Burnell Argumentative Essay

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After the Nobel Prize was awarded to Hewish and Ryle, there was controversy about whether Burnell should have been awarded as well. Hardly anyone mentioned this obvious misappropriation of Burnell’s credit until a year after the award presented to Hewish and Ryle. Fred Hoyle, a leading astronomer, commented in 1975 that Hewish had ‘filched’ Burnell from her discovery (Gregory, 2005) and Hoyle’s opinions lead to the joke that “Nobel means No-Bell” (McGrayne, 1998). Hewish thought Hoyle was attacking him, but Hoyle later explained that what he said was mainly directed at the Nobel Prize selection committee, not Professor Hewish. Hoyle was not the only astronomer who thought that Burnell should have received more recognition for her work. Gold, who posed the explanation of pulsars as neutrons, thought that Burnell…show more content…
Two theories that were thought to be impossible to prove—Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity and the idea of neutrons—could be shown using pulsing radio waves. The importance of pulsars in physics is undisputed, but it is still debated who should be credited with discovering pulsars. It is undeniable that Jocelyn Bell Burnell played a significant role in discovering pulsars, but she will never be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work. The Nobel Prize (which honors scientists who drastically contribute to humanity like Alfred Nobel did) went to her graduate advisor, Anthony Hewish, and his mentor, Martin Ryle, instead of being jointly awarded to Jocelyn Bell Burnell as well. Pulsars could not have been discovered without work that Burnell did. Her identification of pulsing radio waves and her recognition of the pulses running on sidereal time make Burnell a major contributor to the discovery of pulsars and founder of a new field in astronomy. Her work earned a Nobel Prize without her being recognized, which makes Jocelyn bell Burnell the most deserving astronomer of the Nobel
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