Science stakeholder bulletins

Science in Public’s bulletins to science organisations with information about prizes and science events and other opportunities.


Pitching to Japanese, Chinese businesses and science TV; debunking pseudoscience; 1,000 scientists for World Record; Fresh Science in the Pub and more

Interested in profiling your science to those who make, buy, and produce science television? I’m heading to San Francisco next week for the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers.

Next year the conference is coming to Australia and they are keen to meet local researchers with good stories. Drop me a line.

Pitching your technology to Asian partners. Join me for a free session hosted by the City of Melbourne on 4 December. It’s a precursor to the City’s annual business mission to China and Japan in March next year. More below.

Tune up your critical thinking and pseudoscience radar at Skepticon this weekend in Sydney, and with Jason Silva in Melbourne tonight and Sydney on Sunday.

Break a World Record and the stereotype of what a scientist looks like by joining in UNSW’s record-breaking attempt at the largest gathering of people dressed as scientists at the end of November.

Or head to the pub in Melbourne (29 November) and Perth (6 December) for the latest science over a beer.

In this bulletin:

And finally, media & communication training for scientists.

If you or any of your staff need help shaping your science into a story for stakeholders, the public, industry, or the media join us for one of our training courses. Or talk to us about a customised course.

We’ve got courses coming up in:

  • Perth – 7 December
  • Melbourne – 12 December.

Futurism and debunking pseudoscience this weekend MLB and SYD

Futurism, technology, creativity, the science of awe, disruptive innovation, relationships and mental health.

Bringing it all together is Jason Silva: storyteller, futurist and host of National Geographic’s Brain Games, who is speaking in Melbourne tonight and Sydney this weekend.

Jason is speaking as part of Skepticon 2017, the Australian Skeptics national convention.

The Skeptics encourage critical thinking presented with pseudoscience, paranormal ideas and questionable claims.

Book yourself to get Awestruck.

  • Melbourne – The Athenaeum Theatre, tonight, Friday 17 November; and
  • Sydney – The City Recital Hall, Sunday 19 November.


Book yourself in for a weekend of debunking at Skepticon or individual sessions on topics such as the vaccination campaign and cult survivors.

Speakers include Alan Duffy, Dr Karl, Lawrence Leung, Sonya Pemberton, Adam Spencer, the War on Waste’s Craig Reucassel, the Checkout presenter Kate Browne and former SMH science editor Marcus Strom.

Awestruck and Skepticon are both presented by Think Inc., an Australian-based initiative dedicated to igniting intellectual discussion and encouraging critical thinking by hosting events with the world’s leading intellectuals.

Help break a World Record (and stereotype) by being a scientist

If you’re a scientist and want to show the world what a scientist looks like, join UNSW in setting a Guinness World Record of the largest gathering of people dressed as scientists.

Bring: lab coat, lab glasses and a piece of lab equipment (they will also supply).

  • Globe Lawn, UNSW 3pm Monday 27 November

Some scientists wear wetsuits, some wear field gear, and others wear just plain clothes. The reality is most scientists don’t wear lab coats and lab glasses, and scientists are much more diverse.

So why don’t you help break a Guinness World Record and debunk the stereotype of what scientists look like.

Share/Like/Watch the video call-out

Fresh Science in the pub in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth

Hear the latest science with a beer in your hand.

Ten up-and-coming scientists will describe their scientific discoveries in the time it takes a sparkler to burn out.

Recently we’ve heard about: making better batteries from thin air, the love lives of sea snakes and finding out what triggers volcanic eruptions, at pubs in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Sydney.
So, what #FreshSci will we hear in Melbourne and Perth?

Tickets are free, but bookings essential.

  • The Belgian Beer Café, Southbank in Melbourne on Wednesday, 29 November. Book now.
  • The Brisbane Hotel, in Perth on Wednesday, 6 December. Book now.

Are you a Melbourne business interested in expanding to Asia?

