Founded in 1969, the Open University uses mail, television, and other
media to offer home-study courses to adults who would otherwise be
unable to get a university education. It serves an enormous number of
students. Bell Burnell's astronomy course has enrolled more than a thousand students each year. She is committed to her students' cause: "When
I meet the students I am tremendously encouraged by their ability--so
stimulating, so keen. The number of people who have missed out on a
conventional university education at the proper time it's horrific!"
addition to teaching, Bell Burnell continues research on topics including
the physics of pulsars.
She is an active Quaker and has published her reflections on God and
human suffering (inspired by the diagnosis of her son's diabetes) as Broken for Life.
S. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, "Little Green Men, White Dwarfs, or What?" Sky
and Telescope 55 ( March 1978): 219. This gives Bell Burnell's account of the discovery; it is an expanded version of an after-dinner speech she gave at the 8th
Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics, Boston, December 15, 1976, published as S. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, "Petit Four," Annals of the New York Academy of
Sciences 302 ( 1977): 685-689.
Bell Burnell, "Little Green Men," p. 220.
S. J. Bell,
J. D. H. Pilkington,
P. F. Scott, and
R. A. Collins, "Observation of a Rapidly Pulsating Radio Source," Nature 217 ( February 24, 1968): 709-713.
Hewish's Nobel lecture, giving his account of the pulsar discovery, has
been published as A. Hewish, "Pulsars and High Density Physics," Science 188,
no. 4193 ( June 13, 1975): 1079-1083.
Nicholas Wade, "Discovery of Pulsars: A Graduate Student's Story," Science 189 ( August 1975): 358-364; George Reed, "The Discovery of Pulsars: Was
Credit Given Where It Was Due?" Astronomy 11 ( December 1983): 24-28.
Fred Hoyle, in
Wade, "Discovery of Pulsars," p. 358.
Reed, "The Discovery of Pulsars," p. 24.
S. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, quoted in
Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, Nobel Prize
Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles, and Momentous Discoveries (Secaucus, N.J.: Carol Publishing, A Birch Lane Press Book, 1993), pp. 372-373.
Bell Burnell, "Petit Four," pp. 689-689.
Bell Burnell, quoted in
Glyn Jones, "When Stardom Beckoned," New Scientist 135, no. 1830 ( July 18, 1992): 39.
S. Jocelyn Burnell, Broken for Life, 1989 Swarthmore Lecture to the London
Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends ( London: Quaker Home Service, 1989).
"Bell Burnell, Jocelyn." Current Biography 56, no. 5 ( May 1995): 18-23.
Bell S. Jocelyn Burnell. Broken for Life: 1989 Swarthmore Lecture to the London Yearly
Meeting of the Society of Friends. London: Quaker Home Service, 1989.