On Tuesday 23rd April 2019 the Heanor Gate Astronomical Society attended a talk by Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell at Ashfield Comprehensive School. The talk was delivered as the monthly society talk put on by the Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society. Heanor Gate Astronomical Society has been working closely with the Mansfield and Sutton Society this year to launch a series of lectures and practical based research topics for our students. The first year has been a huge success and we hope to build on this in the years to come, giving our students a huge advantage when it comes to their University applications and careers.
Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell co-discovered pulsars as a postgraduate student when studying for her PhD in 1967. As a result, Dame Jocelyn was credited with one of the most significant achievements of the 20th century. This work was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1974, although Dame Jocelyn did not receive the recognition many thought she deserved.
The talk was entitled “Transient Events in Astronomy, or Things That Go Bump in the Night” and was an amazing opportunity for our students to hear from one of the most accomplished astrophysicists in the country, and someone who is internationally recognised as one of the best research Physicists. Dame Jocelyn works closely with the institute of physics and is a huge supporter of women in science; this hopefully served to inspire some of our KS4 students to consider the sciences at A Level.
Dame Jocelyn invited questions at the end; our students asked of her inspiration and how she decided upon astrophysics when there are so many areas to choose from. It was great to see our students representing themselves so well at a public event and also showing a great interest in a subject that someone is so passionate about.
We would like to thank Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell for a fascinating talk, the Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society for putting on the event and inviting us along, and Ashfield School for hosting the event.