$360K+ worth of science prizes; what have you got planned for Science Week?; media training dates

Media bulletins, National Science Week, Science stakeholder bulletins

Now is the time to register your National Science Week events to be a part of this nationwide festival, coming up in August.

There are many big names involved, including Sylvia Earle, Paul Davies, three Aussie Nobel Laureates, and bunch of NASA scientists. The earlier you register your event, the better your chance of reaching a broader audience. More below.

Nominate your top researchers and rising stars for the science prizes that are now open, including:

  • the $50K CSL Florey Medal for medical research
  • two $50K Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research—for mid-career researchers
  • the $60K NSW Premier’s Prize for Scientist of the Year, plus nine $5,000 prizes for NSW-based scientists in various categories
  • two $50K Victoria Prizes for Science and Innovation (VIC only)
  • £3000 John Maddox Prize for standing up for science in the face of hostility
  • the Australian of the Year Awards
  • and our own Fresh Science program will open in the next couple of weeks.

Key dates, links and information are detailed below.

Help get your Indigenous, LGBTQ+ and/or regional STEM professionals researchers to Science meets Parliament in Canberra on 26-27 November. Science & Technology Australia have a diversity and inclusion scholarship program they can apply for—let them know and encourage them to apply. Read on for details.

We have communication and media training workshops coming up in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Darwin, and Perth—learn how to sum up your science in plain language for media, politicians and industry partners. Cities and dates below.

Finally, congratulations to our Director of Engagement Tanya Ha who has been elected to the board of the Diversity Council Australia. Tanya is an integral part of our team and our work telling stories of Australia science, and making sure they reflect our diverse and multicultural sector—something that is important to us and our clients and collaborators, several of whom are fellow DCA members. As the sole director from the science sector, we’re sure she will make a valuable contribution.

In this bulletin:

Kind regards,


Plastic-eating bacteria, the maths of music, a cancer-themed escape room: register your National Science Week activities

Universities, museums, medical research institutes and government agencies are using National Science Week to share their science with new audiences. This year’s program runs from 10 to 18 August.

Last year, 1.2 million Australians got involved in more than 2,100 registered National Science Week events around the country. Over 3,000 media stories mentioned National Science Week, with many more covering the events and science in general. How will you get involved?

Events already registered are inviting members of the public to meet Adelaide’s ‘Dr Dolphin’ and his bottlenose friends, think their way out of a cancer-themed escape room in Queensland, ask their Curious Climate questions in Tasmania, try simulated ‘beer goggles’ in a health lab on wheels, talks hear talks from high profile scientists, celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and look ahead to future space travel, design plastic-eating bacteria, and more.

Now is the time to plan and register your event and gain a piece of the science action. Registration is open on the Science Week website: scienceweek.net.au/event-holder-registration. Read our guide to writing a great event description

Science in Public is again providing publicity support, so if you’re planning an event or speaker with strong media appeal, let us know—email scienceweek@scienceinpublic.com.au and we’ll consider including it in highlights media releases.

More information at: www.scienceweek.net.au

$360K worth of science prizes now open

CSL Florey Medal—nominations close 28 June (National)

Nominations are open for the 2019 CSL Florey Medal, an initiative of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science. This prize, along with $50,000, is awarded every two years to an Australian biomedical researcher for significant lifetime achievements in biomedical science and/or the advancement of human health.

More information at: www.aips.net.au/news-events/the-florey-medal

Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research—entries close 29 July (National)

Applications are now open for the 2019 Metcalf Prizes for Stem Cell Research from the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia.

The Metcalf Prizes are open to mid-career researchers, 5 to 10 years past their PhD or MD (research based), working in Australia with a focus on stem cell research. Two prizes, worth $50,000 each, will be awarded to one male and one female scientist in recognition of their leadership and achievements in stem cell research.

More information at: https://www.stemcellfoundation.net.au/metcalf_prizes

NSW Premier’s Prizes for Science & Engineering—entries close 1 July (NSW)

The nominations for the 2019 NSW Premier’s Prizes for Science & Engineering are now open.

The Prizes seek to recognise excellence in science and engineering, and reward leading researchers for cutting-edge work that has generated economic, environmental, health, social or technological benefits for New South Wales.

A total prize pool of $105,000 will be awarded across a range of categories and career stages, including the $60K NSW Premier’s Prize for Scientist of the Year.

More information at: https://www.chiefscientist.nsw.gov.au/premiersprizes

Victoria Prize—entries close 17 July (Victoria)

Two 2019 Victoria Prizes for Science & Innovation, worth $50,000 each, will be awarded to outstanding science leaders: one for Life Sciences and one Physical Sciences.

