The Open Desk

Margie Beilharz

Freelance editor and writer in science, environment, education, health

2015 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science – just announced

The recipients of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science were announced by Ian Chubb, Australia’s Chief Scientist, at a press conference today. Congratulations to:

  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Science: Professor Graham Farquhar AO of the Australian National University for his outstanding contributions towards the understanding of photosynthesis
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation:  Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson AO of the University of Newcastle whose achievement is the discovery and development of a new device for the separation of fine mineral particles, known as the Jameson Cell. Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year: Dr Jane Elith of the University of Melbourne. This award is in recognition of her outstanding contributions to applied ecology, through her influential role in the development, evaluation and application of species distribution models, statistical models that describe relationships between the occurrence and abundance of species and the environment.
  • Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year: Associate Professor Cyrille Boyer of the University of New South Wales for his research in polymer science and applications in nanomedicine, with the development of new functional polymers and new nanomaterials for drug delivery imaging.
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools: Dr Kenneth Silburn from Casula High School in New South Wales, who has made an outstanding contribution to science education including through his advocacy and support for a range of community and professional development activities in the teaching sector.
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools: Mrs Rebecca Johnson from Windaroo State School in Queensland, who initiated a specialist science program within her school featuring innovative and imaginative approaches which has now been replicated in many other schools.

More info at





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