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Wednesday 1 June 2022

Recognition in Queen’s Birthday Honours for UCLan astrophysicist

Dr Megan Argo awarded British Empire Medal for services to Girlguiding

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

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.

"I'm humbled to have been honoured for my volunteering work with Girlguiding, helping Brownies to earn their space interest badges during the pandemic. "

UCLan astrophysicist Dr Megan Argo

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. 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 Girlguiding, 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.”

"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."

UCLan astrophysicist Dr Megan Argo

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.

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

UCLan astrophycisit Dr Megan Argo01 / 01