Top scientist donates?2.3m prize winnings" width="976" height="549">
One of the UK's leading female astronomers is to donate her
Prof Bell Burnell believes that under-represented groups - who will benefit from the donation - will bring new ideas to the field. "I don't want or need the money myself and it seemed to me that this was perhaps the best use I could put to it," she told BBC News.Prof Bell Burnell's story has been both an inspiration and motivation for many female scientists. As a research student when pulsars were discovered, she was not included in the Nobel prize citation - despite having been the first to observe and analyse the astronomical objects (a type of neutron star that emits a beam of radiation).She now says she wants to use her prize money to counter what she describes as the "unconscious bias" that she believes still occurs in physics research jobs. The former president of the Institute of Physics (IOP) believes that it was because she was from a minority group herself that she had the fresh ideas required to make her discovery as a young student at Cambridge University more than 50 years ago. "I found pulsars because I was a minority person and feeling a bit overawed at Cambridge. I was both female but also from the north-west of the country and I think everybody else around me was southern English," she said."So I have this hunch that minority folk bring a fresh angle on things and that is often a very productive thing. In general, a lot of breakthroughs come from left field." on Twitter
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