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UNESCO Women in Science Winner Encourages Female Scientists June 15, 2011

Posted by The Raise Project in Uncategorized.
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By Wu Ziru

After receiving this year’s world-renowned Award on March 3 at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, Hong Kong scientist Yam Wing-Wah came to Beijing to share her scientific research as well as life attitudes recently.

She admitted that women face more difficulties working in science but should try their best to make sure their dreams are fulfilled. “If you really love what you do, make all efforts to do it well,” Yam said in a speech at Peking University Thursday. “You want to do it, then you can do it.”

She says she’s happy that her family supports her so much at work. Although she must often stay at the laboratory until very late and has to travel a lot to attend seminars and for further study, Yam, mother of two teenage daughters, says she is lucky that her family never complain.

“Sometimes you have to give up something,” she admits. “It is not easy to balance life and work perfectly. Think carefully that what’s more important for you to give up the other slightly if you cannot make them balanced.”

There is no simple definition of success, she says; instead, do what you like and make every step you take be on the way to success. “Innovation and creation are crucial for both an artist and a scientist, while imagination is a must.”

Chemistry and energy professor at the University of Hong Kong, 47-year-old Yam is the third Chinese female scientist to win the UNESCO honor for her contributions in light-emitting materials and innovative ways of capturing solar energy.

The UNESCO award, founded in 1998, is awarded annually to five prominent scientists around the world. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie’s Nobel Prize, the theme this year was “Females and Chemistry.”

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