Talk:Jocelyn Bell Burnell

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Pulsar question[edit]

Hi! Okay so your discovery is about pulsurs. Could explain this to me. --

See pulsar. -- FP 02:25, Mar 26, 2005 (UTC)

wheres the pictures?!?!?![edit]

im diong a project which requires a collage so yeah im in need of many many pictures

Christian Fellows of the Royal Society[edit]

Someone had added JBB to this category. The category is under consideration for deletion at [1], where I have added my twopennyworth ===Vernon White (talk) 22:09, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Quaker service[edit]

This deserves some mention in the article. She has served as Clerk of London Yearly Meeting (now Britain Yearly Meeting) (dates should be available from Recording Clerk's Office, or from Documents in Advance if your local meeting's library has a complete series) but also continues to give talks on Science and Religion to various meetings within RSoF, and no doubt a whole lot more I don't know about.
--NSH001 22:58, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Naming the subject[edit]

I don't like this subject being named as "Bell", the surname of her father. She is also named as "Bell Burnell". She was known as "Jocelyn Burnell" during the period of her fairly long marriage. The heading has her as "Jocelyn Bell Burnell", with a redirect from "Jocelyn Bell" and several pages linked to "Jocelyn Bell". There's also a redirect from "Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell" , with one article linked to it. The alternative names in the Persondata box are confusingly presented. Can we agree on a standard form of name, other than "Bell" and sort out the redirects and linked pages, please? Vernon White . . . Talk 15:45, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

This article is down on my list to clean up once I've finished (or substantially finished) John Boyd Orr. Meanwhile, I suggest:
  • There is nothing wrong with leaving the redirects. People will enter "Jocelyn Bell" or "Jocelyn Burnell" or any of the others in the search box, and they should be redirected to this article. Possibly the links in other articles pointing to redirects could be piped to this article instead, but it's not really necessary, and is of low priority.
  • The article could use the name she had at the time of the event(s) described, so for instance we could say "Jocelyn Bell graduated from the University of Glasgow ...". Use "Bell Burnell" as the default, or in cases of doubt (sometimes it might be better to avoid the problem by using a pronoun).
  • The alternative names in the persondata box look fine to me, except that the "(prior to divorce)" should be put inside an internal comment (or simply deleted), so as not to interfere with the intended use of persondata. Possibly a few more names could be added there. (We can't do anything about the syntax, which requires the surname(s) first, followed by a comma.)
--NSH001 19:55, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I was just going to request an explanation of why her name acquired Burnell. Of course I assumed marriage but there's no mention in the text. The problem with completely renaming her Burnell is that her claim to fame occurred when she was still Miss Bell.TheMathemagician (talk) 16:34, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Nobel prize[edit]

I have deleted an edit mentioning again the failure to award the Nobel Prize to Hewish's research assistant.


Surely this topic should not dominate the article . . . Bell Burnell has herself, modestly accepted that the common practice is to honour the head of a research team. If she had received early recognition, her achievements may have been less than what she has done without the Nobel honour. Perhaps we could re-focus the article on these achievements. ===Vernon White . . . Talk 08:43, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Here's a Fourth !!

Being from Northern Ireland I took a great interest in Ms Bell's Beautiful Mind programme last night on BBC 4!!

I was greatly amused at Mr Hewish's explanation that it was the Captain of the Ship who got the credit and not the crew member who shouted "Land Ho ". Well to expand on his analogy Ms Bell had been shouting Land Ho for some time before he gave up scolding her and took any notice . So it was more like :- "Land ho Captain!!"

"No it isn't it is probably just low level cloud you stupid girl !! " 
"No Captain Land Ho ! "   Crunch the ship hits bottom ." Er OK Land Ho it is - I'VE discovered America !!

Hewish just showed himself up. He would not get away with crap like that today. Looks like he didn't as credit has been duly awarded to the Beautiful Mind - Ms Jocelyn Bell Burnell . It all makes me wonder if a bit of the old Discrimination had taken place. We will all just have to wonder. ( If you are born in Northern Ireland you are Irish AND British but you will tend to sound Irish !! or maybe Scottish if you are from Ballymena !! ) Domnal5 (talk) 10:19, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! I enjoyed the article and she is more famous for not being Nobel-famous. Especially with young college astronomy students. -- Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 23:14, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

There is so much talk about her not being apart of the group to win the Nobel Prize, but this is not the only thing that she is known for or did in her career. so why is there so much emphasize on this subject. However, this is important to keep thsi information as to inform readers of the potential inequalities that women are facing in STEM fields. Dpboyer (talk) 06:07, 5 November 2014 (UTC)talk


The picture someone has added is about 30 years old. Do we need it? Vernon White . . . Talk 21:09, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Picture sems to come from a site claiming "Copyright © CWP and Regents of the University of California 1997 - 2001".  :Picture sems to come from a site claiming "Copyright © CWP and Regents of the University of California 1997 - 2001" Contributions of 20th C women to physics. Vernon White . . . Talk 21:45, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
If you click on the picture, that site credits JBB as the copyright holder (seems clear to me, even if it doesn't mention the word "copyright" explicitly)
--NSH001 (talk) 22:47, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Current picture looks good to me. What would she thing? -- Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 23:15, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Incorrect reference[edit]

I also can't work out to edit the references section. Reference 32 is now a dead link but for the purposes of this page : would serve as a substitute . Could someone change this for me ? And is there information somewhere about how to change the references ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Southof40 (talkcontribs) 22:03, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

Can't work out how to edit the references section... Minor correction should be made: reference 3 lists 'Longhair, Martin' as the author; it is, in fact, 'Longhair, Malcolm'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:31, 13 April 2010

Done. I've also switched that reference to make use of the cite book template and filled in the ISBN. Note that it is correctly Malcolm Longair according to the book's cover on Amazon, not Longhair. Crispmuncher (talk) 05:12, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Marriage(s)? Rrelationships? Children?[edit]

Such information is usually present in biographical articles, in Wikipedia and elsewhere.

