Milan, June 13 (Adnkronos/Labitalia) – The awards ceremony for the 20th Italian edition of the L’Oréal – Unesco Prize “For Women and Science” was held at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, the first award entirely dedicated to women. Working in the Scientific Field (Stem), which awards a €20,000 scholarship to each of the six winners under the age of 35 in each edition.
Since 1998, L’Oréal and UNESCO have been committed to the “For Women in Science” project, which in 24 years of its life has supported 3,900 women researchers from more than 110 countries in their career path. Five of these scientists, having won the L’Oréal-UNESCO Prize, have been awarded the Nobel Prize: among them are Emmanuel Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna, the winners of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Today For Women in Science finds it a natural placement in the broad program focused on promoting the profession Women’s scientific research at the international level and acknowledgment of the commitment of women researchers from all over the world for whom L’Oréal and UNESCO work with enthusiasm and dedication.
“We are very pleased to be able to present the 20th edition of this important tribute, born 20 years ago to help women working in science,” said François-Xavier Weinart, President and CEO of L’Oréal Italia, highlighting the insight. It was at the time of its creation.
“We at L’Oréal – continued Fenart – have invested a lot of time and resources for ‘For Women in Science’ and are proud of the fame it has achieved in these two decades.” The President and CEO of L’Oréal Italia then concluded: “According to UNESCO, women represent only 33% of researchers globally and still face significant difficulties, many of which are caused by misperceptions and outdated. The L’Oréal – Unesco Prize “For Women and Science” tangible results not only that there are no “masculine” and “feminine” themes, but also that there is a greater presence of women in the scientific field represents a resource that can no longer be abandoned. So I am very proud to award six Brilliant young researchers, thanks to this scholarship, will be able to carry out their research projects in Italy.”
Also participating in the award ceremony were the Minister of Equal Opportunities and the family of Elena Bonetti, a former researcher at the University of Pavia and Assistant Professor of Mathematical Analysis at the University of Milan.
Bonetti spoke of the critical role that women will and will play in science: “I thank L’Oréal Italia – she said – for inviting me today and for their commitment to supporting young Italian researchers and their projects in the field of mathematics and science… When I was studying, it was believed that women were ‘less “Suitability” for stem themes is still very well established. Even today there are those who believe in this, but fortunately the desire and determination of women who pursue their dreams is much stronger. Our task is to help them and work to break down residual prejudices and ensure that they have equal opportunities compared to their male colleagues,” he explained .
“This is an essential step – as the minister commented – because in 10 years we will find ourselves in a changing world of work and the primary language to be able to live as champions will be the language of scientific subjects: from mathematics to chemistry, to physics. Fewer women in science means less wealth for the country. In fact, 75% of future jobs will require science skills, so it will be very important to open the doors to colleges and science careers to more and more women.”
The UNESCO-“For Women and Science” prize from L’Oréal has reached its twentieth edition in Italy. In these 20 years, we have actively contributed to supporting young researchers in their research projects and in their career path, with persistence and anticipation of the urgent need to achieve gender equality in research and in stem disciplines. Not only can women contribute significantly to scientific progress, but closing the gender gap will also have a positive impact on economic growth: we have estimated that in the European Union alone, GDP per capita will increase between 2.2 and 3% by 2050. Enrico Vicenti, Secretary General of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO commented.
University and Research Minister Maria Cristina Mesa declared in a written letter that “The Ministry of University and Research is working so that the paths of science and knowledge for current and future scholars are not an ascent full of obstacles but an increasingly open and rich field. The study and expression of talent should not be achievements but rights protected and supported by society. We We are catalysing women’s entry into the academic world of graduate studies by allocating 40% of scholarships to female researchers and imposing restrictions on gender budgeting and gender strategies to get money from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.” Maas concluded: “This award represents an important and encouraging initiative that will motivate women of great talent, ability and will to fit the position they deserve in science.”
The jury, also chaired by Professor Lucia Futano (Director of Research at the Honorary National Institute of Nuclear Physics) and made up of a panel of distinguished Italian university professors and scientific experts, selected the six winners from among more than two hundred and fifty applications received.
After careful evaluation, the researchers considered the most deserving of their stem-field projects are: Chiara Borsari, a pharmaceutical chemist who is developing innovative molecules to study the role of different proteins in the development of tumors, in order to open up the field. The Path to New Targeted Anticancer Therapies, Host Institute: University of Milan, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Project “Innovative Antidiabetic Strategies Based on Selective Activation of Covalent Inhibitors in Tumor”.
And again Marisa Brinza, an astrophysicist who specializes in using radio telescopes to study the influence of supermassive black holes on the evolution of the universe, Host Institute: National Institute of Astrophysics (Inaf): Institute for Radio Astronomy (Ira) and Astrophysical and Space Science Observatory (ASS) at Bologna, Project: “Blasts from the Past: Low-frequency Radio Observations to Study Life and Impacts”.
And again Martina Sechetti, a biologist dealing with the environment and management of domestic cat predation on wildlife at Linosa, Biodiversity Point, Host Institute: Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Turin: Data Analysis and Modeling Unit, Project: Predation of Vulnerable Species by Domestic Cats on Linosa Island, a biodiversity hotspot; Agnese Chiatti, Researcher in Applications of Cognitive Robotics and Computer Vision Systems, Host Institute: Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering at Politecnico di Milano: Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (AIRLab), Project ‘Neural Symbolic Methods for Improving the Visual Intelligence of Robots: The Case of Precision Agriculture’.
Then Vittoria Laghi, Structural Civil Engineer studying how 3D printing can be used in steel constructions to reduce their environmental impact, Host Institute: Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering, University of Bologna, Project “How to use 3D metal printing in order to create highly lattice structural elements efficiency; Sarah Moccia, Bioengineer and Researcher in Artificial Intelligence Methodologies for Automated Analysis of Medical Images with the Aim to Support Clinicians in Diagnostic and Therapeutic Pathways, Host Institute: Institute of Biorobotics and Department of Excellence in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Saint’ Anna High School, Project “Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare of Prematures” (4PretermsAICare) ): Artificial intelligence to support screening for disorders related to preterm birth.
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