The Bolton Lecture in Astrophysics with Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

We’re excited to welcome Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell for this year’s Bolton lecture in Astrophysics! 

Our human bodies contain a variety of chemical elements, each with its own distinct kind of atom. In this talk, we will look at the main chemical elements found in our human bodies and discover how the stars created these elements in the first place and then made them available to us – showing you are truly made of star stuff!

This lecture is open to everyone, including school groups and members of the public. Schools are welcome to bring groups of up to 15, including staff and students. If you have any questions, please get in touch with

Book Your Place 

For school bookings, please click here.

For general/public bookings, please click here.

About our speaker 

Dame Bell Burnell headshot

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered pulsars as a graduate student in radio astronomy in Cambridge, opening up a new branch of astrophysics - work recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize to her supervisor.

She has subsequently worked in many roles in many branches of astronomy, working part-time while raising a family. She is now a Visiting Academic in Oxford. She has been President of the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society, in 2008 became the first female President of the Institute of Physics for the UK and Ireland, and in 2014 the first female President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was one of the small group of women scientists that set up the Athena SWAN scheme.

She has received many honours, including a $3M Breakthrough Prize in 2018. The public appreciation and understanding of science have always been important to her, and she is much in demand as a speaker and broadcaster.  In her spare time, she gardens, listens to choral music and is active in the Quakers. She has co-edited an anthology of poetry with an astronomical theme – ‘Dark Matter; Poems of Space’.

About the Bolton Lecture in Astrophysics 

The Bolton Lecture is held every autumn and is widely advertised in local schools. We aim to bring current developments in Astronomy to a wide audience and to high schools in particular.

The lecture series is named after Scriven Bolton (c1888-1929) a local benefactor whose bequest enables the University to provide a state-of-the-art observatory for the teaching of practical astronomy to undergraduates.

You can see previous lecture titles here: 


This lecture will have British Sign Language interpretation.  The Conference Auditorium is fitted with an Infrared (IR) Transmitter assistive listening system.  To use this facility, an IR receiver is needed.  If you have a receiver, you can sit anywhere in the room where you have a clear view of the presenter.

The venue has step-free access and accessible toilets, with seven Blue Badge parking bays less than 200 metres away from the entrance in the Edge car park off Willow Terrace Road.  For more detailed information about building accessibility, please visit the entry on AccessAble 

Our information for disabled visitors page has more information on accessibility across the University. 

Each year we learn more about how we can make our events more accessible. We value your contributions to making the Bolton Lecture an accessible event for everyone. If you have any questions or ways how we can ensure you have an enjoyable time with us, please email the Physics Outreach team via 

Parking for visitors 

Parking is available to the public for a fee in the Orange Zone areas, which includes the Edge and Multistorey car parks, on weekday evenings (5pm to 7am).  Payment for parking, as per the tariff displayed in the car parks, should be made before exit at any of the cashless pay machines.  These tariffs also apply to Blue Badge holders.  

Find out more information at 

The School of Physics and Astronomy will provide free parking for school groups.  Please email with your registration plate (if known) to book a space.