Annual Giving Program supports Academy’s work

The Academy launched its Annual Giving Program last May. Such a program provides annual, renewable income for the running of the Academy and creates a baseline of philanthropic support on which new programs can be built. 

As a direct result of the appeal, the Academy saw 42 new donors and many renewing donors contributing nearly $22,000. This is important income for the Academy and we look forward to growing this appeal in 2017 as we continue to engage with our supporters across the Academy and the wider community.

Final pledges for the Enlightening Campaign contributed a further $51,000 to Academy projects.

A gift from Professor David Solomon

Part of an Australian $20 note
Polymers continue to shape our lives. Photo: Simon D/Flickr

Distinguished scientist Professor David Solomon AC FAA FTSE FRS made a generous commitment this year to support the Academy’s 2017 national speaker series, ‘Plastic Fantastic’.

The Academy’s annual speaker series is part of our national engagement program designed to bring science to a broader audience with the aim of being entertaining and highly informative. 

Plastic Fantastic will explore how polymers have shaped and continue to shape our lives. Talks will be held in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Wollongong and Brisbane. More information will be published soon on the Academy website.

The Academy thanks Professor David Solomon for supporting this valuable public outreach initiative.

New partnership with University of Melbourne for women in science

Professor Andrew Holmes, Professor Suzanne Cory and Professor McCluskey at the Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science partnership launch at Melbourne University

When microbiologist Professor Nancy Millis passed away in September 2012, some of her colleagues at the University of Melbourne came up with the idea that, by donating sufficient funds, they would enable a medal to be struck in her honour—and thus began the Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science.

Major support from the University of Melbourne to act as a partner in underpinning the award of the Nancy Millis Medal in perpetuity was announced earlier this year. The university's donation will allow the Academy and the university to work together in fully celebrating each recipient of the medal through joint recognition by both organisations.

The new Max Day Fellowship

A major donation from Dr Max Day AO FAA is being used to establish the annual Max Day Environmental Science Fellowship Award of up to $20,000, which will help PhD students or early-career researchers meet costs associated with their research or to supplement PhD scholarships.

We sincerely thank Dr Day for his generosity. 

Bequest update

A bequest is a special gift; a wonderful opportunity to ensure that the Academy remains a part of the lives of future generations.

Professor David Craig’s bequest of $50,000 which, at his request was directed to Primary Connections, will directly support the publication of four new Student Science Journals for year 5 students to be published in January 2017.

These journals support each curriculum unit and allow students to record all their work for a unit, lesson by lesson. The journals become a valuable record for both students and teachers and are a key component of the enquiry-based teaching and learning model which underpins Primary Connections. 

Visit the Primary Connections website for more information

For a confidential discussion about naming the Academy in your will, please contact the Bequests Manager:

Australian Academy of Science
GPO Box 783, Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone 02 6201 9400 or email.

Four Year 5 journals, called Desert survivors, What's the matter?, Earth's place in space, and Light shows
Professor David Craig’s bequest supported Primary Connections

Supporting the work of National Committees

The Academy thanks the following organisations who support the valuable work of the Academy’s National Committees.

Mike Smith Student Prize

National Museum Australia

The National Museum of Australia (NMA) and the National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science awards the biennial Mike Smith Student Prize for the History of Australian Science or Australian Environmental History. The NMA provides $6,000 towards this activity: $3,000 for first prize and the remaining towards a presentation ceremony and discretionary runner-up prizes.

The award is presented for an essay based on original research in the fields of environmental history or the history of science in Australia. The NMA and the Academy have awarded the prize since 2006, with the aim of nurturing young scholars and encouraging them to publish their research. In 2013 the prize was re-named after Australian archaeologist and NMA Senior Research Fellow Mike Smith in recognition of his contribution to mentoring young researchers. 

Contributions from Australian societies and organisations to union subscriptions

For Australia to contribute internationally, it is essential that memberships to international unions of the International Council for Science (ICSU) are maintained.

Various Australian societies and organisations contribute towards Australia’s annual subscriptions. In doing so, the Academy forms a partnership with the societies and other organisations via the relevant National Committee for Science. 

The following bodies contribute 50% of related union dues:

  • Australian Institute of Physics—towards the International Union for Pure and Applied Physics
  • Royal Australian Chemical Institute—towards the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry
  • Australian Mathematical Science Institute—towards the International Mathematical Union
  • Geoscience Australia—towards the International Union for Geological Sciences
  • Australian Antarctic Division—towards the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research


Funding of decadal and strategic plans

Decadal plans are 10-year strategic plans for science disciplines. The purpose of a plan is to assess the current state of knowledge in a specific science discipline, identify and set priorities for the most important scientific questions for the next decade and outline strategies to achieve these priorities and goals. The diversity of each discipline makes the production of decadal plans exciting and unique projects. Decadal plans are produced by the research community, but the audiences for the documents are, to a large extent, policy makers and funding bodies.

The production of the plans is undertaken by the National Committees for Science with funding from government, industry and the research sector. Many professional bodies, universities and research organisations have financially contributed to the development of the plan, without which support the projects would be unfeasible. These organisations also contribute in-kind support and provide essential intellectual input.

The many organisations that support the production of these documents are listed on the plans’ websites and within the individual publications.

More information on decadal and strategic plans

Nova a favourite for curious minds

The Academy is very grateful for Telstra’s generous donation for Nova: science for curious minds—$1 million over three years—which enabled the Academy to redesign and rebuild its science explainer website and employ a small but committed team to research and create topical and authoritative content.

Nova was shortlisted in the top five for an Australian Graphic Design Association award in November 2015.

