Dr Grace Sirju-Charran
Vice Chairperson, COMEST, UNESCO
Grace Sirju-Charran graduated from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine with BSc. (double First -Class Hons. In Chemistry & Botany) and PhD. (Plant Biochemistry). She lectured at the UWI at both the graduate and undergraduate level for 37 years and served as Head of the Department of Life Sciences for six years and as Ag. Head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies. She introduced and taught a course on Gender and Science; a graduate course in Bioethics and introduced these components in several undergraduate courses in Life Sciences and Gender Studies. She is the recipient of several awards including: the Shell Fellowship in Biotechnology, a Senior Fulbright Fellowship; the UWI/Guardian Life Premium Award for Excellence in Teaching ; the 2012 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching; Naparima Girls’ High School Alumnae Award (2003) and the National Institute for Higher Education Research and Technology ( NIHERST)’s Gold medal in recognition of the contribution made to Plant Science. Her biography is included in NIHERST’s publication: "Caribbean Women in Science and Their Careers” as well as in the publication of the Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS): “Women Scientists of the Americas: Their Inspiring Stories.” She has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific papers in areas of Plant Anatomy and Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Gender and Science. During the later years of her career, she shifted her focus from pure Science to the impact of Science on society with special interest in Ethics, Gender and Inter-Religious Studies. She is a founding member of the Bioethics Society of the English- Speaking Caribbean (BSEC), served as its Treasurer for four years and is currently serving as its vice- President and editor of its newsletter, “Bioethics Caribe”. She served as a member of UNESCO National Commission for eight years during the period 2007-2015 and chaired its Natural Science Sector and Bioethics committees. She is a member of the Bureau of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Science and Technology (COMEST), currently serving a second four- year term as its vice- chairperson and was the Rapporteur in 2017.