[ASC-media] Eureka Prizes announced

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com
Wed Aug 10 09:36:13 EST 2005


2005 Eureka Prizes announced

A record of over $230,000 was presented to the winners of 24 Australian
Museum Eureka Prizes at the 16th annual Australian Museum Eureka Prizes
dinner, compered by Sally Loane, Richard Morecroft, Adam Spencer and Sandra
Sully at Sydney’s famous Royal Hall of Industries on 9 August 2005. 

For media materials, interviews and images call Sue Nelson on 0403 343 275
email eurekamedia at austmus.gov.au and visit http://www.amonline.net.au/eureka

The 2005 Prizes recognise scientific and industrial achievements including: 
•	Surgical waste replaces experimental animals
•	Waste plastic makes steel
•	Software finds financial scams fast
•	Minerals leader immortalised as a beetle
•	Sydney astronomer beats Hubble
•	Pseudo-science loses to the Media Doctor
•	The truth about land clearing
•	Equality in ethics and mathematics

“The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are Australia's most comprehensive
national science awards,” said Frank Howarth, Director of the Australian
Museum. “Now in their 16th year, the Eureka Prizes raise the profile of
science in the community by acknowledging and rewarding outstanding
achievements in research, leadership and innovation, education and science
communication.”

In congratulating the winners, Brian Sherman AM, President of the Australian
Museum Trust said, “The Eureka Prizes are made possible through a unique
partnership between the federal and NSW Governments, major private sector
organisations and educational institutions. I pay tribute to these groups
and to their commitment to the pursuit of scientific excellence in
Australia. I particularly welcome CSIRO, NewScientist and the NSW Ministry
for Science and Medical Research as new prize sponsors. I am also pleased to
have been able to sponsor a new prize through the Sherman Foundation.”

More than 900 leaders of government, science, industry, academia and the
media were present at what is the largest single annual event in Australia
celebrating and rewarding outstanding science and science communication.
Among the guests were the federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage,
Ian Campbell, the NSW Minister for the Environment and for the Arts, Bob
Debus, Jennifer Byrne and Andrew Denton. 

And the 2005 winners are:

Research
A Melbourne researcher has developed a way to use small sections of human
artery to research blood vessel growth, instead of using rats. Alicia
Jenkins’ work has won her the $10,000 Voiceless Eureka Prize for Research
which Replaces the Use of Animals or Animal Products.

NSW chemical engineer Veena Sahajwalla has shown the steel industry that
they can use waste plastic bottles to make steel. She expects to see the
technology in use in Australia and the US within two years. She shares the
$10,000 University of New South Wales Eureka Prize for Scientific Research.

Sydney astrophysicist Dr Peter Tuthill has beaten the Hubble Telescope to
produce the best ever infra-red images of life and death among the stars. He
shares the $10,000 University of New South Wales Eureka Prize for Scientific
Research.

Anthony Hannan has shown that in mice, brain disorders, even inherited ones
like Huntington’s disease, can be affected by environmental factors.
Clinicians have now found similar evidence in a large family study of
humans. Hannan’s research in Melbourne wins him the $10,000 British Council
Eureka Prize for Inspiring Science. Anthony also won the inaugural People’s
Choice Prize. 

A team of scientists studying Western Australia’s  ‘living rocks’ believe
these remarkable rocks will reveal secrets of the origin of life on Earth.
The NSW-based Astrobiology Research Team wins the $10,000 Royal Societies of
Australia Eureka Prize for Interdisciplinary Scientific Research.

Melbourne’s Mark Burgman wins the $10,000 Botanic Gardens Trust Eureka Prize
for Biodiversity Research for his work in understanding uncertainty and
improving decision-making in conservation.

Algorithms which make sense of massive amounts of genetics research data
have won Brisbane’s Antonio Reverter the inaugural $10,000 NSW Ministry for
Science and Medical Research Eureka Prize for Bioinformatics Research.

Queenslanders Rod Fensham and Russell Fairfax brought facts and science to
the recent debate on land clearing in Queensland. The bush won. Now they win
the $10,000 Sherman Eureka Prize for Environmental Research.

