“a role model, a spokeswoman, a representative, and a promoter of women in science in the U.K.”

I had intended to point to this earlier, but distracted as usual.. ANYhoo, for local viewers only it would appear, but BBC1 NI tonight, at 10.45pm, profiles Belfast born astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell who, as the programme notes point out, failed her 11-plus [*ahem* – Ed]. As well as being unfairly ignored by the Nobel committee for her work on pulsars in the late 1960s, Jocelyn Bell Burnell also chaired the International Astronomical Union’s General Assembly meeting in August 2006 which, finally and thankfully, threw Pluto out of the planets’ club. Where, despite the honking, it remains. I’ve said it before.. greatest human innovation? Definitely the telescope. Updated below the foldHopefully the Beeb will make that available online.. but, in the meantime, it ended with a wondrous reference from Jocelyn Bell Burnell to the power of poetry, and this poem in particular


The radiance of the star that leans on me
Was shining years ago. The light that now
Glitters up there my eyes may never see,
And so the time lag teases me with how

Love that loves now may not reach me until
Its first desire is spent. The star’s impulse
Must wait for eyes to claim it beautiful
And love arrived may find us somewhere else.

Elizabeth Jennings

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