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Recognition in Queen’s Birthday Honours for UCLan astrophysicist

Posted on - 1st June, 2022 - 10:30pm | Author - | Posted in - Education, People, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Proud Preston, UCLan, University campus
UCLan's campus in Preston Pic: Tony Worrall
UCLan’s campus in Preston Pic: Tony Worrall

An astrophysicist from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her services to Girlguiding during the pandemic.

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Dr Megan Argo has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) to honour her volunteering efforts with Girlguiding during the 2021 lockdown when she helped more than 1,200 Girlguides earn their Space Interest Badge.

Along with colleagues from the University’s Jeremiah Horrocks Institute (JHI) for Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, Megan made virtual visits to Rainbow, Brownie, Guide and Ranger units all over the country.

They delivered a total of 60 planetarium shows, speaking to girls around the UK, including 13 Guide units, and even a few Girl Scouts in California. 

The senior lecturer has worked at UCLan since 2016 and studies galaxies, supernovae and black holes at high resolution using large networks of radio telescopes.

Read more: UCLan astronomers share secrets of the night sky with more than 1,200 Girlguides

Dr Megan Argo
Dr Megan Argo

She is a well-regarded science communicator and is often seen on the news discussing space developments and taking part in public lectures and school workshops.

Megan, who is also a member of the Girlguiding Association, said: “I’m humbled to have been honoured for my volunteering work with Girlguiding, helping Brownies to earn their space interest badges during the pandemic. 

“Girlguiding is an organisation that provided me with many amazing opportunities when I was younger, making some life-long friends along the way.

I love being able to pay some of that back, and I hope the young people I speak to get as much from their involvement with Girlguiding as I did.”

Read more: UCLan medical students to benefit from medical simulation software

The 41-year-old, who lives in Macclesfield, knew from a young age that she wanted to be an astrophysicist and joined the Macclesfield Astronomical Society aged 10.

Megan said: “My mum was always very supportive of my fascination with the sky.

“I used to regularly drag her out into the Pennines with a small telescope to look at the stars.”

Megan will be awarded the BEM later this year by a Lord-Lieutenant and will also be invited to a celebratory garden party at Buckingham Palace.  

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