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OpenTalk STEM: Jocelyn Bell-Burnell

This event took place on 23rd October 2019 at 5:30pm (16:30 GMT)
Berrill Lecture Theatre, The Open University, Walton Hall Campus, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

About the time The Open University (OU) was starting, and long before she became the OU's first female Professor of Physics, Jocelyn Bell Burnell was a graduate student working in radio astronomy. Her research revealed a curious pulsing signal.

Hear the story of how pulsars (pulsating radio stars) were  accidentally discovered, and what we now know (and don't know) about them.

Jocelyn discovered pulsars whilst a phD student at Cambridge, a discovery for which her supervisor received a nobel prize. Jocelyn was awarded the breakthrough prize in 2018 for the discovery and she chose to donate the 2.3m prize money to a fund to help women,under-represented ethnic minority and refugee students to undertake postgraduate study.

In her words, she explains her decision, " A lot of the pulsar story happened because I was a minority person and a phD student....Increasing the diversity in Physics could lead to all sorts of good things."


The webcast was open to 3000 users