8 16

LINK Scientist Whose Male Boss Won Nobel For Her Work Is Giving New $3 Million Prize Away | HuffPost

A very inspirational woman

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell is creating a scholarship for women, refugees and minorities to study physics.

In 1974, Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s male PhD supervisor at the University of Cambridge won a Nobel Prize for a discovery that she was the first to notice. On Thursday, the 75-year-old acclaimed astrophysicist won a coveted science prize of her own ― the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

But instead of keeping the hefty $3 million award that comes with this distinction, Bell Burnell says she will be using it to help women, refugees, and other minority students follow in her footsteps and become physics researchers themselves.

She will be donating her prize money to the Institute of Physics to create scholarships for people from underrepresented groups, the Institute said in a statement.

Bell Burnell, a Quaker whose religion teaches simple living, claims she doesn’t need to have an extravagant lifestyle.

“I don’t want or need the money myself and it seemed to me that this was perhaps the best use I could put to it,” Bell Burnell told the BBC.

The award honors Bell Burnell for her discovery of pulsars ― neutron stars that emit electromagnetic radiation from their poles. These rapidly spinning radiation beams sweep past the Earth at regular intervals. The award also recognizes her “inspiring scientific leadership over the last five decades” according to a press release.

Bell Burnell first noticed pulsars during a routine data collection in 1967, with the help of a radio telescope she was in charge of monitoring at Cambridge. Her supervisor, Antony Hewish, ended up winning a Nobel prize for the discovery.

Back then, society functioned under the belief that scientific advancements were driven by men, Bell Burnell told the The Washington Post. Women, on the other hand, were expected to study cookery and needlework.


Lukian 8 Sep 20

Post a comment Reply Add Photo

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account


Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


Now that is class.


I have a friend whose Phd was wrested from her quite legally by her professor seems like one of the advantages of the title.

What a bastard. May he die of cancer.


I thought that Quakers were one of the better kinds ah well another myth destroyed - I do so love a truth but not many about to be found.


Hewish was probably proud to receive the Nobel, but now there is a black mark forever registered against his name and the big question mark of whether he deserved the prize in the first place.

No question. He didn't. But Nobel committee is equally culpable. Diligence is for everyone.

@Mokvon I agree. Over the years the various Nobel Committees have made some seriously questionable judgments, Obama's Peace Prize being one, Mother Theresa's another. Awarding duds takes the sparkle off what should be a glorious honor.

@rcandlish really does.




I heard Dame Jocelyn Burnell interviewed on the radio last week. If ever there were a person I'd choose to emulate it is her. No pretense, no grudge, no regrets--just a dedication to good science. A brilliant mind and a life well-lived, devoted to understanding the universe, and not to seeking accolades. Were I her supervisor, I could not have accepted the honor without her--this was, after all, the late '60's, not the 19th century!


in 1976 I had to have my dad's signature to join the Army. Whereas we've made some progress, there is still a long way to go. I admire this woman and I hope she inspires our daughters to achieve great things.


Antony Hewish - asshole. I really dislike men who do this. I really don't care that back in 1967 it was the norm that men were the drivers of scientific advancements. I was 14 in 1967 and even than I knew it was BULL SHIT that women were not as smart. I use to piss off male teachers on a regular basis. I was incorrigible.

stop, I already like you... (wink)

I agree but I find people like that tend to do the same thing to everyone, female or male! I've had similar shit in my life, unscrupulous seniors taking the credit and rewards for my work! They tend to be mainly male but females of this type exist too!

@Pete66 You are correct, just that years ago men were more in charge in areas of science. That has changed but fragile egos crop up in both genders. Still tics ya off.

@silverotter11 yes definitely again I agree with you, I'm just pointing out that the gender split here isn't quite clear cut!

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:183285
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.