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Alex Hopkins Lecture and Dinner

Alumni, Master, Fellows and By-Fellows, Public,
Ben feringa

24 Mar 2023

  • Start: 17:00
  • End: 22:00

Chemistry Department and Churchill College

Four years since we were last able to hold this event, we are thrilled to welcome Nobel Laureate Professor Ben Feringa as the speaker for this year’s Alex Hopkins Lecture.

Professor Feringa will talk about the power and beauty of using chemistry to make new molecules with a focus on how it is possible to generate switches and motors at the nanoscale.

The lecture takes place at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre in the Department of Chemistry on Lensfield Road. This will be followed by a drinks reception and dinner in College, with an option to join after-dinner drinks in the Cockcroft Room.


Information about the lecture and booking for that can be found on the Cambridge Festival site.

Please use the form at the bottom of this page to book tickets to the dinner and after-dinner drinks. You can also make an additional donation to the Alex Hopkins Fund using the form.

  • Fellows should use the SCR High Table sign-up page as usual.
  • Alumni should select the Alumni dinner ticket option for themselves and up to one guest to dine (thus using their High Table dining rights to susbsidise the cost). Those wishing to join the after-dinner drinks afterwards, please remember to book the additional ticket for that.
  • Non-members of the College are welcome to book a place at the dinner and drinks. Please select the ‘other dinner ticket’ option in order to dine, and the extra ticket for after-dinner drinks if required.


Unfortunately, this event falls within the College Period of Residence, even though it is outside of term. There may be a limited number of rooms available in College but this cannot be guaranteed and it is unlikely the Accommodation Office will know until just before the event. Those who prefer not to wait until the last minute, may want to book accommodation elsewhere in order that it is guaranteed, otherwise please email the Accommodation Office a few days before the event.

Professor Ben Feringa

About the lecture:

Far beyond Nature’s design, the creative power of synthetic chemistry provides unlimited opportunities to realize our own molecular world.

In their practice of the art of building small, chemists have shown amazing success in the past decades. Moving from molecules to dynamic molecular systems the fundamental challenge is how to control and exploit motion at the nanoscale.

This presentation is a journey in to the world of molecular switches and motors, the process of discovery and Professor Feringa’s personal experiences through his scientific career. He will address how fundamental questions and molecular beauty have guided him on this journey.


Alex Hopkins

The Alex Hopkins Fund:

Alex Hopkins was a student and Teaching Fellow in Chemistry at Churchill College who died tragically young in 2006. Each year, the Alex Hopkins Fund supports the award of one or more prizes for outstanding overall achievement in the final Tripos examination in Chemistry, as well as sponsoring an annual lecture to be held in the Department of Chemistry.

Alex’s infectious enthusiasm and humour characterised his teaching and his exceptional ability to communicate his passion for science. The lectures, although routed in science, aim to be as much about entertaining as educating and are designed to be appealing and accessible to all.