The Stolen Nobel Prize
Here’s the woman who should have won the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics - she didn’t even share the prize for her discovery. While a postgraduate student at Cambridge University, she discovered the first radio pulsars while working under her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish.
Hewish, shown above, shared the prize with another man - Sir Martin Ryle. Although there is no official record of Hewish purposely stealing the prize in cold blood - there are also no signs of his attempts to include her. The official description of the prize, given by the Nobel Prize records, is:
"for their pioneering research in radio astrophysics: Ryle for his observations and inventions, in particular of the aperture synthesis technique, and Hewish for his decisive role in the discovery of pulsars"
Burnell did not share the Prize, despite the fact that she helped to build the four-acre radio telescope system that detected the pulsars for two years. Additionally, she was the first person to record and notice the pulsar anomaly - and tirelessly worked on the problem for months, going over nearly 100 feet of paper data every night. Hewish initially disregarded the strange detections as man-made, or possibly even a result of interference. It was Burnell’s own data that was used in the discovery and research.