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UNN Professor among top five women scientists for L Oreal UNESCO awards

UNN Professor- Women scientists for L Oreal UNESCO awards

 A lecturer from the University of Nigeria (UNN), Prof Francisca Nneka Okeke, is among top five women to win $100,000 prize money at the 2013 Women in Science Awards of the L’Oreal Foundation and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The L’Oreal Foundation and UNESCO cited Prof Okeke of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UNN, for her research on understanding daily variations of the ion currents in the upper atmosphere.

According to UNESCO, the research by Prof Okeke and the other Laureates, as the scientists are called, “demonstrates exceptionally original approaches to fundamental research in the Physical Sciences”.

Winners of the awards will receive their $100,000 prize money at an awards ceremony in Paris in March next year.

Speaking on the award, Prof Okeke said: “I felt very excited, was full of joy and I knelt down to worship God.”

According to her, the award will inspire other people, especially women to venture into the world of Physics because it will open up many opportunities for them. “Physics is all about life and life is all about physics”, she stated.

Other winners of the award are: Prof Pratibha GAI, University of York (United Kingdom); Prof Reiko KURODA, Tokyo University of Science (Japan); Prof Marcia BARBOSA, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre (Brazil); and Prof Deborah JIN, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and University of Colorado, Boulder (USA).

Prof Ahmed Zewail, winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and Linus Pauling Chair Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Physics, California Institute of Technology, chaired the awards jury.

UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova praised the works of the five awardees.

“These five outstanding women scientists have given the world a better understanding of how nature works. Their pioneering research and discoveries have changed the way we think in various areas of the physical sciences and opened new frontiers in science and technology. Such key developments have the potential to transform our society.

Source: thenationonlineng.net

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