Nova supports STEM literacy and attracts a broad audience through the website, social media and collaborations with other science communication providers. In recent times, the Australian Government and supporting science communication programs have reinforced the need for increased awareness and appreciation of science in Australia. Nova has an integral and growing part to play in building public knowledge and supporting scientific exploration and innovation.

The success of the first 18 months of the new Nova website is supported by the following data:

  • 200,000 visitors to the site, more than 10% of who return to the site within a month
  • 300,000 visits to the site
  • nearly 2,000 email subscribers, 1,600 Facebook fans, and 700 Twitter followers
  • 92 long-form topics reviewed by 165 experts
  • Nearly 10 million total views on YouTube of 3 animated videos scripted and sponsored by Nova and created and published by German animators Kurzgesagt.

Nova’s external collaborations so far include Kurzgesagt, Apple, CSIRO Double Helix magazine, the Qld Brain Institute, Swinburne University and the ANU’s Centre for the Public Awareness of Science. Nova is also working to give the achievements of the Academy more broadly an accessible public focus.

Support for early- and mid-career researchers

EMCRs explore the frontiers of microbiome research

The 2016 Theo Murphy Australian Frontiers of Science symposium brought 70 outstanding EMCRs from around the country to Adelaide to discuss the impact of microbes on us and the world around us. There was great enthusiasm from all delegates to stay connected and continue to find ways to work together. The symposium was generously funded by the Theo Murphy (Australia) Fund through the Royal Society of London. This funding facilitated the attendance of all delegates, effectively removing barriers to attendance such as cost, geography and caring responsibilities, and created an inclusive event.

Future leaders meet in Sydney

It is exciting to think how this group may be able to drive change within the scientific community. … just the real sense of excitement and energy about the whole thing.
Science Pathways 2016 delegate

The Early- and Mid-Career Researcher (EMCR) Forum is the national voice of Australia's emerging scientists and is supported by the Australian Academy of Science. The EMCR Forum holds a national meeting, Science Pathways, every 18 months to engage EMCRs across all disciplines and from around Australia in active discussion. The event also offers professional development opportunities for EMCRs. In 2016 the topic was Future Leaders. Feedback from delegates demonstrated how much benefit young scientists received from attending the conference.

 “Listening to the success stories of EMCRs to inspire me as well as getting tips on how to present oneself as a good leader”

“I better understand how to be a leader and manager and what to look for in other leaders and managers.”

“The inspiration I got from the sessions shared during the sessions and the networking—we can improve the system.”

The EMCR Forum thanks the sponsors who made the event possible.

The University of Canberra offered generous sponsorship for carer grants, which were offered for the first time this year. The grants enabled eight EMCRs with caring responsibilities to meet their responsibilities while at the conference. Some used the funds to pay for additional child care, while others brought children and carers along to the conference with them.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the University of Canberra for their generous support to make my trip possible. Without their financial support, I couldn’t attend such an informative conference which will play an important role in my career development.”

The University of Newcastle sponsored the networking event, giving delegates the chance to meet new people and form collaborations while bonding over the activity which asked them to demonstrate examples of poor leadership.

UNSW Australia generously provided the venue and catering.

The EMCR Forum also thanks the following sponsors for their generous support:

  • Department of State Development, South Australia
  • Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer, NSW Department of Industry
  • RMIT University
  • Monash University
  • Hunter Medical Research Institute
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science
  • QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
  • Jirra Wines
  • CSL Ltd
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science
  • University of Western Australian
  • University of Queensland
  • University of South Australia
  • Telethon Kids Institute.

180 Seconds of Science

In 180 seconds, EMCRs were invited to showcase their innovative research to the public. The EMCR Forum and the Royal Society of New Zealand Early Career Forum worked together to run this video competition in Australia and New Zealand. The videos make scientific topics as diverse as volcanos, flexible solar cells and the behavioural effects of violent video games accessible to everyone.

The EMCR Forum thanks its award partners who enabled it to provide EMCRs with a platform to communicate their science and win great prizes:

  • CSIRO SME Connect
  • CSL Ltd
  • New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Garvan Institute of Medial Research
  • John Morris Group.


The Academy would like to thank the following sponsors for their valuable and generous support of its events.

Sponsors, Canberra public speaker series, Bots, Bacteria and Booze

Their ongoing support for the series ensures the Academy can bring quality speakers to Canberra for our talks. We look forward to working with them again on the 2017 public speaker series, Dawn of the New Space Age.

Sponsors, Science at the Shine Dome 2017

  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
  • The Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA)
  • National Computational Infrastructure (NCI)
  • ANU College of Medicine, Biology & Environment / ANU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
  • Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED)

Sponsors, LIFE in Perth

  • Inspiring Australia WA / SciTech
  • The University of Western Australia

Donor Board update

The Academy thanks the following individuals who join a distinguished list of donors who have, over time, contributed an outstanding level of support to the Academy. These listings will appear on the Donor Boards located in the foyer of the Shine Dome at the Academy in Canberra.

President's Circle acknowledge donations of or valued at $100,000 – $499,999

  • Dr Maxwell Frank Cooper Day AO FAA
  • The Late Professor Rod Rickards FAA and Dr Anna Rickards
  • Professor Terry Speed FAA FRS and Ms FE (Sally) Speed

Science Circle acknowledge donations of or valued at $20,000 – $99,999

  • Dr Eldon Ball
  • Professor Marilyn Ball FAA
  • Mr Doug Hooley PSM
  • Professor David Solomon AC FAA FRS FTSE

More about our generous donors

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