More information at: https://www.veski.org.au/vicprize-criteria

John Maddox Prize—entries close 19 July (international)

The John Maddox Prize recognises the work of individuals who promote sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, facing difficulty or hostility in doing so. Nominations for 2019 are now open. The prize is a joint initiative of the UK-based organisation Sense about Science and the journal Nature.

The winner of the John Maddox Prize receives £3000, and an announcement of the winner is published in Nature. Past winners include Terry Hughes for his work tackling the misrepresentation of coral reef science, American naturopath-turned evidence-based medicine advocate Britt Hermes, and Irish science writer David Grimes whose writing debunks a range of myths and misconceptions around topics including vaccination, climate-change, gun control, nuclear power and public health.

More information at: https://senseaboutscience.org/activities/maddox-prize-2019-nominations/

2020 Australian of the Year Awards—closes 30 September (National and state/territory awards)

Will we see another scientist recognised at the next Australian of the Year Awards? Past winner Michelle Simmons shone the spotlight on quantum computing, Alan Mackay-Sim demonstrated our biomedical science strengths, and Local Hero ‘Mister WooTube’ Eddie Woo is showing students that maths is fun. If you know deserving candidates, nominate them.

More information at: www.australianoftheyear.org.au

Never miss another prize opportunity

New prizes calendar at the Science in Public website

Prizes and awards give you clout, a ‘news hook’ to share your science, and are great for your CV—but you’ve got to be in them to win them.

We have a new science prizes calendar on our website, with key dates, award events and links.

See the calendar online at: www.scienceinpublic.com.au/scienceprizescalendar

If there’s an award or prize program you think we should include, email us via cos@scienceinpublic.com.au.

Fresh Science opening soon

The national competition helping early-career researchers find, and then share, their stories of discovery

If you know any early-career researchers who have results or a discovery but haven’t received any media attention, then get them to nominate for Fresh Science.

The program takes up-and-coming researchers with no media experience and turns them into spokespeople for science, giving them a taste of life in the limelight, with a day of media training and a public event in their home state.

Nominations for Fresh Science will open soon, with events in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory in October and November. Watch the website or email sarah@scienceinpublic.com.au to get notified when the program opens.

Big thanks to the University of Melbourne, Monash University and the Western Australian Museum who have confirmed their support for this year’s events.

More information at: freshscience.org.au.

Scholarships for Science meets Parliament

Scholarships available for Indigenous, LGBTQ+ and regional STEM professionals—applications close 15 August

Science & Technology Australia is offering six scholarships to the 20th anniversary Science meets Parliament this year, to be held in Canberra on 26-27 November 2019.

  • Indigenous STEM Scholarships for people with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage
  • STEM Pride scholarships for people who identify as LGBTQI+
  • Regional STEM scholarships for STEM practitioners who work in remote or regional Australia (>150km from a major capital city)

Scholarships will cover full registration including the gala dinner in the Great Hall at Parliament House, as well as travel, accommodation, meals and transfers. Financial assistance for childcare is available upon application.

More information about the scholarships is at: scienceandtechnologyaustralia.org.au/scholarships-science-meets-parliament-2019

More information about Science meets Parliament 2019 at: sta.eventsair.com/science-meets-parliament-2019

Can media help you boost your research impact? Find your story and your audience

Can we help with communication and outreach training, mentoring and support to ensure your work has impact?

“It was amazing to see the process behind the science to media relations,” said John Paul Fuller Jackson, a PhD student who attended our media training course last year.

Gaining media coverage is a means of demonstrating impact, helping people and informing the public. We can help you or your researchers gain the skills and confidence needed to share science through mainstream media.

Join us for one of our courses coming up around the country:

Conveying the complexity of your life’s work into a 30-second grab for the media or a one-minute elevator pitch can be hard. The solution is to shape the essence of your science into a story.

Join our one-day media and communication training workshop and get some help.

We will help you find the right words to explain your research in a way that works for the media, as well as for government, industry and other stakeholders.

Two experienced science communicators will work with you to find the story in your research.

Over the years we’ve helped Monash launch the world’s first 3D-printed jet engine, revealed the loss of half the coral on the Great Barrier Reef, helped CERN announce the discovery of 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 practice being interviewed in front of a camera and on tape.

The day’s insights and training will help you feel more comfortable in dealing with journalists when media opportunities arise.

“I really liked being pushed out of my comfort zone. I also really appreciated the encouragement to own my research. These are great for confidence,” said marine scientist Paige Kelly.

Registration is now open via EventBrite.