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AWARD CEREMONY FOR THE JULES JANSSEN PRIZE
Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell winner of the Jules Janssen Prize 2022, visiting scholar at the University of Oxford, Chancellor of the University of Dundee and former President of the Royal Astronomical Society
PROFESSOR DAME JOCELYN BELL BURNELL WINS 2022 JULES JANSSEN PRIZE
Paris, March 09 2023 – The Société Astronomique de France (the French Astronomical Society – SAF) will award its prestigious international astronomy prize – the Jules Janssen Prize – to Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell (United Kingdom) for her scientific achievements, and the discovery of the first pulsar (CP 1919) and neutron stars. The medal will be presented to Professor Bell Burnell by Professor Sylvain Bouley, President of the Société astronomique de France on Saturday March 25, 2023. The ceremony will take place at CNAM (292, rue St Martin Paris 3rd Amphi Abbé Grégoire, free admission and without registration) at 4:00 p.m. Previously, during a ceremony open to the public at the Camille Flammarion observatory in Juvisy-sur-Orge, Professor Bell Burnell will plant a tree of remembrance at 11 a.m., in the presence of personalities.
The famous astronomer Jules Janssen (1824-1907), who served as SAF’s president between 1895 and 1897, created a number of awards, including the Jules Janssen Prize that has been awarded annually by SAF since 1897. This prize is alternatively given to a French astronomer and a foreign astronomer for outstanding scientific work as well as for their contribution to public appreciation of astronomy. Previous recipients include, among others, Percival Lowell (1904), Max Wolf (1912), Arthur Stanley Eddington (1928), Robert Esnault-Pelterie (1930), Albert Einstein (1931), Michel Mayor (1998),Thérèse Encrenaz (2007), Catherine Cesarsky (2009), Françoise Combes (2017), Hubert Reeves (2019), Ewine van Dishoeck (2020).
Jocelyn Bell inadvertently discovered pulsars as a doctoral candidate in radio astronomy at Cambridge, opening a new branch of astrophysics – work recognized by the awarding of a Nobel Prize to her thesis supervisor. She went on to hold numerous positions in multiple branches of astronomy, working part-time while raising a family. She is now a Visiting Scholar at the University of Oxford and Chancellor of the University of Dundee, Scotland. She was President of the Royal Astronomical Society of the United Kingdom, in 2008 became the first female President of the Institute of Physics for the United Kingdom and Ireland, and in 2014 the first female President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was part of a small group of female scientists who created the Athena Swan program. She has received numerous honors, including the Breakthrough Prize of $3 million in 2018. Public appreciation and understanding of science have always been important to her, and she is in high demand as a lecturer and popularizer of science. In her spare time, she gardened, listened to choir singing and was active in the Quakers. She co-edited an anthology of poetry with an astronomical theme – “Dark Matter: Poems from Space”.
Founded by Camille Flammarion, the Société astronomique de France celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2017. Bringing together professional and amateur astronomers since its foundation, SAF holds a unique place in popularising astronomy and space sciences.
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FONDÉE EN 1887. RECONNUE D’UTILITÉ PUBLIQUE EN 1897. AGRÉÉE ASSOCIATION NATIONALE DE JEUNESSE ET D’ÉDUCATION POPULAIRE.