British astrophysicist donates prize money to refugee students
London, The leading British astrophysicist, Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, will donate her $3 million prize fund to support women, under-represented ethnic minorities and refugee students in the United Kingdom to become physics researchers.
Professor Bell Burnell has been awarded a Breakthrough Prize for her landmark work on Pulsars and a lifetime of inspiring leadership in the scientific community.
“Those are the people that tend to be discriminated against through unconscious bias,” she said in a statement made to BBC News, “so I think that’s maybe one of the reasons why there aren’t so many. And so if they come with some funding with them then they look much more attractie.”
“I don’t want or need the money myself and it seemed to me that this was perhaps the best use I could put to it,” the 75-year-old scientist announced.
Bell Burnell said the money will go to London’s Institute of Physics to launch research studentships that address workforce diersity imbalances in her field.
Bell Burnell graduated from Cambridge Uniersity more than 50 years ago and was the first person to obsere and analyze Pulsars, a type of neutron star that emits a beam of radiation.
Pulsars can be used to test Einstein’s general theory of relatiity, identify the presence of alien planets outside Earth’s solar system and calculate cosmic distances.
Source: Jordan News Agency