Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell
With the discovery of pulsars over 50 years ago, Jocelyn Bell Burnell paved the way for a new branch of astronomy. Fast-rotating neutron stars are the most compact bodies in the universe; their diameter is roughly that of the city of Munich, yet they contain the mass of the sun.
Bell Burnell made the discovery with her PhD supervisor Antony Hewish and radio astronomer Martin Ryle. Seven years later, both men were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for it - she went away empty-handed.
Despite her apparent omission and the controversy surrounding it, she continued her inspiring scientific work and in 2007 was elevated to personal peerage by Queen Elizabeth II as a member of Britain's Royal Astronomical Society. She became the first female president of the Institute of Physics in the UK (2008) and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2014).
In 2018, her discovery and life's work were recognized with the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. She donated the prize money of $3 million to provide study scholarships to women, ethnic minorities and refugees who are still underrepresented in physics.
Geist Heidelberg salutes Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, an internationally distinguished astrophysicist who has worked tirelessly to promote understanding and public appreciation of science and to confront the biases still prevalent in the world of research.
In the context of the International Science Festival - Geist Heidelberg
The Pulse of Space
A woman reaching for the stars
Geist Heidelberg Lecture
Prices plus fees
Regular 9,90 €
Reduced 5,90 €
Member 4,90 €