director of the
Childhood
Cancer Research Group Office, and Dr Sian Meryl Griffiths, Senior
Clinical
Lecturer, were created OBE; Dr Rosemary Hails, Lecturer of St
Anne's; Miss
Sybil Ovenstone, of University College; Mrs Barbara Paxman, of
Hertford
College; Mr Ronald Watson, custodian at Christ Church; and
Professor Colin
Webb, Professor of Laser Physics, were created MBE.

Three of our number were elected this year to Fellowships
of the Royal
Society: Professor James Binney, Professor of Physics; Dr Peter
Somogyi,
Director of the MRC Anatomical Unit; and Professor John
Woodhouse, Professor
of Geophysics. Sir Robert May, Royal Society Research Professor
of Zoology
and currently Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, is to
be the next
President of the Royal Society. And this year's George Eastman
Visiting
Professor, Professor Martin Karplus, was elected a Foreign
Member.

The British Academy has elected to Fellowships five of us:
Dr Anthony Hunt, Professor Wendy James, Professor Paul Klemperer,
Dr Ross McKibbin, and Professor Wilferd Madelung.

Other distinctions follow, in alphabetical order of
recipient, as the Orator
will not attempt to rank them in order of distinction or
eminence. All are
distinguished, all are eminent, all (doubtless) are vibrant. I
make no claim to
be exhaustive: who can list the stars in the Milky Way?

Sir Jack Baldwin, Wayneflete Professor of Chemistry, has
been awarded
the Leverhulme Medal. Professor Mike Brody, Professor of
Information
Engineering, has been awarded the Faraday Medal. Professor John
Cardy,
Professor of Physics, has been awarded the Paul Dirac Medal and
Prize. Sir
John Elliott, lately Regius Professor of Modern History, has been
awarded the
Balzan Prize for his contribution to Spanish History. Dr Niall
Ferguson has
been awarded the Wadsworth Prize for Business History for his
book on the
Rothschilds. Dr Michael Freeman has won the Yorkshire Post
Book of the
Year award for his Railways and the Victorian Imagination.
Professor
Paul Harvey has been appointed Secretary of the Royal Zoological
Society.
Professor Guy Houlsby has been elected a Fellow of the Royal
Academy of
Engineering. Sir Peter Morris, Nuffield Professor of Surgery, has
been chosen
as President of the International Surgical Society. Professor
David Pettifor,
Isaac Wolfson Professor of Metallurgy, has received the 1999
Award of the
Royal Society and Brasiers' Company. Professor Peter Sleight has
been
awarded the Galen Medal in Therapeutics by the Society of
Apothecaries. Dr
Andrew Steane has been awarded the Maxwell Medal and Prize.
Professor James
Woodhouse, Fiat-Serena Professor of Italian, has been awarded the
D'Annunzio
literary prize. Two of us were awarded silver medals by the Royal
Society of
Chemistry: Professor Richard Compton and Professor Richard
Wayne.

A couple of interesting appointments: Professor John Krebs
has become
head of the new Food Standards Agency, and Dr Gordon Marshall,
of Nuffield,
has become Chief Executive of the ESRC.

The Senior Proctor made a departing Oration of especial
elegance. He is
(as it happens) a pupil of my own. He recorded his conviction
that `Yes, these
Proctors are quite something after all'; tempering it somewhat
with the
concluding throwaway remark that the most famous of all Proctors
(in Latin,
Procurators) was---of course---Pontius Pilate. An original
closing sentence
seems somehow to have been omitted from the published version;
I believe it
identified the modern successor of Judas Iscariot. He dwelt on
the increasing
age of university grandees, Heads of Houses, and members of the
new Council
of the University. We need to be aware of this. Despite
Shakespeare, ripeness
is not all.

It is about now that the Orator attempts to remind the
company that the
University does not consist only of the great, the good, and the
grey-haired.
There are also the junior members. A few rather random glances,
then, into
their characteristic activities. First, a couple of swots. Our
junior members
took three of the six top places in this year's Times Law Awards
competition;
and Mr Mark Tito, a research student in the Centre for Molecular
Sciences,
has received the first ever Science Graduate of the Year Award.
As for their
political life, there were allegations of irregularities in the
election of the
President of OUSU, and allegations of secrecy and of corruption
at the Oxford
Union. A typical year, in fact.

This was, to change the focus again, a spectacular year of
success in
sport. We beat Cambridge in the Boat Race, and in the
twenty-eighth Varsity
Games, which include Ultimate Frisbee. The Varsity Rugger Match
was won, 16-
-13, in the last four minutes; and the Rugby League match; the
Under-21s and
the Greyhounds also won their matches; while the women's match
was won 52-
-0. The senior University was also victorious in Soccer; and
Boxing; and
Dancesport; and Darts; and Oxford won the Varsity Baked Bean
Eating
Competition by the convincing margin of forty beans. A new OU
Sports
Federation has been launched, as has a new range of `Dark Blue'
sporting
clothes, fetchingly illustrated on p. 1152 of the Gazette,
and billed as
`classic yet trendy'. That phrase may yet replace, as our motto,
the rather
antiquated Dominus Illuminatio Mea. And there has been an
exciting
Soccer-style transfer: our new Head of the Development Office is
Mr Mike
Smithson, Development Director of Cambridge. What can it mean?

