25 Jan 2012

Joint media release with the Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP

Senator Chris Evans – Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research

Read online.

Nominations have opened for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science – Australia’s most prestigious science awards.

The Prizes honour Australians who have made significant contributions to building a more prosperous and progressive society through scientific achievements and science education.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research Chris Evans today encouraged the science community to nominate outstanding colleagues for the Prizes.

The Prizes are part of the Australian Government’s Inspiring Australia strategy to foster greater scientific engagement.

Science and innovation are key drivers to improve Australia’s living standards, health, productivity and environment.

The Gillard Labor Government highly regards our scientific community for the tremendous contribution it makes to build a richer, fairer, cleaner and safer nation.

In the past, the Prizes have been awarded for Australian discoveries such as wireless LAN technology and the bionic ear and for achievements in areas like immunology, quantum technology and astronomy.

Past Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science recipients Elizabeth Blackburn AC and Brian Schmidt went on to be awarded Nobel Prizes in 2009 and 2011 respectively.

Other past recipients include Ezio Rizzardo and David Solomon, John Shine AO, John O’Sullivan, Ian Frazer, Graeme Clark AC and the late Frank Fenner AC.

The prizes are awarded in five categories:

• Prime Minister’s Prize for Science ($300,000);

• Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year ($50,000);

• Science Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year ($50,000);

• Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools ($50,000); and

• Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools ($50,000).

As well as the cash component, each of the five Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science comprise a gold or silver medallion and a lapel pin similar to that presented to recipients of Australian Honours like the AO.

Nominations close on 27 April and the Prizes will be announced later in the year.

People can find further information on the Prizes and nominate online by visiting www.innovation.gov.au/scienceprizes