Two CONICET female scientists will be members of the World Academy of Sciences

Noemí Zaritzky and Rosa Erra-Balsells, the only Argentine women scientists in the list of the new 36 members.

Rosa Erra-Balsells and Noemí Zaritzky

The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) published the list with the name of the new 36 members of that will comprise the Academy from January 1st 2020. There are seven South Americans –five from Brazil– and two of them are Argentine: Noemí Zaritzky and Rosa Erra-Balsells, ad honorem Senior researchers of CONICET at the Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo en Criotecnología de Alimentos (CIDCA, CONICET-UNLP-CICPBA) and the Centro de Investigaciones en Hidratos de Carbono (CIHIDECAR, CONICET-UBA), respectively.

Zaritzky is an engineer who studied at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP) and has a PhD in Chemical Sciences at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA). She is a full professor at the Facultad de Ingeniería de la UNLP and has been awarded the “National Researcher Award” (2016 for the previous year) provided by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of Argentina (MINCyT) and the Bernardo Houssay Award for Career in 2015 in the area of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences of MINCyT (2016). In 2018 she received the TWAS Award on Engineering Sciences.

As regard the motives for her incorporation, the TWAS stresses “her long original work on scientific research and technological development on food and environmental engineering. She is internationally considered as one member of the nucleus of recognized experts.” Besides, the Academy highlights the amount of awards, publications and quotations that reveal the impact of her work on the areas of food engineering, water treatment and use of industrial waste with important applications for sustainable development.

Erra-Balsells was born in Spain but has settled in Argentina many years ago. She has a long career as a full professor at the Department of Organic Chemistry at the Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales of the UBA. She was awarded the Premio Kónex 2003 in Organic Chemistry. According to the TWAS “she has contributed to the knowledge of organic photochemistry and in the fields of mass spectrometry in Argentina.” As regards the motives for her incorporation, the Academy affirms that “the long standing scientific cooperation of with Japanese scientists of great reputation allowed her to make great contributions on the field of mass spectrometry. Among her several scientific articles, there are three in which she is the coauthor with 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Koichi Tanaka.

It is worth mentioning that the list includes 12 researchers from China, three from India and South Africa and one representative for Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Norway, The Republic of Korea, Singapore and Uganda. With these incorporations, the number of academic members is 1,278 and this year 12 women have been incorporated, that is to say, 33% of the total, a record number for the TWAS.