Home Business The L’Oréal-Unesco International Award “For Women in Science” also speaks Italian

The L’Oréal-Unesco International Award “For Women in Science” also speaks Italian

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The L’Oréal-Unesco International Award “For Women in Science” also speaks Italian

Female scientific excellence also counts on Italian women. On June 22nd and 23rd, the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO celebrated 45 eminent female scientists from over 35 countries and all regions of the world with two awards ceremonies organized at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, on the occasion of the International Award “For Women in Science”, an award that also exists in Italy and which each year selects the best young scientists of our country.

For science, the past three years have been one of the most challenging moments in recent history. Women have found themselves at the forefront of facing unprecedented issues related to climate change, disease and health crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Although essential in dealing with the emergencies of today’s world, female scientists still lack sufficient visibility and numerical representation.

From 20 June and throughout the week, Paris has become the meeting point of some of the world‘s leading scientific minds. The Ceremony of 23 June welcomed the “Graduates” of the last three editions, 15 extraordinary researchers who received the L’Oréal-UNESCO International Award “For Women in Science” in recognition of the important scientific achievements achieved in recent years, while in the Ceremony of 22 June 30 young female scientists, selected in 2020 and 2022, were awarded the title “International Rising Talents” and recognized for their talent internationally.

Among the awarded names there is also an Italian: Natalia Bruno, 36, from Battipaglia, is one of the 15 most promising young researchers at an international level, one of the awarded International Rising Talents of the L’Oréal and Unesco For Women in Science program during the Paris Ceremony. Selected from 260 doctoral and post-doctoral students who last year won in their respective countries the scholarship that the L’Oréal and Unesco program finances to support their research projects, Natalia is a researcher at the National Institute of Optics ( Ino) of the CNR of Florence.

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Graduated with honors in Physics from the La Sapienza University of Rome, Natalia in fact won one of the six Italian For Women in Science scholarships in 2021, which allowed her to carry on her project. The name of the project that Natalia Bruno is carrying out is “AQTRESS” (Atomic Quantum Technologies for Reliable Engineering of Solid State devices – Atomic quantum technologies for the design of solid state devices). The aim of the project is to allow the use of quantum technologies in practical applications, in particular in telecommunications.

«I’m Natalia Bruno, I come from Battipaglia in the province of Salerno and I work at Cnr INO, the National Institute of Optics – said the scientist during the award ceremony -. As a child I didn’t want to be a researcher, I wanted to be an artist. However, my mother, who was also a graduate in physics, always made me play with small experiments in optics and thermodynamics, even if I couldn’t know what it was. I attended the classical high school in Eboli, then at the university, a little instinctively, I chose to study physics which has become my passion. After a journey abroad, with a doctorate in Switzerland and a post doctorate in Spain, I returned to Italy and this journey, together with my research project, first led me to win the L’Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science award. Italian in 2021 and then the International Raising Talent Award in 2022 “and then added:” Having won the national L’Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science award in 2021 has meant a lot for my scientific career because this initiative greatly enhances our careers and at the same time offers visibility with the general public and in society to try to break down the stereotype of the scientist as a typically male profession. Gender shouldn’t hinder academic careers. “

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Countering the marginalization of women in science
According to data recently collected by UNESCO, the number of women embarking on a scientific career reports limited growth, with only one in three researchers being a woman globally. In the world of research, the “glass ceiling” is still present: in Europe only 14% 2 of top academic positions are held by women and only 4% of the Nobel Prizes in Science have been awarded to a woman.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic we have seen how the role of female scientists is essential to respond to the threats that undermine our health, society and the planet. Nevertheless, women continue to lack visibility and often, in the course of their careers and during research studies, they face enormous obstacles – said Alexandra Palt, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer of L’Oréal and CEO of the L’Oréal Foundation. -. This situation is the result of systemic barriers, unconscious preconceptions and self-censorship, but also of discrimination. It is not a problem that affects only women: it is a problem for research. To be meaningful, research must be inclusive and field all the talents available “.

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