A scientist named “Fatma” does not get recognition every day

Dr. Fatma Kaplan
5 min readJan 16, 2022

A bitter-sweet recognition!

After 27 years of hard work in science, my efforts were for the first time recognized in 2021, simultaneously by both industry and academic communities. I was ecstatic! I was awarded ISCE Applied Chemical Ecology Award by the International Society of Chemical Ecology (ISCE) in March and the Female Leadership Award by Thrive AgFood Accelerator in June. This was followed by a Cover Feature of AWIS Magazine in July. It was a great honor for me I couldn’t help but share my excitement with everyone.

I was immediately put in my place in November. I was told that I have been advertising myself too much. I was told that I should not be mentioning recognition. This left me with a bitter-sweet taste. I was conflicted about taking the advice on whether or not to share news of the awards. A lot of minorities and women reached out to me from many different countries when I posted on social media. They said I was an inspiration to them. One of them said that he was working with model organisms at a University in Hong Kong and did not know what to do with this basic research after graduating. He realized that he can do a lot with basic research like me and move from bench to field. A group of female students reached out to me from Turkey and told me I was their role model and they can be successful like…