It’s science prize season: we’ve just celebrated three outstanding young women at the 6th L’Oréal Australia and New Zealand For Women in Science awards, and the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes will be awarded next month.
There are a couple of big prizes, with a combined prize pool of $120,000, that close soon:
- the $25,000 Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize for creative young researchers – closing Tuesday 2 October;
- the NSW Science and Engineering Awards, worth a total of $95,000, are awarded for cutting edge work which generates economic, health, environmental or technological benefits for New South Wales.
For more information about other prizes and awards for science in Australia, take a look at our prize calendar: www.scienceinpublic.com.au/prizes.
Also, if you are in Melbourne on Monday 15 October, I’d like to invite you to come along to our Fresh Science at the pub event. The 2012 Fresh Science national finalists will reveal their discoveries using rhyme, reason, verse and the odd firework.
$25,000 Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize
The Centenary Creative Prize recognises creativity in young researchers.
The inaugural winner in 2011 was Dr Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Having unravelled key information on how and why breast stem cells contribute to the progression of breast cancer, she is now turning to the challenge of lung cancer.
The prize is awarded to an early-career medical research scientist who has displayed outstanding originality and whose thinking has made a significant change in their field.
Scientists working in Australia who finished their PhD in the past eight years are eligible.
The winner will receive $25,000 at a luncheon in Sydney on November 15.
The Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize, is named for advertising guru Neil Lawrence, who was inaugural chairman of the Centenary Institute Foundation. It celebrates creativity as the essential ingredient in all human endeavour, whether in science, art or marketing.
Nominations close 5pm Tuesday, 2 October. More details on the prize and how to apply online at: www.centenary.org.au/lawrencecreativeprize.
NSW Science and Engineering Awards – $95,000 prize pool
Nominations close this Sunday 16 September for the NSW Science and Engineering awards.
There are awards in eight categories, for different fields of science, teaching, emerging research and innovation. Each winner in those categories will receive a trophy and $5,000. And one of these winners will receive the $55,000 NSW Scientist of the Year award – given to an outstanding individual who has made a significant contribution to science in New South Wales.
The NSW Science and Engineering Awards recognise and reward the state’s leading researchers for cutting edge work that generates economic, health, environmental or technological benefits for NSW.
Past winners of the NSW Scientist of the Year include Professor Michelle Simmons (2011), from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology; and Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte (2010) from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems.
The awards aim to engage and involve the general public as well as the NSW research community to promote the value of science and engineering and to encourage careers in both fields.
Nominations close this Sunday 16 September, and details are online at:
Fresh Science 2012 – national final in Melbourne next month
We’ve been travelling around the country meeting fresh young scientists at universities, museums and down the pub.
Now we’re picking the best early-career scientists and bringing them to Melbourne for the 2012 Fresh Science national final, where we’ll train them up and teach them how to present their work in plain English.
If you’re in Melbourne on Monday 15 October, come and have a beer with us at Fresh Science at the Pub at the Duke of Kent in the city.
You’ll meet the 2012 Fresh Science national finalists, a bunch of bright early-career scientists fresh out of our media bootcamp. They will reveal their discoveries using rhyme, reason, verse and the odd firework.
Last year we heard about smart bandages, the sawfish saw, printable solar cells, wallaby immune tricks, ocean arteries, backward planets and more.
The science is free: meals and drinks are at bar prices.
Where: Duke of Kent, in La Trobe Street , Melbourne
When: 6:30-9:30pm, Monday 15 October.
More details online at www.freshscience.org.au
About Fresh science
Fresh Science is a competitive media training and awareness program for early-career researchers (less than five years after the award of their PhD).
Over the past 15 years Fresh Science has trained 211 early-career scientists in how to engage with the media, students, the public, business and government.
This year, thanks to funding from DIISRTE through the Inspiring Australia initiative and partners in other states, we’ve expanded the program to include state finals in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.
L’Oréal Australia and New Zealand For Women In Science Fellowships
In August, L’Oréal celebrated three remarkable young women from Australia and New Zealand who won the 6th annual L’Oréal Australia and New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowships.
This year’s winners were creating new treatments for blood cancers, designing more efficient solar cells with quantum dots and giving patients more control of their lives.
From 142 applications, the three fellowships were awarded to:
- Dr Suetonia Palmer, University of Otago, Christchurch, NZ
- Dr Baohua Jia, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne
- Dr Kylie Mason, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne
They each receive $25,000 towards their research.
Here’s a short blurb on each of the fellows. Their full profiles along with a short video are available online at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/loreal.
Giving patients more control of their lives:
Dr Suetonia Palmer, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand
Suetonia is challenging the status quo for kidney disease treatment and helping millions of people with chronic kidney disease take back control of their lives.
Working from temporary facilities as Christchurch rebuilds, she is guiding doctors and policy makers across the world as they attempt to make the best decisions for their patients.
“I believe we can do much more to help people with kidney disease feel better, get back to work, and give them control of their own treatment,” she says.
More efficient solar cells with quantum dots:
Dr Baohua Jia, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
The global race for high efficiency, low cost solar energy is fierce. Baohua and her team are front runners in that race.
Using Baohua’s knowledge of nanotechnology they have already created thin-film solar cells that increase efficiency by 23 per cent, and two patents have been lodged. Baohua thinks she can do much, much better.
Thin-cells efficiently capture visible light but miss the ultraviolet light. But quantum dots can convert ultraviolet to visible light. So she is developing thin-cells with embedded quantum dots. Her team is working closely with Suntech Power, the world’s largest producer of silicon solar modules.
Dr Kylie Mason, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research/Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
Fifty years ago your chances of surviving leukaemia and other blood cancers were low. Today your chances are much better. But the treatments still take a long time and have significant side effects. And some adult blood cancers are still very difficult to treat.
As a teenager Kylie Mason survived leukaemia. Today she both treats and researches blood cancers. She is developing a new group of anti-cancer drugs that build on our understanding of why cancer cells ‘forget to die’. Some are already in clinical trials in Melbourne. Her work has also suggested a way to extend the life of platelets, the cell fragments that manage blood clotting.