Dear ASC-ers,

I hope you had a relaxing break over Christmas and the New Year and that your family, friends and colleagues have stayed safe in this extraordinary weather.

 

Although the year has just begun, there are already some great opportunities for scientists:

·         Nominations will open at the end of January for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. There’s a $500,000 prize pool and the nomination process has been streamlined.

·         Nine years of secure funding for outstanding young researchers… EMBL Australia is looking for three outstanding young group leaders for their new node at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.

·         We’re looking for the best and brightest young scientists for Fresh Science 2013. More than 60 early-career researchers from every State and Territory will spend a day meeting journalists and learning to present their work. The top dozen will then come to Melbourne for a four-day media boot camp.

 

And we are helping with some other interesting events coming up early in the New Year:

·         February sees the launch of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia, a charity founded to promote stem cell research and continue the outreach work of the former Australian Stem Cell Centre – in Melbourne, Monday 18 February.

·         In March, Nature will publish their Nature Publishing Index 2012 Asia-Pacific, a unique insight into the quality and impact of Asia-Pacific science

·         Global health, economic growth and the end of absolute poverty – Geoffrey Lamb, the Gates Foundation’s President of Global Policy and Advocacy, will give this year’s Graeme Clark Oration on Monday 29 April in Melbourne

·         And in April and May, prize season kicks off in earnest, with nominations opening for the L’Oréal Australia and New Zealand For Women in Science fellowships and the biennial CSL Florey Prize.

 

Fresh Science 2013 – nominate your best young scientists for a media training boot camp

Fresh Science takes young researchers with no media experience and turns them into spokespeople for science.

More than 60 early-career researchers get a taste of life in the limelight, with a day of media training and a public event in their home state.

Then we throw the media spotlight on 12 of the best and brightest young scientists, putting them through a four-day media boot camp in Melbourne.

If you know any smart young researchers, please forward this information and encourage them to nominate them for Fresh Science 2013.

 

We’re looking for:

·         early-career researchers (from honours students to no more than five years post-PhD)

·         a peer-reviewed discovery which has had little or no media coverage

·         some ability to present ideas in everyday English

·         from absolutely any field of science

State finalists will meet journalists and learn essential communication skills in a one day media training course, followed by a public event where they’ll get to practice their new skills.

Then, the 12 best candidates from the state finals will head to Melbourne for the Fresh Science national final – an intense four-day media boot camp, where they’ll present their work to the media, meet government and science leaders, explain their work over a beer with strangers and try to inspire a room full of school kids with their science.

 

Nominations are now open and close 5pm, Friday 1 March 2013.

Read the full selection criteria and nominate online at: www.freshscience.org.au

 

Please pass on this information to any and all young scientists who might benefit from the program.

Last year’s Fresh Science national finalists were featured in more than 400 news stories on TV and radio, in print and online. You can stories about past Fresh Scientists at: www.freshscience.org.au

For more information about Fresh Science visit www.freshscience.org.au or contact Tim Thwaites on (03) 9078 5398 or tim@freshscience.org.

Now in its 16th year, Fresh Science is supported by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, Research and Tertiary Education through the Inspiring Australia initiative, CSL Limited and Museum Victoria.

 

Changes to the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Each year the Prime Minister rewards and celebrates the nation’s best scientists and science teachers through the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

Nominations for the 2013 prizes open at the end of the month, and the nomination process has been broken down into two parts to simplify and speed up the nomination process.

For the first step of nomination, all you need is:

·         an achievement summary of no more than 800 words

·         a 2 page CV and

·         proof of Australian citizenship or permanent residency

The prize committee have also made a few changes to the eligibility criteria this year:

·         eligibility to the Malcolm McIntosh and Science Minister’s Prizes is extended to outstanding research outcome within ten years’ full time equivalent, including research conducted as part of studies for a Master’s degree or PhD

·         past recipients of the Malcolm McIntosh and Science Minister’s Prizes are eligible to be nominated and considered for the major prize

·         the $50,000 cash component of the Science Teaching Prizes will be shared equally between the prize recipient and the school in which the prize recipient was teaching at the time of nomination.

Nominations open at the end of January.

