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Last Updated:  Monday, 31 March, 2003, 13:23 GMT 14:23 UK
Women in science award for professor
A chemistry professor has become the first recipient of a UK Government-funded award to identify role models for women in science.

Only 5% of UK professors of maths, science and engineering are women
Professor Susan Gibson, who works in synthetic chemistry at King's College London, is the first person to receive the Rosalind Franklin Award.

The medal is named after the DNA pioneer who died before her achievements could be recognised with a Nobel Prize.

"Susan Gibson is an excellent role model for any young woman considering a career in science," said Patricia Hewitt, Trade and Industry Secretary and Minister for Women.

"Her success shows that women can enjoy high-flying careers and help raise a family.

"Thankfully the days when female scientists like Rosalind Franklin endured blatant prejudice and sexism from their male peers are long gone but there is still a long way to go," she said.

Many more candidates

Professor Gibson said that she was very pleased to receive the medal, which is accompanied by a 30,000 award.

"I just wish there were more medals for my colleagues - there are many good female scientists out there who deserve this kind of recognition.

Women can enjoy high-flying careers and help raise a family
Patricia Hewitt
"I also hope that this award will encourage more women to consider working in science, engineering or technology.

"It is an extremely exciting and rewarding job, and one in which a woman can have a successful career and, if they wish, combine with having a family as well," she said.

Professor Gibson will use the 30,000 to finance a tour of British universities by successful international female chemists.

The rest will go on funding the continued research of one of her female post-doctoral colleagues.

The Rosalind Franklin Award was established following a report by Baroness Greenfield in 2002 which said that the British scientific establishment was guilty of institutionalised sexism.




SEE ALSO:
'Secret of life' discovery turns 50
27 Feb 03  |  Science/Nature
Women scientists 'losing out'
28 Nov 02  |  Science/Nature


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