Lucie Green

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Lucie Green
Lucie Green.jpg
Green talking at Bright Club in London, November 2011
Lucinda May Green

c. 1975[1]
Bedfordshire, England, UK
Residence Godalming, Surrey
Education Dame Alice Harpur School
Alma mater University of Sussex
University College London
Occupation Science Communicator
Employer Mullard Space Science Laboratory
Television Presenter, The Sky at Night
Board member of European Solar Physics Division of the
European Physical Society
Science Museum
Spouse(s) Matthew Parker
Awards Kohn Award (2009)
Meitner Medal (2017)
Website Personal website @ MSSL

Lucinda "Lucie" May Green (born c. 1975)[1] is a British science communicator and solar researcher. Since 2005 Green has been a Royal Society University Research Fellow (previously the Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow) at Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) of the University College London (UCL).[2][3] Green runs MSSL's public engagement programme and sits on the board of the European Solar Physics Division (ESPD) of the European Physical Society and the advisory board of the Science Museum.[2]

In 2013 Green became the first ever female presenter of The Sky at Night following the death of Sir Patrick Moore.[4]

Green's research focuses primarily on the atmospheric activities of the Sun, particularly coronal mass ejections and the changes in the Sun's magnetic field which triggers them.[2][5]

Early life and education

Green studied at Dame Alice Harpur School in Bedfordshire,[6] gaining 9 GCSEs and 4 A-levels.[6][7][4] After completing her A-levels, Green took a year out during which time she studied art,[8] before deciding to pursue physics [8] and completed her undergraduate Master of Physics degree in Physics with Astrophysics at the University of Sussex, graduating with a 2:1.[6] Green completed her PhD in solar physics at the MSSL at UCL in 2002.[7]

She returns to her old school to discuss her research. Fiona Clements, Green's former physics teacher at the school, has said, “She is a great advocate for young women in science and we are proud that she continues to remember the school by returning to talk about her research to pupils."[1]

"I always liked physics from an early age while I was at school. That was my passion: problem-solving or asking questions and then finding out ways of answering those questions. But I never had a burning ambition of being a space scientist, and I wasn’t even into amateur astronomy [at that time]".[8]


Images captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory showing a solar eclipse followed by a M6.6 solar flare.

After gaining her PhD, she moved to Cardiff University's School of Physics and Astronomy [7][9] and became the Project Co-ordinator of the Faulkes Telescope Project, a project which enables schools to have remote use of two 2-metre class telescopes located in Hawaii (Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii) and Australia (Faulkes Telescope South in Australia).[6][9][10]

Since 2005 Green has been a Leverhulme Research Fellow (previously the Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow), at MSSL. Her current work focuses on the pattern of magnetic fields in the Sun's atmosphere, which sporadically erupt to form a coronal mass ejection; how these relate to geomagnetic activity and what this means for those living on the Earth.[2]

From 2006-2012 she was a member of the Royal Society's Education Committee and was part of their State of the Nation reports Working Group during 2007-2009.[2] She is also member of UCL’s Steering Committee for the Beacon for Public Engagement and she runs MSSL’s public engagement programme.[2][11]

Solar Orbiter

Green is also involved in the development of the 'Solar Orbiter', a Sun-observing Satellite under development by the ESA.[11] The aim of the mission is to perform close-up, high-resolution studies of the Sun for a better understanding of the sun's behaviour, heliosphere, solar winds and coronal magnetic field.[12]

Media appearances

Green often appears on television and radio most notably The Sky at Night and Stargazing Live, Stardate, Horizon, Xchange and The One Show.[13] Her radio programmes include: The Infinite Monkey Cage, Saturday Live and PM (BBC Radio 4), Material World, Slooh Radio (USA), 4 News hour (BBC World Service), 5Live Drive and Bacon’s Theory (BBC 5 Live), The Butcher’s Apron and Nick Ferrari (LBC).[13]

Between 2004-2005 Green co-presented several programmes in the BBC/Open University series, Stardate. Episodes include: Stardate: Mission To Titan[14] which she co-presented with Adam Hart-Davis,[15] covering the European Space Agency successfully landing the Huygens probe on Saturn's largest moon, Titan.[15] And Stardate: Deep Impact[16] which she co-presented with Brian Cox, covering NASA successfully colliding a probe into the side of comet Tempel 1 in an effort to learn more about the origins of the Solar System.[15][16]

Since 2010 Green has also appeared on and co-presented several episodes of Stargazing Live.[13]

