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C&EN and CAS present Brazilian Women in Chemistry awards

Honorees will be recognized during the Brazilian Chemical Society virtual meeting in October

by Linda Wang
September 30, 2020


To promote gender equality in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in Brazil, C&EN and CAS have awarded the 2020 Brazilian Women in Chemistry and Related Sciences award to three women scientists in Brazil. The awards aim to advance understanding of the impact of diversity on scientific research and the field of chemistry.

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in STEM are more important than ever,” says Bibiana Campos Seijo, editor in chief of C&EN and vice president of C&EN Media Group. “As scientific organizations and corporations around the world double down on efforts to foster a more diverse, safe, and welcoming science community, I’m proud to celebrate women’s contribution to chemistry in Brazil with these awards and symposium.”

C&EN and CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, are sponsors of the annual awards, with support from the Brazilian Chemical Society (SBQ) and ACS. “The award acknowledges the importance of science, particularly now, when the world is facing a severe global challenge that will be solved by science and by its scientists,” says Denise Ferreira, CAS’s country manager for Brazil. “Most important, the contribution of women in the field of chemistry, an area that is strongly dominated by men, needs to be reinforced and awarded. These women are example of leaders in the sciences to be followed by future generations.”

Each winner will receive a $2,000 cash award, a SciFinder ID valid for 3 years, free ACS membership for 3 years, and an award certificate. The winners will be honored on Oct. 15 at SBQ’s annual meeting, which will be held virtually this year because of the pandemic. During the symposium, which focuses on inequity in science, Campos Seijo and Alexa Dembek, chief technology and sustainability officer at DuPont, will participate in a fireside chat about how to nurture and maintain a diverse pipeline of future scientific leaders and innovators.

“I’m delighted that we will celebrate their talent and contributions at an event that will bring so many great scientists together to discuss DEI matters and develop action steps that we can all take to create a more diverse and inclusive environment for all,” Campos Seijo says.

Photo of Paola de Azevedo Mello.
Credit: Courtesy of Paola de Azevedo Mello
Paola de Azevedo Mello

Paola de Azevedo Mello, an associate professor of chemistry at the Federal University of Santa Maria, will receive the Emerging Leader award, which “recognizes the achievements of an outstanding young chemical scientist or entrepreneur. This exceptional scientist will be younger than 40 years old and no more than 10 years removed from earning a PhD.” Her research focuses on analytical chemistry applied to industrial processes that use ultrasound and microwaves.

Photo of Sonia Maria Cabral de Menezes.
Credit: Courtesy of Sonia Maria Cabral de Menezes
Sonia Maria Cabral de Menezes

Sonia Maria Cabral de Menezes, petroleum chemist and senior consultant at Petrobras, is the winner of the Leadership in Industry award, which “recognizes an individual working in chemical industry whose research and creative innovations have led to discoveries that contributed to commercial success and to the good of the community and society.” Her research areas include refining, materials, biotechnology, and the environment.

Photo of Ana Flávia Nogueira.
Credit: Courtesy of Ana Flávia Nogueira
Ana Flávia Nogueira

Ana Flávia Nogueira, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Campinas, is the winner of the Leadership in Academia award, which “recognizes an established academic who has made an important contribution with a global and societal impact on scientific research in chemistry or a related science.” Her research is on the development of new, cheaper, and more-efficient nanomaterials and processes for converting solar energy into electricity.

For more information on the awards, visit: Nominations for next year’s awards will open around June 2021.


This story was updated on Oct. 1, 2020, to correct the awards presented to Sonia Maria Cabral de Menezes and Ana Flávia Nogueira. They were swapped in the original article.


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