“Academy awards” of Australian science announced

Cosmos Magazine


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By Cosmos

The Australian Academy of Science yesterday announced awards to 20 researchers from around Australia for their contributions to the advancement of science at the early, mid and career level.

The research recognised includes the use of gas-eating microorganisms to make sustainable animal foods, understanding how our wetlands respond to a changing climate, revealing serious complications in carbon capture, and how genetics can influence our choice in partners.

Professor Steve Simpson received the Macfarlane Burnet Medal and Lecture – one of the Academy’s top awards – for his revolutionary research into locust swarming, spanning all the way from the brains of individual locusts to continental-scale migration patterns. Simpson’s work has informed nutrition research and by extension used to tackle problems from aquaculture and conservation biology to the dietary effects on obesity and ageing.

Professor Andrew Roberts, the recipient of the 2022 Mawson Medal and Lecture, was recognised for his fundamental contributions to paleomagnetism, allowing scientists to use the geological record to reconstruct global plate tectonic movements and to understand historical variations in Earth’s magnetic field. His work has led to significant understanding of African monsoon dynamics, sea level variations, and Arctic and Antarctic glacial history.

The Gustav Nossal Medal for Global Health went to mid-career researcher Professor Rebecca Guy, for her public health work for vulnerable and remote communities, such as point-of-care testing for STIs and COVID-19, and HIV self-tests that can be done at home.

Early-career researcher Associate Professor Jenny Fisher received the Anton Hales Medal for her work into how trace gases such as mercury and other pollutants are transported and distributed through the atmosphere, which informs the management of air pollution as well as climate modelling.

Australian Academy of Science President Professor John Shine says this year’s awardees are blazing a trail for science both locally and globally.

“The award recipients have made a significant contribution to the research enterprise and the impact of their research will continue for years to come.

“They have distinguished themselves and the whole of Australian science, and the Academy is proud to support their outstanding contributions.”

The Academy’s 2022 honorific awardees are: 

Premier Honorific awards

Career honorifics

Mid-career honorifics

Early-career honorifics

The awards will be presented at Science at the Shine Dome 2022 in November.

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