Green has also appeared on several episodes of the BBC Radio 4 show The Infinite Monkey Cage, discussing topics such as the end of the world and parallel universes.[15][17]

In 2013 Green hosted her own radio programme 'Solar Max' on BBC Radio 4 on the topic of space weather. Specifically addressing how emissions from the sun can cause changes in the Earth's magnetic field and upper atmosphere, and the implications this has for the UK.[15]

Personal life

When asked where her love of space science came from, Green has said: "As a child, I remember hearing my parents say that they thought I was going to be an astrophysicist when I grew up. Not actually knowing what an astro-thinga-me-wotsit was, I agreed with them because I thought it sounded impressive. Really at that time I wanted to look after animals. People used to bring me injured birds and I would stay up all night feeding them worms!"[6]

Green married stand-up comedian and maths communicator Matt Parker in 2014.[18] The couple used wedding rings made of meteoric iron.[19]

Awards and honours

Lucie Green presenting at QEDcon 2015
Lucie Green presenting at QEDcon 2015

In 2005, Green was a member of a team that won a Royal Television Society's Life Long Learning and Multimedia Award for a television show covering the transit of Venus, that enabled viewers to make their own Sun-Earth distance measurements using observations of the transit that year.[13][15][20]

Green has won awards honouring her contribution to public engagement with science. In 2009 she was awarded the Royal Society's Kohn Award for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science, for her work engaging a diverse audience with science, and more specifically, for creating a culture of public engagement within her department.[11][21] In 2017, Green received the inaugural Lise Meitner Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics.

In 2010 she was named one the UK top 10 best science educators under 40 in The Times October science supplement, Eureka.[1]

In 2015 Green had a bust unveiled at the Royal Society in London, whilst being honoured at an event exploring the history of women and science writing. The bust was created and gifted to the Royal Society by Marcus Cornish.[3]


  • Green, Lucie (2016). 15 million degrees : a journey to the centre of the sun. London: Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-92219-2. OCLC 950951102.
  • Green, Lucie M. (2018). The Origin, Early Evolution and Predictability of Solar Eruptions. Space Science Reviews. Springer.[22]
  • Green, Lucie M. (2009) Flux Rope Formation Preceding Coronal Mass Ejection Onset. The Astrophysical Journal. The American Astronomical Society.


  1. ^ a b c d Hazel Slade (17 October 2010). "Lucie's love for astrophysics makes her one of the best". Bedfordshire News. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Lucie Green. "Welcome". Mullard Space Science Laboratory. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Bust of Lucie Green unveiled at the Royal Society". University College London. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b Sophie Scott (8 February 2013). "The sky's the limit for Dame Alice's Dr Lucie". Bedfordshire News. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  5. ^ Lucie Green. "My research". Mullard Space Science Laboratory. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Lucie Green - solar guides". Sun Trek. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "Dr. Lucie Green". Mullard Space Science Laboratory. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Laura Mears (16 May 2013). "Interview: Dr Lucie Green". How It Works. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  9. ^ a b "£9million telescope project brings astronomy into school classroom". Eureka Alert. 28 November 2003. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Close approach of asteroid Toutatis". Faulkes Telescope Project. 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  11. ^ a b c "Lucie Green". Janklow & Nesbit UK. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Solar Orbiter". European Space Agency. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  13. ^ a b c d "Lucie Green". Sue Rider Management. 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  14. ^ The Stardate team (11 January 2005). "Stardate: Mission To Titan". OpenLearn. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  15. ^ a b c d e f Lucie Green. "Media work". Mullard Space Science Laboratory. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  16. ^ a b The Stardate team (5 July 2007). "OU on the BBC: Stardate: Deep Impact". OpenLearn. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  17. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Infinite Monkey Cage - Episodes". BBC. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  18. ^ Simon Usborne (30 October 2014). ""Stand-up mathematician" Matt Parker is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences". The Independent. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  19. ^ Usborne, Simon (30 October 2014). ""Stand-up mathematician" Matt Parker is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences". The Independent. Retrieved 12 December 2015
  20. ^ The Stardate team (25 March 2008). "Measure the Astronomical Unit and watch the Transit Of Venus". OpenLearn. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Space scientist wins Royal Society award for science communication". The Royal Society. 24 August 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  22. ^ Green, Lucy (February 2018). "The Origin, Early Evolution and Predictability of Solar Eruptions". Space Science Reviews. 214. arXiv:1801.04608. doi:10.1007/s11214-017-0462-5.

External links

  • Personal website @ MSSL
  • Blog
  • UCL profile
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