Beautiful Minds features Northern Star

BBC NI’s excellent 2007 Northern Star profile of Belfast-born poetry enthusiast, and astrophysicist, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, may be lying forgotten in a dusty archive, but last night the discoverer of pulsars was the subject of the first episode of a new BBC 4 series, Beautiful Minds. If you missed it, it’s worth taking the time to view it on the iPlayer where it’s available for the next 21 days. The Guardian’s Tim Dowling was watching.

I dimly recall once coming across advice to the effect that a half-hour spent in the company of someone who is good at his job is never wasted. I couldn’t track down an exact quotation (though you’d be surprised how often, and how rashly, people use the phrase “never wasted”), but it obviously applies to women as well, and in the case of Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, we may safely extend the amount of unwasted time to an hour.

Indeed. Adds And here’s an embeddable clip from the programme from the BBC.

, , , ,

  • pauljames

    When reading books like Bill Brysons “A short history of nearly everything” I get a strange ache at how unfair the recognition of beautiful minds in science can be. Dame Jocelyn’s treatment by the Nobel committee and her subsequent graciousness cannot remove the overwhelming sense of injustice.

  • CongalClaen

    Lots of NI Physicists are forgotten. How many people do you know who have even heard of John Stewart Bell? Yet, he would be one of the top 10 physicists ever. He was schooled on the Lisburn Road and also attended Queens. Ironically, he’s most famous for “Bell’s inequality”.