Congratulations to Prof. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Prof. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE FRS FRSE, astrophysicist and former President of the Royal Astronomical Society, will become the first female President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). She was overwhelmingly elected by RSE members and will take up the post in October. Bell Burnell was President of the Royal Astronomical Society from 2002-4 and of the Institute of Physics from 2008-11.
In 1967, as a postgraduate student in Cambridge she made the key discovery of the first neutron star, the compact remnant of a star many times more massive than our Sun. This object, located in the constellation of Vulpecula, emits radiation in narrow beams and rotates rapidly. When the beam points towards the Earth, a pulse of radiation is seen, so this type of body is known as a pulsar.
Prof David Southwood, current President of the RAS, offered his congratulations: "Prof. Dame Bell Burnell has spent her working life in the service of astronomy, both as a leading research scientist and as an advocate for public engagement. Her election as RSE President recognises her enormous contributions to science and to public life."
For more details, see the RSE Press Announcement.