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Astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell donates £2.3m prize to boost science

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  • Astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell donates £2.3m prize to boost science

    I have a great deal of real respect for this Dame
    A British astrophysicist has donated the entirety of her £2.3m prize from one of the world's most prestigious science awards to promote diversity among researchers. Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell announced the money will be used to fund scholarships to help women, refugees and people from ethnic minority groups into the sciences.

  • #2
    Very generous considering she was ignored by the Nobel committee initially. I probably would have used the money to hire skywriters to follow around the remaining living members of that committee and write "look at me now, bitches" in the sky every day.

    Edit: I know this is not a Nobel prize.


    • #3
      The comment in the linked article says it best:
      She sounds like a kind person especially donating the money, but the article should show more evidence that she deserves the award. These days everyone is on the hunt for a good politically correct story, a way to say a woman did it but a man got credit, including this politically correct award funded by Zuckerberg and friends. But is it true in this case? She had been in the lab no more than a few years at most as a Ph.D. student. The lab was set up to look for EXACTLY THE KIND OF THING that she is now purported to have "discovered". Her supervisors had been working on the topic while she was still in grade school. They did the previous related work, had the idea of doing these experiments, got the grants, designed and revised and redesigned the equipment, set up and troubleshot the system that generated the data. I assume it is true when people say she happened to be the one to first notice the funny squiggles in the data, but that doesnt mean she deserves credit for the entire process of discovering pulsars. The entire point of the lab was to gather data on radiowaves for the purpose of trying to find new stellar phenomena such as, it turns out, pulsars. If the grad student in a lab who happens to be running the equipment on a given day when interesting data pop out deserves the Nobel prize for any resulting discoveries, virtually every Nobel prize ever awarded should be revoked and given to grad students. And it is nice that she donates the money, but basically it sounds like the target group is "everyone except white males". She may be a little behind on the data, women are over-represented in education and graduate school these days. There are also lots of poor men who can't afford graduate school. She wants to fund people on the basis of their race, as long as they are not white, even though they may be rich, and discriminate against people who are white or male but may be poor? The whole episode seems like so much hyperpolitically correct hogwash.


      • #4
        I also think POOR smart people should be boosted no matter the skin colour

        All else is racism. Or dumbness.

        This new selective "helping" hype will lead to no good...

        The main reason is lack of money and stupid parents - not the "wrong" skin colour.


        • #5
          Science needs to be boosted, too many schools (i.e. before university) are rewarding mediocrity and promoting subjects which really don't add to the world. They promote popular subjects which are often much easier than STEM subjects as a whole.

          Society is gearing towards rewarding people irrespective of talent.

          A social experiment designed to fail.


          • #6
            Her money, her choice.
            Personally I think we need to boost by merit, not by diversity quota.


            • #7
              From the same comment I quoted... now edited/expanded in the original source:
              She may be a little behind on the data, women are over-represented in education and graduate school these days.
              It made me curious so I had a quick search. Have a look for yourselves:
              Women earned majority of doctoral degrees in 2016 for 8th straight year and outnumber men in grad school 135 to 100