How about another boost for a space-race today? Pop in a vote for Jocelyn Bell for the Top British Innovation!
In 1967 student Jocelyn Bell (born 1943) was using the university’s four-acre array telescope, designed by her supervisor Tony Hewish (born 1924), and noticed a regular pulse in her data.
From the transcript of the audio by Gia Milinovich, which features in the right-hand sidebar of the site:
After months of checking and rechecking these signals, and discounting the idea that they were manmade, and discounting the idea that they were alien made, she determined these signals were coming from outside our solar system, around 200 light-years away, from a collapsed neutron star, now known as a pulsar. She then went on to discover another three pulsars. In 1974 the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded for the discovery of pulsars, and was given to Anthony Hewish and the Cambridge Astronomy Department head, Martin Ryle. Like many women in science before her, Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s contribution was over looked. This is why I think it’s important that Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s discovery of pulsars is remembered as one of the great British innovations.