Israeli scientist Edith Naor 370.
(photo credit: Torsten Elraz)
Two young women scientists received NIS 50,000 research scholarships on Tuesday
night as part of the local competition for the L’Oréal-UNESCO program for Women
in Science, which has been functioning annually for 15 years.
Israeli women have received the prize in the international competition – three
of them in the past three years, making Israel a “powerhouse” in the
Natali Zeituni and Edith Naor each received the local prize and
will be candidates for the international prize.
Zeituni, a Ben-Gurion
University of the Negev scientist in structural biology, is doing important
research on disease-producing bacteria, especially on tuberculosis. She will go
to the University of British Columbia in Canada to conduct her
Naor of Tel Aviv University is studying toxoplasma parasites
and their ability to infect any warm-blooded animal.
She will conduct her
research at Stanford University in the US.
Among the judges in the local
race were Israel Prize laureate and Israel Academy of the Sciences president
Prof. Ruth Arnon (also a former L’Oréal- UNESCO winner) and Nobel Prize in
Chemistry laureate Prof. Ada Yonath.
The ceremony was attended by French
Ambassador Christophe Bigot, Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri
and Nava Ravid, CEO of L’Oréal-Israel.
Peri said that “encouraging women
to conduct scientific research is a global and business challenge” and
represents a major national and social interest for Israel. Ravid added that
“scientists are curious by nature, search for the truth and try to separate fact
Anyone who can meet these criteria can work in science,
whether it is a man or a woman. Everything else is popular mythology. The
triangle of L’Oréal, science and women is a winning combination that cannot be
L’Oréal is a global company in the field of cosmetics that
operates out of 130 countries, including Israel. UNESCO is a UN organization to
promote education, science and culture worldwide.