Pulsars, Prizes and Physics

Monday 2nd September 2019, 7pm

Waterstones, Sauchiehall Street

Speaker: Jocelyn Bell Burnell

When Jocelyn Bell graduated in ‘Natural Philosophy’ (aka Physics) from Glasgow University she headed south to Cambridge University to work for a PhD in radio astronomy. The change was striking, stimulating and scarey.  Overawed, she worked diligently, first at building a radio telescope, and then as its first user. Her diligence delivered not only lots of what the telescope was designed to deliver but something else as well…….  Come and hear about this fascinating story with one of the UKs top scientists. 

 Jocelyn Bell Burnell inadvertently discovered pulsars as a graduate student in radio astronomy in Cambridge, opening up a new branch of astrophysics - work recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize to her supervisor (to be discussed!).

 She has subsequently worked in many roles in many branches of astronomy, working part-time while raising a family. She is now a Visiting Professor in Oxford and Chancellor of the University of Dundee. In her spare time she gardens, listens to choral music and is active in the Quakers. She has co-edited an anthology of poetry with an astronomical theme – ‘Dark Matter; Poems of Space’.