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  • Suffrage Science

Life Sciences 2012: Nurturing Nobels

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

Last year, eleven leading women life scientists and communicators were awarded a jewellery heirloom by the Medical Research Council as part of their Suffrage Science project, commemorating 100 years of women pioneers in life science. In receiving the heirloom, they understood that they had to pass it on to a younger woman in science, within a year, in a bid to encourage them to make their way to the top.

On 8th March, at the Dana Centre, in London, the eleven nominated recipients will be announced and will receive their heirlooms, which were designed by Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, inspired by jewellery of the suffrage period. The same strict conditions of acceptance will apply, although in this case the next passing-on ceremony will be in 2014.

Alongside the awards, a debate will take place. Why are there so few female Nobel prize winning scientists? Are women not smart enough? Are they not focused enough on their research? Is the Nobel committee ignoring women? Must we ask women who want to win Nobels to dedicate themselves to science, like nuns? How many women would want to live like that?

The debate will be led by science broadcaster Vivenne Parry, who will talk about how she has achieved success in her own career and introduce her nominated recipient.

The 2012 Life Sciences Awardees are:

Emily Holmes (University of Oxford)

Tracey Barrett (Birkbeck College)

Nicole Soranzo (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute)

Bianca Acevedo (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

Francoise Barre-Sinoussi (Institut Pasteur)

Elizabeth Murchison (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute)

Edith Heard (Institut Curie)

Marysia Placzek (University of Sheffield)

Sarah Teichmann (MRC LMB)

Christiana Ruhrberg (UCL)

Georgina Ferry (Science Writer)

Read more about this year's theme here.

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