L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science 2014: ceremony in Johannesburg [fr]
Ten young female scientists from Southern Africa were rewarded with research bursaries from the foundation L’Oréal-UNESCO (5000€ per PhD student and 10 000€ per post-doctoral student), at the "For Women in Science 2014" awards organized on 26 November 2014 in Johannesburg.
Among the 250 candidates from the area, two South African researchers were chosen for the number, the quality and the innovation of their research:
- Dr Candice Rassie (University of the Western Cape) is developing a biocaptor in order to determine the metabolic profile of patients suffering of tuberculosis. This will help define how long they need to absorb the anti-tuberculosis treatments;
- Dr Philiswa Nomngongo (University of Johannesburg) is developing a method to analyse metals in food, water, petrol, in order to reduce their negative effects on the human body.
Among the 8 other awarded candidates from Nigeria, Ghana, Benin and Soudan, a Nigerian post-doctorate student, Omowunmi Isafiade, is currently working at the Cape Town University in the field of Smart-Security.
The South African minister for Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, opened the ceremony with a speech highlighting the strategic orientations of her policy to improve the teaching of maths and science to girls from as early as primary school, and to increase the number of female researchers, in particular in key scientific fields (engineering, biotechnology, space, astronomy, ICT). The minister mentioned concrete initiatives implemented during her term in office, such as the recent creation of 20 new chairs of excellence (SARChl) exclusively chaired by women.