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    Awards: Bio-IT World: Franklin Award opens call for nominations, seeks diversity
    Submitted by J.W. Bizzaro; posted on Sunday, January 26, 2020

    Submitter

    Although women have made many groundbreaking advances in the natural and computational sciences in recent years, e.g. Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier in the development of CRISPR-mediated genome editing, very few have been recognized with top awards. For example, in the 2010s, only one Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was given to a woman (en.wikipedia.org/wiki[...]eates). That's out of 25 winners. In the same decade, only one out of 27 Nobel Prizes in Chemistry was given to a woman.

    Also in the last decade, only one woman received the A.M. Turing Award in computer science (amturing.acm.org/byyear.cfm). And that's out of 14 winners.

    The Benjamin Franklin Award, although not of the same stature as the Nobel or Turing, has been no different. In the past 18 years, only one of the winners has been a woman (www.bioinformatics.org/franklin/). We acknowledge that and would like to see a greater representation of women going forward.

    Last week I was interviewed by Bio-IT World about the purpose of the award, the process, and our need to address the issue of diversity: www.bio-itworld.com/2020[...].aspx

    To those who believe the open process is to blame, it is important to note that the Nobel Prize uses a completely closed process, and the Turing Prize only accepts nominations, not votes. It is very important to us at Bioinformatics.org that the Franklin Award be given to someone selected by the community. It has always been the People's Choice Award for open access in the life sciences. But we need greater participation in the nomination process from the community in order to address the issue.

    During the 2020 nomination period, we will provide (via email) a list of people who have been nominated at least once. We think that once recognizable names are seen, seconding will soon follow. And anyone who has received two nominations that meet the basic criteria (www.bioinformatics.org/fran[...]n.php) will be placed on a ballot for membership vote.

    Submit your nomination today: www.bioinformatics.org/franklin/nominate/

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