L'OREAL-UNESCO Partnership that Honors Women in Science Celebrates Fifth Year Anniversary

2003 Awards will Honor Women in the Physical Sciences

Feb 11, 2003, 00:00 ET from L'Oreal

    NEW YORK, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's leading cosmetic company
 L'OREAL and UNESCO, the international organization dedicated to the
 collaboration among nations through education, science, culture and
 communication -- this year celebrates the fifth anniversary of its for Women
 in Science awards (FWIS) partnership, with a promise to continue to support
 the advancement of women in the field of science.
     (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020306/NYW023LOGO )
     "For L'Oreal, being in partnership in for Women in Science with UNESCO is
 a way of expressing our determination to promote women in scientific research
 and hence to participate in the creation of new vocations in the world," said
 Lindsay Owen-Jones, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, L'Oreal who, along
 with Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General UNESCO host the awards event each
 year in Paris, France.
     Since they were created, the L'OREAL-UNESCO FWIS awards have been
 dedicated to honoring women involved in the Life Sciences.  This year, for the
 first time, they will be awarded to those extraordinary women working in the
 Physical Sciences.
     Dr. Johanna Levelt Sengers, a Scientist Emeritus at the National Institute
 of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, has been
 selected this year's North American FWIS award recipient, for her significant
 research contribution in the area of near and supercritical fluids, and the
 laws governing their peculiar but universal behavior known as scaling laws.
     Dr. Levelt-Sengers, a recognized authority in applying scaling theory to
 the thermodynamics and critical phenomena of fluids and their mixtures, is a
 native of the Netherlands, where she received her PhD in physics at the
 laboratory established in Amsterdam, by Nobel laureate Johannes van der Waals,
 (a founder of the field of molecular science).
     Dr. Levelt-Sengers, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and
 of the National Academy of Sciences is one of the five distinguished women
 scientists chosen to represent five regions of the world: North America,
 Europe, Asia/Pacific, Africa and Latin America.  These Laureates whose
 candidacy were submitted by more than 800 internationally renown scientists
 and selected by an international jury of their peers, led by 1991 Nobel Prize
 winner and Chairman of the 2003 FWIS awards, Dr. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, will
 be honored in a special ceremony to be held on February 27th, at UNESCO
     These other distinguished honorees are:
     Karimat El Sayed, Professor of Solid State Physics at Ain Shams University
 in Cairo, Egypt has taken her study of the detection, structure and
 applications of low-concentration constituents of crystals, and applied it in
 the analysis of the formation of urinary stones and their composition to help
 patients suffering from this condition. Dr El Sayed has devoted a significant
 part of her time in helping to increase awareness of the desperate condition
 of women scientists in Egypt.
     Fang-Hua Li, Professor at the Institute of Physics at the Chinese Academy
 of Sciences in Beijing, China, overcame the hardships of an interrupted career
 during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.  These constraints however, served to
 spawn more creativity in her field of research, the electron microscopy of
 crystals.  Her work in pushing back the limits of observation of crystalline
 structures has permitted the examination of images without preconceived
     Ayse Erzan, Professor of Physics, at Istanbul Technical University, has
 made good use of mathematical concepts to advance our understanding of
 collective phenomena. The theoretical tools developed by Ayse Erzan has
 provided a way of explaining the propagation of chemical reactions on the
 surface of solids and the conformation of proteins. The work of Dr. Erzan also
 explains how, in the Theory of Evolution, a mutation spreads and becomes
     Mariana Weissmann, Professor, Department of Physics, Argentine National
 Research Council has helped to move our understanding of the quantum solid
 from a qualitative view to quantitative predictions.  Dr. Weissmann's rare
 talent has been to identify emerging fields of science, and to develop small
 groups of scientists to work in them. One example of her prophetic abilities
 is her interest in the properties of composite materials that has become known
 as nanomaterials.
     In addition to this year's L'OREAL-UNESCO FWIS Laureate awards, an
 international group of 15 young women (three for each of five UNESCO regions),
 will be awarded Fellowships valued at $20,000 each.  This represents a
 significant expansion of the program, that in the past awarded 10 young women
 with $10,000 fellowships.  The Laureates too, will see a significant increase
 in their monetary awards which this year are valued at $100,000 each.
     Note to the Editors
      * L'Oreal is the world's number one cosmetics company, present in 140
        countries with a turnover in 2001 of euro 13.7 billion. The company
        recorded its 17th consecutive year of double-digit growth in 2001,
        increasing its profits by 19.6 %.  Half Year Results for 2002 saw the
        group achieve a 29% increase in profits.
      * L'Oreal's brand portfolio includes: L'Oreal Paris, Maybelline, Garnier,
        Soft Sheen Carson, Matrix, Redken, L'Oreal Professionnel, Vichy, La
        Roche-Posay, Lancome, Helena Rubinstein, Biotherm, Kiehl's, Shu Uemura
        and Armani, Cacharel and Ralph Lauren fragrances.  L'Oreal is the only
        cosmetics group that is present in every distribution channel: mass
        market, hair salons, department stores, pharmacy and mail order.
      * With 47 factories worldwide, 88 distribution centers and 14,500
        employees in manufacturing sites and over 3.4 billion units produced,
        the industrial organization of L`Oreal is a major contributor to the
        group's growth. Ninety-four percent of products sold by L`Oreal are
        made in the group's factories by group employees.