Five prominent women scientists has been awarded with the ninth UNESCO-L'Oreal prize for Women and Science in a ceremony in Paris.
The women scientists who were honored on Thursday at UNESCO's headquarters included Ameenah Gurib-Fakim from Mauritius for her contribution in compilation of her country's plant inventory and her research in biomedical application, Ligia Gargallo from Chile for her long range flexible molecular solution studies.
Also awarded were Mildred Dressel from the United States for her theoretical and physical studies in carbon nanotube, Margaret Brimble from New Zealand for a thesis on complex natural products, and particularly toxins found in molluscs, and finally Tatianna Birshtein from Russia for her research in forms, sizes and long range molecular movements.
The five winners, who will each receive 100,000 dollars, were selected by an international jury after deliberations presided by Pierre-Gille de Gennes, winner of Nobel Prize for Physics, in the presence of Christian de Duve, winner of Nobel Prize for Medicine.
The UNESCO-L'Oreal Prize was created in 1998 by private companies and intergovernmental organizations to recognize the contribution of outstanding women researchers in the field of science and to encourage women participation in science research. Up to now, 47 scientists from 24 countries have been awarded.
According to a UNESCO study in 2006, women only represent 27 percent of researchers in the world.