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Higgs Lecture 2024: Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Bush House, Strand Campus, London

05JunHiggs Lecture 2024 - Burts, bangs and things that go bump in the night by Professor Jocelyn Bell BurnellPart of Higgs Lecture


You're warmly invited in-person to our annual Higgs lecture with  Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

Bursts, bangs and things that go bump in the night

Improvements in detector technologies mean that astronomers no longer have to make long exposures (integrations) in order to make a detection. With shorter integration times many more highly variable phenomena are being discovered. I review some of the more dramatic and/or surprising.

Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell - Higgs Lecture 2024

Speaker bio

Jocelyn Bell Burnell inadvertently discovered pulsars as a graduate student in radio astronomy in Cambridge. This discovery opened 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 Academic in Oxford and has previously served as President of the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society. In 2008 she became the first female President of the Institute of Physics for the UK and Ireland, and in 2014 the first female President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was one of the small group of women scientists that set up the Athena SWAN scheme.

She has received many honours, including a $3m Breakthrough Prize in 2018.

The public appreciation and understanding of science have always been important to her, and she is 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 Matter; Poems of Space’.

Photo of Professor Peter Higgs

About the Higgs Lecture

The Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences is delighted to present the Annual Higgs Lecture. The inaugural Annual Higgs Lecture was delivered in December 2012 by its name bearer, Professor Peter Higgs, who returned to King's after graduating in 1950 with a first-class honours degree in Physics, and who famously predicted the Higgs Boson particle.

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