Realizing that the low representation of women in science and engineering is a major hindrance to global capacity building in science and technology, the IAC formed an Advisory Panel on Women for science with the mandate to review previous studies, provide examples of effective projects already implemented, and issue a set of actionable recommendations addressed particularly to the world’s science and engineering academies.
The recommendations and action items developed through the work of this Panel are presented in this report and are grouped around three themes:
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Johanna (Anneke) LEVELT SENGERS Netherlands, where she obtained her Ph.D. in physics at the University of Amsterdam. She joined the U.S.A.’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 1963, where she is presently a scientist emeritus. Dr Levelt Sengers’ main professional interest is fluids and fluid mixtures. She was a Group Leader at NIST from 1978 to 1987 and a NIST Fellow from 1983 to 1995. She is past President of, and was the U.S.A.’s representative to, the International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam. A member both of the U.S.A.’s National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering, Dr Levelt Sengers is a corresponding member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has received an honorary doctorate from the Technical University Delft, Netherlands, and was the 2003 North American Laureate of the L’Oréal- UNESCO ‘For Women in Science’ Awards.
Manju SHARMA is the President and Executive Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Research, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. She is a former Secretary to the Government of India for the Department of Biotechnology. Responsible in this post for boosting the development of biotechnology in India, she set up many new research institutes and spread the educational network for biotechnology all over the country. She has initiated major programmes for the inclusion of women in science and technology. Dr Sharma has received honorary doctorates from many universities in India, as well as many national and international awards. She was the first female President of India’s National Academy of Sciences. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the United Nations University’s Institute for Advanced Studies, a member of the Advisory Panel on Agricultural Biotechnology of the U.S.A.’s Agency for International Development, and a Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences.
Advisory report panelists
Ken-ichi ARAI received his M.D. in 1967 from the University of Tokyo and his Ph. D. in biochemistry in 1974 from the same university. Dr Arai worked for the University of Tokyo before moving to the U.S.A. to join the DNAX Research Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the faculty of Stanford University. He is presently Emeritus Professor of the University of Tokyo and a visiting professor at four different universities. Dr Arai was one of the founders of the Asia-Pacific International Molecular Biology Network and served as its President for the first five years. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, serving as chair of Networking Industrial Relationship and Biotechnology. Always a strong advocate of promoting women in science, the fact that Japan’s academic institutions now have women professors is due in large part to his efforts.
Jocelyn BELL BURNELL retired in 2004 from a three-year deanship at the University of Bath and is currently a visiting professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford. As a graduate student at Cambridge University she discovered pulsars, and later worked at the University of Southampton, University College London, and the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh. Dr Bell Burnell has received numerous awards —including the Oppenheimer Prize, the Michelson Medal, the Tinsley Prize, and the Magellanic Premium (all from learned bodies in the U.S.A.) and the Herschel Medal from the U.K.’s Royal Astronomical Society—and she is much in demand as a public speaker. In 1999 she toured Australia, giving the Women in Physics Lecture. Dr Bell Burnell recently completed a term as President of the Royal Astronomical Society, is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and has been elected a Foreign Member of the U.S.A.’s National Academy of Sciences.
Ayse ERZAN is Professor of Physics at the Istanbul Technical University and a Researcher at the Feza Gursey Institute for Basic Science. Her research has long been in statistical physics, which she has more recently been applying to biological problems. She is involved in ethics, human rights, and science-education initiatives. Professor Erzan is a member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences. She received the Turkish Scientific and Technical Council Science award in 1997 and was the 2003 European Laureate of the L’Oréal-UNESCO ‘For Women in Science’ Awards.
Nancy IP has been on the faculty of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology since 1993, and is currently the Head of Biochemistry and Director both of the Biotechnology Research Institute and the Molecular Neuroscience Centre. Known for her work on neuronal signal transduction and neurodegenerative diseases, she holds 14 patents and 150 publications have received more than 11,000 citations. Professor Ip obtained her Ph.D. from Harvard University and has seven years of industrial experience in the U.S.A. A founding member of the Asian-Pacific International Molecular Biology Network, she has garnered numerous honors; for example, Professor Ip won the National Natural Science Award (2003) and was the 2004 China Laureate of the L’Oréal-UNESCO ‘For Women in Science’ Awards. She has also been elected as Academician both of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2001) and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (2004).
Lydia MAKHUBU is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Swaziland. She has served on numerous consulting bodies and professional societies, was President of the Royal Swaziland Society of Science and Technology, and is a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences and President of the Third World Organization for Women in Science.
Armando PARODI is a Laboratory Head and Professor at the Fundacion Instituto Leloir, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Well known for his research on protein structure, he has worked at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, the U.S.A.’s Duke University, and the University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dr Parodi, a Foreign Associate of the U.S.A.’s National Academy of Sciences, served on the Jury of the 2004 L’Oréal-UNESCO ‘For Women in Science’ Awards. He is highly regarded for his knowledge of the situation of women scientists in Argentina as well as throughout Latin America.
Anne STEVENS is the first female Executive Vice President in the Ford Motor Company’s history and the highest ranking woman in the automotive industry. Elected in October 2005 to her post of Executive Vice President and to that of Chief Operating Officer for the Americas, she will lead the Company’s core operations, including product development, manufacturing, and purchasing, in that region of the world. Prior to becoming Chief Operating Officer, Ms Stevens was Group Vice President for Canada, Mexico, and South America. Earlier in her career at Ford she worked in the U.K., at a time when women engineers were virtually unknown in Europe. Thus she has experienced first-hand, and on three continents, the barriers faced by women engineers. Ms Stevens has been named four times to Fortune magazine’s list of ‘50 Most Powerful Women in Business.’ She was elected to the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin in 2002. Ms Stevens is a member of the U.S.A.’s National Academy of Engineering.
Jennifer THOMSON is Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Cape Town, Republic of South Africa. She develops genetically modified plants and is an adviser to the Council for Biotechnology Information in the U.S.A. Professor Thomson is cofounder of the Association of South African Women in Science and Engineering and since 2003 has been Chair of the Board of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation. A member of the Council of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa, she was the 2004 African Laureate of the L’Oréal- UNESCO ‘For Women in Science’ Awards. In 2005, Professor Thomson received an honorary doctorate from the University of Paris.