- Science and Society
April 6, 2022 | Audrey-Maude Vézina
Update : April 6, 2022
PhD student Maude Cloutier will travel to Germany for this prestigious event, whose 2022 edition is dedicated to chemistry.
Maude Cloutier, a 2020 Vanier Scholar, was selected among several outstanding young Canadian scientists to participate in the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, in Germany. She was invited by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, which are responsible for the nomination process.
“Maude Cloutier has all the qualities of a Vanier Scholar and a proven track record of academic excellence, research leadership and ability. CIHR wishes her all the best,” said CIHR selection officials.
“An opportunity like this is not something you can turn down,” says Maude Cloutier, a doctoral student in biology under the direction of Professor Charles Gauthier of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS). She is one of 611 students and postdoctoral fellows selected from around the world to take part in this 71st edition.
“This gathering will allow me to mature as a scientist. By meeting people who are as passionate as I am, I will discover new perspectives on science, which differ from one country to another.”Maude Cloutier
Her stellar academic record and social involvement made her stand out. “I was fortunate to have a supervisor who encouraged me and allowed me to have the best academic record possible, but my background goes beyond science. I have been involved with LGBTQ+ community inclusion, I have done mentoring. I have shown leadership in many areas of my life,” she recounts.
For one week in Germany, Maude Cloutier will attend several Nobel Prize winners’ conferences, as well as participate in round tables and networking activities. The discussions that will emerge from this edition are more interesting to her than the Nobel Prizes, whose very masculine past, she emphasizes. Indeed, prior to the 2020 edition, where three women received the prestigious prize, only 6% of the prizes had been awarded to women since 1901.
“What I would hope most is that this opportunity to meet a wide variety of people will bring change in the academic world. For example, the ‘publish or perish’ culture, which refers to the pressure to publish scientists are under, is detrimental to science,” the doctoral student maintains.
Maude Cloutier reminds us that science is not always done for the right reasons. “You have to keep a human approach to science and figure out how you can really help society,” she says. This is particularly important in my field, with the development of vaccines and drugs.”
The annual meeting brings together a few dozen Nobel Prize laureates in Lindau, Germany, to meet the next generation of top scientists: undergraduate, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers from around the world. It aims at fostering exchanges between scientists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines. Each meeting alternates between one of the three natural science disciplines of the Nobel Prize: physiology and medicine, chemistry, or physics.
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