Female scientists honoured amid UK science renaissance

L’Oréal’s goal to inspire the next generation of budding female scientists reached an impressive new high last night as four of the UK’s most outstanding female scientists were commended for their work at the UNESCO UK and Ireland-L'Oréal For Women in Science Fellowships Awards...

L’Oréal’s goal to inspire the next generation of budding female scientists reached an impressive new high last week as four of the UK’s most outstanding female scientists were commended for their work at the UNESCO UK and Ireland-L’Oréal For Women in Science Fellowships Awards.

The winners, selected by a panel of Britain’s most renowned scientists including Professor Dame Athene Donald and Nobel Prize winners Professor Ada Yonath and Professor Elizabeth Blackburn, were Dr Pia Mukherjee, Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, Dr Dora Biro and Dr Lourdes Basabe-Desmonts for their research in different fields ranging from the origin of the Universe to whether birds can learn travel routes.

Professor Dame Athene Donald, recently made a Dame for her services to Physics, says, ‘I strongly believe that acknowledging and highlighting the pioneering work of female scientists will help encourage more and more women in to science’.

Move over Albert Einstein, female scientists are beginning to gain more recognition for their work with the number of female scientists honoured by the Queen more than doubling since 2000.

And things are looking up for the next generation too, as science currently takes the lead as favourite subject for girls at school, with girls making up more than half of all students studying GCSE science.

Since the fellowships began, a staggering 900 women in 90 countries have been recognised and commended for their research.

Now in its fourth year, the fellowships emphasise the importance of ensuring greater female participation in science by offering awards to outstanding postdoctoral researchers, providing winners with the funding to enable further research in their chose fields.

Marie Claire mentor Julie McManus, Head of Scientific and Technical-Regulatory Affairs and L’Oréal UK and Ireland, said of the Women in Science Programme: ‘We hope to draw attention to the excellent work being undertaken by female scientists across the UK and Ireland, while also providing the financial support necessary to support women’s careers in science.’

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