The Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund (Long version)
I’m Jocelyn Bell Burnell I’m an
astronomer or, if I want to be scary, an astrophysicist. At the time I was a kid I nearly didn’t get to do it cos girls got sent to domestic science. Discovery of the pulsars is of paramount importance to physics and astrophysics. To a woman scientifically proven to be the real deal: Jocelyn Bell Burnell. This wasn’t a small prize – it was three
million dollars. So the money’s gone to the Institute of Physics. It’s going to be scholarships for postgraduate research students. The majority of physicists in Britain and Ireland are white males so it’s going to be for
women, for people of color, different ethnicity, people from socioeconomic
backgrounds that don’t normally move into higher education let alone research. Part of my story, the discovery of pulsars, arose because I was an outsider. I think that’s what research needs. It needs people who can think a bit out of the box and I think people who come from different backgrounds are more likely to do more thinking out of boxes. Physics is a very wide subject: astrophysics, there’s
medical physics, there’s solid-state physics, there’s particle physics, there’s theoretical
physics, there’s plasma physics, there’s engineering physics, there’s biophysics. There’s probably lots more but … Almost everything in this modern world is based in physics. Some other people have been asking how they could also contribute to this fund so that’s fantastic because if there is more funding going that way then more students can be supported. I don’t own this baby. I’d be delighted if other people joined the initiative and added to the fund to fund more students. I hope that students who are thinking of applying for this funding will apply. Go for it.