Kiana Aran, an Associate Professor of Medical Diagnostics and Therapeutics at Keck Graduate Institute and The Parent in Science Movement, focused on raising awareness on the barriers faced by academic parents, are the recipients of this year’s Inspiring Women in Science Awards. The awards, organised by Nature Research Awards in partnership with The Estée Lauder Companies, seek to inspire girls and women around the world to engage with STEM subjects, challenge academic barriers and succeed in scientific careers. The winners were announced at a virtual ceremony on 28 October.
The Scientific Achievement Award, awarded in recognition of early-career women researchers and awarded for exceptional demonstrable contribution to scientific discovery was won by Kiana Aran, a biomedical entrepreneur and researcher, who focuses on designing novel biosensing platforms, and using 2D nanomaterials for early disease diagnosis.
The winner of this year’s Science Outreach Award – presented for initiatives that support girls or young women to engage with or study STEM subjects, or increase the retention of women in STEM careers – is The Parent in Science Movement who generate primary data on the barriers faced by academic parents and the impact of motherhood in the scientists’ careers. The movement has been promoting affirmative actions and inclusive public policies to ensure women’s access, permanence and progression in STEM.
Mina Razzak, Editorial Director, Nature Reviews said: “It sadly remains the case that women are often unappreciated for their contributions to science, so we are delighted to have the opportunity to be able to celebrate the trailblazers who are not only making a tangible difference in STEM across the world, but are also doing so much to demonstrate the importance of having diverse voices in science.
“Kiana and The Parent in Science Movement are a credit to the strength and future of women in STEM. Kiana is a passionate mentor who has led by example through her work advancing discovery by making the most of transdisciplinary collaboration and breaking down silos between industry and academia. The Parent in Science Movement offered a unique perspective on addressing the pipeline of women in STEM and the barriers women in science face. Their methodological approach and engagement with local communities and political powers has brought about meaningful change in their home country of Brazil, and they are looking to further that work in neighbouring countries.
On behalf of the Nature portfolio of journals, I congratulate them on their achievements and their commitment to opening up science to those from more diverse backgrounds, challenging barriers and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps by forging successful careers in STEM.”
Lisa Napolione, Senior Vice President, Global Research & Development at The Estée Lauder Companies added: “This year’s shortlist for the Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Women in Science was our most impressive yet. These researchers and advocates are truly pushing the boundaries of what science gets done, and who is doing that science. I am so proud of this year’s winners. Kiana Aran’s work in early disease detection has promise to meaningfully improve the lives of so many people, and The Parent in Science Movement, with their advocacy in changing policy, are making amazing strides in supporting women in STEM throughout their careers. On behalf of the Estée Lauder Companies, I want to congratulate each of our winners on their amazing accomplishment.”
The award winners each receive prize money of US$40,000 to spend on initiatives relating to their work, mentoring through The Estée Lauder Companies and other publicity opportunities.
Winners were selected by a judging panel consisting of editors from Nature Portfolio, academic scientists, external experts working in organisations supporting access to science for women, and our corporate partner, The Estée Lauder Companies.
Springer Nature is committed to driving and championing diversity, equity and inclusion in the communities it serves, through its networks, brands, partnership and suite of awards. This partnership with The Estée Lauder Companies is a key reflection of the shared goal to help drive cultural change, by providing platforms and networks to help empower, inspire and share knowledge, and addressing the barriers that the research community faces. More information on the company’s wider commitment can be found on the website.