Name: Dr. Lucie Green
Job title: Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow (Solar Physics)
What education and qualifications do you have?
I went to an all girls school and left with 9
GCSEs, 4 A-levels and 1 AS. I followed physics to A-level because I really
enjoyed the subject; and because it was an all girls school science wasn't
seen as something that only boys could do. In fact most of my physics
teachers were female! Then I went to the University of Sussex, and from there
I graduated with a 2:I MPhys degree in Physics with Astrophysics. It was at
Sussex uni. that I became interested in the Sun as a laboratory for physics
after I made a field trip to the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory. So I then
decided to do a PhD in solar physics at MSSL which I finished in 2002.
Give an outline of your career so far
I have followed an academic route! So, I've have been trained at university
first by doing my degree and then PhD. Studying for the degree improved my
physics knowledge, but it was only by studying for the PhD that I really
understood how to do independant research. The next step for a young
researcher who would like to stay doing research, is to do what we call a
'post-doc'. That's what I'm currently working as at MSSL.
All along the way though I have been involved in encouraging other people
also to study and understand science. This started off with me being involved
with small science events, working closely with other students, to doing
radio interviews, organising my own science festival and presenting BBC
Why did you choose this career path?
Firstly, because I enjoy it and it's always interesting. But also because it
presents a challenge in many areas. For example, I use computers and my
physics background, but I'm also able to communicate science to a wide range
of people in a variety of ways. Another driving force for me is that I really
want to be able to make a contribution to what we know about the Sun.
What does your current work involve?
It mostly based on computers. I get up to minute data on the Sun which are
taken by satellites. Then I analyse it to try to understand why we see the
activity that we do on the solar surface. When I find something new, or
realise that I can explain why an event on the Sun happens, I write it up and
publish it as a paper for other scientists around the world to read. Another
way to tell other people about my findings is to go to some of the many
conferences that are organised. This is a real hightlight of the job as they
are often held in lovely locations!
The work I do in schools is generally not based around computers as I like
to encourage people to do activities and experiments that illustrate the
science and maths behind different cosmic objects. One day I could be out
playground making a scale model of the solar system, the next I could be
making spacecraft to land on a mock martian surface or showing how stars
are able to generate a magnetic field.
Hobbies and interests outside work
Well, I get pretty consumed by my work and it doesn't leave a lot of time for
play! But I do enjoy dancing, tennis and going out with my friends and