Why is there no sign that she had a life outside her work? There is no mention of her husband, Martin Burnell, or her son, Gavin Burnell. Dpboyer (talk) 06:18, 5 November 2014 (UTC)talk

Is there a specific reason why it has been omitted from this particular biography? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:45, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

References: (mentions marriage, son, separation),_Jocelyn_Bell@841234567.html (husband, son) http://www.physics.ucla.eduperience /~cwp/Phase2/Burnell,_Jocelyn_Bell@841234567.html (husband, son) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:25, 27 August 2013 (UTC) (mentions husband, son, divorce) Dpboyer (talk) 06:18, 5 November 2014 (UTC)talk

Just noting, that famousscientists is not a WP:RS (lacking information about authorship, fact checking and editorial oversight). No opinion about the other mentioned references. GermanJoe (talk) 18:11, 21 July 2015 (UTC)


This is given as Northern Irish. I am not sure that this has any legal basis.

You are correct. There is no such beast a a Northern Irish national. All citizens of Northern Ireland are British citizens and carry a British passport. There is no such thing as a Northern Irish passport, so there can be no such thing as a Northern Irish citizen. The article should be corrected. ͠͠͠User:George.Hutchinson — Preceding undated comment added 01:04, 14 May 2015 (UTC)


The fact that the pulsar followed astronomical time and not solar time showed that it was caused by a star or the like and not a radio broadcast on earth.

It is suprising that Hewish argued against this obvious consideration.
The original idea was that it was caused by an astronomer with a badly suppressed motorbike. MidlandLinda (talk) 22:13, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Being a woman in STEM[edit]

Being a successful women in a STEM field, there should be a section that talks about her experience and struggles she faced as a women in the field. Hearing the struggles, experiences, and success of Bell Burnell's time could be inspiring and motivating to young women interested in the field. It is also a hit of reality that there are still problems today dealing with integrating woman in the STEM fields. Dpboyer (talk) 06:43, 5 November 2014 (UTC)talk

There are some interesting quotes in this article from Bell burnell about her thoughts of being a women in a male dominated field that could be used in this possible future section or paragraph of her background.

Reference: Dpboyer (talk) 06:42, 5 November 2014 (UTC)talk

Early dramatisation[edit]

I can recall an early dramatisation of her life (telling the story of the discovery of pulsars) which was made in the 1970s or 1980s iirc. Does anyone remember what this was called so that it can be included? LeapUK (talk) 08:38, 16 December 2015 (UTC)


The birthplace is listed as Lurgan, C. Armagh but sources (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Sharon Bertsch McGrayne's Nobel Prize Women In Science (2002)) refer to Belfast as her birthplace. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jl sg (talkcontribs) 11:54, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Good point. The source cited in the article (Who's Who) doesn't support Lurgan (it doesn't mention birth place at all). Other sources I've seen also indicate Belfast. I'll check all the sources I can find tomorrow, but until then I've just removed birth place completely. The whole "Background" section really needs a complete re-write, as does much of the rest of the article. --NSH001 (talk) 23:36, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, I changed the place of birth to Belfast, as that was what all the sources said. However, I recently found another source, the Lurgan Mail, giving the precise location where she was born, which turns out to have been Lurgan after all. In my experience, local newspapers tend to be very accurate on local topics, so I decided to use the local paper as the best source for this little factoid. I've therefore changed it back to Lurgan. It also explains how she attended "Lurgan College" at primary school age, when our article Lurgan College says it's for ages 14 to 19. --NSH001 (talk) 10:32, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Not a good idea to edit Wikipedia continuously with little or no sleep! I see that Ceoil has been making rapid-fire edits, with only a few short breaks, from 09:38 on 27 January to 11:52 on 28 January.

His or her most egregious edit was to edit this page to say that JBB had won the Nobel Prize, when the article clearly says the opposite. This user then went on to remove the post-nominals, in contravention of MOS:POSTNOM. He or she also removed the section on JBB's marriage with the edit summary "trim". A BLP subject's marriage is always important, especially as, in this case, it affects the name by which she is to be referred. Note also that her marriage and name have already been discussed above on this talk page. In fact, I think the article would benefit from more information on her personal life, but I am reluctant to add it myself, as JBB is known to me personally (we used to live in the same town when her son Gavin was a small boy, although we were members of different Quaker meetings).

I have started work on a major re-vamp of this article, with a view to bringing it up to at least GA status.

Although Ceoil's work does include some useful edits, Ceoil has made additional changes which are dubious or debatable. In my opinion, any future edits he or she makes to this page need to be very carefully scrutinised. --NSH001 (talk) 14:07, 28 January 2018 (UTC)