Women and Science


For the last ten years UNESCO and L’Oréal have been promoting an international partnership project, “L’Oreal UNESCO for Women in Science”, that has the finality to support the role of women in science and to foster their full participation in scientific research world-wide. Thanks to this project, over 350 female researchers around the world have been awarded. In Italy the 2009 edition of the competition has recently been announced, and in May 2009 five fellowships will be assigned to young female researchers.

This initiative represents a confirmation of the positive trends highlighted by the volume Women and Science 2008. Italy and the international context, in relation to the creation of new networks dedicated to fostering the role and professionalism of women within the scientific world. The volume, published by Observa – Science in Society with the support of UNESCO, reveals how, despite the fact that female resources are not yet adequately being valued in the scientific universe, attention and commitment in favour of an equality in gender in science have openly been increasing in the last years, both at the national and international levels.

Nowadays, in fact, we can count over 50 European organisations, as many as 17 fellowships and scientific awards (5 of which Italian) expressly destined to female researchers and students who stand out for their scientific activities. Further, numerous international projects dedicated to promoting equal opportunities in the fields of science and technology have been implemented with the support of the European Commission. Italy has been part of the L’Oréal-UNESCO competition since 2002. Since that date thirty young Italians have benefitted from the programme and have seen their commitment and professional achievements awarded. Also in our Country we can start to delineate a scenario that contemplates a trend of “female” research, promoted and encouraged by new social and institutional actors.

Leaf through a preview of “Women and Science. Italy and the international context”, edited by Valeria Arzenton, Iulia Nechifor and Giuseppe Pellegrini and published in March 2008 by Observa – Science in Society, in collaboration with UNESCO.

The integral version of the volume, reserved to the members of Observa, is available here.

For further information and requests please contact us on 0039 0444 305454 or via e-mail at info@observanet.it