About the Author: Ambassador David T. Killion serves as U.S. Permanent Representative to UNESCO.
I was honored to attend the 12th annual L'Oreal-UNESCO awards ceremony for women in science hosted by UNESCO on Wednesday, March 3. Women scientists from Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa and North America are nominated each year as laureates for their contributions to research and excellence in the sciences.
This year, the North American laureate is Dr. Elaine Fuchs from Rockefeller University in New York City, who recently received the National Medal of Science from President Obama. We're so proud of Dr. Fuchs, and I also want to mention the other laureates: Dr. Anne Dejean-Assemat from France, Dr. Rashika El Ridi from Egypt, Dr. Lourdes Cruz from the Philippines and Dr. Alejandra Bravo from Mexico. Last year, two former laureates from the United States and Israel were awarded Nobel prizes; this prize is certainly an indicator of even greater things to come.
UNESCO showcases its vital role in promoting science focused international communication and networking opportunities through events such as its flagship L'Oreal-UNESCO prize. It's inspiring to see the five laureates here in the presence of previous prizewinners and new fellows. The L'Oreal- UNESCO partnership has also awarded doctorate and post-doctorate fellowships to fifteen women from around the world. Many of these fellows will conduct important research and create lasting collaboration at U.S. institutions, including: the University of Minnesota, Harvard Medical School, Baylor College of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and the University of Pittsburgh.
With this ceremony following on the heels of Presidential Science Envoy Dr. Elias Zerhouni's February visit to UNESCO, the potential for scientific innovation and collaboration has never been brighter.