If you work in health and life sciences or sustainable urban design and are interested in pursuing business opportunities in China and Japan, you may be interested in joining a City of Melbourne business mission to China and Japan.

Led by Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, AC, you will have the opportunity to meet with businesses in Osaka, Japan and Tianjin, Beijing, Wuxi and Suzhou, China. The next business mission is 21-30 March 2018.

They are now seeking expressions of interest from local business representatives and entrepreneurs from the following fields:

  • health and life sciences industries
  • sustainable urban design
  • general aviation
  • innovation and startups
  • game development.

Expressions of interest close 30 November.

More information:

Pitching your technology to business

What are the crucial elements that make a good business pitch or presentation? How can you improve your communication skills to stand out from the crowd?

Join Niall Byrne, Creative Director from Melbourne PR firm Science in Public, as he guides you into the world of results-based professional speaking, with particular emphasis on why presentations need to be tailor-made to suit an Asian audience.

This forum will also introduce the City’s Mission to Japan and China.

Date: Monday 4 December 2017
Time: 5.30 – 7.30pm
Where: Supper Room – Melbourne Town Hall, 90-120 Swanston Street, Melbourne

For more information, and RSVP 03 9658 9366 or

Science and Factual TV: global meeting for those who make, buy, and broadcast science and factual television

Next week I will be in San Francisco attending the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers.

It’s a chance to hear and see what’s happening in science television with speakers revealing emerging content trends and highlighting industry issues.

In 2018 we have the chance to promote Australian science to a global audience when the conference comes here.

So I’ll be at the conference spruiking Australian science and connecting them back to Australia. If you’re interested in being involved in the conference next year, please drop me a line.

And mark the date in your diaries—last week of November 2018.

Broadcasters and producers that usually attend include: ABC TV, ARTE, BBC, CBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, Discovery Channel US, Discovery Channel Canada, Discovery Science, France 5, National Geographic Int., NDR, NHK, Rai, Thirteen/WNET and WGBH.

Communication and engagement training—final dates for 2017

Do you (or any of your staff) need help shaping your science into a story for stakeholders, the public, industry, or the media?

Our final media and communication training courses for scientists for 2017 will be in:

  • Perth – 7 December
  • Melbourne – 12 December.

Registration is now open for all courses via EventBrite.

In these courses, we’ll help you shape the story of your research into a form that works for the media, as well as for government, industry and other stakeholders. The day’s insights and training will help you feel more comfortable in dealing with journalists when media opportunities arise.

Over the years we’ve helped Monash launch the world’s first printed jet engine, revealed the loss of half the coral on the Great Barrier Reef, helped CERN announce the Higgs boson, and revealed the link between CSIRO’s Wi-Fi patent and Aussie astronomy.

Working journalists from television, print and radio will join us over the course of the day to explain what makes news for them. And you’ll get the chance to practise being interviewed in front of a camera and on tape.

Want to build your own training?

We also offer a flexible range of training programs to help your researchers understand their audiences, the essence of their story, and how to build their profile with the audiences and stakeholders that matter for their projects and for their long-term career development.

Our offerings include:

  • Meet your audience: from government, business, and/or the media
  • Make your pitch: what’s the essence of your story
  • Build your profile: websites, media, social media
  • Make your story work for mainstream media
  • Presentation training: make your story come to life
  • Photography and videography for scientists.

“The biggest prize I received as a Fresh Science finalist was intensive media training by Science in Public,” says astrophysicist Alan Duffy.

“I gained experience in different media formats such as radio and TV with practise interviewing, and invaluable coaching in how to tailor my message that I use to this day.”

For more information on a bespoke course, visit or call us on 03 9398 1416.

Sex, dragons, toothpaste, lasers and genetics—meet this year’s PM’s Prizes for Science winners

Last night the Prime Minister presented the 2017 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science to six outstanding scientists and science teachers.

