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How This Physicist Got the Last Laugh (Worth a Cool $3 Million)

Eleanor Beaton

Hello Fierce One,

Last week the physicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell won a $3 million science prize for her work as an astronomer. The irony is that in 1974, Bell Burnell was snubbed for a Nobel prize after her boss was credited for a major scientific breakthrough that, ahem, SHE actually made.

Let’s pause and consider this for a moment: a brilliant, hard-working woman’s contributions are overlooked in the moment, but the credit is later awarded to someone else.

Now THAT’s a story I have heard before.

I know you know some version of Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

Heck – maybe YOU are a version of Jocelyn Bell Burnell.  

If your work has ever been overlooked and attributed to someone else, there’s something I want you to know.

It is OK to claim authorship for your ideas. There is absolutely nothing wrong for wanting your contributions to be credited and appreciated. And it’s OK to feel frustrated when others receive credit for your work.

There are absolutely things you can do to address the problem. And there are things you can do to process your feelings.

But if there’s anything the current focus on women’s stories is highlighting, it’s that it is right, just, and safe for us to acknowledge our stories and contributions…and to share those stories and contributions with the wider world.

Stay fierce,


PS. To read more on Jocelyn and that $3 million prize, check this out.

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