Science stakeholder bulletins

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


Trudeau on quantum computing, new prizes and more

  • Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, nails quantum computing in this press conference that has attracted global attention
  • Australia’s attorney general has also attracted global attention explaining metadata
  • I’m told that Barack Obama struggled with gravitational waves, but I can’t find the clip.

How would you and your team do?

A great way to train and test your best scientists is push them into the limelight by nominating them for a prize. As part of the #ideasboom, the Prime Minister has expanded his prizes for science and innovation and there are a host of other opportunities in this bulletin.

Or push your young researchers into Science Week – grants are open in most States.

We offer a service to test and refresh your narrative. Do you talk about additive manufacturing when you mean 3D printing?  We can help you review and refresh your pitch.

And we offer media training – if you can guarantee a minimum of six people in a capital city we can organise a course.

This week also sees the opening of Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at The University of Sydney. More on their launch below, and it’s not too late to join them

And from next month you can meet the 2016 Fresh Scientists in pubs around the country – starting in Melbourne on 31 May.

More on all of those below.

In this bulletin:

Kind regards,


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A new Prime Minister’s Prize; Fresh Science and $50,000 stem cell prizes extended

Both Fresh Science and the $50,000 Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research have been extended to Wednesday 30 March.

So now’s the time to push forward those shy but brilliant early and mid-career scientists.

There’s also a new Prime Minister’s Prize – a $50,000 Prize for ‘New Innovators’, taking the total prize pool to $750,000. Nominations have just opened.

Read on for more about these prizes and others including the Eureka Prizes, Tall Poppies and the BioMelbourne Network’s Women in Leadership Awards.

Congratulations to Melbourne ‘rare geneticist’ Elena Tucker, from the Murdoch. She jets to Paris this week for a L’Oréal UNESCO Rising Talent Award. Read more.

Our media and communication courses for scientists will be in Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide over the coming months. More below.

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$1 million in science prizes; Australia’s #ideasboom dinner in DC; and more, always more…

In this bulletin:

Kind regards,

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Stop whingeing, we’re good at innovation; 2 x $50,000 prizes for stem cell research; and taking this year’s top science stories to the AAAS

Do you know an up-and-coming stem cell researcher who deserves to be recognised for their work?

Applications for the 2016 Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research are now open, offering cash and valuable recognition to boost the careers of two Australian early to mid career researchers. More below.

This week is Innovation Week 2015, an initiative led by the Australian Science & Innovation Forum (ASIF) in partnership with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) and backed by the Victorian government. Their timing was perfect given that the goss is that the innovation statement will come out early next week—kudos to Marguerite Evans-Galea and her colleagues.

And their message is…we are good at innovation. As Michelle Gallaher (@startupshelly) reminded us at the Royal Society of Victoria last night, “There were $2 billion in biotech deals done in Australia this year including HatchTech, who secured up to $279 million for their head lice treatment, and Starpharma’s $650 million plus deal with AstraZeneca”.

On Wednesday the Defence Science Group also reminded me that the little rocket that thinks it’s a ship (Nulka) has earned billions of dollars and they’ve got many more clever devices which are protecting Australian soldiers, sailors and pilots, and earning export dollars.

Take a look at what the Innovation Week team have done, and consider getting involved next year –

The Victorians are also putting some serious money into supporting women scientists through career breaks. Yesterday they announced their first four Inspiring Women Fellowships each worth up to $150,000. Natalie Hannan was one of them. She’s a 2006 Fresh Scientist looking at pre-eclampsia and delivering drugs directly to the placenta.

And finally, before you break for Christmas, tell me the highlights of your best research from Australia and around the world for our 2016 Stories of Australian Science collection. Stories cost $1,200 each with discounts for two or more. We’ll want them ready to show off when we head to the United States for the AAAS meeting in DC in February. More below.

The cracking team of caffeinated science enthusiasts at Science in Public and I would like to wish you all the best for the festive season. We will be closing the office for two weeks from COB Friday 18 December and will re-open on Monday 4 January. But if you are in need of some urgent “break-the-glass” PR support over the break, we can be reached on mobile.

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Tell us your Indonesia and Japan connections; reversing dementia; and looking for science Stories

I’m in Tokyo talking about the Japanese collaborations we collected earlier this year. The result was a series of fact sheets for the Australian Embassy in Japan. This weekend we’re presenting them at Science Agora in Tokyo.

We’re talking about saving coral, predicting earthquakes, fighting malaria, exploring Antarctic oceans with elephant seals, sharing neutrons, new drugs for malaria, and the prehistory of tsunamis. More below.

Today I’m keen to hear of:

  1. Japan – any new Australia-Japan achievements – where the research has or is making a real difference.
  2. Indonesia – ways in which Australian science has changed Indonesia and vice versa. For example, Australian vets helped eradicate foot-and-mouth disease in Indonesia – benefiting agriculture in both countries.
  3. Highlights of your best research in Australia and around the world for our 2016 Stories of Australian Science collection.

