Vol. 31 No. 3
L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards Bestowed Upon Five Exceptional Women Scientists
The laureates of the 11th L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women In Science received their recompense at a ceremony in Paris on 5 March 2009. The laureates, who work across the spectrum of the physical sciences, were chosen on the basis of their groundbreaking achievements and potential contributions to scientific progress.
The award winners were selected by an international jury of 16 eminent members of the scientific community. Chosen in recognition of her exceptional achievements, one Award Laureate is named from each of five continents: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America. The laureates receive individual awards of USD 100 000. Physical sciences and life sciences are recognized in alternating years. The jury was presided over by Ahmed Zewail, 1999 Nobel Laureate in chemistry.
The laureates for the L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science 2009 are as follows:
Africa & the Arab States: Tebello Nyokong, professor in the Department of Chemistry at Rhodes University in South Africa, for her work on harnessing light for cancer therapy and for environmental clean-up.
Asia-Pacific: Akiko Kobayashi, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry, College of Humanities and Sciences at Nihon University in Japan, for her contribution to the development of molecular conductors and the design and synthesis of a single-component molecular metal.
North America: Eugenia Kumacheva, professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto in Canada, for the design and development of new materials with many applications including targeted drug delivery for cancer treatments and materials for high density optical data storage.
Europe: Athene M. Donald, professor of Experimental Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory in the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, for her work in unravelling the mysteries of the physics of messy materials, ranging from cement to starch.
Latin America: Beatriz Barbuy, professor at the Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics, and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, for her work on the life of stars from the birth of the universe to the present time.
Created in 1998, the L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science were the first international awards dedicated to women scientists around the world. More than 10 years and 57 laureates later, the program is a benchmark of international scientific excellence, and an invaluable source of motivation, support, and inspiration for women in the scientific field. The laureates serve as role models for future generations, encouraging young women around the world to follow in their footsteps. In addition, the L’Oréal-UNESCO program has to date granted 120 international fellowships and 340 national fellowships to female doctoral and postdoctoral students, fostering a global community of scientific talent that continues to grow each year.
The L’Oréal Corporate Foundation is committed to three areas of action: encouraging education, fostering scientific research, and creating bonds of solidarity for those in fragile circumstances. The L’Oréal Foundation, which presently regroups a number of major existing corporate philanthropy initiatives including the L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science will strengthen these actions and ensure their continuity, as well as develop new programs in the coming years.
Since its creation in 1945, UNESCO has pursued the mission of promoting science—the “S” in its acronym —for peace. Today, UNESCO notably aims to reinforce international cooperation in the basic sciences among its 193 Member States and promotes ethical norms in science. The organization has also been dedicated to eliminating all forms of discrimination and promoting equality between men and women. As well as developing educational programs in science particularly designed for girls, UNESCO has established a network of academic chairs creating links between women in science around the world.
Page last modified 24 April 2009.
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