  • What kangaroos, platypus and dragons can tell us about sex and humanity: Professor Jenny Graves AO, La Trobe University, Prime Minister’s Prize for Science
  • Saving the world’s teeth with Australian dairy milk: Professor Eric Reynolds AO, The University of Melbourne/Oral Health CRC, Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation
  • Unravelling the genetic complexity of height, intelligence, obesity and schizophrenia: Professor Jian Yang, The University of Queensland, Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year
  • Creating new ways to visualise the processes of life: Professor Dayong Jin, University of Technology Sydney, Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year
  • Using the “outdoor classroom” to make science fun and relevant to the whole curriculum: Neil Bramsen, Mount Ousley Public School, Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools
  • Inspiring his students to love science and to use it in their daily lives: Brett McKay, Kirrawee High School, Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools.

Read more about them below.

Eric Reynolds, Brett McKay, Dayong Jin, Minister Michaelia Cash, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Jenny Graves, Neil Bramsen, Jian Yang. Credit Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

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Fresh Science in the pub; half a million in Science Week grants; and more training dates

Fresh Science turns 20 this year.

We’re giving 50 up-and-coming researchers from 25 organisations the chance to hone their communication skills, and practise presenting their science to journalists, schoolkids, science leaders, and down at their local pub.

We received close to 150 nominations for Fresh Science this year. It was tough to judge!

Hear the latest science and meet this year’s Fresh Scientists at pub events in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth – details below.

Thank you to the 17 universities, three museums, and other groups that have partnered with us to deliver Fresh Science this year.

Also this month:

And finally, media & communication training for scientists:

If you or any of your staff need help shaping your science into a story for stakeholders, the public, industry, or the media, join us for one of our training courses. Or talk to us about a customised course.

We’ve got courses coming up in:

  • Sydney – 11 October
  • Melbourne – early December (TBC)
  • Perth – 7 December

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Get your Fresh Science in; Japan stories; Science Week report back; and training all over the country

Help us find the next generation of Fresh Scientists

Nominations for Fresh Science 2017 close next Thursday 31 August. So encourage all the great early-career researchers you know to apply and become our next generation of spokespeople for science.

Thank you Curtin, UWA, Murdoch, Edith Cowan, Notre Dame, Adelaide, UniSA, Flinders, Monash, Melbourne, LaTrobe, Deakin, Swinburne, RMIT, UNSW, UQ, QUT, Griffith, and CSIRO for your support.
More below.

Next year the Australian Government’s Australia Now program will focus on Japan. Look out for opportunities to be involved.

See some examples of Australia Japan partnerships in innovation.

They include giant robot trucks, repairing teeth together, new malaria drugs, and solar furnaces.

Watch and download the videos here.

There is also a new batch of Stories of Australian Science, including making motorcycle clothing safer, robotic arms for stroke rehab, finding gold with volcanoes and much more.

You can read and share the stories via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
More below.

Just about every science organisation in Australia got behind National Science Week this year, with a record breaking 2,100+ events around the country.

But there’s no time to rest. 2018 Science Week grants open soon and next year’s dates are 11 – 19 August. More below.

We’re holding communication courses around the country over the next month.
If you or any of your staff need help shaping your science into a story for stakeholders, the public, industry, or the media, join us for one of our training courses. Or talk to us about a customised course—our entry level session takes just 90 minutes.

We’ll be in Sydney on 31 August, Melbourne on 12 September, Canberra on 5 September, Adelaide on 19 September and Perth on 21 September. More below.

Finally, it’s the Eureka Prizes next week.

We’re not driving the media this year, so I’m looking forward to sitting back and enjoying a good night with friends and colleagues, and celebrating some of our best Australian science. You can read more about the finalists here:

Also in this bulletin:

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Fresh Science is open; National Science Week; prize reminders; events; and more

Fresh Science 2017 is seeking early-career researchers with a story to tell.

