Stephen Gray Lecture: Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell "Astronomy and Poetry"

Come to the 7th Stephen Gray Lecture on the 9 March, where Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell will be the key speaker.

Many poets have written about astronomy and the night sky. Dame Jocelyn will select about half a dozen of these poems, give the scientific background and seek volunteer readers from the audience to read the poems. There will be a chance to look at the poems and discuss informally over tea an biscuits before the talk starts.

Register for the event


9 March 2023, 15:30 for a 16.00 start.


University of Kent, Canterbury Campus (venue TBA)

About the Speaker

Jocelyn Bell Burnell inadvertently discovered pulsars as a graduate student in radio astronomy in Cambridge, opening up a new branch of astrophysics – work recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize to her supervisor.

She has subsequently worked in many roles in many branches of astronomy, working part-time while raising a family. She is now a Visiting Academic in Oxford, and the Chancellor of the University of Dundee, Scotland.  She has been President of the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society, in 2008 became the first female President of the Institute of Physics for the UK and Ireland, and in 2014 the first female President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was one of the small group of women scientists that set up the Athena SWAN scheme.

She has received many honours, including a $3M Breakthrough Prize in 2018.

The public appreciation and understanding of science have always been important to her, and she is much in demand as a speaker and broadcaster.  In her spare time, she gardens, listens to choral music and is active in the Quakers. She has co-edited an anthology of poetry with an astronomical theme – ‘Dark Matter; Poems of Space’.

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