Fellow: Bell Burnell
Elected: 2004
Discipline: Physics and Astronomy
Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Visiting Professor of Astrophysics, University of Oxford
Dame Jocelyn Bell inadvertently discovered pulsars as a doctoral candidate in radio astronomy at Cambridge, opening a new branch of astrophysics – work recognized by the awarding of a Nobel Prize to her thesis supervisor. She went on to hold numerous positions in multiple branches of astronomy, working part-time while raising a family. She is now a Visiting Scholar at the University of Oxford and Chancellor of the University of Dundee, Scotland. She was President of the Royal Astronomical Society of the United Kingdom, in 2008 became the first female President of the Institute of Physics for the United Kingdom and Ireland, and in 2014 the first woman to be elected President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.