U.N. science board taps chemist Kuroda


Japanese scientist Reiko Kuroda said Monday that she has been appointed to the new United Nations Scientific Advisory Board to provide executive-level science policy advice to the organization.

“I was surprised, wondering why I was (chosen),” Kuroda, 66, told reporters at the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, vowing to maintain a balance between the board and her own research.

The board will advise U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the leaders of U.N. bodies on how science can shape policies on sustainable development. Ban announced the establishment of the board at the U.N. High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development late last month.

Known for using seashells to research the chirality, or left-right orientation, of molecules and organisms, Kuroda is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. She won Japan’s Saruhashi Prize for esteemed female scientists in 1993.

The board comprises 26 scientists from a range of fields, according to UNESCO.