Five exceptional women scientists from around the world received the 2015 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Prize in Physical Sciences in an Awards Ceremony which took place on 18 March 2015 at the Grand Amphitheatre of the Sorbonne University (Paris, France). The Awards promote scientific excellence and the contribution of women to science, in particular in Life Sciences and the Physical Sciences, and in the service of advancement of knowledge, its impact on society, and sustainable development. By giving these female researchers increased visibility, the awards show the way for new generations, encouraging young women to follow their example.
Since the launch of the programme, 82 outstanding women researchers have received the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Prize, two of whom have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize.
IUPAC congratulates all the Awardees. A special recognition goes this year to Professor Yi Xie, laureate Asia-Pacific, who was, in 2013, one of the Awardees of the IUPAC Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.
Asia-Pacific: Professor Yi Xie
Committed to preserving our planet, Prof.Yi Xie has dedicated her life to finding new and intelligent solutions to address the environmental challenge. She has been rewarded for her significant contributions to creating new nanomaterials with promising applications in the conversion of heat or sunlight into electricity. Her work will greatly contribute to lessening pollution and boosting energy efficiency, and will open promising prospects for the future
Europe: Profesor Dame Carol Robinson
A risk-taker, Prof. Robinson has always done things her way: she left school at 16, studied part-time while working, and then took an eight year career break to raise her children before returning to academia. Prof. Dame Carol Robinson has been honored for creating a revolutionary method for studying how proteins function, particularly membrane proteins, and establishing a whole new scientific field: gas phase structural biology. Her pioneering work could have a significant impact on medical research.
Latin America: Professor Thaisa Storchi Bergmann
Passionate and determined, Prof. Bergmann is convinced that education for all is the key to a better world and hopes to contribute to promoting science as a captivating and fun career path through her work. Prof. Thaisa Storchi Bergmann has been honored for her work leading to the understanding of massive black holes, one of the most enigmatic and complex phenomena of the universe: she was the first researcher to discover that matter could escape from black holes.
North America: Professor Molly S. Shoichet
A people person, Prof. Shoichet also participates in special athletic events for people with spinal cord injuries, is actively involved in human rights issues, and has contributed to launching a social media campaign designed to “connect today’s research with tomorrow’s reality.” She has been rewarded for the development of new materials to regenerate damaged nerve tissue and for a new method that can deliver drugs directly to the spinal cord and brain. Her work is putting chemistry at the service of medicine in spectacular new ways.
Africa and the Arab States: Professor Rajaa Cherkaoui El Moursli
Nicknamed «research activist», Prof. El Moursli dedicates much of her time to raising the level of scientific research in her country, and has been instrumental in improving Moroccan healthcare by creating the 1st master’s degree in medical physics. Prof. Rajaâ Cherkaoui El Moursli has been honored for her key contribution to one of the greatest discoveries in physics: proof of the existence of the Higgs Boson, the particle responsible for the creation of mass in the universe.
©2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston