Women in (Astro)Physics UK Perspective

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Dr. Bell Burnell will discuss the position of women in phys-ics from the UK perspective, reporting some of the initia-tives (and their pitfalls) developed to improve the position of women in physics and look at the situation in other coun-tries.

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Jocelyn Bell Burnell inadvertently discovered pulsars as a graduate student in radio astronomy at Cambridge, opening up a new branch of astrophysics - work recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize to her supervisor. 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, and was (the first female) President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh – Scotland’s National Academy. On September 6th, she received the $3 Mil-lion “Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamentals Physics”, with which she has created scholarships for people from underrepre-sented backgrounds to study physics. Much in demand as a speaker and broadcaster, 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 Mat-ter; Poems of Space’. Her bachelor’s degree in physics is from the University of Glasgow, and her PhD is from the University of Cambridge.