What you need to know:
- Kenya’s scientist and lecturer, Prof Catherine Ngila is among the top five women researchers globally crowned as the 2021 L’Oréal-Unesco Laureates.
- The awards recognised the five women researchers in mathematics, astrophysics, chemistry and informatics globally.
- Prof Ngila is recognized for introducing, developing and applying nanotechnology-based analytical methods to monitor water pollutants.
Kenyan scientist and lecturer, Prof Catherine Ngila is among the top five women researchers globally crowned as the 2021 L’Oréal-Unesco Laureates.
The awards recognised the five women researchers in mathematics, astrophysics, chemistry and informatics globally. They were honoured during the International Day of Women and Girls in Science held on February 11.
Prof Catherine Ngila holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Master’s of Science in Chemistry from Kenyatta University. She also has a PhD in Analytical Environmental Chemistry from the University of South Wales, Australia.
She is currently the acting Executive Director of the African Academy of Sciences, former Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic and Student Affairs (DVC-AA) at Riara University and a visiting Professor of Applied Chemistry at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.
She is recognized for introducing, developing and applying nanotechnology-based analytical methods to monitor water pollutants.
Her innovative work is of vital importance for the development of water resource management in an environmentally sustainable way.
The other four women awardees include Prof Kyojo Nozaki a professor of Chemistry in Tokyo Japan, Professor Shafi Goldwasser the Director of the Simons Institute for Theory of Computing and professor in electrical and computer science in MIT USA, Prof Franscoise Combes, chair of Galaxies and Cosmogy in France, and Prof Alicia Dickenstein a mathematics professor at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The awards are part of the 23rd international prize for women in science.
L’Oréal-Unesco has worked to support women scientists’ careers since 1998, and works to remove the hurdles that stand on their way.
Unesco Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences Shamila Nair Bedouelle said it is not enough to attract women to a scientific or technological discipline.
International scientific community
“We must also know how to retain them, ensuring that their careers are not strewn with obstacles that their achievements are recognized and supported by the international scientific community,” she said.
Head of L’Oréal Foundation Alexandra Part, said tless than four per cent of the scientific Nobel prizes have been awarded to women and the glass ceiling still persists in research today.
“The 'invisibilization' of women in science is still too significant… While the gender imbalance remains in science, we will never be able to meet the challenges of an inclusive society or to tackle the scientific issues the world is facing,” he said
So far, it has supported more than 3,600 women researchers in 117 countries rewarding scientific excellence and inspiring young generation of women to pursue science as a career.