February 11, 2019 was the International Day of Women and Girls in Science but there’s at least one celebratory event that is extended to include February 12. So, I’ll take what I can get and jump on to that bandwagon too. Happy 2019 International Day of Women and Girls in Science—a day late!
To make up fr being late to the party, I have two news items to commemorate the event.
From a February 11, 2019 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) press release received via email,
Paris, 11 February —On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science celebrated on 11 February, the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO have announced the laureates of the 21st International Awards For Women in Science, which honours outstanding women scientists, from all over the world. These exceptional women are recognized for the excellence of their research in the fields of material science, mathematics and computer science.
Each laureate receive €100,000 and their achievements will be celebrated alongside those of 15 promising young women scientists from around the world at an awards ceremony on 14 March  at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris.
EXTENDING THE AWARD TO MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTER SCIENCE
Mathematics is a prestigious discipline and a source of innovation in many domains, however, it is also one of the scientific fields with the lowest representation of women at the highest level. Since the establishment of the three most prestigious international prizes for the discipline (Fields, Wolf and Abel), only one woman mathematician has been recognized, out of a total of 141 laureates.
The L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO have therefore decided to reinforce their efforts to empower women in science by extending the International Awards dedicated to material science to two more research areas: mathematics and computer science.
Two mathematicians now figure among the five laureates receiving the 2019 For Women in Science Awards: Claire Voisin, one of five women to have received a gold medal from the the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), and the first women mathematician to enter the prestigious Collège de France, and Ingrid Daubechies of Duke University (USA), the first woman researcher to head the International Mathematical Union.
FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE: MORE THAN 20-YEARS OF COMMITMENT
In the field of scientific research, the glass ceiling is still a reality: Women only account for 28% of researchers, occupy just 11% of senior academic positions, and number a mere 3% of Nobel Science Prizes
Since 1998, the L’Oréal Foundation, in partnership with UNESCO, has worked to improve the representation of women in scientific careers, upholding the conviction that the world needs science, and science needs women.
In its first 20 years, the For Women in Science programme supported and raised the profiles of 102 laureates and more than 3,000 talented young scientists, both doctoral and post-doctoral candidates, providing them with research fellowships, allocated annually in 117 countries.
L’ORÉAL-UNESCO INTERNATIONAL AWARDS FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE
THE FIVE 2019 LAUREATES
AFRICA AND THE ARAB STATES Professor Najat Aoun SALIBA – Analytical and atmospheric chemistry
Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Nature Conservation Center at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Professor Saliba is rewarded for her pioneering work in identifying carcinogenic agents and other toxic air pollutants in the in Middle East, and in modern nicotine delivery systems, such as cigarettes and hookahs. Her innovative work in analytical and atmospheric chemistry will make it possible to address some of the most pressing environmental challenges and help advance public health policies and practices.
Professeur Maki KAWAI – Chemistry / Catalysis
Director General, Institute of Molecular Sciences, Tokyo University, Japan, member of the Science Council of Japan
Professor Maki Kawai is recognized for her ground-breaking work in manipulating molecules at the atomic level, in order to transform materials and create innovative materials. Her exceptional research has contributed to establishing the foundations of nanotechnologies at the forefront of discoveries of new chemical and physical phenomena that stand to address critical environmental issues such as energy efficiency.
Professor Karen HALLBERG – Physics/ Condensed matter physics
Professor at the Balseiro Institute and Research Director at the Bariloche Atomic Centre, CNEA/CONICET, Argentina
Professor Karen Hallberg is rewarded for developing cutting-edge computational approaches that allow scientists to understand the physics of quantum matter. Her innovative and creative techniques represent a major contribution to understanding nanoscopic systems and new materials.
Professor Ingrid DAUBECHIES – Mathematics / Mathematical physics
Professor of Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, United States
Professor Daubechies is recognized for her exceptional contribution to the numerical treatment of images and signal processing, providing standard and flexible algorithms for data compression. Her innovative research on wavelet theory has led to the development of treatment and image filtration methods used in technologies from medical imaging equipment to wireless communication.
Professor Claire VOISIN – Mathematics / Algebraic geometry
Professor at the Collège de France and former researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Professor Voisin is rewarded for her outstanding work in algebraic geometry. Her pioneering discoveries have allowed [mathematicians and scientists] to resolve fundamental questions on topology and Hodge structures of complex algebraic varieties.
L’ORÉAL-UNESCO INTERNATIONAL AWARDS FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE
THE 15 INTERNATIONAL RISING TALENTS OF 2019
Among the 275 national and regional fellowship winners we support each year, the For Women in Science programme selects the 15 most promising researchers, all of whom will also be honoured on 14 March 2019.
