A leading British astrophysicist is donating her US$3-million purse from a major science prize to encourage diversity in physics.
Jocelyn Bell Burnell says the money will go to the Institute of Physics to fund graduate scholarships for people from underrepresented groups – women, members of ethnic minorities and refugees.
She told the British Broadcasting Corp. that people from minority groups bring “a fresh angle on things and that is often a very productive thing. A lot of breakthroughs, she added, ”come from left field.“
Ms. Bell Burnell won the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics on Thursday for her role in discovering radio pulsars. The discovery of the rotating neutron stars won a Nobel Prize for physics in 1974, but two of Ms. Bell Burnell’s male colleagues were named the winners.