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L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards Announced
April 1, 2007

Carbon nanotubes. Bio-medical applications of plants. Medicinal chemistry. The properties of polymers in solution. The self-organizing properties of large molecules. These are the fields of study in which five women scientists have distinguished themselves–women from five continents who recently received the prestigious 2007 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Award For Women in Science at UNESCO House in Paris, France. The 2007 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Laureates are leaders in their fields and have nearly two centuries of combined research experience among them.

Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, Chairman of L’ORÉAL, and Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, presented each Laureate with her $100,000 award. Nobel Laureate Professor Pierre-Gilles de Gennes of the Collège de France in Paris presided over the ceremony. Baroness Susan Greenfield of Oxford University and the Royal Institution of Great Britain – a world-renowned and thought-provoking advocate of women in science – delivered the keynote address.

This year’s North American Laureate is Dr. Mildred Dresselhaus, Institute Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Dresselhaus was selected for conceptualizing the creation of carbon nanotubes. Due to their small size, high strength and electrical conductivity, carbon nanotubes are ideal for new materials used in objects such as lightweight bicycles and flat-panel screens. Dr. Dresselhaus has conducted scientific research for more than four decades and was the first tenured woman professor at MIT’s School of Engineering and one of the first women to receive a Fulbright Fellowship. Dr. Dresselhaus, a native of the Bronx, N.Y., wrote the paper that defined – and continues to define – this field of study.

Now in its ninth year, the L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Award For Women in Science is the only one of its kind to honor eminent women scientists at the international level. The five Laureates are nominated by respected scientists from around the world and a jury of 14 distinguished international scientists selects the final recipients.

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