This national competition will offer 10 up-and-coming scientists in each state a day of media training, and the skills they need to present their work to the media, the public, schoolkids and at the pub.

If you know a colleague who you think could benefit from Fresh Science, encourage them to nominate.

Then join us later in the year to hear their stories and celebrate 20 years of Fresh Science.

More below.

National Science Week is almost upon us

1,800 events and activities are now registered for National Science Week, coming up from 12 to 20 August. That means that there’s plenty to choose from, but it’s also a great opportunity to promote your science.

Make sure you register your event, and let us help you shout about it. More below.

Also in this bulletin

And our upcoming media and engagement training dates

Do you (or any of your staff) need help shaping your science into a story for stakeholders, the public, industry, or the media?

Join us for our scheduled one-day courses around the country or talk to us about a customised course.

  • Sydney – 31 August
  • Canberra – 5 September
  • Melbourne – 12 September
  • Adelaide – 19 September
  • Perth – 21 September

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Grants, prizes and funding worth $3 million+; where is chemistry going?; and what are your Science Week highlights?

More than $3 million worth of science prizes, fellowships, grants and awards are open for nominations over the next couple of months, from $5K for young engineers to two CSL Centenary Fellowships worth $1.25million each.

This week, the Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research open—two $50,000 prizes for outstanding mid-career researchers working with stem cells in medicine, agriculture or any other field.

Read on for more.

We can help you make the most of Science Week

Last year, 1.3 million Australians got involved in 1,800 registered National Science Week events around the country. We’re the national publicists for Science Week, providing communication support for event organisers and briefing media outlets with tasty story leads.

If you have an event or topic you think has strong media potential, let us know and we’ll consider including it in our media releases and briefings. Email us at

And it’s not too late to create an event, or to register an existing event via

More below.

New media and engagement training dates

Do you (or any of your staff) need help shaping your science into a story for stakeholders, the public, industry, or the media?

Join us for our scheduled one day courses around the country or talk to us about a customised course. More below.

  • Sydney – 31 August
  • Melbourne – 1 August, 12 September
  • Canberra – 5 September
  • Adelaide – 19 September
  • Perth – 21 September

Also in this bulletin:

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What are you doing with China? Explore big data and open source publishing at Nature Springer events; a taste of Science Week; and more

Are you working with industry or university collaborators in China?

We’re creating a list of China-Australia research collaborations. We’re interested in everything from pure research collaborations to industry collaborations. We’ll share the results with the Australian Embassy in Beijing. More below.

Big data: big deal?

Big data, open data and open access publishing are hot topics. Beyond the buzzwords, what is the value for serious research? Springer Nature are holding a series of free symposia and networking events next week in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Hear from their Chief Publishing Officer Steven Inchcoombe, who believes science should be social and research should be read. Read on for details.

Get a piece of the Science Week action in August

Last year, 1.3 million Australians got involved in 1,800 registered National Science Week events around the country. It’s the prime time for open days, events and broad science engagement.

This year marks Science Week’s 20th birthday. International visitors include theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, astronaut and ‘space oddity’ Chris Hadfield, and Simone Giertz, YouTube’s queen of ‘crappy’ robots.

Plus, IMPACT7 will see innovators compete to present the brightest ideas. There’s still time to nominate. And ‘Blood’ will be the inaugural exhibition at Melbourne’s new Science Gallery.

More below.

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Last chance to push your colleagues for the PM’s Prizes and others; Nature promoting Melbourne…

The deadline for this year’s Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science is next Wednesday. The first stage is relatively painless so please push your unsung heroes of science and innovation forward.

We know that most nominations happen because a peer or supervisor nudges the nominee forward. So nudge away. We’re especially keen to see a strong field for the early-career prizes. The Prize for New Innovators is great for young researchers who have science/engineering credibility and have made a commercial outcome possible.

And for the up-and-coming researchers with the gift of the gab, consider the Top 5 under 40 competition organised by the ABC and UNSW.

