PM announces 2015 science prizes


Malcolm Turnbull has announced the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, headlined by an Australian National University professor whose work has fundamentally transformed the understanding of photosynthesis.

Professor Graham Farquhar was awarded the major Prime Minister’s Prize for Science, worth $250,000, at a ceremony at Parliament House last night.

Another major prize, the inaugural Prime Minister’s $250,000 Prize for Innovation, was awarded to Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson, from the University of Newcastle, for his technology that use trillions of bubbles to capture coal dust that would otherwise have been wasted.

Mr Turnbull said the awards recognised how Australia’s brightest science minds were playing a key role in the nation’s quest to become more agile, innovative and creative.

“It’s vitally important that science in Australia goes from strength to strength as we create the jobs of the future,” Mr Turnbull said.

“The recipients of these prizes are demonstrating the power of scientific discovery and the important role it plays in a modern, prosperous economy,” he said.

Other Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science winners announced today are:

  • Dr Jane Elith—$50 000 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year.
  • Associate Professor Cyrille Boyer —$50 000 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year.
  • Dr Ken Silburn—$50 000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools.
  • Mrs Rebecca Johnson—$50 000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools.

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne congratulated the winners on their prizes and noted the contribution they had made to science in this country.

“Science is central to our competitiveness, our creativity and our ability as a nation,” Mr Pyne said.

“As the calibre of these prize winners demonstrates, this is an exciting time for science in Australia. The work that is happening in labs, universities and institutions now will position us to succeed in the years, decades and generations to come,” he said.