Credit where it's due

November 15, 2002

Tony Hewish's minimising of the part played by his student Jocelyn Bell Burnell in the discovery of pulsars should not be the final word (Diary, THES , October 25, November 8).

The discovery of pulsar-like objects came about chiefly because of Bell Burnell's insistence that they could be of extraterrestrial origin and should be investigated further. Hewish believed that the signals observed were probably ordinary interference. It does seem that Bell Burnell should have received more credit.

Brian Josephson
Department of physics
University of Cambridge

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