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Ana Maria Cetto Luncheon

WiN IAEA was glad to be able to host a luncheon on February 14th, 2013 with Ana Maria Cetto. The event was held in a more informal style and began at the VIC restaurant at 12.30. Discussions held during and after the lunch included questions from WiN members referring to the current state of Ms Cetto's carrier and research, as well as her era at the IAEA.

Ana María Cetto

Curriculum Vitae


Ana María Cetto is full-time research professor of the Institute of Physics and lecturer at the Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and member of the National Research System (SNI, level III). Presently she is on leave from UNAM and SNI and holds the post of Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (Nobel Peace Price 2005), where she heads the Department of Technical Cooperation.


She holds a Physics degree from UNAM (1967, with honours), a M.A. in Biophysics from Harvard University (1969), and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Physics from UNAM (1971, with honours).

Her main field of research is theoretical physics, with emphasis on the foundations of quantum mechanics and matter-light interactions. In this area she has co-authored about 90 research articles, in addition to the research monograph The Quantum Dice, An Introduction to Stochastic Electrodynamics (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1996). She is a former invited research fellow at the Universities of London (Birkbeck College and UCL), Paris VI, Rome and Santander.

Ana María Cetto also dedicates herself to the research and promotion of scientific journals in Latin America. She was Editor-in-Chief of Revista Mexicana de Física and member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) Press Committee, of the Board of the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), and serves on the editorial boards of various scientific journals. She co-authored Scientific Publications in Latin America and Scientific Journals in Latin America. She is founding president of LATINDEX, a comprehensive online information system for Iberoamerican and Caribbean scientific periodicals.

During over 35 years of university professor, she has given about 100 courses on theoretical physics and electron microscopy and has tutored more than 20 graduate and postgraduate students. She is co-author of the college textbooks El Mundo de la Física (Trillas) and Mecánica (ANUIES-SMF).

She chaired the project for the Museum on Light (UNAM), inaugurated in 1996, and is author of La Luz (FCE, Mexico) as well as of over 100 articles and essays on science education, popularization and policy. She was co-editor of Women's Vision of Science and Technology for Development (USA, 1995) and Supercuerdas, bulletin for women in science.


Ana María Cetto is former Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, former head of the Department of Physics of the Faculty of Sciences and of the Department of Theoretical Physics of the Institute of Physics, UNAM.

She is former vice-president of the IUPAP Commission on Physics for Development, of ICSU’s Committee on Science and Technology in Developing Countries (ICSU-COSTED), of the Interciencia Association and of the Third World Organization for Women in Science (TWOWS, co-founder). She is former Secretary-General of ICSU and member of the Council on Ideas, and served on the External Evaluation Team of the International Foundation for Science (IFS). She collaborated with UNESCO in the preparation and holding of the World Conference on Science (UNESCO-ICSU), of which she also edited the proceedings (Science for the Twenty-first Century (UNESCO, Paris, 2000). Ana María Cetto is former member of the Governing Board of the United Nations University (UNU). She is member of the International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB-COOP) of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Chair of the Board of Trustees of IFS. She is former member of the Council and former Chair of the Executive Committee of the Pugwash Conferences (Nobel Peace Prize 1995).

She is elected fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the Mexican Academy of Sciences, the Mexican Physical Society; the Seminar for Mexican Culture, the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences (Belgium), the Science Academy of the Dominican Republic, and the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan.

She received the Golden Award of the International League of Humanists (1998), the National Prize for the Development of Physics of the Mexican Physical Society (2000), UNAM’s Award Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (2006), an honorary doctorate from the Tajik State National University (2007) and from the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (2010), and second place of the Premio a las Mujeres Mexicanas Inventoras e Innovadoras for the LATINDEX initiative (2008). She was appointed Mexico’s Woman of the Year in 2003.