Prime Minister's Prizes for Science

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The Prime Minister's Prizes for Science are annual Australian awards for outstanding achievements in scientific research, innovation and science teaching. The prizes have been awarded since 2000, when they replaced the Australia Prize for science.

The major awards are the Prime Minister's Prize for Science, regarded as the national award for the advancement of knowledge through science,[1] and the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation (created in 2015), as the national award for translation of science into commercial outcomes.

The Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year (previously known as the Science Minister's Prize for Science[2]) and the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year were also created in 2000. Prizes for excellence in science teaching at primary and secondary schools were added in 2002.

Awards[edit]

Prime Minister's Prize for Science[edit]

The recipient(s) of this prize can be an individual or jointly up to four individuals, if the achievement is the result of a collaborative team effort. The recipient receives AUD 250,000, an embossed solid gold medallion and lapel pin.

Prizewinners

Source:Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

  • 2015 - Graham Farquhar For modelling photosynthesis, the world’s most important biological reaction
  • 2014 - Sam Berkovic and Ingrid Scheffer jointly For their contribution to the study of epilepsy, its diagnosis, management and treatment
  • 2013 - Terry Speed For his contribution to making sense of genomics and related technologies (using statistics)
  • 2012 - Ken Freeman For his founding of [...] galactic archaeology
  • 2011 - Dr. Ezio Rizzardo and David Solomon For their role in revolutionizing polymer science
  • 2010 - John Shine For his scientific research and research leadership
  • 2009 - John O'Sullivan For his achievements in astronomy and wireless technologies
  • 2008 - Ian Frazer For his creation of the first vaccine designed to protect against a cancer
  • 2007 - Peter Waterhouse and Ming-Bo Wang For their discovery of how to silence genes in plants
  • 2006 - Mandyam Veerambudi Srinivasan For research that has revealed the working of the insect mind, and helped redefine robotics research
  • 2005 - David Boger For a lifetime of pioneering work in fluid mechanics
  • 2004 - Graeme Clark For the discoveries which led to the bionic ear
  • 2003 - Jacques Miller For discovery of the role of the thymus in the immune system; and discovery that mammals have two types of white bloods cells
  • 2002 - Frank Fenner (deceased) For eradication of smallpox, and the trialling and release of the rabbit myxoma virus
  • 2001 - Donald Metcalf For discovery and development of hormones called “colony stimulating factors” which stimulate the formation of white blood cells
  • 2000 - Jim Peacock and Liz Dennis For discovery of the Flowering Switch Gene, a key gene in determining when plants end their vegetative growth phase and begin flowering

Prime Minister's Prize for Innovation[edit]

The recipient(s) of this prize can be an individual or jointly up to four individuals, if the commercialisation is the result of a collaborative team effort. The recipient receives AUD 250,000, an embossed solid gold medallion and lapel pin.

Prizewinners

Source:Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

  • 2015 - Graeme Jameson For his development of floatation technologies that have added billions of dollars to the value of Australia’s mineral and energy industries

Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year[edit]

This award is for early to mid-career scientists, not more than ten years or full-time equivalent past the award of their highest degree (e.g. Master’s or PhD), working in the life sciences. The recipient receives $50,000, a medal and a lapel pin.[3]

Prizewinners
  • 2015 - Jane Elith For her contributions to environmental management worldwide
  • 2014 - Ryan Lister For his contribution to the understanding of gene regulation and its potential ability to change agriculture and the treatment of disease and mental health
  • 2013 - Angela Moles For transforming our understanding of the ecosystems and overturning some of the dogmas of ecology
  • 2012 - Mark Shackleton For identifying and isolating stem cells in the female mammary gland to develop a fully functional breast
  • 2011 - Min Chen For her contribution to our knowledge of chlorophyll and cyanobacteria
  • 2010 - Benjamin Kile For his achievements in molecular genetics
  • 2009 - Michael Cowley For his contribution to our understanding of metabolism and obesity
  • 2008 - Carola Vinuesa For her contributions to immunology
  • 2007 - Elizabeth (Beth) Fulton For her leadership in mathematics and ecosystem modeling
  • 2006 - James Whisstock For his discoveries of novel serpins, and his research leadership in protein biology
  • 2005 - Harvey Millar For his leadership in plant biochemistry
  • 2004 - Jamie Rossjohn For his leadership in structural biology and X-ray crystallography
  • 2003 - Christopher Helliwell For isolating the genes that control the biosynthesis of gibberellin, a plant hormone that controls plant growth
  • 2002 - Joel Mackay For his discovery of new methods of controlling DNA transcription to repair malfunctioning genes
  • 2001 - Bostjan Kobe For research contributions that have increased our understanding of protein interaction and cellular processes
  • 2000 - Una M. Ryan For DNA detection and characterisation methods for the parasites Cryptosporidium and Giardia

Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year[edit]

This award is for early to mid-career scientists, not more than ten years or full-time equivalent past the award of their highest degree (e.g. Master’s or PhD), working in the physical sciences. The recipient receives $50,000, a medal and a lapel pin.[4]

Prizewinners
  • 2015 - Cyrille Boyer For his contribution to polymer science, nanotechnology and nanomedicine
  • 2014 - Matthew Hill For his work in the development of metal-organic frameworks for practical industrial applications
  • 2013 - Andrea Morello For intellectual leadership in developing a trillion-dollar global industry, the building blocks of a quantum computer, a working prototype silicon component to make quantum computing possible
  • 2012 - Eric May For significant research in the field of natural gas processing
  • 2011 - Stuart Wyithe For his work on the physics of the formation of the Universe
  • 2010 - Katherine Trinajstic For her early career achievements in palaeontology
  • 2009 - Amanda Barnard For her achievements in modelling nanoparticles
  • 2008 - Tanya Monro For her leadership in photonics
  • 2007 - Mark Cassidy For his leadership in offshore civil engineering
  • 2006 - Naomi McClure-Griffiths For her insight into the structure of our galaxy, and her research leadership
  • 2005 - Cameron Kepert For his leadership in chemistry and molecular nanoscience
  • 2004 - Ben Eggleton For pioneering research in photonics and optical physics
  • 2003 - Howard Wiseman For advancing our understanding of the physical effect of observations in quantum system monitoring and measurement
  • 2002 - Marcela Bilek For the design and fabrication of plasma processing devices and new materials using thin film lamination technology
  • 2001 - Peter Bartlett For his research into artificial intelligence and discoveries in the area of machine learning and information processing
  • 2000 - Brian Schmidt For his leadership of an international team that uncovered evidence that the universe was expanding at an accelerating rate. A 2011 Nobel Prize winner in Physics.

Prime Minister's Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools[edit]

This prize is awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to teaching science at a primary school level. The recipient is awarded $50,000,a medal and lapel pin. Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Prizewinners
  • 2015 - Rebecca Johnson (Qld)
  • 2014 - Brian Schiller (SA)
  • 2013 - Richard Johnson (WA)
  • 2012 - Michael van der Ploeg (Tas)
  • 2011 - Brooke Topelberg (WA)
  • 2010 - Matthew McCloskey (NSW)
  • 2009 – Allan Whittome (WA)
  • 2008 - Bronwyn Mart (SA)
  • 2007 - Cheryl Capra (Qld)
  • 2006 - Marjorie Colvill (Tas)
  • 2005 - Mark Merritt (WA)
  • 2004 - Alwyn Powell (Qld)
  • 2003 - Sarah Tennant (NSW)
  • 2002 - Marianne Nicholas (SA)

Prime Minister's Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools[edit]

This prize is awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to teaching science at a secondary school level. The recipient is awarded $50,000, a medal and lapel pin. Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Prizewinners
  • 2015 - Ken Silburn (NSW)
  • 2014 - Geoff McNamara (ACT)
  • 2013 - Sarah Chapman (Qld)
  • 2012 - Anita Trenwith (SA)
  • 2011 - Jane Wright (SA)
  • 2010 - Debra Smith (Qld)
  • 2009 - Len Altman (SA)
  • 2008 - Clay Reid (SA)
  • 2007 - Francesca Calati (Vic)
  • 2006 - Anna Davis (NSW)
  • 2005 - Mike Roach (SA)
  • 2004 - Mark Butler (NSW)
  • 2003 - Pam Garnett (WA)
  • 2002 - Ruth Dircks (NSW)

History of the Prime Minister's Prizes for Science[edit]

The Australia Prize was the predecessor award to the Prime Minister's Prizes for Science and was awarded annually from 1990 to 1999 (although no award was made in 1991). It was an international award, aimed at a worldwide audience for an outstanding specific achievement in a selected area of science and technology promoting human welfare. It achieved widespread recognition by individuals and organisations throughout the world, receiving nominations from 18 countries.

The Government awarded the Australia Prize to both Australian and international scientists. Of the 28 recipients, 18 were Australian, demonstrating Australia's strong international standing in many scientific fields.

The Australia Prize was replaced in 2000 by the current set of prizes.[5]

Australia Prize recipients[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]