Winners announced for this year’s Inspiring & Innovating Science Awards

It’s yet another year that Nature Research is recognizing the achievements of women in STEM around the globe. I was lucky to be shortlisted in the last year’s awards as having one of the notable submissions for the awards.  Nature Research supports gender equity and strives to showcase the work of female researchers. The scope of this year’s award has been refined to reflect two award categories that describe the work they recognise – Scientific Achievement and Scientific Outreach.

The aim of the two Nature Research awards, in partnership with The Estée Lauder Companies, is to celebrate and support the achievements of women in science, and of all those who work to encourage girls and young women to engage with STEM subjects and who work to support women to stay in STEM careers around the world. STEM includes natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

This year, for the first time, the ceremony for the Nature Research Awards for Inspiring and Innovating Science, in partnership with The Estée Lauder Companies, was held virtually and recognised the achievements of leading women in science.

For 2020, there were two award categories:

  • The Scientific Achievement category – awarded to early-career women researchers who have made an exceptional contribution to scientific discovery.
  • The Science Outreach category – presented for initiatives that support girls or young women to engage with and study STEM subjects or that increase the retention of women in STEM careers.

Scientific Achievement

Samira Asgari

Samira Asgari is a computational biologist whose research strives to understand how human history shapes global genetic diversity and how this genetic diversity translates to phenotypic diversity. She is particularly interested in understanding this genotype-phenotype relationship in the context of infectious disease susceptibility. Asgari was born and raised in Iran. After obtaining her M.Sc. degree from the University of Tehran, she moved to EPFL, Switzerland in 2011 to pursue a Ph.D. in human genomics of infectious disease. In 2017, she moved to the US to continue her research as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. Her postdoctoral work is focused on using statistical and population genetics to investigate how admixture information can be leveraged to learn about a populations’ history and to identify new genotype-phenotype relationships.

Science Outreach

Chicas en Tecnologia

Chicas en Technologia. 

In Argentina, only 16% of women study careers linked to programming. In an era where technology is transforming the way we live and interact, Chicas en Tecnologia believes that women’s voices and perspectives must be included. Since 2015 Chicas en Tecnología has sought to reduce the gender gap in the technological entrepreneurial environment by motivating, training and mentoring young women; the next generation ofleaders in technology. Through its programmes, clubs, Programming a Better World scheme (PUMM), and #CommunityCET it empowers young women. It puts them in touch with technology in a novel way, so that they break stereotypes, go from being users to creators and learn that with available technology they can impact society, change realities. Through several Initiatives talks, workshops and events, research, and campaigns, it builds systemic change, involving various actors: formal and non-formal education institutions, ministries, public and international organizations, companies, startups, media and NGOs, among others.


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