The 2017 L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Awards

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The 2017 Edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards celebrates the excellency, the creativity and the intelligence of 5 eminent women scientists. The 5 Laureates will receive on March 23rd at La Maison de la Mutualité in Paris a Prize of 100,000 € each to commend their contribution to science in physical sciences, quantum physics and astrophysics.

Because recognizing women scientists requires the general public awareness, the L'Oréal Corporate Foundation and UNESCO organize a week of training on public speaking and an international communication campaign launched on March 15th, 2017 in the airports of Paris and Dubai, where travellers will discover an exhibition of portraits of the 5 Laureates, in partnership with JCDecaux and Aéroports de Paris.

Because science is universal, it is essential to mobilize an international audience. This is why, for the first time, this year, the ceremony on March 23rd, 2017 will be broadcasted live to internet users globally on the social networks of L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women and Science program, and UNESCO. From March 26th, 2017, an exclusive documentary series - "Women in Science " - will also be broadcast every Sunday evening on France 24.  

Professor Niveen M. KHASHAB
Associate Professor of Chemical Sciences at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, SAUDI ARABIA
For designing novel nanoparticles that could improve early detection of disease.
Her work in analytical chemistry could lead to more targeted and personalized medical treatment.

Professor Michelle SIMMONS
Director, Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at the University of New South Wales, AUSTRALIA
For pioneering ultra-fast quantum computers.
Her work on atomic-scale transistors could give birth to tomorrow’s computers.

Professor Nicola A. SPALDIN
Head of the Materials Theory Group at the Swiss Federal Technical University in Zurich, SWITZERLAND
For reinventing magnetic materials for next-generation electronic devices.
Her research on multiferroic materials could lead to a new generation of electronic equipment components.

Professor Maria Teresa RUIZ
Professor at the Department of Astronomy at the University of Chile, CHILE
For discovering a new type of celestial body, halfway between a star and a planet, hidden in the darkness of the universe.
Her observations on brown dwarfs could answer the universal question of whether there is life on other planets.

Professor Zhenan BAO
Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University, UNITED STATES

For inventing skin-inspired electronic materials.
Her research on flexible, stretchable and conductive materials could improve the quality of life of patients with prostheses.


Since 1998, the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation and UNESCO have been committed to women in science, to increase the number of women working in scientific research. 150 years after Marie Curie’s birth, still only 28%* of researchers and only 3% of Scientific Nobel Prizes are awarded to them. That is why, for the past 19 years, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme has worked to honour and accompany women researchers at key moments in their careers. Since the programme began, it has supported more than 2,700 young women from 115 countries and celebrated 97 Laureates, at the peak of their careers, including professors Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Ada Yonath, who went on to win a Nobel Prize.


The program has supported in 2016 more than 260 young women scientists who are the “scientists of tomorrow” by accompanying them at a key moment in their careers, during their PhD thesis or post-doctoral studies. A L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science fellowship is awarded to these researchers at national and regional ceremonies that take place in more than 45 different countries. Since 2001, the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation and UNESCO have supported more than 2700 young women from 115 countries.

Each year, among the national and regional fellows, the fifteen most promising young researchers are also honored as “International Rising Talents”. These scientists will be recognized during a Gala Dinner on March 21st, 2017.

For more information:

*UNESCO Science Report Toward 2030, 2015