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The Kovalevskaya prize honours women in Vietnam

The Kovalevskaya prize was created in 1985 by Neal and Ann HibnerKoblitz for female scientists in developing countries, to encourage their research in the field of natural sciences. Sofia Kovalevskaya, a Russian mathematician, was one of the first women to obtain a doctorate, the first female recipient of a prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences and one of the first to teach at university.

Scientists with talent

In Vietnam, 34 women have already been awarded the prize since 1987, either individually or as a team. This year the Vice-President of the Republic NguyênThi Doan presented the prize to two women:doctors Vu Thi Thu Ha and Le ThiThanhNhan, on Saturday March 3rd in Hanoi.

These two doctors are, respectively: Assistant Director of the Vietnam Institute of Industrial Chemistry and Director of the Laboratory for Filtration and Petrochemical Technologies, and Vice-President of the University of Natural Sciences.

They have written many publications, mainly on the subject of technologies which respect the environment, an issue becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam. More specifically, the areas being investigated in Vietnam include the use of medicinal plants, innovation in rice and vegetable cultivation and the transformation of agricultural waste into biological products.

Science supporting development

‘These research products are making a real contribution to the development of the country,’said HoàngThi Ai Nhiên, Vice-President of the Union of Vietnamese Women.

In reality, these projects support the interests of agriculture, which still made up 50% of the GDP in 2011! In addition, the agricultural workforce represents 65% of the active population. Reducing pollution caused by pig farming, for example, would facilitate the development of a ‘clean’, high quality industry and enable a growth in exports.

On the back of this success, these renowned researchers should now pass on their own passions to otherbudding scientists.They will also have the chance to have international meetings facilitated by the International Centre for Interdisciplinary Science and Education in QuyNhon, whichprovides great support for such exchanges, particularly with its partner, France.





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