21 Female Scientists Who Slay

Having trouble naming an outstanding female scientist? Well, here are 21 to get you started.

AsianScientist (Mar. 8, 2018) – In celebration of International Women’s Day, we turn the spotlight on 21 female scientists who have gone against the odds and forged paths for themselves in the male-dominated world of science and technology.

The fact remains that only a third of the enrollees in STEM courses globally are female, while women make up only 19-23 percent of the researchers in Asia

The figures also widely differ across countries within these regions. In Southeast Asia, for example, the Philippines and Thailand appear to be a better place for female scientists as women make up 52 percent of the scientific workforce. In contrast, only one in every three scientists in Indonesia and Singapore are women.

Interestingly, in countries considered the leaders of scientific research in Asia like Japan and South Korea, as few as 15 percent and 18 percent are female.

Though they may still be in the minority, women scientists nonetheless excel in their respective fields. From research that paved the way for the discovery of a genetic marker for breast cancer to groundbreaking research in microbial hazards that led to policy reforms, these 21 women who have made it to this year’s Asian Scientist 100 list are contributing to science at the highest levels.

1. Lucille V. Abad

Photo: Civil Service Commission of the Philippines

Abad received the Julian A. Banzon Medal as a 2017 Outstanding Research and Development Awardee for her research on using irradiated seaweed as a plant growth supplement.

2. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay

Photo: Infosys Science Foundation

Bandyopadhyay received the Infosys Prize 2017 in Engineering and Computer Science for her research in algorithmic optimization, which has led to the discovery of a genetic marker for breast cancer and the role of white blood cells in Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Chang Meemann

Photo: St Louis University

The first woman to head China’s Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chang received the 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award for her pioneering work on fossil records leading to insights on how aquatic vertebrates adapted to life on land.

4. Pimchai Chaiyen

Photo: Mahidol University

Chaiyen, who won the 2003 L’Oréal Thailand For Women in Science Award, received the 2017 L’Oréal Woman Scientist Crystal Award for her research into a cleaner way to produce chemicals.

5. Choi Sookyung Gyeongsang

Photo: Ho-am Foundation

A renowned particle physicist, Choi received the 2017 Ho-Am Prize for her discovery of a new class of subatomic particles named XYZ mesons. Together with her colleagues in the Belle experiment, Choi was the first to observe the X(3872) meson, a subatomic particle made of quarks and gluons. Although such exotic hadrons were first proposed over 50 years ago, they were only found by experimentalists in 2003 and subsequently confirmed by seven other experimental groups, making them the first and most well-understood type of XYZ meson.

6. Tanzima Hashem

Photo: Tanzima Hashem

Hashem was awarded the 2017 Elsevier Foundation Award for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World for her work in developing computational approaches to privacy protection.

7. Napida Hinchiranan

Photo: Chulalongkorn University

Hinchiranan was awarded the 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship for her studies on using natural rubber to create value-added products.
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Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning science and technology magazine that highlights R&D news stories from Asia to a global audience. The magazine is published by Singapore-headquartered Wildtype Media Group.

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