Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

  • On Being in a Minority in (Astro)Physics
  • The Pulse of Space
  • Geist Heidelberg, Lecture

More than 50 years ago, Jocelyn Bell Burnell paved the way for a new branch of astronomy with her discovery of pulsars, rapidly rotating neutron stars. Her doctoral supervisor Antony Hewish and radio astronomer Martin Ryle were awarded the Nobel Prize for this seven years later – she went away empty-handed, which was the subject of fierce controversy.
Bell Burnell nevertheless continued her scientific work and was elevated to personal peerage as a member of the British Royal Astronomical Society by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007. She was the first female president of the Institute of Physics in the UK (2008) and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2014).

For her discovery and lifetime achievement, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics in 2018. She donated the prize money of 2.6 million euros to provide study scholarships for women, ethnic minorities and refugees, who are still underrepresented in physics, and to counteract the biases that still prevail in the world of research.

In the context of the International Science Festival – Geist Heidelberg

Language: English

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Foto: Gary Doak

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