Eureka Prizes recognise excellence in science and science engagement

August 25, 2023
Academy honorific award recipient Professor Renae Ryan AM (left) and Academy Fellow Professor Toby Walsh FAA (right).

Australian Academy of Science honorific award recipient Professor Renae Ryan AM and Academy Fellow Professor Toby Walsh FAA are among the 19 individuals and teams recognised at the 2023 Australian Museum Eureka Prize awards for excellence in Research and Innovation, Leadership, Science Engagement and School Science, held on 23 August in Sydney.

Professor Walsh received the Celestino Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science, awarded for sharing expertise with a broad audience – informing, enthusing and engaging the public on scientific topics. 

Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at UNSW and Fellow of the Academy since 2016, Professor Walsh is a world-renowned researcher and leading voice on the topic of artificial intelligence (AI). 

He has helped shape the conversation around the ethical implementation of AI – making regular appearances on TV and radio to talk about the impacts of AI and robotics. He writes regularly for print and online media and has authored two books on AI for a general audience.

Professor Ryan of the University of Sydney was awarded the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers presented by the University of Technology Sydney.

The award recognises an individual scientist who has helped develop the next generation of Australia’s researchers. 

Professor Ryan, who received the Academy’s Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science earlier this year, is a sought-after supervisor and mentor and a passionate advocate for gender equity, diversity and inclusion. She has played a central role in improving diversity in STEM, leading university-wide initiatives to increase representation and foster a more inclusive and supportive academic environment. 

The following Fellows were shortlisted for Eureka Prizes:

Professor Kate Joliffe FAA and Professor Maria Forsyth AM FAA FTSE were shortlisted for the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers for their dedicated commitment to mentorship, and Professor David Keith FAA was shortlisted for the Australian Institute of Botanical Science Eureka Prize for Excellence in Botanical Science

The evening also saw young citizen scientists recognised for their curiosity and creativity in science communication. Among the awardees was young Darcy, who won the University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize – Secondary Prize for his video explaining chlorophyll. Darcy is also the son of an Academy staff member, who was undoubtedly very proud of the budding scientist. 

The Academy congratulates all the prize winners and finalists in this year’s Eureka Prizes.

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are hosted annually to celebrate outstanding scientific achievement and shine a light on the incredible work being done in science and science engagement in Australia. 

See the full list of 2023 Eureka Prize winners and read more about the Academy Fellows recognised in 2021 and 2022

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