28 April 2021

Interstellar chemistry

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Online Webinar: 16.00 – 17.00 BST

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Water and alcohol (lots of the first, less of the second!), carbon monoxide, and other small molecules are now regularly observed in space. Particularly common in dusty areas of the galaxy, screened from starlight, they are giving us a lot of information about the physical conditions there.

Dame Jocelyn will discuss how these molecules are detected, how we think they form, and where the elements came from initially.


Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

University of Oxford

Jocelyn Bell Burnell inadvertently discovered pulsars as a graduate student in radio astronomy in Cambridge, opening up a new branch of astrophysics - work recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize to her supervisor.

She has subsequently worked in many roles in many branches of astronomy, working part-time while raising a family. She is now a Visiting Academic in Oxford, and the Chancellor of the University of Dundee, Scotland. She has been President of the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society, in 2008 became the first female President of the Institute of Physics for the UK and Ireland, and in 2014 the first female President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was one of the small group of women scientists that set up the Athena SWAN scheme.

She has received many honours, including a $3M Breakthrough Prize in 2018. The public appreciation and understanding of science have always been important to her, and she is much in demand as a speaker and broadcaster.

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