AFRICA AND THE ARAB STATES
Dr. Saba AL HEIALY – Health sciences
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid University for Medicine and Health Sciences
Dr. Zohra DHOUAFLI – Neuroscience/ Biochemistry
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Tunisia, Center of Biotechnology of Borj-Cédria
Dr. Menattallah ELSERAFY – Molecular biology/Genetics
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Egypt, Zewail City of Science and Technology
Dr. Priscilla Kolibea MANTE – Neurosciences
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Dr. Jacquelyn CRAGG – Health sciences
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Canada, University of British Columbia
Dr. Maria MOLINA – Chemistry/Molecular biology
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Argentina, National University of Rio Cuart
Dr. Ana Sofia VARELA – Chemistry/Electrocatalysis
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Mexico, Institute of Chemistry, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Dr. Sherry AW – Neuroscience
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Singapore, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
Dr. Mika NOMOTO – Molecular biology / Plant pathology
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Singapore, University of Nagoya
Dr. Mary Jacquiline ROMERO – Quantum physics
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Australia, University of Queensland
Dr. Laura ELO – Bioinformatics
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Finland, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University
Dr. Kirsten JENSEN – Material chemistry, structural analysis
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Denmark, University of Copenhagen
Dr. Biola María JAVIERRE MARTÍNEZ – Genomics
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Spain, Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute
Dr. Urte NENISKYTE – Neuroscience
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Lithuania, University of Vilnius
Dr. Nurcan TUNCBAG – Bioinformatics
L’Oréal-UNESCO regional fellowship Turkey, Middle East Technical University
This conference is taking place at UN (United Nations) headquarters in New York City. There is an agenda which includes the talks for February 12, 2019 and they feature a bit of a surprise,
[February 12, 2019]
10.00 – 12.30:
High-Level Panel on:
Investment in Science Education for Shaping Society’s Future
Scientists contribute greatly to the economic health and wealth of a nation.
However, worldwide, the levels of participation in science and technology in
school and in post-school education have fallen short of the expectations of
policy-makers and the needs of business, industry, or government.
The continuing concern to find the reasons why young people decide not to
study science and technology is a critical one if we are to solve the underlying
problem. Furthermore, while science and technology play key roles in today’s
global economy and leveling the playing field among various demographics,
young people particularly girls are turning away from science subjects. Clearly,
raising interest in science among young people is necessary for increasing the
number of future science professionals, as well as, providing opportunities for
all citizens of all countries to understand and use science in their daily lives.
To achieve sustainable development throughout the world, education policy
makers need to allocate high priority and considerable resources to the
teaching of science and technology in a manner that allows students to learn
science in a way that is practiced and experienced in the real world by real
scientists and engineers. Furthermore, to accomplish this goal, sustained
support is needed to increase and improve teacher training and professional
learning for STEM educators. By meeting these two needs, we can better
accomplish the ultimate aim which is to educate the scientists, technologists,
technicians, and leaders on whom future economic development is perceived to
depend over a sustained period of time.
In line with the 2019 High-Level Political Forum, this session will discuss
SDG [Sustainable development goal] 4 with special focus on Science Education.
Reforming the science curriculum to promote learning science the way it is practiced and experienced in the real world by real scientists and engineers.
Providing quality and prepared teachers for every child to include increasing the number of women and other underrepresented demographic role models for students.
Considering how science education provides us with a scientifically adept society, one ready to understand, critique and mold the future of research, as well as, serving as an integral part of feeding into the pipeline for future scientists.
Identifying factors influencing participation in science, engineering and technology as underrepresented populations including young girls make the transition from school to higher education
10.00 – 13.00:
Girls in Science for Sustainable Development: Vision to Action
This Panel will be convened by young change-makers and passionate girls in
science advocates from around the world to present their vision on how they can
utilize science to achieve sustainable development goals. Further, girls in
science will experience interacting and debating with UN Officials, Diplomates,
women in science and corporate executives.
This Panel will strive to empower, educate and embolden the potential of every
girl. The aim of this Panel is give girls the opportunity to gain core leadership
skills, training in community-building and advocacy.
In line with the 2019 United Nations High-Level Political Forum, Girls in
Science will focus around:
SDG 4 aims to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. How can we improve science education around the world? What resources or opportunities would be effective in achieving this goal? And How can we use technology to improve science education and opportunities for students around the world?
Nearly ½ of the world population live in poverty. SDG 8 aims to promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. What is the importance of STEM for girls and women for economic growth and how do we encourage and implement this? What role does science and technology play in reducing poverty around the world?
SDG 10 aims to reduce inequalities around the world. What are some current inequalities that girls are facing and what can be done to ameliorate this?
Following the Paris Agreement a few years back, climate change has become an increasingly discussed topic; SDG 13 focuses on climate action. What is the significance of this Sustainable Development Goal today and what contribution does women and girls in science make on this issue?
What is being done in your communities to solve the SDGs in this respect? Has it been effective? Why or why not? Would it be effective in other countries? What are some issues you or people you know face in your country in relation to these concerns?
Chairs: Sthuthi Satish and Huaxuan Chen
Mentor: Andrew Muetze – International Educator, Switzerland
HRH Princess Dr. Nisreen El-Hashemite
Ms. Chantal Line Carpentier
13.00 – 14.45: Lunch Break
15.00 – 16.30:
High-Level Session on: The Science of Fashion for Sustainable Development
Fashion embodies human pleasure, creativity, social codes and technologies
that have enabled societies to prosper, laid burdens on the environment and
caused competition for arable land. No single actor, action nor technology is
sufficient to shift us away from the environmental and social challenges
embedded in the fashion industry – nor to meet the demands for sustainable
development of society at large. However, scientific and technological
developments are important for progress towards sustainable fashion. This
Panel aims to shed light on the role of science, technology, engineering and
mathematics skills for fashion and sustainability.
16.45 – 18.00: Closing Session
Summary of Panels and Sessions by Chairs and Moderators
Introducing the International Framework and Action Plan for Member States to Approve and Adopt
Announcing the Global Fund for Women and Girls in Science
It’s good to see the UN look at fashion and sustainability. The ‘fashion’ session makes the endeavour seem a little less stuffy.