In the week were we had seen the first British astronaut, Major Tim Peake perform a spacewalk on the International Space Station and the original ‘Starman’, David Bowie’s untimely passing, it was a fitting tribute that we had the eminent astrophysicist and scientist Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell give the inaugural Bell-Burnell Lecture at Sexey’s last Monday.
Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell who is credited with making the greatest astronomical discovery of the twentieth century - the discovery of radio pulsars whilst doing her PhD at Cambridge, delivered an entertaining and accessible lecture on astrophysics, entitled ‘We are Stardust’. Her fascinating work was recognised with the award of the Nobel Prize in 1974 to her supervisor Anthony Hewish. Like Professor Brian Cox, she is an inspirational figure and a brilliant science communicator and had the large audience enthralled with her vast knowledge of the universe. She has campaigned tirelessly to improve the status and number of women in professional and academic posts in the fields of physics and astronomy.
Mr Irfan Latif, the Head Master said, “We are truly honoured to have such a distinguished scientist at Sexey’s, inspiring the next generation of students. Such has been Dame Jocelyn’s impact in the world of Physics, we have named one of our science laboratories after her – Bell-Burnell and this series of lectures. My thanks got to Dr Rocio Beeching and Mrs Sarah Stallion for organising the lecture.”
Students from Bruton School for Girls, King’s Bruton and Kingdown as well as parents and friends of the school enjoyed an evening of high-brow thinking and conceptual science with the ‘crazy female professor’.
Our next Open Morning at Sexey’s for prospective students in the Lower School and Sixth Form is on Saturday May 14th 2016.