Kyoko Nozaki Wins 2021 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award

Pioneering synthetic chemist Kyoko Nozaki from the University of Tokyo is one of the winners of the 2021 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award.

AsianScientist (Feb. 17, 2021) – Professor Kyoko Nozaki from the University of Tokyo is one of the five women to receive the 2021 L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Award. The recognition was announced on February 11, also known as the International Day for Women and Girls in Science.

To champion and elevate the scientific achievements of women, L’Oréal and UNESCO recognize each year exceptional women researchers from five regions across the world, including Asia and the Pacific. These five women scientists are selected by an independent jury consisting of eminent members of the scientific community.

Nozaki is this year’s awardee of the regional prize for Asia and the Pacific, winning €100,000 in prize money for her outstanding scientific contributions. Other 2021 laureates of the International Award are Professor Catherine Ngila of the African Academy of Sciences; Professor Shafi Goldwasser of the University of California Berkeley; Professor Françoise Combes of the Collège de France; and Professor Alicia Dickensein of the University of Buenos Aires.

Nozaki was recognized for her pioneering efforts in the field of synthetic chemistry. Specifically, her research group designs ‘molecular catalysts’ to manufacture molecules useful in medicine and agriculture in new, efficient and environmentally-friendly ways. Considering that only around 16 percent of Japan’s STEM researchers are women, Nozaki’s achievements are even more notable.

First established in 1998, the For Women in Science program has since supported over 3,600 women researchers across 117 countries through fellowships and other awards including International Rising Talents. Through these initiatives, L’Oreal and UNESCO hope to reduce the hurdles often faced by women scientists in their careers and inspire younger generations of women to pursue science.

“It is not enough to attract women to a scientific or technological discipline. We must also know how to retain them, ensuring that their careers are not strewn with obstacles and that their achievements are recognized and supported by the international scientific community,” concluded Dr. Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, Assistant UNESCO Director-General for Natural Sciences.


Source: UNESCO; Illustration: Oi Keat Lam/AsianScientist.
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