Women scientists at the forefront of global conflicts

Dec 6, 2022

About the event

EuChemS is proud to announce its 2023 Global Woman Breakfast online event, titled “Women scientists at the forefront of global conflicts”. The online event took place on Tuesday 14 February 2023 10:00 – 11:30 Brussels time.

It is important to acknowledge that science and technology plays a significant role in contemporary conflict. While scientific achievements advanced the quality of life greatly, innovation in technology has also transformed conflicts across the globe in the last century. By taking this into account, we can see science’s responsibility in ensuring the minimisation of harm coming from conflict. As conflicts scenarios tend to increase exposure to abuse and discrimination, women represent one of the highly vulnerable groups in conflict. Therefore we find it crucial to hear and learn from the inputs of women researchers and scientists who are involved with science in conflict.

Therefore EuChemS’s 2023 GWB event focused on the historical context of what roles women played in research areas relevant to conflict and crisis, such as nuclear and radiochemistry. The event also examined contemporary efforts from woman researchers in fighting against chemical warfare, amongst other topics.

EuChemS Global Women’s Breakfast event is part of IUPAC’s Global Women’s Breakfast (#GWB2023) initiative.

Read the briefing on this event in EuChemS Magazine here

Watch the recording of the event here

Programme and Speakers

10:00 – Welcome by Angela Agostiano, Chair of EuChemS Task Group on Inclusion and Diversity, EuChemS President-Elect and Address by Floris Rutjes, EuChemS President

10:10Chemical Safety and Security Education and Outreach by Imee Su Martinez, Member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

10:30Science at the frontline of defence against chemical weapons by Sarah Stubbs from Defence Science and Technology Laboratory of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence

10:50Radioactivity for good and bad – and women’s roles in the field by Annette Lykknes, Chair of EuChemS Working Party on History of Chemistry

11:10 – Discussion and Conclusions, moderated by Pilar Goya, Former EuChemS President

Imee Su Martinez

Imee Su Martinez is a member of the The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon’s (OPCW) Scientific Advisory Board. The Scientific Advisory Board provides specialised scientific advice to the OPCW’s Executive Council. She is a faculty member of the Institute of Chemistry, University of the Philippines-Diliman (UPD), under the Physical Chemistry Division. She is also serving as the Director for the Office of International Linkages (OIL Diliman) there. Her key research area is surface chemistry and the characterization and imaging of interfaces and interfacial phenomena.

Sara Stubbs

Sarah Stubbs works for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). She is a Principal Advisor for Dstl’s Chemical and Biological Analysis and Attribution Capability and Lead Analyst for the UK’s Designated Laboratory for the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Her research interests involve developing innovative methods for identification and forensic analysis of chemical warfare agents and detection of biomarkers of human exposure to these highly toxic chemicals. Sarah has led chemical analysis to support military and police investigations for alleged use of chemical weapons. She is a member of the Chemical Forensics International Technical Working Group.

Annette Lykknes

Annette Lykknes is historian of chemistry and professor of chemistry education at NTNU-Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. Her research interests include the history of women and couples in chemistry and radioactivity, and she has co-edited For Better or For Worse? Collaborative Couples in the Sciences (Birkhäuser, 2012, with Don L. Opitz and Brigitte Van Tiggelen) and Women in their Element: Selected Women’s Contributions to the Periodic System (World Scientific, 2019, with Brigitte Van Tiggelen). Since 2021 she is chair of the Working Party on History of Chemistry of EuChemS.

Angela Agostiano

Angela Agostiano is Chair of the EuChemS Task Group on Inclusion and Diversity. She is also the President-Elect of the European Chemical Society from 2023 January, following which, in 2024, she will succeed Floris Rutjes as President of EuChemS.

She is currently Full Professor at the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy. Her area of expertise is Chemical-Physical Processes. She was the President of the Italian Chemical Society (SCI) from 2017 until 2019.

Floris Rutjes

Floris Rutjes received his PhD at the University of Amsterdam in 1993 under the supervision of the late Prof. Speckamp. After a post-doctoral stay with Prof. Nicolaou at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, USA) and an assistant-professorship at the University of Amsterdam, he became full professor in organic synthesis at Radboud University (Nijmegen, NL) in 1999. His research interests comprise the synthesis of biologically active heterocyclic molecules, new bioorthogonal click-probes for chemical ligation, and continuous flow synthesis in microreactors. He has received several awards including the Gold Medal of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society (2002), the AstraZeneca Award for Research in Organic Chemistry (2003), and in 2008 was announced ‘Most entrepreneurial scientist of the Netherlands’. Currently, he is Director of the Institute for Molecules and Materials at Radboud University and president of the European Chemical Society (EuChemS)

Pilar Goya

Pilar Goya Laza was first woman President of EuChemS (European Chemical Society) from 2018 to 2020.

She received her PhD in Chemistry from the Universidad Complutense, Madrid, and did a postdoctoral stay in Konstanz, Germany, financed by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She was Research Professor of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) at the Instituto de Química Médica of which she was the director for six years. Her research deals with different aspects of medicinal chemistry and drug design,

She has been involved in administrative positions being Head of International Affairs of the Spanish Research Council and was also the chair of the Chemistry Committee of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships. She has been Vice President of the Royal Society of Chemistry of Spain, RSEQ, and President of the Spanish Society of Medicinal Chemistry, SEQT.

Recently, she has been elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.