Plays put on during the year included Antony and
Cleopatra
and
Fred and Madge; and ranged from The Revenger's
Tragedy
to
Pillow Talk, and from Little Shop of Horrors to
HMS
Pinafore
. We could choose between Right Ho, Jeeves,
and Class
Enemy
(unless indeed they are the same play); we could follow
She
Stoops to Conquer
with 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (which
does sound
disconcertingly like the next step); Tickle Soup rubbed
shoulders with
Shallow Grave, and Under Milk Wood with Ben
Jonson's Sejanus:
his Fall
, in which the passionate denunciations of informers
and their ever
growing power in the terrified Rome of Tiberius Caesar reminded
an academic
audience all too pointedly of the world of the TQA and the
RAE.

This year we direct a glance at the world of the
undergraduate clubs
and societies. As one peruses the list (courtesy of the Proctors'
Office), the
eye falls on the Alternative Singing Society, a most suggestive
name; I suspect
that alternative singing is what is sometimes practised on my
staircase in the
evening; and the Beer Appreciation Society (Secretary and
Treasurer, I
observe, both members of St Catherine's). There is a Belly
Dancing Society---
be still, my beating heart---but no sign of the merger that might
produce two
great missing organisations: the Beer Belly Dancing Society, and
that rarest
of tastes, the Beer Belly Appreciation Society. Another tempting
merger might
be between the Oxford Belles and the Oxford Gargoyles; tempting,
at least, for
the Gargoyles. More inscrutable are the activities of the Broom
Cupboard
Society, or of the Babylon 5 Society; opaque also the aims, and
indeed the
goals, of the Constructive Loonery Organisation Type Society
(Senior Member:
Dr Washington of Keble), not---of course---to be confused with
its bitter
rival, the Official Monster Raving Loony Society (Senior Member:
Dr Davidson
of St Edmund Hall). Neither of their mission statements was
available. Let me
not fail to mention the Nirvana Appreciation Society. There one
might indeed
feel at home.

Less amusing was an occupation of the Development Office,
to protest
against government policy on fees. It struck the trained minds
of some of our
young people that it if the University was damagingly short of
money, then
it would be a sensible contribution to paralyse our fund-raising.
Among the
demands of the occupiers was the charming one `that the
University stop
taking action against those who cannot (sic) pay their fees...
through
disagreement with the principle of an ‚litist educational
system'. The logic of
that cannot is interesting. A court order got them out. Damage
done is
reported to have cost £30,000. `This was an unwelcome episode'
(the Senior
Proctor). Hardly more welcome was the custard pie flung, by
another vibrant
young thinker, into the face of Ms Ann Widdecombe, MP.

Somehow Death always has the last word, and this year as
usual the
University has not been spared its ravages. John Ruskin died a
hundred
years ago; the centenary was marked by two exhibitions. This year
we
mourned the death of Cardinal Basil Hume, formerly of St Benet's
Hall. From
our own number we lost valued colleagues and loved friends. I
record the
names of Donald Boalch, Fellow of Corpus Christi; Margery Booth,
Fellow of St
Anne's; Brian Bower, Fellow of Green College; Vera Daniel, Fellow
of St Hugh's;
Richard Fargher, Fellow of St Edmund Hall; Don Fowler, Fellow of
Jesus; John
Hale, Fellow of Jesus; Bernard Halstead, Fellow of St Anne's;
Francis Haskell,
Fellow of Trinity; Janet Hiddleston, Fellow of St Hilda's; John
Michael Hinton,
Fellow of Worcester; Peter Levi, Fellow of St Catherine's and
sometime
Professor of Poetry; John Lloyd, Fellow of Wolfson; Colin
Matthew, Fellow of
St Hugh's; William McHardy, Member of the Governing Body of
Christ Church;
Catherine Middleton, Fellow of Mansfield; Harry Pitt, Fellow of
Worcester;
Richard Popplewell, Fellow of Trinity; Francis Price, Fellow of
Keble; Patrick
Reilly, Fellow of All Souls; Leighton Reynolds, Fellow of
Brasenose; Ronald
Robinson, Fellow of Balliol; Geoffrey de Ste Croix, Fellow of New
College; Dennis
Sciama, Fellow of All Souls; Rachel Trickett, Principal of St
Hugh's; Robert
Turner, Fellow of Green College; Anne Whiteman, Fellow of Lady
Margaret Hall;
Vincent Wright, Fellow of Nuffield. Et lux perpetua luceat
eis
.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement