|Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell in 2009|
A Quaker, astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell (1943-) discussed her religious history and beliefs in an interview with Baroness Joan Bakewell in 2006. Dame Jocelyn has been an active Quaker since her school days at the Mount School in York, a Quaker girls' boarding school.
Bell Burnell was a doctoral student at Cambridge University when she discovered the first pulsars. The rapidly spinning neutron stars are formed in supernova explosions.
Jocelyn’s discovery of radio pulsars was described by Iosif Shklovsky as “the greatest astronomical discovery of the 20th century” and for this discovery, her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish, and his colleague Martin Ryle were awarded the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics. Burnell was completely omitted as a co-recipient, to the outrage of many prominent astronomers at the time. However, Burnell has since received many awards and honors.
In March 2013 Dame Jocelyn was elected Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin.