Exiled scientists honoured at L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards 2023

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 19-Jun-2023

The annual awards programme provides financial rewards and recognition for women and their contribution to society in various scientific fields

L’Oréal and UNESCO have honoured three exiled scientists at its 2023 For Women in Science International Awards.

Mursal Dawodi, Ann Al Sawoor and Marcelyin Baba have been recognised for their continued work and research, despite being displaced from their home countries.

The scientists were honoured at an event at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, France, which also marked the 25th anniversary of the programme.

The annual scheme provides financial rewards and recognition for women and their contributions to society in the fields of physical sciences, mathematics and computer science.

“In the time of a generation, the For Women in Science programme has contributed to creating a real transformation by raising the profile of women representing every continent and breaking new ground in all disciplines,” said Alexandra Palt, Executive Director of the Fondation L’Oréal.

The exiled scientists were named alongside this year’s winners which included Professor Suzana Nunes, Laureate for Africa and the Arab States.

Nunes was recognised for her contribution to chemistry, and has developed membrane filters which achieve efficient chemical separations with a lower carbon footprint.

Anamaría Font, a Professor of physics at Central University of Venezuela, was honoured for her contributions to theoretical particle physics.

Professor Aviv Regev, meanwhile, was awarded for her recent work in applying mathematics and computer science to revolutionise cell biology.

The Laureate for Asia and the Pacific, Professor Lidia, won this year’s award for her research in the field of air pollution and its impact on human health and the environment.

Finally, Frances Kirwan, Savilian Professor of Geometry at the University of Oxford, has been recognised for furthering the research on pure mathematics.

The five 2023 laureates were chosen by an independent jury presided over by Professor Artur Avila, Professor at the Institute of Mathematics University of Zurich, Switzerland.

“These last years have demonstrated more than ever the importance of science to address the serious challenges facing the world today,” added Xing Qu, Deputy Director General of UNESCO.

“In order for science to be effective, it must be able to draw on the talents of all of us. UNESCO, as the agency of the United Nations with the specific mandate for science and which has made gender equality one of its global priorities, is determined to act to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls.”

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