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Monday, 25 October 2021

Look to the stars with Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

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Award-winning astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell will host the first ‘An Evening With…’ event, a new public lecture series from the University of Bedfordshire.

Named by BBC Woman’s Hour as one of the UK’s most powerful women, Dame Jocelyn is credited with one of the most significant scientific achievements of the 20th century.

Her discovery of the first radio pulsars – a type of star – in 1967 opened up a new strand of astrophysics, and the work led to her university supervisor being awarded a Nobel Prize.

The upcoming lecture, ‘We are made of Star Stuff’, will discuss the latest understanding of where the chemical elements in the human body were initially formed, and how they came to be.

‘An Evening With… Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell’ will take place on Wednesday 24 March 2021 and is free for all to attend. The lecture promises to be of particular interest to those fascinated by space, women in science or important astronomical discoveries.

There will also be an opportunity for the audience to ask Dame Jocelyn questions through an interactive Q&A session.

Professor Rebecca Bunting, Vice Chancellor, will be hosting the event and hopes attendees will be inspired by Dame Jocelyn and her work. She said:

“I am delighted to welcome Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell to the University of Bedfordshire to deliver this compelling lecture to students, staff and the general public.

“The lecture comes shortly after International Women’s Day, making this a perfect time to consider and applaud the work of inspirational female researchers and academics. Dame Jocelyn is a renowned and successful scientist and continues to be an inspiration for future generations.”

Since her breakthrough discovery of radio pulsars as a postgraduate student at the University of Cambridge, Dame Jocelyn has worked various roles in many branches of astronomy, working part-time while raising a family. She is now a Visiting Academic at the University of Oxford and the Chancellor of the University of Dundee.

A longstanding advocate for improving accessibility to the sciences, Dame Jocelyn donated her £2.3m winnings from the 2018 Breakthrough Prize to fund women, under-represented ethnic minority and refugee students to become physics researchers.

Earlier this year she was awarded the 2021 Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, a prestigious honour with previous recipients including Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, Arthur Eddington and Stephen Hawking.

Ahead of the event on 24 March, Dame Jocelyn said:

“I am grateful to the University of Bedfordshire for this opportunity to be part of their new Public Lecture series – and to show everyone that we are all made of star stuff!”

An Evening With… Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Date: Wednesday 24 March 2021, 16:00 – 17:30

Tickets: Free – sign up now via Eventbrite.

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John Guinn
I am the editor of The Flitwick Chronicle. This is an independent, local news service based in Bedfordshire. The Chronicle provides local news that is investigative, inclusive and relevant to the residents of Flitwick.

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