Something in the water?

Kristin: Perhaps there’s something in the water in South Australia (does South Australia have any water?) quipped Bernie Hobbs as she announced the winners of the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. For three out of five distinguished science prizes went to South Australians.

The Malcom McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year went to Prof Tanya Monro, Director of the Centre of Expertise in Photonics at the Univeristy of Adelaide. Tanya is an inspiration and her works with sensor-based applications of photonics has real practical applications in the health, defence and environmental sectors. An award well-deserved!

The two teaching prizes also went to South Australians. Bronwyn Mart was awarded the Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools for her work at Magill Primary School and the South Australian Science Teachers’ Association. Clay Reid from Clare High School was awarded the Prize for Science Teaching in Secondary Schools where his methods include a school vineyard and a passion for geology and astronomy.

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, remembered his days in the school science lab, including bunsen burners. And dissection of toads (bringing back memories for this Queensland girl). And the combination of the aforementioned bunsen burners and toads. And perhaps his reasons for pursuing Chinese poetry instead (!). He also spoke spontaneously about a book he was reading on the wonders of science and how the dance between science and humanities sparks curiousity and fires the imagination. So, in honour of all the award recipients, here’s a toast to a more curious and imaginative community.

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