Education: Nematodes & Seaweed Gin

Toward the tag end of winter, when the Oxford or Cambridge undergraduate has been sewn into the hair shirt of academic strictures for dismal months, he begins to itch. As Geoffrey Chaucer (Oxford or Cambridge, circa 1360, according to tradition) wrote about the approach of spring, "thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages." Last week at both universities, students were dreamily reviewing intricate plans for a modern form of the pilgrimage —the scholarly expedition. Some 20 such safaris—a record-breaking number—will set out from Oxbridge this June. They range from a one-undergraduate orchid hunt in Venezuela (the hunter got the idea while...

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