Relive the "For Women in Science" Ceremony

The 16th Annual L’Oréal-UNESCO "For Women in Science" Awards were held in the Sorbonne’s historic lecture hall in Paris tonight, before an audience of stars from the worlds of science, economics, academia and culture. Relive this major event with our live coverage highlights.

7:30pm- The L'Oréal-UNESCO "For Women In Science" Ceremony, hosted by the french journalist Élizabeth Tchoungui, is about to begin in the Sorbonne’s historic lecture hall, in Paris



The room is full and attendees from every part of the world are excited to discover the 2014 "For Women in Science" Laureates and Fellows.


7:40pm- The Ceremony is introduced by François Weil, vice-chancellor of Académie de Paris


7:42pm- Projection of the 2014 official video of the L'Oréal-UNESCO "For Women in Science" program



We recognize the faces of this year's Laureates but also the faces of Reiko Kuroda, 2013 Laureate; and Elizabeth Blackburn, 2008 Laureate and 2009 Nobel Prize winner. The video ends with the L'Oréal-UNESCO "For Women in Science" program slogan since its creation in 1998: "The world needs Science. Science needs Women."


7:45pm- Irina BOKOVA, Director-General of UNESCO, and Jean-Paul AGON, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal and Chairman of the L’Oréal Foundation, take center stage to officially start the 16th L'Oréal-UNESCO "For Women in Science" Ceremony


They both explain how important this cause is for society, which is still growing and will need more and more scientific resources to solve issues we currently face or will face in the future.


Irina BOKOVA emphasizes that gender equality throughout the world is crucial:


Science and gender equality are two accelerators of development. By combining them, we can release an enormous force for the good of us all.” - Irina BOKOVA, Director-General of UNESCO




Jean-Paul AGON wants to make clear that, even if the state of women in science has evolved during the last decades, there is still critical need of further advancement. Indeed, today, less than 1 researcher in 3 is a woman, according to a report commissioned by the L’Oréal Foundation.


In science as in other fields, it is talent which makes the difference. It is unimaginable to exclude the talent of half of all humanity. Reward and highlight the women who have chosen this path is the duty of a corporate citizen like L’Oréal.” - Jean-Paul AGON, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal and Chairman of the L’Oréal Foundation


8:02pm- We now go to Sara RAVELLA, CEO of the L'Oréal Foundation, and Wendy WATSON WRIGHT, Executive Secretary and Assistant Director General, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, who will award the 2014 Fellows




8:04pm- The Fellows, gathered according to their region, are welcomed on stage


The Fellows from Europe & North America Fellows open the ball:


- Katalin CZONDOR (Hungary): Biology, Interdisciplinary Institute of Neuroscience, Bordeaux, France

- Selena GIMENEZ IBANEZ (Spain): Biotechnology University of Warwick Coventry, United Kingdom

- Ahu Arslan YILDIZ (Turkey): Biotechnology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts, USA


8:05pm- Now the Arabic States:


- Alia SHATANAWI (Jordan): Medicine, Georgia Regents University, Medical College of Georgia, Georgia, USA

- Adila ELOBEID (Soudan): Medicine, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

- Farah OUECHTATI (Tunisia): Biology, Institut de la vision, Paris, France


8:06pm- Then, Latin America & the Caribbean Fellows:


- Tania POZZO (Bolivia): Biotechnology, Department of Plant Science, UC Davis University of California, USA

- Francisca BARAKE (Chile): Biology, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, New York, USA

- Sandra LOPES VERGES (Panama): Biology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Texas, USA


8:07pm- And our Asia / Pacific Fellows:


- Mio OZAWA (Japan): Medicine, University College London, London, United Kingdom

- Gul SHAHNAZ (Pakistan): Pharmacy, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts, USA

- Jingme LI (Singapore): Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden


8:08pm- Last but not least, the African Fellows join the group:


- Bhama RAMKHELAWON (Mauritius): Biology, New York University Medical Center, New York, USA

- Aramide OSHINGBOYE (Nigeria): Biotechnology, University of Reading, United Kingdom

- Emma GRAY (South Africa): Biodiversity, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia


We are now looking at 15 international young women in science, being celebrated and photographed by everyone at La Sorbonne.


