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6 Women of Outstanding Achievement honoured for International Women’s Day

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Six ‘Women of Outstanding Achievement’ in science, engineering and technology (SET) were announced by Malcolm Wicks MP, Minister of State for Science and Innovation, on the evening of International Women’s Day, Thursday 8 March.

Six specially-commissioned portraits of the women will be unveiled by the Minister at the Science Museum, at the reception preceding the launch dinner for National Science and Engineering Week.

The six women were chosen from 66 nominated by their peers for the 2007 Women of Outstanding Achievement in SET Photographic Exhibition, sponsored by the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (UKRC). Two women have been named in each of three categories, as follows:

• Dr Sima Adhya, technical product manager, Qinetiq, Farnborough (Category: The communication of SET)
• Professor Frances Ashcroft, Dept of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Oxford University (Category: Scientific Discovery/SET Innovation)
• Professor Julia King, vice-chancellor, Aston University (Category: Breaking through the glass ceiling into leadership)
• Dr Averil MacDonald, lecturer in physics, Physics Department, University of Reading; Science Communicator and Educational Consultant (Category: The communication of SET)
• Professor Carol Robinson, Royal Society research professor, Department of Chemistry University of Cambridge (Category: Scientific Discovery/SET Innovation)
• Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu, chair in pharmaceutical nanoscience, London School of Pharmacy, University of London (Category: Breaking through the glass ceiling into leadership).

Annette Williams, director of the UKRC, commented: “If you look at the portraits that adorn the walls of our great institutions and public buildings it soon becomes apparent how few women are featured. That is what is so exciting about this exhibition. We want to create a legacy for the future: a collection of photographic portraits that will celebrate women in SET.”

Following the Science Museum launch, the 2007 exhibition will next be on display at the British Museum on Wednesday 14th March at UKRC Annual Conference, which has the theme: ‘Climate for Change: Women in Science, Engineering and Technology – Having an Environmental Impact’. The portraits will then be exhibited at the Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, on 15th March.

This year’s six UKRC women of outstanding achievement bring the total to 12, the exhibition being launched last year when the initial six women were named as Dr Maggie Aderin, Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Rebecca George, Professor Julia Goodfellow, Professor Wendy Hall and Professor Kathy Sykes.

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