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- 04/03/2017

19th edition of the L’Oréal-Unesco for Women in Science Awards – An evening to honour women Who have the power to change the world

H&PC Today


 The 2017 Edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards Ceremony celebrated 5 eminent women scientists and their excellence, creativity and intelligence. Each woman received an Award of 100,000 € to commend their scientific contributions in the fields of quantum physics, physical sciences and astrophysics.

These 5 exceptional women, from 5 different world regions, are each contributing in their own way to change the world for the better:5 women in science awards winners

 Professor Niveen M. KHASHAB (Saudi Arabia), for designing novel nanoparticles that could improve early detection of disease.

Her work in analytical chemistry could lead to more targeted and personalized medical treatment.

 Professor Michelle SIMMONS (Australia), for pioneering ultra-fast quantum computers.

Her work on atomic-scale transistors could give birth to tomorrow’s computers.

 Professor Nicola A. Spaldin (Switzerland), for reinventing magnetic materials for next-generation electronic devices.

Her research on multiferroic materials could lead to a new generation of electronic equipment components.

 Professor Maria Teresa Ruiz (Chile), for discovering a new type of celestial body, halfway between a star and a planet, hidden in the darkness of the universe.

Her observations on brown dwarfs could answer the universal question of whether there is life on other planets.

 Professor Zhenan Bao (United States), for inventing skin-inspired electronic materials.

Her research on flexible, stretchable and conductive materials could improve the quality of life of patients with prostheses.

Jean-Paul Agon highlighted the power of these women scientists, as well as all of the women scientists who have been celebrated this year, in his opening speech: “Only a shared, controlled science, at the service of the world’s population, is able to meet the major challenges of the twenty-first century, and our researchers are the proof. They are the ones that give science all its greatness”.




Since 1998, the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation and UNESCO have been committed to increase the number of women working in scientific research. 150 years after Marie Curie’s birth, only 28%* of researchers are women and only 3% of Scientific Nobel Prizes are awarded to them. That is why, for the past 19 years, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme has worked to honour and accompany women researchers at key moments in their careers. Since the programme began, it has supported more than 2,700 young women from 115 countries and celebrated 97 Laureates, at the peak of their careers, including professors Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Ada Yonath, who went on to win a Nobel Prize.