Saudi Arabian female researcher Hayat Sindi to be appointed UNESCO advocate

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. Photo: UNESCO/Francis Barrier

1 October 2012 – The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, today nominated Saudi Arabian researcher Hayat Sindi as a Goodwill Ambassador to support science education, especially among girls.

Ms. Sindi’s nomination comes “in recognition of her work to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and social innovation for scientists, technologists and engineers in the Middle East and beyond, her efforts to bring the youth closer to innovators and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the organization,” the Paris-based UNESCO said in a news release.

Born in 1967 in Mecca, Ms. Sindi has made major contributions to point-of-care diagnostics, medical testing at or near the site of patient care, specifically designed for the vast number of people who do not have access to hospitals and medical facilities.

She made this contribution through the invention of a biochemical sensor with thermo-elastic probes and her development of the Magnetic Acoustic Resonance Sensor (MARS), UNESCO said.

In her capacity as a Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Sindi will support science education, especially inspiring more girls to enrol in science subjects, and the visibility of UNESCO’s natural sciences programmes, particularly those pertaining to life science education.

As a member of UNESCO’s impressive roster of renowned personalities who spread its messages and ideals, Ms. Sindi will also help mobilize funds through her professional network to support the agency’s priority activities.

Among UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassadors are Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela of South Africa, United States jazz musician Herbie Hancock, Cuban ballerina and choreographer Alicia Alonso, and Dubai-based philanthropist, educator and entrepreneur Sunny Varkey.


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