Here’s a list of dates for you:

More on all of these below.  [click to continue…]

The big one: $750,000 for science/innovation/teaching—nominations for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science now open

Also in this bulletin: from the Academy to the ABC, a host of prizes; join Nature’s promotion of Australia’s science capital; and Alan Duffy on our training

Power and wealth untold—not quite—but the Prime Minister’s Prizes do wonders for your altmetrics. It’s time to put forward your unrecognised leaders and your rising stars.

Nominations are sought from industry and academia for the two major prizes worth $250,000 each and the $50,000 early to mid-career awards. It’s easy to nominate online and winning one of the awards really can be transforming.

“Winning this award is the single best thing that has happened in my career, and it clinched the success of my application for promotion to Professor,” says Angela Moles from UNSW of winning the 2013 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year.

For Rick Shine, winning last year’s Prime Minister’s Prize for Science helped raise public awareness of his work protecting native animals from cane toads and helped him to secure more funding. And for Ingrid Scheffer, who won the top prize in 2014 along with Sam Berkovic, the award secured her place as a sought-after speaker on her research into epilepsy and on the topic of women in science.

More below.
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Saving lives by the million; improving cities with Al Gore; and a truckload of prizes, funding and other opportunities

There’s a host of opportunities to recognise and support your researchers this month, including:

World public health and Ecocity meetings coming up in April and July

Australians have gained 25 years, and China’s life expectancy has doubled. Public health has transformed millions of lives. But Australia is a hotspot for lifestyle-influenced diseases such as diabetes, alcohol-related liver damage, obesity, stress, and mental health challenges. We’re also facing an ageing population and a changing climate.

The World Congress on Public Health will be held in Melbourne from 3 to 7 April, bringing together academics and policy makers from universities and institutions around the world, including the World Health Organisation. Read on for details.

And from 12 to 14 July, Melbourne will host the Ecocity World Summit, focusing on sharing the best knowledge, research and practical solutions to ensure urbanisation meets the needs of current and future generations. Topics include climate change adaptation, smart cities, food and water security, energy, infrastructure and urban health. Read on for more information.

And there are opportunities to help share your science…  [click to continue…]

Be noticed by those who matter; Australia Day science list; prizes; and funding opportunities

Australia Day was a good day for science

Not only was stem cell researcher Alan Mackay-Sim awarded Australian of the Year last week, Andrew Holmes, the guru of plastics and light and science academy president, received an AC, and many others were on the honour roll. We’ve scoured the list for science mentions. If we’ve missed anyone let me know.

Put your science in front of those who matter most: Stories of Australian Science

Has your team got an exciting discovery, invention, or other news you’d like to celebrate?

We’re calling for stories to feature in the 2017 edition of Stories of Australian Science, our online collection and annual print publication bringing together discoveries, prize-winners and top achievers in Aussie science.

We distribute the stories all over the country and overseas. Prices start from $1,200 with discounts for multiple stories. More below.

Need help telling the story in your science to the media, government, funders, investors…?

We’re holding media and communication training courses for scientists around the country. These courses will help your team find the best way to communicate your work to different audiences, manage tricky questions about your research, and give you the chance to practise interviews with working journalists from TV, radio and print.

We’ll be in:

  • Melbourne: Wednesday 8 February, Tuesday 2 May, Thursday 22 June
  • Adelaide: Wednesday 22 February, Tuesday 6 June
  • Sydney: Thursday 16 March, Thursday 25 May
  • Perth: Wednesday 8 March, Wednesday 5 July
  • Canberra: Wednesday 5 April

More below.

Also in this bulletin:

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Going for gold – UK’s women in science experience; put your research in front of politicians diplomats, journos…


Half of Australia’s science university students are women. So why are only 21 per cent of the professors teaching them women?

Forty Australian universities and other research organisations are signed up and working towards bronze Athena Swan accreditation for supporting women in science. What can they learn from the UK’s ten-year experience of addressing the ‘leaky pipeline’?

