Their careers are still at an early stage, beginning in labs in Nigeria, Sudan and Vietnam. Now, they have a new way to engage the global science community. In a new five-minute film, women researchers from the developing world discuss how high-profile recognition of their scientific contributions is affecting their careers and lives.
“When you receive an award, especially an international award, you are empowered, you are energized to do more,” says Mojisola Usikalu, a physicist with Covenant University in Ota, Nigeria, and one of the five winners.
Four physicists and a mathematician won the 2015 Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World earlier this year, in recognition of research with the potential to benefit humanity.
The winners are Mojisola Oluwyemisi Adeniyi, Mojisola Usikalu and Rabia Salihu Sa’id of Nigeria, Nashwa Eassa of Sudan and Dang Thi Oanh of Vietnam. Their work is in nanoparticle physics, computational mathematics, atmospheric and medical physics. They are also celebrated for encouraging young women in their home countries to pursue careers in the critically important fields of physics and math.
The film was produced by Nicole Leghissa, a filmmaker from Trieste, Italy, where TWAS is headquartered. Her past films include "Seeds of Science", a documentary about the work done in Kenya by TWAS-supported scientists, and "CAS-TWAS Centres of Excellence", about opportunities in Beijing, China, for young developing world scientists.
The Elsevier Foundation awards are given in partnership with the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World and TWAS. They received their awards at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting in San Jose, California, in February.