Outstanding contributions to science have been recognised by the Australian Academy of Science today with 20 of Australia’s leading scientists and future superstars receiving prestigious 2019 honorific awards.
The scientists’ discoveries cross the breadth of research from how oceanic circulation impacts the climate, to the use of tools that advance the understanding of the chemistry within cells and how the body’s immune defences combat infectious disease.
Distinguished Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC FAA from the Australian National University has been awarded one of the Academy’s top honours, the Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal. He helped develop semi-conductors used in LED lights. He also designed and developed some of the world’s smallest lasers. Born in India, Professor Jagadish grew up without electricity.
“I didn’t have much light as a child and studied in front of a kerosene lamp until Year 7. That’s why I’m interested in developing technologies that will benefit humanity,” Professor Jagadish said.
Protecting crops from disease is essential for our food sources. Mid-career researcher Professor Jaqueline Batley from The University of Western Australia is studying the DNA of plants to better understand genes that lead to greater crop resilience. Her research has helped increase crop yields for canola, broccoli, cabbage and wheat. A role model for women in STEM, Professor Batley is the recipient of the Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science.
Early-career researcher Associate Professor Anna Giacomini from the University of Newcastle has pioneered research in rock mechanics and rockfall analysis in civil and mining engineering. Her research has resulted in the design of new low-energy rockfall barriers that are now used extensively along our major corridors in Australia. Associate Professor Giancomini is one of two recipients of the John Booker Medal.
President of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor John Shine, congratulated all the award winners for their inspiring research.
“These awards highlight just some of the important and distinguished research being led by Australian scientists, who seek to address some of society’s biggest challenges. Recognising and highlighting outstanding scientific contributions is important, as award recipients are the STEM role models for the next generation,” Professor Shine said.
The Academy’s 2019 honorific awards go to:
Career honorifics (for lifelong achievement)
Mid-career honorifics (8–15 years post-PhD)
Early-career honorifics (up to 10 years post-PhD)
The majority of the honorific awards will be presented at the Academy’s annual celebration of science, Science at the Shine Dome on 30 May 2019. Read more about the Academy’s 2019 honorific awardees.
Know an amazing Australian scientist? Nominate them for an award. Nominations and applications are now open for the 2020 Australian Academy of Science honorific awards, research conferences, research awards and travelling fellowships.
© 2021 Australian Academy of Science