Also last night, and on breakfast TV and radio this morning, we’ve heard that exercise can reverse dementia and recover spatial memory – in mice so far, but human trials are due to start next year.

Perry Bartlett, the founding director of the Queensland Brain Institute, received the $50,000 CSL Florey Medal for his discoveries that have transformed our understanding of the brain.

The award was presented by Minister Sussan Ley at the AAMRI dinner in Parliament House. More below.

Kind regards,
Niall [click to continue…]

Bubbles, the world’s most important reaction and more… this year’s Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science winners

Tonight in the Great Hall of Parliament House, six of Australia’s best scientists and science teachers will receive the 2015 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

They are:

  • Feeding the world, and asking where the wind went: Graham Farquhar (Australian National University)—Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.
  • How trillions of bubbles earned billions for Australia: Graeme Jameson (University of Newcastle)—Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation.
  • Making polymers with light: Cyrille Boyer (University of New South Wales)—Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year.
  • Where are the plants and animals we want to conserve, and the invaders we want to control?: Jane Elith (University of Melbourne)—Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year.
  • Bringing students to science and space: Ken Silburn (Casula High School)—Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools.
  • Improved primary science teaching at no extra cost: Rebecca Johnson (Windaroo State School)— Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools.

We’ll tweet photos and comments from the dinner this evening from @inspiringaus and @scienceinpublic.

2015 Prime Minister’s Prize winners with Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb (far left). L-R Ken Silburn, Rebecca Johnson, Cyrille Boyer, Jane Elith, Graham Farqhuar and Graeme Jameson

Brief citations below. For full citations, photos and videos go to
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Kind regards,


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Australian Museum Eureka Prizes: and the winners are…

We can tell you all about the work of the Eureka Prize winners today – from tiny crystals shining a light on diseased cells, to salt batteries for renewable energy, and more.

The winners were announced at a fantastic dinner last night at the Sydney Town Hall, with hundreds of guests from science, business, government, and media.

Nicknamed the ‘Oscars of Australian science,’ these awards recognise researchers, leaders and communicators breaking new ground in their fields and inspiring those around them to follow suit.

There are also prizes for budding scientists or science communicators in the primary and secondary school sections. You can see the winner of the secondary prize Paige Bebee with her grandfather… on the front page of the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald this morning.

Also look out for the amazing winners and finalists of the Eureka Prize for Science Photography.

Press releases, videos and photos are all online and on twitter: @eurekaprizes @scienceinpublic, and #eureka15.

More below.

Also in this bulletin:

If you’d like to find out more drop me a line.

Kind regards,


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Overdosing on homeopathic sleeping pills, dissecting a croc – National Science Week highlights + Fresh Scientists everywhere and more

If you missed Neil deGrasse Tyson’s dance-moves on Q&A on Monday night and his insightful commentary on all things science, there’s still a chance to catch him at events in Melbourne tonight, or in Brisbane, Sydney or Canberra.

He’s here in Melbourne doing events for National Science Week – with other highlights including: astronaut Chris Hadfield; the woman who survived an neiloverdose of 50 homeopathic sleeping pills; a live croc dissection; 40 remarkable women in science and more. And the RiAus has a special offer on Hadfield tickets.

There are already over 1,500 events registered for the week which kicks off Saturday 15 August. South Australia’s launch was last night, and there’s details on the other state launches below, and the national launch at dozens of schools nationwide.

More below.

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Meet this year’s Freshies at a pub near you; Science Week briefings; Eureka finalists and more

A million Australians got involved in Science Week last year.

We’re working with the Inspiring Australia team to build the impact further over the next four years.

And we want to share the stories of exciting happenings around the country with the science world, the media, and the general public.

So, if you’re doing things and/or want to do more, please come to one of our briefing events in the coming weeks in:

  • NSW on Tuesday 21 July at Business Events Sydney
  • ACT on Friday 24 July at Canberra Innovation Network
  • VIC on Thursday 30 July at the Royal Society of Victoria
  • And we’ll do other States and Territories by demand.

If you’re holding an event, don’t forget to register it: Also tell your local media what you’re up to – they love local stories.

If there’s a national media angle let me know. And keep in touch with your state Science Week committee – contacts details at:

Also over the next two months:

We’ll be introducing you to our 2015 Fresh Scientists, and the Eureka Prize finalists.

We received over 170 nominations for Fresh Science this year, and you can meet our finalists at pub events around the country – more below.

The finalists for the 2015 Eureka Prizes will be announced next Friday. Keep an eye on Twitter #Eureka15 or @eurekaprizes for the announcement.

Also in this bulletin:

Kind regards,


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Fresh Science coming to NSW and SA; Vic Prizes open; use Science Week…

More Fresh Science: We’re pleased to announce Fresh Science events in New South Wales and South Australia. They join Victoria, North Queensland, South Queensland and Western Australia.

