The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science were presented by the Prime Minister and the Innovation Minister at the Prize Dinner in the Great Hall of Parliament House on Wednesday 12 October. [continue reading…]
In the coming years when you buy a tyre, lubricant, adhesive, paint, computer or any one of hundreds of other products, there’s a good chance that some of its component materials will have been produced using revolutionary chemical theories and processes invented in Australia by research teams led by Professors Ezio Rizzardo and David Solomon.
Their techniques are employed in almost every university chemistry department, and the laboratories and factories of DuPont, L’Oréal, IBM, 3M, Dulux and more than 60 other companies.
Among the single-celled cyanobacteria—formerly known as blue-green algae—which live in the ancient rock-like accumulations called stromatolites in Shark Bay, Western Australia, Associate Professor Min Chen of the University of Sydney last year found the first new form of chlorophyll in 67 years.
In 2003, Mrs Brooke Topelberg—only three years out from an education degree and just back from two years’ teaching in inner London—was appointed science coordinator of Westminster Primary School. The school is set in a high immigrant, low socio-economic suburban area in northern Perth. Science was a low priority at the school.
Students at Adelaide’s Loreto College have been investigating extra-sensory perception, finding the best way to neutralise spills of household cleaners, and testing the antibiotic effects of Manuka honey. They present their results not just by writing reports, but using talks, videos, role-plays and stories. Their activities are typical of the practical, can-do attitude of their science coordinator, Dr Jane Wright. It’s an attitude she’s also applied in her leadership of her chosen profession.