Prominent women scientists from Central and Eastern Europe

August 11, 2003

Brussels, 08 Aug 2003

A collection of biographies of prominent women scientists from Central and Eastern Europe has been added to the Commission's women and science website.

The list is not intended to be exhaustive, but has been compiled following suggestions from the Enwise group, set up by the Commission to improve the role and place of women in European research, and to increase the number of women from this region participating in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).

The list includes women such as Elizaveta Karamihailova (1897 to 1968) a pioneer in radioactivity from Bulgaria, and the initiator of experimental nuclear physics research in her country. Professor Karamihailova was also the first woman to become a member of Sofia University's faculty in 1939. She was also the first Bulgarian women to hold the title 'associate professor' and then later, 'professor'.

Baiba Rivza, chair of Latvia's Council of Higher Education is also profiled. She is the author of 263 scientific and scholarly publications, and a professor at the Agricultural University of Latvia.

'In my opinion, support [...] is the decisive factor in a woman's career,' writes Professor Rivza. 'Lack of support from family, colleagues, and society, may often hinder or even prevent a woman from reaching a pre-set target because a woman, in her essence, is tended for searching a compromise and balance, and, very often, she finds it difficult to assume a position contradicting sharply with the misunderstanding environment. On many occasions, she tolerates it and even gives up. It takes lots of determination to announce - no, I am not going to sacrifice myself to anybody, and I will do as I have decided.'

Women from the five new Länder in eastern Germany are also included in the Enwise network, as this region has undergone the same transition as Central and Eastern European countries in recent years. One such woman is Irene Dölling, former director and initial co-founder of the Centre for Women's Studies at Berlin's Humboldt University.

The list may be extended, and those with suggestions for new additions are invited to contact the European Commission.
To access the biographies, please visit: ce-society/women/enwise/history_en.html

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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