Confirmed keynote speakers

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

jbbFor the first time ever, Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE FRS FRSE FRAS will visit Tromsø to give the keynote lecture at Fysikermøtet 2017!

Short CV summary (shortened from Wikipedia):
She discovered the first radio pulsars in 1967, while she worked as a PhD student together with her supervisor Antony Hewish and others on a radio telescope for using interplanetary scintillation to study quasars, which had recently been discovered (interplanetary scintillation allows compact sources to be distinguished from extended ones).
In July 1967, she  discovered a signal which was pulsing with great regularity, at a rate of about one pulse per second. Temporarily dubbed “Little Green Man 1” (LGM-1) the source (now known as PSR B1919+21) was later identified as a rapidly rotating neutron star.  For this discovery, Hewish later shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with astronomer Martin Ryle, while, Bell Burnell was excluded, despite having been the first to observe and precisely analyse the pulsars.

She has  worked at the University of Southampton (1968–73), University College London (1974–82) and the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh (1982–91). In addition, from 1973 to 1987, she was a tutor, consultant, examiner, and lecturer for the Open University.[19] She was Professor of Physics in the Open University from 1991 to 2001. She was also a visiting professor in Princeton University in the United States and Dean of Science in the University of Bath (2001–04)[20]

Bell Burnell wasPresident of the Royal Astronomical Society between 2002-04, President of the Institute of Physics from October 2008 until October 2010, and was interim president following the death of her successor, Marshall Stoneham, in early 2011. She was elected as President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in October 2014. In March 2013 she was elected Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin.
She is currently Visiting Professor of Astrophysics in the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Mansfield College.[21]


Prof. Lynn J. Rotchild is a reknown astrobiologist and evolutionary biologist who is working with life in extreme surroundings. In the course of her research she has visited many places more or less harsh for biological life to survive, e.g. the thermal areas in Yellowstone National Park and the hypersaline environments in the San Francisco Bay and the Bolivian Andes [1], but this is her first time to visit Tromsø. She is  to give the 2nd keynote speech!

Short CV (summary from Wikipedia):
Lynn Justine Rothschild (born May 11, 1957) is an evolutionary biologist and astrobiologist at NASA’s Ames Research Center,[1] and was a consulting Professor at Stanford University, where she taught Astrobiology and Space Exploration. She is an Adjunct Professor at Brown University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. At Ames her research has focused on how life, particularly microbes, has evolved in the context of the physical environment, both on Earth and potentially beyond our planet’s boundaries. Since 2007 she has studied the effect of UV radiation on DNA synthesis, carbon metabolism and mutation/DNA repair in the Rift Valley of Kenya and the Bolivian Andes, and also in high altitude experiments atop Mt. Everest, in balloon payloads with BioLaunch. Currently she is the principal investigator of a synthetic biology payload on an upcoming satellite mission.

Rothschild has been instrumental in developing the field of astrobiology. She founded and ran the first three Astrobiology Science Conferences (AbSciCon), was the founding co-editor of the International Journal of Astrobiology, and is the former director of the Astrobiology Strategic Analysis and Support Office for NASA. She has been a member of the Astrobiology Institute since its inception.

Rothschild lectures frequently worldwide, including at the Vatican and Windsor Castle, Mystic Seaport and the Royal Society of London. Rothschild’s lecture at the annual Molecular Frontiers Symposium at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, May 2013, “Life in Extreme Environments and the Search for Life in the Universe” can be viewed online.[2] She appears frequently on radio and television programs, including the BBC, NPR, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, ABC World News Tonight, and the History Channel and most recently on Morgan Freeman’s “Through the Wormhole” on the Science Channel. Rothschild is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, and also a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and the Explorers Club.

An example of her TED talks can be viewed on YouTube: 





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