UK chemist Professor Tom Welton is in Australia to share how his team at the Imperial College London Chemistry Department achieved a gold Athena Swan Award for promoting gender equality.

His tour of events and workshops kicks off in Melbourne tomorrow. Next week he’s in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.

The tour is organised by the Science in Australia Gender Equity as part of their efforts to help their members tackle inequality and achieve Athena SWAN accreditation.
More below.


Has your team got an exciting discovery, invention, or other news you’d like to celebrate? Consider taking part in the 2017 edition of Stories of Australian Science, our online collection and annual print publication bringing together discoveries, prize-winners and top achievers in Aussie science.

We distribute the stories all over the country and overseas. Prices start from $1,200. More below.  [click to continue…]

Tell us your stories of Australia-US collaboration; get your science noticed by those who matter; $4 million for citizen science; and media training

We’re looking for stories of Australia-US research collaborations for a collection for the Australian Embassy in Washington DC. Our focus will be on innovations that are close to a commercial application and/or has achieved a practical outcome for both nations. More below.

Earlier this year we asked for Indonesia and Japan story leads. Our collection of Stories of Australia-Indonesia Innovation has been published online. It features a better vaccine for rotavirus, the latest in the discovery of the Hobbit, and stories on how Australian research is supporting the transformation of Indonesia. It’s now available online. More below and read the stories here. Our 2015 Japan stories are here. And look out for Japan collaboration videos in the New Year.

We’re also calling for great stories to include in our 2017 publication of Stories of Australian Science. It’s an annual print and online publication, bringing together discoveries, prize-winners and top achievers in Aussie science, which we distribute all over the country and overseas. Prices start from $1,200. More below.

As funders start to incorporate altmetrics, good communication will become more important than ever. We now offer a range of communication, pitching and media training services. Our first dates for 2017 are out now. More below.

Grants for citizen science are now available from the Australian government. They’re handing out $4 million. The deadline is 17 February. More below.

We close this Wednesday 21 December and re-open on Wednesday 4 January.

Have a lovely Christmas and we look forward to more brilliant Australian science next year.

Kind regards,

Niall  [click to continue…]

Universities getting innovation right – the printed jet engine flies into Paris deal; replacing the needle and syringe; celebrating your innovation

Innovation successes for Australian universities.

Today I want to share with you news of some great examples of Australian universities getting innovation right.

Monash’s 3D printed jet engine technology has flown into a manufacturing collaboration in Toulouse – with their spin-out company Amaero making aerospace components for Safran Power Units. The Australian Ambassador to France launched the deal in Paris last night. More below.

And UQ researcher Mark Kendall is on track to replace the 160-year-old needle and syringe. He will be recognised in Parliament House in Canberra tonight with the CSL Young Florey Medal. His Nanopatch  uses a fraction of the dose, puts the vaccine just under the skin, and doesn’t require a fridge.

Spin-out company Vaxxas is running human trials in Brisbane and the WHO is planning a polio trial in Cuba in 2017. The Gates Foundation and Merck are also backing Mark.

Last week I was in Tokyo filming more successful innovations:

  • Griffith University is partnering with three Japanese companies in the search for malaria drugs.
  • The University of Melbourne’s Recaldent is repairing teeth worldwide thanks to their long term collaboration with Japanese dental company GC Corp.
  • Solar furnace technology from CSIRO and a South Australian company is being trialled by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Yokohama.
  • And Komatsu’s CEO told me about the giant robotic trucks that they’re developing with Rio Tinto for the ‘mine of the future’.

Talk to me if you’d like help telling your organisation’s stories of innovation:

  • We offer pitching, engagement, presentation, and media training.
  • We have the national and global connections to put your stories in front of the right audiences.
  • Our 2017 Stories of Australian Science is opening for submissions soon.

