Prime Minister’s Prize for Science Announced

The award recognises those who have made outstanding contributions to their area of science with a prestigious honour and $250,000 in cash.

In late 2022 the winners of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science were announced.

Awards have existed since ancient times, as a way of recognising and honouring significant feats or contributions to society made by small groups or individuals. We know that classical Rome had a robust culture of military awards and decorations, for example. Scientific awards are not quite so ancient, as they could only follow the timeline of what we would now call the development of the scientific method. The oldest surviving scientific award today is the Copley Medal, which was first awarded in 1731.

The Prime Minister’s Prize for Science is comparatively young: the award turns 22 this year, after having replaced the Australia Prize in 2000.

This prestigious award is the foremost prize for science in our country. It’s intended to recognise, reward and inspire exceptional achievements in the scientific disciplines across a diverse array of areas and career stages. It includes multiple categories, with the goal of recognising accomplishments not just in scientific research and research-based innovation, but also in science teaching across primary and secondary education.

The major awards for research and innovation attract a cash prize of $250,000.

This year’s winner of the headline award, the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in the prestigious research category, was Professor Trevor McDougall AC. He was awarded the prize this year for his work in oceanography and his research into the role of oceans in regulating climate.

Climate science is highly and increasingly relevant to our day to day lives, and the discoveries McDougall has made over his career have improved climate models. Our understanding of the future of our planet is clearer and better because of his work.

You can find out more information about Professor McDougall, and the other prize winners here.

If you are aware of a colleague who has made outstanding contributions to science, research-based innovation, or science education, nominations for the 2023 Prize can still be made until the 9th of February 2023.

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