Belfast Telegraph

Belfast council considers new bid to honour physicist John Stewart Bell

By Kate Buck

A fresh bid to have a Belfast street named after physicist John Stewart Bell will have its application considered by Belfast City Council next week.

Bell is regarded as one of the 20th Century's greatest physicists and his theorem, known as On the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox disproved Einstein's theory of quantum mechanics.

Blackstaff Community Development Association (BCDA) have requested that the pedestrian entrance to Olympia Leisure Centre on Olympia Lane be changed to the John Stewart Bell Entrance.

Billy Dickson, Chair of the BCDA says in his letter to Belfast City Council that it is "surprising" that there is no recognition of the physicist within the Olympia community considering his childhood home was 245 Tate's Avenue, just a few minutes walk from the leisure centre entrance.

A street in Belfast was named Bell's Theorem Crescent in his honour in February 2015 and a £16m student accommodation building was named John Bell House last year.

This came after the council's then health and environmental services committee in 2014 refused to name a different street after him, saying at the time that it was following its convention of not naming streets after people, and voted against the request.

Bell was born in Belfast in 1928 to a poor family and was the only one of his three siblings to remain in school above the age of 14.

He would go on to Queen's University and the University of Birmingham before becoming a teacher at CERN, Europe's particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland.

A council committee will decide on the proposal on Tuesday and, if approved, the final decision will be made by the full council in early November.

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