UK Scientist Professor Dame Carol Robinson has been named the 2015 European Laureate in 17th annual L’ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards.
Five women from around the globe, one from each continent, have been recognised for their contribution to science at the annual L’ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards, held at The Sorbonne in Paris earlier this year.
Amongst these women is Professor Dame Carol Robinson, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, who has been named the ‘2015 European Laureate’.
The €100,000 award celebrates the outstanding achievements of women in science and is recognised as one of the premier international science awards.
Professor Robinson was chosen for creating a revolutionary method for studying how proteins function, particularly membrane proteins, and establishing a whole new scientific field: gas phase structural biology.
The Laureates were selected through nominations by a network of nearly 1,000 members of the international scientific community and then by an awards jury made up of 12 prominent scientists.
This year’s five Laureates are being honoured for their ground-breaking discoveries in the physical sciences.
The other winners were:
- Professor Molly Shoichet, University of Toronto (Canada) Organic Chemistry. For her pioneering approach to biomaterial development to regenerate damaged nerve tissue and for her development of a new method to deliver drugs to the spinal cord and brain.
- Professor Rajaa Cherkaoui El Moursli, Mohammed V- Agdal University, Rabat (Morocco) High Energy Physics and Nuclear Physics. For her key contribution to the effort that led to the detection of the Higgs boson, the particle responsible for the creation of mass in the universe.
- Professor Yie Xie, University of Science & Technology of China, Hefei (China) Inorganic Chemistry. For her significant contributions to creating new materials a few atoms thick with promising applications in electronics and in conversion of heat or sunlight into electricity.
- Professor Thaisa Storchi Bergmann, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre (Brazil) Physics and Astronomy. For her outstanding work leading to the understanding of how massive black holes form in the centers of galaxies, evolve and shape them.
Robinson’s career path is particularly inspiring: she left school at 16, then studied part time whilst working, and then took an 8 year career break to raise her children before returning to academia. She was the first female Professor of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and then the first female Professor of Chemistry at the University Oxford. Robinson is passionate about encouraging women into the world of science.
“It is important to follow your passion and to be committed,” said Robinson. “There are so many positives about being a scientist - opportunities to present your research, to interact at conferences and to carry out collaborations across the world. It really is a great career choice.”
Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal and Chairman of L’Oréal Foundation said: “We are very proud to have changed the face of science by supporting women in science. We are convinced that science and women bring hope and foster discovery, innovation and excellence. L’Oréal believes in women, L’Oréal believes in science.”
Women in Science has grown into a global programme that includes International, Regional and National Fellowships and an international network of more than 2,250