So we have sixty places around the country. Please consider nominating any early career researchers you know who have a peer reviewed result and little or no media coverage.

We’re extending the deadline to Wednesday 1 July to give those in NSW and SA a bit more time.

Also aimed at early-career scientists are 12 Victorian Fellowships each worth $18,000. And the two $50,000 Victoria Prizes are also open for one more week.

Most science prize winners say they never would have considered nominating until pushed to do so by a colleague. So I encourage you to consider who deserves a push. Prizes can make a real difference to the careers of our best researchers.

Coming up: National Science Week – how will you celebrate science?

Also scholarships for health researchers, and a prize that recognises scientific courage: standing up for good, evidence-based science. It’s a UK prize open to Australians.

Kind regards,
Niall [click to continue…]

Calling for Fresh Scientists; Vic and ACT science prizes; and a light revolution at Fed Square

It’s time to push your best early-career scientists into Fresh Science 2015 for a wild ride of training, pub talks, and press. We’re holding the competition in most states and we’re ready for your nominations. More below.

And if you’re a little later in your career, don’t despair—we can teach you new tricks too. We are running media training courses in Melbourne and Sydney in the next month, with dates below.

Victorian Fellowships are open for early-career scientists and researchers. There are 12 available, each worth $18,000. And the $50,000 Victoria Prizes are available for established researchers whose work has benefited the community. And the ACT is looking for nominations for the first ACT Scientists of the Year. More below.

We’re injecting a bit of science into Melbourne’s celebration of the winter solstice, as part of the International Year of Light. Join us for luminous discussion and a focussed debate about LEDs, lasers, and the loss of the night, with two events at Fed Square in June. See more details below.

I’ll be in Canberra next week for the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Conference, celebrating 25 years of innovation since CRCs were established, and looking forward to the challenges of the next 25 years.

Kind regards,
Niall [click to continue…]

$1 million in AMP grants; Fresh Science opens; and your baby’s genome

We’ll be calling for Fresh Science nominations next week. We want up-and-coming Aussie scientists with a story to tell.

We’re locked in for WA, Victoria and North Queensland and are hunting for support for Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Darwin. More below.

In other prize news:

Thanks to the 240 women who applied for a L’Oréal ANZ Fellowship. We’ve now selected the 19 finalists and will announce the final four Fellows in Sydney on Tuesday 8 September.

Now we’re looking for Australia’s next global L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureates—help us find and nominate female science leaders for 100,000 Euro and international prestige. More below.


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$250,000 innovation prize; $50,000 stem cell prize; and Japan links

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Winning Australian science; plus getting your voice heard in Canberra, and beyond

Last night in the Great Hall of Parliament House, six of Australia’s best scientists and science teachers received the 2014 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

The recipients of this year’s prizes are:

  • Sam Berkovic and Ingrid Scheffer, Prime Minister’s Prize for Science – The genetics of epilepsy: bringing hope to families
  • Matthew Hill, Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year – Australian crystals set to take over industry
  • Ryan Lister, Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year – Regulating genes to treat illness, grow food, and understand the brain
  • Geoff McNamara, Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools – A taste of real-world science to take to the real world
  • Brian Schiller, Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools – Combining play, science and language

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Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science announced today at 5pm, media call at noon

The Prime Minister will present his 2014 Prizes for Science this evening in Canberra.

The winners are from Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.

There is an embargoed media briefing at 12 noon today in the Great Hall at Parliament House and the embargo lifts at 5 pm.

Full details at But you’ll need to call or email me for the password on 0417 131 977 or

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Prizes, grants, early career opportunities and the Science Council reborn

This is my latest occasional bulletin of useful bits and pieces for the science world.

Firstly, a bunch of opportunities for early-career researchers.

A $25,000 prize will be awarded to an early-career biomedical researcher who is contributing in a unique and creative way to their chosen field. Applications close 20 October 2014. More below.

Jobs for our future leaders are also available at the ARC Centre for Advanced Molecular Imaging which is being launched today. This partnership between five Australian universities and an impressive list of infrastructure partners will provide a new way of looking at the immune system. More below.

The jobs at the Centre are among seven new EMBL Australia Group Leader positions currently open at Monash, UNSW and SAHMRI – offering early-career researchers up to nine years funding and allowing them the security to tackle the big questions. [click to continue…]

Fighting for science with light; and the Eureka winners are…

Today: discover the Eureka Prize finalists

Tonight: Eureka winners announced – if you’re not at the dinner follow us for the announcements (@eurekaprizes and @scienceinpublic)

Saturday: listen to Suzanne Cory’s ABC Boyer Lecture on science and a health society

Monday through Wednesday: using the Year of Light to promote science – briefings in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane

Monday night: Join Q&A with Tony Jones and a science panel

Also in this bulletin:

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