In this bulletin:

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Australia’s research capital; the top 10 in research; big science talks in 2017; Innovation Week; and more

Melbourne is Australia’s research capital. According to the Nature Index, published overnight in Nature, Melbourne was Australia’s leading city in terms of high-quality science output in 2015, followed by Sydney. The index also shows that Brisbane saw the fastest growth in output between 2012 and 2015, and is home to the highest-placed institution in Australia, the University of Queensland.

The top 10 science organisations in Australia, according to the Nature Index are…

UQ, Monash, ANU, UniMelb, UNSW, USyd, CSIRO, UWA, Adelaide Uni, and Curtin.

The order hasn’t changed since Nature published their global index in April, but in today’s 2016 Nature Index Australia and New Zealand they’ve delved down into the performance by city, and by field of science.

  • Brisbane is rising fast up the list due to its strength in the life sciences, and the University of Queensland tops the list of Australian institutions.
  • Sydney punches above its weight in the physical sciences, especially with the opening of new nanoscience and quantum physics labs this year at UNSW and the University of Sydney.
  • Melbourne still leads the country, and is one of the top 10 most collaborative cities in the world, according to the index.

There are some funky visualisations of the strengths and connections of Sydney and Melbourne’s research institutes that reveal connections down to Bacchus Marsh (leaders in genetics, but why?).

Here’s a snapshot of a bit of the Melbourne graphic. See the details at:

Read the full release from Nature below along with a Sydney graphic.

In this bulletin:

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Defending Australia’s snakes and lizards; making share markets fair and efficient; and more… 2016 PM’s Prizes for Science awarded last night

Last night, the Prime Minister presented the 2016 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science to seven of Australia’s top scientists, innovators, and science teachers.

The 2016 recipients are:

  • Rick Shine, defending Australia’s snakes and lizards, Prime Minister’s Prize for Science (The University of Sydney)
  • Michael Aitken, making stock markets fair and efficient, Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation (Capital Markets CRC/Macquarie University)
  • Colin Hall, creating manufacturing jobs by replacing glass with plastic, the inaugural Prize for New Innovators (The University of South Australia)
  • Richard Payne, for re-engineering nature to fight for global health, Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year (The University of Sydney)
  • Kerrie Wilson, conservation that works for government, ecosystems and people, Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year (The University of Queensland/ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions)
  • Suzy Urbaniak—a geologist by trade—is turning students into scientists, Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools (Kent Street Senior High School, Perth)
  • Gary Tilley, creating better science teachers, Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools (Seaforth Public School, Sydney/Macquarie University)
L-R: Gary Tilley, Kerrie Wilson, Colin Hall, Minister Greg Hunt, Rick Shine, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Michael Aitken, Richard Payne, and Suzy Urbaniak (Photo credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science)

L-R: Gary Tilley, Kerrie Wilson, Colin Hall, Minister Greg Hunt, Rick Shine, Prime Minister Malcolm
Turnbull, Michael Aitken, Richard Payne, and Suzy Urbaniak (Photo credit: Prime Minister’s Prizes
for Science)

Read more about them below.

Plus, you can see images, video footage and read more online at

Check out all the action from last night on Twitter #pmprize and feel free to tweet your congratulations.

Kind regards,

In this bulletin:

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Tell us about Indonesia; new million dollar fellowships; meet our Freshies in Brisbane and Sydney; media training; and more

Indonesia: we’re writing a collection of short innovation stories for the Australia-Indonesia Centre and our brief isn’t restricted to work funded by the Centre. So if you know of any examples of collaborative research between Indonesia and Australia, please let me know.

This is a collection that we hope will be useful to government, business, science and cultural leaders, and that will contribute to a better understanding between our two nations. [click to continue…]

$730 million Next Generation Tech Fund; inside Melbourne’s secret defence labs; using Science Week; media training; and more

Defence Science and Technology Group needs you. They’re managing a $730 million Next Generation Technology Program to build collaboration with industry and academia.

