Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

2019 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science: don’t call us.

For information about the 2019 Prizes please visit www.industry.gov.au/pmscienceprizes.

We had a great run with the Prizes from 2004 to 2018. But all good things come to an end. So please don’t contact us for media information, go straight to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science at media@industry.gov.au. We will be at the dinner on 16 October waiting with bated breath to find out who the 2019 winners are. 

15 years ago, Peter McGauran, Gemma Allman and Virginia Cook placed their trust in us to publicise the Prizes when Science in Public was in its infancy. As awareness of the Prizes has grown so has Science in Public. Please read on for some comments on our journey with the Prizes and for our thanks to the many people who contributed.  Or jump to the next post to access profiles of past winners. 

Science in Public were honoured to be chosen to assist with writing and publicity for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science in a series of competitive tenders from 2004 to 2018.

We thank the Industry Department, Questacon, and the Prizes Secretariat for a wonderful adventure and a deeply collaborative project that enabled us to meet, interview, promote and mentor over 50 of Australia’s best scientists and innovators, and 30 remarkable primary and secondary teachers. Our special thanks, to Kelly Fong who marshalled the project through five Prime Ministers and countless Science Ministers.

We were empowered to create a single narrative across the program and to focus on the winners’ stories. The results speak for themselves. We helped grow media coverage eightfold, with 630 stories in 2017 and an ‘iSentia audience’ of five million. Nominations grew nearly threefold, and in 2018, 760 people tweeted with a reach of about 3 million.

Some highlights over the years included: revealing how Australian astronomy made Wi-Fi fast and reliable; how to keep sauce bottles and mineral processes flowing; how bees fly; making markets fair AND efficient; and press calls with lizards and snakes on the forecourt of Parliament House.

Thank you to the Science in Public team over the years including: Toni, Tanya, Margie, AJ, Tim, Tamzin, Ellie, Lydia, Laura and others for your work on the Prizes over the years. 

Thank you to the Wild Bear team especially Kate, Geoff and Andy for patiently recording Niall’s long interviews, and making sense of them.

Thank you to Paul Donohoe of BDW Events for making the nights run perfectly.

Finally, thank you to Peter McGauran, Gemma Allman and Virginia Cook for placing your trust in us back in 2004 when Science in Public was just the two of us.

Sarah Brooker and Niall Byrne, February 2019.