Renowned Northern Irish astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell returns to Dublin this evening for a post-show discussion, after the production of Stella in Smock Alley, a play about two women astronomers, Jessica Bell from the 21st century and Caroline Herschel from the 18th century.
The production takes place this evening as part of the Festival of Curiosity, and it is only appropriate that Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell should take part, as she has long championed the cause of ensuring we enable more women to play leading roles in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.
As a post-graduate student, Bell Burnell discovered the first radio pulsars with her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish, for which Hewish shared the Nobel Prize in Physics. She was president of the Royal Astronomical Society from 2002 to 2004, and president of the Institute of Physics from October 2008 until October 2010. In March of this year she was elected pro-chancellor of Trinity College Dublin.
We went along to hear her speak in June at an event hosted by WITS and the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland to celebrate her contribution to scientific discovery. She gave a presentation on the working group she chaired in 2012 for the Royal Society of Edinburgh, designed to develop a strategy and set of recommendations to increase both the proposition of women in the workplace qualified in STEM and the number who rise to senior positions in academia and industry in Scotland – Tapping all our Talent is the report of the working group. With a population similar to Ireland’s, the Scottish findings are seen as very relevant to this country.
Watch Bell Burnell present some of their findings and recommendations below:
Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s year-long campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths