Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Michael Berkeley's guest is astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell. Her musical choices include works by Haydn, Verdi, Smetana, Sibelius, Rachmaninov and Arvo Part.
The astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell changed the way we see the universe. At the age of only 24, as a Phd student, she discovered a totally new kind of star, a pulsar. Her older male colleagues got the Nobel Prize for the discovery ? her name being unfairly, and in the view of many scientists, outrageously, left off. But many honours have followed, and Jocelyn Bell Burnell is currently Visiting Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford University.
In Private Passions she talks to Michael Berkeley about the sexism she's fought all her life as a woman in science: the jeering and catcalls she encountered in lectures at Glasgow university, and the fight as a young girl to be allowed to study science at all. She reflects on what it was like to be denied the Nobel Prize so unfairly ? and why she doesn't feel bitterness. She evokes the exhilaration of scientific discovery, and talks too about the darker times in her life, when she had a very sick child and her marriage failed. Her musical passions include Haydn, Verdi, Smetana, Sibelius, Rachmaninov and Arvo Pärt.