Five Academy Fellows are among the Australians recognised in the 2022 appointments to the Order of Australia, including four who were appointed to Companions in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC).
Companion is currently the highest appointment to the Order of Australia, and recognises ‘eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large’. Just seven people were appointed to an AC in 2022.
Dr Alan Finkel was appointed to an AC and was also added to the COVID-19 Honour Roll. Distinguished Professor Jenny Graves, Professor Ary Hoffmann and Dr Graeme Moad were each appointed to an AC.
Professor John Church was appointed to an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for 'distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large.'
Dr Alan Finkel, Australia's former Chief Scientist, was the founder of the Rapid Research Information Forum (RRIF), which brought together the country’s science, research and innovation sectors during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide the latest scientific evidence to the Australian Government.
The RRIF's operations were managed by the Australian Academy of Science, and its impact on the nation has been publicly recognised by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.
Following his industrial career producing breakthrough scientific instruments for academic neurosciences and pharmaceutical drug discovery, Dr Finkel has distinguished himself in Australia’s scientific and engineering community by his passion for science and engineering education, creative leadership and philanthropy.
He was elected a Fellow of the Academy in 2016, and he currently serves as Special Adviser to the Australian Government on Low Emissions Technology.
Professor Jenny Graves has transformed our understanding of how humans and all vertebrate animals evolved and function. She has kick-started genomic and epigenetic research in Australia, and predicted the disappearance of the Y chromosome.
She has also pioneered the fields of comparative genomics and epigenetics globally, been the driving force behind sequencing the first marsupial and monotreme genomes and won international awards.
Professor Ary Hoffmann is regarded as a leader in evolutionary biology and the applications of evolutionary principles to applied problems.
He has investigated how natural populations evolve in response to environmental stresses, and his work has led to major advances in understanding how stressful periods influence evolutionary rates, and how insects adapt to overcome stressful conditions.
He was elected to the Academy in 2004, serves on the National Committee for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, and was lead author on an Academy discussion paper on 'gene drive' technology.
Dr Graeme Moad is recognised as a world leader in the field of polymer chemistry. His achievements range from fundamental chemistry, in the areas of polymer design and synthesis, and polymerisation kinetics and mechanism, to new materials for industrial uses, nanotechnology, organic electronics and bioapplications.
His research on the development of new synthetic methods for the controlled synthesis of polymers with defined architecture and composition has revolutionised the field.
Professor John Church is one of Australia’s leading oceanographers whose theoretical and observational work on the dynamics of the oceans has led to a deep understanding of the physics of recent sea-level change.
His work has contributed to the assessments of the science of climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change and to the work of the World Climate Research Program, and in the public debate on the evidence for and underlying science of climate change.
© 2022 Australian Academy of Science