NTU celebrates work of women scientists

NTU celebrates work of women scientists
Prominent speakers at the inaugural Women in Engineering, Science and Technology Symposium included Professor Daniela Rhodes, one of the few women in Britain's Royal Society, which is highly regarded for advancing science globally.

SINGAPORE - More young women are wanted to study engineering and science here.

In a bid to raise awareness and interest in both fields, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) held its largest single event yesterday at the Singapore Marriott Hotel, showcasing local and international women scientists.

The public symposium was held to tie in with French scientist Marie Curie's Nov 7 birthday.

Curie was the first woman awarded the Nobel Prize and the first person to win the award in two different categories - physics in 1903, and chemistry in 1911. Her groundbreaking work led to the discovery of radioactivity.

More than 200 participants attended yesterday's event.

More than half of the participants were students from junior colleges and polytechnics, while the rest were researchers and members of the public.

The inaugural Women in Engineering, Science and Technology Symposium is part of NTU's ongoing efforts to increase the number of women in both fields.

It was led by a group of women NTU professors, including Assistant Professor Sierin Lim from the school of chemical and biomedical engineering.

The event featured big names in science such as Professor Ada E. Yonath, who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2009.

She is best known for her pioneering work on the structure of the ribosome, cells which help make proteins.

Other prominent speakers included Professor Daniela Rhodes, who is one of the few women in Britain's Royal Society, which is highly regarded for advancing science globally.

In a statement yesterday, NTU president Bertil Andersson said: "We now have fewer women in the important fields of engineering, science and technology; and we are missing out on all that potential and half of the best brains.

"We hope to inspire and empower young women to choose and stay in engineering or science as a career by giving them a platform to network with role models."

Yesterday was also a milestone for NTU's school of humanities and social sciences, which marked its 10th anniversary with a symposium and a gala dinner at Regent Hotel.

The school started with fewer than 60 economics students and now has the largest student enrolment and faculty size.

It has some 2,600 undergraduates and more than 200 full-time faculty members.

At the symposium, 150 speakers and students from around the world discussed the importance of humanities and the social sciences.

ateng@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on November 8, 2014.
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