Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science 2009

2009 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

2009 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science winners:

John O’Sullivan: How astronomy freed the computer from its chains

Nearly a billion people use John O’Sullivan’s invention every day. When you use a WiFi network—at home, in the office or at the airport—you are using patented technology born of the work of John and his CSIRO colleagues.

They created a technology that made the wireless LAN fast and robust. And their solution came from John’s efforts to hear the faint radio whispers of exploding black holes. [continue reading…]

Testing new technologies in the computer not the real world: 2009 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year


Amanda Barnard

Every new technology brings opportunities and threats. Nanotechnology is no exception. It has the potential to create new materials that will dramatically improve drug delivery, medical diagnostics, clean and efficient energy, computing and more. But nanoparticles—materials made small, just a few millionths of a millimetre in size—could also have significant health and environmental impacts. [continue reading…]

Creating new careers in the rocks: 2009 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools


Len Altman

Geoscience is at the heart of some of humanity’s biggest challenges in the 21st Century: access to water; alternative energy sources like geothermal and hydro; and adapting to climate change. “So why,” asks Len Altman, “Are students in our schools more likely to learn about the moons of Jupiter or the rings of Saturn than about the planet Earth and its history?” [continue reading…]

Living science: 2009 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools

AllanWhittome_IMG_2889Allan Whittome

Badgingarra Primary School is perched on a hill three hours north of Perth, looking out across fields of canola and wheat. The approach to the school is lined with sculptures of native animals and a model of the Solar System made in limestone, set amongst native plants. In the classroom the students are fine-tuning model racing cars they’ve designed and manufactured online. All this is due to the work of Allan Whittome. [continue reading…]