These pictures were taken in January as part of a decade-long photography project.Martin Bond/ A Cambridge Diary

Cambridge scientists discover ‘Wonderchicken’

A team led by scientists at the University of Cambridge has discovered the oldest fossil of a modern bird found to date. The animal – dubbed the ‘Wonderchicken’ – lived 66.7 million years ago, and is thought to be one of the last common ancestors of modern chickens and ducks. Dr. Daniel Field, from Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences, describes the fossil as a “mash-up” of the two species.

Field also stated that discovering the fossil ‘was the most exciting moment of [his] scientific career”. It is rare to discover a bird fossil that pre-dates the mass extinction event that destroyed the dinosaurs, and scientists hope it will answer unsolved questions about the diversity of modern birds.

Sonic boom “rattles houses” in Cambridge

A loud sonic boom was heard over Cambridge at around 1pm on Tuesday (12/01). It is believed to have been caused by an RAF Typhoon travelling faster than the speed of sound as it headed south to escort an unresponsive aircraft to Stansted airport. The escorted aircraft originated in Nuremberg, Germany. According to aircraft tracking software, the RAF jet clocked 1800 kph before turning off its transponder.

Cambridge residents tweeted that their windows and houses “rattled” due to the explosion, which was also heard in London. Cambridge City Council tweeted, telling residents: “don’t panic.”

A Cambridge Diary celebrates 10 years of daily photos

Photographer Martin Bond’s project, A Cambridge Diary, has featured a different photograph of Cambridge every day for the past 10 years. 

Bond began the project in 2010 when he accidentally took a photo of a decorator dropping paint on his sandwich. Since then, his intention has been to focus on the people of Cambridge, rather than its grand buildings. He recently told the BBC: “nobody was taking notice or recording the lives of the everyday person, of which I was one, so I took up the mantle.”

On 12th January, Bond uploaded his 3954th photo.

New Cambridge Master’s in AI ethics met with enthusiasm

Members of policy panels at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, a global engineering institution, are among those to have welcomed the University of Cambridge's planned Master’s degree in the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI), which was announced in December.

Dr Graham Herries, co-chair of the IET’s Education and Skills Panel, said: “AI has been a part of each of our lives for many years now, which sometimes strikes controversy when it allows fake news and conspiracies to become part of the mainstream. The hope is this course will start to combat this and create a generation of ethical AI thinkers, who will ensure AI is used properly.”

The programme will be led by the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI), an interdisciplinary research centre based at the University of Cambridge, and is expected to welcome its first cohort in October 2021.