The Australian Society for Medical Research (AMSR) has announced that the recipient of its 2019 annual medal is former Cosmos editor-in-chief Elizabeth Finkel.
The medal was awarded for her contributions to science journalism and communication.
Since stepping down from the top job at Cosmos late in 2018, Finkel has been researching several topics, among them the surging field of gene therapy – an area in which she worked during a stint in the US.
“I hadn’t been able to express how gobsmacked I was that the sort of things I used to do to fruit flies at the University of San Francisco – supply them with new genes – are now being done in people to achieve ‘biblical’ results,” she says.
“Toddlers born with spinal muscular atrophy, who should be crippled or dead, are walking. I was thinking I needed a forum to get the message out: this is where blue sky research leads. Now I have one.”
Through the year, Finkel will deliver a series of lectures relevant to her new role as AMSR medallist, culminating in an address to the National Press Club.