Are there objective truths in ethics? Associate Professor James Franklin
from the University of New South Wales says, ‘yes’. He believes that
equality in ethics is as important as the equals sign in mathematics. For
his work he wins the $10,000 Australian Catholic University Eureka Prize for
Research in Ethics.

David Henry and Amanda Wilson are fighting pseudo-science and poor medical
reporting with Media Doctor, a website that makes journalists more
accountable to the public. It applies critical thinking to review the
quality of medical stories in the media.

Mike Young and Jim McColl from South Australia have applied their
environmental economics skills to water management. Their ideas have
underpinned the development of a National Water Initiative, and won the
$10,000 Land & Water Australia Eureka Prize for Water Research.

Leadership and innovation
An Australian invention is scouring the Web to protect us from financial
scams. Its inventor wins the $10,000 Australian Computer Society Eureka
Prize for ICT Innovation.

Brisbane’s Ian Frazer has created not one, but two types of vaccine to fight
cervical cancer, potentially saving millions of lives – he wins the $10,000
CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science. 

Dick Davies will be immortalised in the name of a new species: Macrolema
dickdaviesi – a rare gold-coloured beetle found only four times in
rainforests in North Queensland, for his work transforming AMIRA – the
mineral industry’s research association – into a global research broker. He
wins the inaugural Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Leadership in Business
Innovation. 

Science communication
A science centre dedicated to gravity waves and other big questions of the
universe has won its WA founders, David Blair and John de Laeter, the
$10,000 Australian Government Eureka Prize for the Promoting the 
Understanding of Science.

The discovery of a new species of tiny humans on the Indonesian island of
Flores was THE science story of 2004. Deborah Smith’s exclusive reports in
the Sydney Morning Herald on the science of the ‘hobbit’ illustrate the
quality of a body of work that wins her the $10,000 Australian Government
Eureka Prize for Science Journalism.

Are our modern lifestyles an evolutionary death sentence? Will IVF totally
replace sex next century? Ian Townsend tackled these issues head-on in Sick
Sperm Syndrome, his radio documentary for ABC Radio National’s Background
Briefing. For his eye-opening report, he receives the $10,000 Pfizer
Australia Eureka Prize for Health and 
Medical Research Journalism.

Sydney photographer Barry Slade has captured the scale and beauty of the
‘Morning Glory’ roll cloud in the Gulf of Carpentaria in north-west
Queensland. Barry’s images have won him the inaugural $10,000 NewScientist
Eureka Prize for Photographic Journalism in Science, Technology and the
Environment.

Asa Wahlquist’s stories in The Australian newspaper have questioned our
preconceptions about water and shown us that Australia’s use of water has to
change. Her series of water articles over the last year have won her the
$10,000 Australian Government Peter Hunt Eureka Prize for Environmental
Journalism.

Education
160 Victorian schools are saving thousands of dollars and setting new
environmental standards, thanks to the Victorian Sustainable Schools
program. Today, the program wins the $10,000 Department of Environment and 
Conservation Allen Strom Eureka Prize for Sustainability Education.

Graeme Roberts of Leeming Senior High School in Western Australia has the
science class that everyone wants to attend. He wins the $10,000 Holmes à
Court Eureka Prize for Science Teaching. 
Year 12 student Andrew Stewart’s concerns about pollution have won him the
Macquarie University Eureka Schools Prize for Earth, Environmental and
Planetary Sciences for his research into wetlands. Andrew is from Karabar
Distance Education Centre.

Farm succession is a bit like sex education – some families are very up
front about it, and others are hopeless. That’s what Bathurst student Nicola
Bell reports in her story that wins first place in the $10,000 GRDC Eureka
Schools Prize for Agricultural Journalism.
 
Two Brisbane school students have won the inaugural University of Sydney
Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Schools Prize for their fun look at the myth of
the ‘Supersonic Fly’ – testing how fast a small fly can travel using logical
and practical evidence.

For media materials, interviews and images call Sue Nelson on 0403 343 275
email eurekamedia at austmus.gov.au and visit http://www.amonline.net.au/eureka



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