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Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell begins term as RSE President

Posted 14/10/2014

The outstanding astrophysicist and prominent science communicator Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE FRS FRSE MRIA has started in her role as President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She succeeds the former President, Sir John Arbuthnott MRIA PPRSE, who gave his closing address last night.

Professor Dame Jocelyn is best known for discovering pulsars, one of the most significant scientific achievements of the twentieth century. At the time Dame Jocelyn was a PhD student in radio astronomy at the University of Cambridge. Her supervisor Antony Hewish subsequently went on to win the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics in recognition of the discovery, sharing it with the head of the group, Martin Ryle.

In 2013 Dame Jocelyn was named in the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour ‘Power List’ of the 100 most influential women in the UK. In 2012 she chaired the group that produced the RSE’s highly-regarded Tapping All Our Talents report on a Scottish strategy for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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