Winners of the Mike Smith Student Prize 2021–22

The Australian Academy of Science, through its National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science, partners with the National Museum of Australia to award the Mike Smith Student Prize every second year. The prize rewards and recognises the work of students in the history of Australian science or Australian environmental history.

This prize is named in recognition of Australian archaeologist and National Museum Senior Research Fellow Dr Mike Smith, a well-known leader of his field and mentor of young researchers. The first prize cash award of $3,000 is presented to the best essay by a postgraduate or undergraduate student that deals with any aspect of the history of Australian science (including medicine and technology) or Australian environmental history. Entries may also be considered for publication in the Academy’s journal, Historical Records of Australian Science.

The prize is judged by the chair of the National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science, an editor of Historical Records of Australian Science, and a representative of the National Museum of Australia.

The joint winners of the 2021–22 round of the Mike Smith Student Prize are:

  • Jessica Urwin with her essay titled: ‘No time to waste’: Aboriginal resistance to Australia’s nuclear waste, 1998–2004
  • Margaret Williams with her essay titled: Biopolitics and the Bacillus: Sinophobia in an Epidemic of Bubonic Plague in Sydney, 1900–10.

Congratulations to Jessica and Margaret on their excellent essays, which were highly commended for their creative topic, strong analysis and skilled presentation. Read the news story about their winning submissions.

The judges of this competition thank all those who submitted an entry to the 2021–22 Mike Smith Student Prize; all entries were highly commended for their discussion of interesting topics. The next round of the Mike Smith Student Prize will be in 2023–24, with entries opening late in 2023.

© 2022 Australian Academy of Science

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