The five prizes up for grabs are:

·         The $300,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science awarded for an outstanding specific achievement or series of related achievements in any area of science advancing human welfare or benefitting society

·         The $50,000 Science Minister’s Prize for Life Scientists and the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientists, designed to recognise achievements of scientists at an early-mid stage of their research careers that advances, or has the potential to advance, human welfare or benefits society and;

·         The $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary and Secondary Schools, awarded in recognition of contributions by science teachers in their commitment and dedication to effective and creative science teaching.

 

EMBL Australia looking for three young bioinformatics leaders

EMBL Australia is looking for three Group Leaders in Biomedical Informatics, to be based at their new node at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

Each Group Leader position provides generous funding for five years with the option to extend it for another four years. The positions will be funded by contributions from SAHMRI’s parent institutions: The University of Adelaide, The University of South Australia and Flinders University.

EMBL Australia supports young scientists, recruited from Australia and around the world, to concentrate on doing their best, riskiest and most original work.

It was created to maximise the benefits of Australia's associate membership to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Europe's flagship laboratory for basic research in molecular biology. The EMBL Australia Partner Laboratory is based on the EMBL model, with distributed, highly integrated research nodes focussing on complementary aspects of biological research.

Further details including application instructions are available on both the SAHMRI and EMBL Australia websites.

 

Global health and the end of poverty: 2013 Graeme Clark Oration

Global health, economic growth and the end of absolute poverty: Hopeful evidence and hard challenges.

Geoffrey Lamb, the Gates Foundation’s President of Global Policy and Advocacy, will give the 2013 Graeme Clark Oration, a free public lecture on Monday 29 April 2013 at The Plenary, Melbourne Convention Centre.

He will review the extraordinary successes of the past half century in reducing mortality and disease. He will show how investments in health have been critical for economic growth and the reduction of global poverty – and have helped bring the goal of an end to absolute global poverty within generational sight.

Geoffrey Lamb is the Gates Foundation’s President, Global Policy and Advocacy. He leads the foundation’s international policy and advocacy team, and its engagement with governments and international institutions. Lamb was previously Managing Director, Public Policy and a Senior Fellow in the foundation's Global Development Program.

The Graeme Clark Oration is a free public lecture established to honour Professor Graeme Clark, inventor of the bionic ear. The Oration celebrates the new possibilities emerging from the convergence of biology, computing and engineering. The Oration is hosted by the ICT for Life Sciences Forum, collaboration between Melbourne’s leading medical research institutes, hospitals and universities to share ideas about the convergence of biology and computer science.

More details about the Graeme Clark Oration and online bookings: www.graemeclarkoration.org.au

 

Recognising and supporting women in science

The L’Oreal For Women in Science Fellowships recognise three outstanding young women scientists from Australia and New Zealand.

Each receives $25,000 to assist their research, and joins a cadre of women leaders in science. Last year’s Fellows were celebrated as influential women, featured in magazine spreads and invited to meet decision-makers.

Applications open slightly earlier this year – 18 March, before Easter.

Applications will close in the first week of May and the three Australia and New Zealand Fellows will be announced at a ceremony in August.

The 2012 L’Oreal For Women in Science Fellows were:

·         Dr Suetonia Palmer, University of Otago – who’s working to give patients more control of their lives

·         Baohua Jia, Swinburne University of Technology – for making more efficient solar cells with quantum dots

·         Kylie Mason, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research/Royal Melbourne Hospital – for creating new treatments for blood cancers

For more details of the program and past Fellows, head to: www.scienceinpublic.com.au/loreal

 

About Science in Public

We’re a science communication firm based in Melbourne.

In 2012, we helped with: the announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson; spreading the word that the Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral cover; and promoting a Canberra PhD student who’s found that video game addiction is a genuine problem.

Stories we’ve promoted have been run by the BBC, the New York Times and the Guardian, the Hindustan Times as well as in all the major Australian newspapers and broadcasters.

This year we’ll continue to help universities, businesses and government promote conferences, prizes, events and manage big announcements.

We also run media training days to prepare scientists for the attention of the press, and to polish their presentation skills.

Read more about us at www.scienceinpublic.com.au, and please get in touch with me on niall@scienceinpublic.com.au if you’d like to chat about how we might help you.