Jocelyn Bell Burnell is an acclaimed astrophysicist who has been performing groundbreaking work in science for over 50 years.
In 1967, as a graduate student at Cambridge University, Bell Burnell discovered the first pulsar, a rotating neutron star that emits electromagnetic radiation. In 1974, Bell Burnell's work led to her advisor, Antony Hewish, being recognized with a Nobel Prize in physics.
Bell Burnell received no recognition.
But in September, it was announced that Bell Burnell would be awarded the prestigious Breakthrough Prize in recognition of her 1967 pulsar discovery, and also her subsequent leadership in the field. The award recognizes achievements in fundamental physics, life sciences and mathematics, and is usually given in honor of "important, primarily recent, achievements."
The prize comes with a $3 million award, which Bell Burnell said she planned to donate to the Institute of Physics to fund Ph.D. scholarships for underrepresented physics students in the U.K., in order to help alleviate the country's "diversity issues" in the field.