Thursday, December 7, 2023

France recognizes Mexican scientist with Legion of Honor award

A Mexican researcher has been awarded France’s Legion of Honor for her work to combat climate change and protect the Caribbean Sea’s biodiversity.

Awarding her the order’s status of Chevalier, French President Emmanuel Macron cited Dalila Aldana Aranda, a scientific researcher at the National Polytechnic Institute in Mérida, Yucatán, for “her commitment to the fight against climate change and for her protection of the seas and their biodiversity, in particular the Caribbean Sea, which France and Mexico share in common.”

Aldana, also a biological and aquacultural oceanographer and researcher with Mexico’s Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav), is known for her work protecting biodiversity on the Yucatán Peninsula. She was president of the Mexican Academy of Sciences Southeast Region from 2008 to 2010 and is currently on committees at Mexico’s National Council for Science and Technology (Conacyt).

This is not the first time Aldana has been honored by France. She was previously accepted into the Order of Academic Palms, an order of knighthood for academics and cultural and educational figures. She has a further emotional and academic connection to the country, having received her oceanography doctorate from the University of West Brittany and a doctorate from the University of Marseille.

Each year, the Legion of Honor, in addition to distinguishing the military service of French soldiers, awards notable civilians’ achievement. Aldana now shares the honor with fellow Mexican scientist Mario Molina, a chemical engineer. Outside of Mexico, she shares the honor with French writer Alexandre Dumas, former British prime minister Winston Churchill and American animator Walt Disney.

Sources: El Universal (sp)

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