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The Geek Atlas by John Graham-Cumming

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047

Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, England

gkat_047.pdf52° 12 21.4 N, 0° 7 3.34 E

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Stained-Glass Scientists

The first thing you need to know about Gonville and Caius College is how to pronounce it. Gonville is easy, no surprises there. But Caius is another matter. John Keys was the second founder of the college; in 1529 he entered what was then Gonville Hall at just 18 years old. He later became a Fellow of the college, and finally Master (after having spent a chunk of his own fortune restoring it).

Along the way he Latinized his last name, turning Keys into Caius without changing the pronunciation. Thus, Gonville and Caius is pronounced “Gonville and Keys”; within Cambridge the college is usually referred to as simply Caius.

Caius has an illustrious list of alumni. They include William Harvey (who discovered blood circulation), George Green (mathematician), John Venn (who popularized the Venn diagram), Charles Sherrington (Nobel Prize–winning neurophysiologist), R. A. Fisher (probably the greatest statistician ever), Sir James Chadwick (who discovered the neutron), Francis Crick (DNA; see Chapter 71), and Stephen Hawking.

Six of these alumni are honored with stained-glass windows representing their greatest contribution in the college Hall where students and Fellows eat.

John Venn’s ...

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