I hope you’ve been watching, hearing, reading and/or tweeting about Terry Speed and his fellow Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science winners. Now I’d like to invite you and your organisation to celebrate the best of your science in Stories of Australian Science 2014, our annual magazine-style collection of science achievements.
Bookings are open now. We’ll celebrate the best stories with journalists in December, go online in January and distribute the magazine in February 2014. More details below.
Now to this week’s prizes.
Last night in the Great Hall of Parliament House, five of Australia’s best scientists and science teachers received the 2013 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.
- Terry Speed, Prime Minister’s Prize for Science – Fighting cancer by the numbers
- Angela Moles, Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year – Understanding the world’s plants with big ecology
- Andrea Morello, Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year – Quantum computing becomes more than just spin
- Sarah Chapman, Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools – Using a motor race to fuel interest in science
- Richard Johnson, Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools – A teacher’s laboratory becomes a primary source of inspiration
On Monday Ruth Bishop received the 2013 CSL Florey Medal for her role in discovering rotavirus, which causes deadly diarrhoea worldwide.
Her work has saved the lives of young children worldwide and inspired a revolution in public health. The medal honours Australian researchers who have made significant achievements in biomedical science and/or in advancing human health.
2013 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science
Last night The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science were presented by the Prime Minister assisted by the Hon Bob Baldwin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, at the Prize Dinner in the Great Hall of Parliament House.
This year’s winners:
Professor Terry Speed from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research received the $300,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for a life’s work using mathematics and statistics to solve real world issues. He has helped farmers, miners and criminologists and paved the way to modern biology and personalised medicine – interpreting the actions of thousands of genes.
Associate Professor Angela Moles from UNSW received the $50,000 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year. She is transforming our understanding of the plant world: where plant defence will be most aggressive; why plant seeds range from a speck of dust to a coconut; how ecosystems will adapt to a changing climate.
Associate Professor Andrea Morello from UNSW received the $50,000 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year. He is making quantum computing a reality. Quantum computers could transform searching, modelling and cryptography.
Ms Sarah Chapman from Townsville State High School believes that students want real science that they can see and touch. She delivers. Her students study the impact of the V8 Supercar races, held at the school and its environs, on nearby mangroves. She received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools, sharing the $50,000 prize money with her school.
Mr Richard Johnson from Rostrata Primary School has created a model science laboratory that makes science fun for students and for teachers – and over 40 other schools have implemented his ideas. He received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools. He and his school will share the $50,000 prize money.
Media releases, reaction comments, profiles, videos and photos from the night are available at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/prime-ministers-prize
Saving young lives by the million wins national honour for Ruth Bishop
In 1973, Ruth Bishop, Brian Ruck, Geoffrey Davidson and Ian Holmes at the Royal Children’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne’s microbiology department found a virus, now known as rotavirus. They showed it was the cause of an acute gastroenteritis that was hospitalising 10,000 Australian children every year and killing more than half a million children worldwide.
The discovery initiated a life’s work for Ruth-understanding the virus, working out how it spreads and fighting back with treatments and vaccines, advising WHO and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As a result, vaccination against “gastro” has been part of the National Immunisation Program for all Australian infants since July 2007. And the number of hospital admissions has dropped by more than 70 per cent.
For her work in saving the lives of young children worldwide and inspiring a revolution in public health, Professor Ruth Bishop AO has won the 2013 CSL Florey Medal, a $50,000 biennial award. The medal honours Australian researchers who have made significant achievements in biomedical science and/or in advancing human health.
The medal has been presented every two years since 1998 by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS). It’s been supported by CSL since 2007.
Ruth’s full profile is online at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/floreymedal/florey2013
Stories of Australian Science
We are gathering stories for our next showcase of Australian science-Stories of Australian Science 2014. We celebrate the best of Australian science from in this publication, which is available in printed copy and online.
Each story is roughly 250 words long, and is accompanied by an image.
See last year’s Stories, and our other similar publications at www.scienceinpublic.com/stories. You can view stories online, or download the pdf. You can search the storybooks by state, organisation or field of science. We can also feed stories to your website.
We write the stories for you: all you need to do is tell us what you’d like to include in the publication, and give us the scientist’s contact details. We’ll only publish text you (and/or your scientist) has approved, and we’ll either use an image you supply (with appropriate credit) or an appropriate stock photo. Each story includes the scientist’s or representative’s contact details to enable interested people to follow up with your organisation.
There are a range of options available from $1,200 + GST for a single story through to $950 +GST per story for five or more stories (with a feature page).
We’re taking submissions until 8 November. Please email me on email@example.com or call the office on (03) 9398 1416 if you’d like to include your best science of 2013 in this year’s storybook.
The stories will be online in the new year and the print version will be distributed in February 2014. For each story you book we’ll send you up to 100 copies for your own use (if you want more, we can arrange extra for you at cost price).
If you’re interested in participating in Stories of Australian Science 2014, drop me an email or give me a call.
Sharing your science: our final 2013 media training course – Sydney 11 November
Conveying the complexity of your research into a 30-second grab for the media can be hard, and sometimes daunting.
The solution is to shape the essence of your science into a story. Our media training courses for scientists and communication staff will help you develop and target your news stories for specific audiences and media.
In this one-day course, you’ll meet three working journalists from print, TV and radio who will give you practice in being interviewing and teach you about life in the newsroom.
Our final course for the year will be held in Sydney on Monday 11 November-we have a few spots left.
We can also hold courses in other locations or on other dates if there’s sufficient demand, and we welcome expressions of interest for possible future courses. If you have at least four people to participate, we can probably find others in your area to make a course viable.
More details about the course can be found online at www.scienceinpublic.com/training.