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Astronomer wins Women of Future award

Karen Masters

Karen Masters

A University of Portsmouth astronomer has won the Women of the Future Science award on the same day she took part in the BBC’s 100 Women – a day of debate, discussion and live broadcasting at BBC’s Broadcasting House from inspiring women around the world.

Dr Karen Masters, a senior lecturer from the University’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, was among obstetricians, lawyers, designers and entrepreneurs at the Women of the Future awards ceremony in London last night, which recognises the country’s most inspirational women.

Karen won the award for her research into understanding how galaxies form and evolve in our universe.

She said: “It’s a real honour to be recognised alongside this group of extraordinary women. I’m delighted that the Women of the Future Awards include this science category; it highlights how important it is for women to be part of our scientific culture.”

Karen Masters (back row, 3rd from left) with the other Women of the Future award winners

Karen Masters (back row, 3rd from left) with the other Women of the Future award winners

The Women of the Future Awards, founded nine years ago by entrepreneur Pinky Lilani OBE, identify female role models under the age of 35 who are rising stars in the business, public and creative worlds.

The awards aim to unearth and recognise the stars of tomorrow across diverse industries, acknowledging talented women early on in their careers and creating positive role models for school girls. Cherie Blair is awards patron.

Championed by judges for her clear goals and determination to inspire the next generation of scientists, Karen is responsible for pioneering studies into galaxy evolution.

Karen said: “I’m passionate about demonstrating that science is for everyone. I do this through my work with the citizen science project, Galaxy Zoo, where more than 400,000 people help my research on galaxies, and through helping to encourage young women (as well as men) to consider science as an exciting, creative and important area to study.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith said: “I am incredibly proud of Karen’s success, which is wonderful news for her personally and for the University. As an institution we are focused on promoting and supporting the careers of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and I am delighted that one of our senior lecturers is such an inspirational role model for young women.”

Founder of the Women of the Future Awards, Pinky Lilani OBE DL, said: “After nine years hosting these awards, it still never fails to amaze me how many incredible women our country is home to. From tackling epilepsy and triumphing in male-dominated sectors to exploring 10,000 galaxies – this year’s candidates have been first class.”

Earlier in the day Karen and women from around the world gathered at the BBC’s Broadcasting House in London for this year’s 100 Women by the BBC. The 100 Women series was launched last year as part of the BBC’s pledge to represent women better in its international news output.

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