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 on Wednesday 30 October.
More about the winners below.
Adam Spencer, mathematician and broadcaster, was m/c for the evening.
Professor Terry Speed from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research receives 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.
Today, he is using statistics to work out which cancers will kill you and which don’t need surgery. He is based at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne and at University of California, Berkeley.
Associate Professor Angela Moles from UNSW receives 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 receives 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
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 receives the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools. He and his school will share the $50,000 prize money.
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 will receive the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools, sharing the $50,000 prize money with her school.