The Roger Bacon Society, under the tyrannical reign of President Hornigold (2013), celebrated another year of sustaining physics excellence. As time continues, habits harden into traditions, which solidify into iron-clad laws. For this reason, all the physics freshers in Michaelmas were dragged along to Physics Tea in the JCR; celebrated with a variety of snacks, goodies, and some almost-cakes baked by the President himself. As is our custom, the Baconians descended to the Turf Tavern for further discussion and a rendezvous with any surviving postgraduates. The physics fun went on long into the evening. Many escape attempts were foiled by the swift and decisive action of physicists in the older years.
After the welcomes were over, the society lay dormant until its flagship event: Physics Dinner. This affair, for the second time, invited recent alumni and it was lovely to be reunited with old friends. Undergraduates and tutors alike shared in the wine, mezze, chicken, and a sumptuous cheese course, gradually becoming intoxicated with the intellectual conversation on offer (and port). The low-light was undoubtedly the speech, where the President staggered around delivering physics-based chat-up lines to frightened and concerned professors, and rambling on about Genghis Khan. Fortunately, he was eventually forced to deliver the election results. Despite massive Russian interference on behalf of Robert Stemmons (2014), and a spirited effort by seasoned campaigner Toby Adkins (2014), David Hosking (2014) was duly elected President: he will surely take the RBS from strength to strength in the coming years.
The final event in our calendar was the garden party in Trinity Term. It was an astonishing feat of organisational and planning success, taking place on the only overcast day in a glorious three-week heatwave. Despite the best efforts of RBS management, some undergraduates did, in fact, manage to attend, and enjoyed the opportunity to sample a delicious pavlova and mitigate the stress of exams with the aid of Pimms and sangria.
On a personal note: being the President of the Roger Bacon Society has been one of the highlights of my time at Merton and giving a presidential speech on the day of the US President’s inauguration was a miracle of timing. I hope that the undergraduate physicists of Merton College recover quickly from my reign of terror, and find in their hearts and minds the fortitude to struggle with the secrets of the universe until the end of their days.
Thomas Hornigold (2013)
Roger Bacon Society President 2016-17