Cosmic injustice?

October 25, 2002

The passage of time seems not to have eased Jocelyn Bell Burnell's feelings about the 1974 Nobel prize for physics. Antony Hewish won it for the discovery of pulsars, the bizarre rotating remains of collapsed stars, a breakthrough in which she played a full part.

Professor Bell Burnell, dean of science at the University of Bath, has just become president of the Royal Astronomical Society. In an introductory self-portrait in the RAS magazine Astronomy and Geophysics , she says: "I was involved in the discovery of pulsars, opening up a new branch of astrophysics - work that was acknowledged by the award of a Nobel prize to my supervisor."

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