With the Women in Science campaign, the Faculty of Science highlights the achievements of its women scientists – because while others talk about quota, we talk about the women! And because there has always been outstanding women scientists who deserve to be seen, we are also shining the spotlight on historical role models and pioneers. With this initiative and its rich program, we want to give ALL a glimpse into science and especially inspire the next generation.
To mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11th February, we presented one of our current women professors and one international pioneer in the field of research over a period of five months in 2023 – on posters both online and in the Zurich city area. In a video portrait, the professor shares insight about research, her motivation, and her everyday work at the Faculty of Science of UZH. In addition, the professor hosted an event in collaboration with the faculty.
Prof. Meredith (Merry) Christine Schuman is anassistant professor for "Spatial Plant Genetics" at the Department of Geography and Department of Chemistry. Her transdisciplinary research spans genetics, chemistry, ecology, and geography and includes projects combining direct analyses of plants with aerial and satellite remote sensing.
An important pioneer in chemistry was Dr. Rosalind Franklin. She was an expert in X-ray structural analysis. Her work was crucial to understanding the molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite.
From 9th March 2023 on, a new exhibition in the Science Pavilion UZH presents her research.
An important pioneer in mathematics was Dr. Emmy Noether. She revolutionized mathematics with her fundamental work on abstract algebra. She changed our understanding of the Universe, since her Noether's theorem explains the relationship between symmetry and the conservation laws.
Prof. Alexandria (Ali) Deliz Liang is assistant professor of "Digital Bioinorganic Chemistry" at the Department of Chemistry. She is an expert in "metalloenzyme engineering" with a focus on biocatalysis and antibacterial proteins. Using machine learning and modifying selected building blocks, she alters the function of enzymes enabling new applications.
Together with the Faculty of Science's Gender Equality Committee, she invited all students, PhDs, PostDocs, researchers, lecturers, staff and professors of the Faculty of Science for a networking evening with apéro at Irchel Bar.
An important pioneer in chemistry was Dr. Dorothy Crowford Hodgkin. She advanced x-ray crystallography and could thus resolve the 3D structures of penicillin, insulin, and vitamin B12. For these she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964.
Prof. Catalina Pimiento Hernandez is assistant professor of "Paleontology" at the Department of Paleontology. She investigates the evolution and extinction of past marine life, especially sharks, in order to better protect present-day marine life.
On 30 May 2023, she and a school class carried out a small film project at the Paleontological Museum of the University of Zurich.
An important pioneer in paleontology was Mary Anning, a fossil collector and paleontologist. Mary Anning`s fossil discoveries changed the scientific thinking about prehistoric life, the history of the Earth, and the theory of evolution.
Prof. Ravit Helled is professor of "Theoretical Astrophysics" at the Institute for Computational Science. She studies the formation and evolution of planets, for which she sends space probes to Jupiter and Uranus.
On 21 June 2023, she will give a lecture on the topic "Why become an astrophysicist?". The presentation was followed by an apero to celebrate the Women in Science campaign 2023!!