Jillian Banfield, UC Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science, of environmental science policy and management and of materials science, was one of five women honored on March 3 at the 13th Annual L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards ceremony in Paris. The elaborate festivities included the showing of a video interview with Banfield, who discussed her research and her philosophy of science.
Professor Ahmed Zewail, winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and President of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards Jury, hosted the ceremony recognizing the five Laureates of the 2011 program. The five outstanding women scientists – one per continent – were honored for their research contributions, the strength of their commitments and their impact on society.
“Only 10 percent of university professors and fewer than 5 percent of science academics are women; so much talent is wasted because girls turn away from these types of fields,” commented Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO. “By encouraging women in science & technology we hope to change the face of research.”
“More than ever, the world needs science and science needs women; it also needs heart and passion,” commented Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, chairman of L’Oréal and the L’Oréal Foundation. “Today, our For Women in Science programme is a great success. Among all the initiatives that I have had the chance to develop, it is most certainly the one which brings me the most joy, and of which I am the most proud.”
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