8:09pm- Elizabeth Tchongui now interviews some of the Fellows about their research and how they will use their L'Oréal-UNESCO "For Women in Science" fellowship


"Diabetes is an issue for my country but also the entire world. I am proud that my research benefits anyone, through the world" - Alia SHATANAWI


"This Fellowship allows us to be role models for young women" - Sandra LOPES VERGES

The Fellows return to their seats with more applause.


8:14pm- Professor Blobel, Nobel Prize recipient and Jury President for the Laureates, gives a video testimony of the year's scientific excellence




8:15pm- Now it's time to discover each of the 2014 L'Oréal-UNESCO "For Women in Science" Laureates


8:18pm- First up : Segenet Kelemu, Laureate for Africa



During her speech, Segenet Kelemu goes back to her roots and explains how much education has been at the heart of her career. Growing up in a small Ethipiaan village, she shares that she didn't want to follow the same path as other girls, and today she has no regrets.


She warmly gives thanks to her parents for the education they gave her, to the institutions she has visited, the Ethiopian government for supporting her research, to her professors and students, and to the Swedish government for financially contributing to research dedicated to Brachiaria. And obviously - her husband for being there every step of the way.



8:25pm- Now, Kayo Inaba, Laureate for Asia



Kayo Inaba recounts overcoming challenges during her career to be recognized in a male-dominated field. She was Kyoto University’s first female Associate Professor and she is currently Vice-President for Gender Equality and Director of the Center for Women Researchers.


She shows her support to women scientists in Japan and throughout the world, and encourages them to support each other and to communicate, for greater success.




8:34pm- Brigitte Kieffer, Laureate for Europe



Very moved while beginning her speech, Brigitte Kieffer would like to deliver a personal message, in French (because "science is international after all," she says)- she dedicates this Prize to her loved ones. She thanks her parents for pushing her to dream "without limits," her brother for building her character, her coworkers for supporting her, and her two children who make her so proud.


Then, she states that she wants to inspire young people in Europe to pursue science, to have dreams and to accomplish them.


The audience is now just as emotional as Brigitte Kieffer, and we can feel it in the air.





8:45pm- Cecilia Bouzat, Laureate for Latin America



The Argentinian scientist takes the floor and starts by thanking the L'Oréal Foundation and UNESCO for this prize, but also for believing in her the first time, when she received a local fellowship in 2007. Cecilia Bouzat explains that she wants to develop research in Argentina to allow scientists to have careers in their home country.


She mentions that women can succeed and combine career and family: she thanks her husband and her two children, watching from the audience, for supporting her day after day.





8:53pm- Finally, Laurie Glimcher, Laureate for North America



All through her speech, Laurie Glimcher shares her passion for science, and more specifically for Immunology. She explains how exciting it is to conduct research that will someday help the entire world and cure a part of the population.


She also says that, to succeed, you need to be a risk-taker and push the limits. She mentions her husband and her 3 children (her oldest son describes her as a "rockstar scientist") and says that for nothing in the world would she stop falling in love with her family or with science.




9pm- Jean-Paul AGON and Irina BOKOVA join the five 2014 L'Oréal-UNESCO "For Women in Science"  Laureates on the scene, to award them



The audience applaudes these 5 talented women role models.


9:15pm- The Ceremony is nearing its end


The Laureates and Fellows are on the scene with Jean-Paul AGON and Professeur BLOBEL, loudly applauded by the audience.



If you take away one lesson from this 16th Ceremony, it should be: "Dream big, push the limits, and be supported by your loved ones."



L’Oréal–UNESCO
For Women in Science

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