This week they’re opening their ‘secret’ labs in Melbourne to media, industry and their academic partners. Some of the stories they’re revealing include:

  • Adding years to the life of Australia’s F/A-18 Hornet fighters
  • Testing acoustic tiles for Australia’s stealth submarines – present and future
  • Running Australia’s most flexible Defence flight simulator
  • Finding out if body armour can be worn in the jungle – with the help of a sweating mannequin
  • Working to make a Bushmaster truck disappear
  • Turning donuts into jet fuel
  • And more below

Communication training and delivery for your science team

We’ve got media and communication training courses in:

  • Melbourne: Tuesday 21 June, Thursday 21 July
  • Sydney: Thursday 7 July
  • Canberra: Wednesday 29 June
  • Adelaide: Thursday 4 August
  • Perth: Wednesday 14 September

Or book a bespoke course for your team and develop your own science communication plan. [click to continue…]

Backing up your sci comm team; new prizes; and Canberra changes

We’re expanding our services to support science and science communication teams in universities and research institutes.

We can help for example:

  • If you’ve got a big story that needs an extra national or international push.
  • If you need a strategy for a project or centre.
  • If your team needs coaching for an ARC interview, or media training.
  • If you want mentoring to grow your public profile.

Prices start from $800 for media training.

More below.

Prizes open now

  • $80,000 GSK Award for excellence in medical research – open till 4 July
  • Two $1.25million CSL Centenary Fellowships for mid-career medical researchers – closing 31 July
  • $25,000 2016 CSL Young Florey Medal for medical research – open till this Monday, 6 June
  • veski innovation fellowships of up to $150,000 – bringing international talent home to Melbourne, closing 14 July
  • Two $50,000 Victoria Prizes – for life sciences and physical sciences, closing 23 June.

More below.

Changes in science advocacy

Catriona Jackson is leaving Science and Technology Australia. She’s done a fantastic job advocating for science in the tough Abbott era. But she’s not going far – to Universities Australia as their deputy CEO.

Kylie Walker will take her place, moving from her role as communication director at the Academy of Science. The Academy CEO Sue Meek is also moving on, as is Peter Thomas who drove the SAGE gender equity initiative. He’s going to AAMRI, the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes.

Sue and Kylie have transformed the public and political impact of the Academy.

My thanks to Stephen Machett’s Campus Morning Mail for the heads-up.

Fresh Science

Fifty young researchers from 30 organisations are performing around the country this month and next.

Thank you to the 17 universities, four museums, and other groups who have partnered with us to deliver Fresh Science 2016.

Now you can see your early-career researchers taking the next step – engaging with the community, media, government and industry around the country. There are still free tickets left for the pub nights in Adelaide (15 June), Brisbane (18 July) and Sydney (26 July) and school forums in Perth (8 June) and Sydney (26 July).

Media and communication training

We’re running courses in:

  • Melbourne: Tuesday 21 June, Thursday 21 July, Tuesday 6 September, Thursday 27 October, Tuesday 13 December
  • Sydney: Thursday 7 July, Friday 2 September, Tuesday 15 November
  • Canberra: Wednesday 29 June
  • Adelaide: Thursday 4 August
  • Perth: Wednesday 14 September

More below, or you can register now via Eventbrite.

In this bulletin 

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Nature’s take on Australian science – Index released overnight

UQ on top, followed by Monash, but Melbourne more collaborative, and Curtin the fastest riser in today’s Nature Index.

The latest Nature Index published overnight in London reveals Australia’s contribution to high-quality scientific research.

The University of Queensland takes out the top spot in Australia (at 89 on the global university list) with the other members of the Group of Eight filling out the top eight positions in Australia.

Monash University is 93 globally, the Australian National University is at 100, and The University of Melbourne at 130. Australia has eleven universities in the top 500 institutions in the Index which tracks over 8,000 institutions worldwide.

CSIRO is the highest placed non-university body on the Index.

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