Hagar Gelbard-Sagiv
Hagar Gelbard-SagivIsrael news photo: Erez Lichtfeld

UNESCO / L'Oréal have awarded a NIS 50,000 ($14,000) Co-Sponsored Fellowship for Young Women in Science to a female Israeli scientist. Hagar Gelbard-Sagiv was cited for her research proposal in the field of consciousness, striving to prove that consciousness is a biological phenomenon and not merely a philosophical one.

Gelbard-Sagiv and Dr. Gali Golan of the Hebrew University, who also was awarded a fellowship at a ceremony at UNESCO headquarters in Paris last week, were the Israeli candidates for the 2011 L'Oréal-UNESCO International Awards for Women in Science.

The fellowships are designed to help them pursue research outside of Israel.

The International Awards Jury was headed former Nobel Prize winner Professor Ahmed Zewail. The Awards recognize work that addresses major challenges in modern science. 

The five exceptional women scientists, one from each continent, who were awarded laureates, are from Kuwait, Sweden, Hong Kong, the United States and Mexico.

Their research includes studies in corrosion, innovative ways of capturing solar energy, development of the fastest camera for recording events in atto-seconds (a billionth of a billionth of a second), the chemical composition of nebulae, fundamental to understanding the origin of the universe, and bacterial and material behavior under extreme conditions relevant to the environment and the Earth.

The L’Oréal Corporate Foundation and UNESCO have sought to recognize women scientists the past 13 years.