Kristin: Last Thursday we attended the South Australian Science Excellence Awards as guests of Flinders University. Our relationship with Flinders covers a range of activities including student placements, public outreach, capability studies and collaborative research projects. As I also lecture at the University of Adelaide, I was struck by the sense of community and collaobration at the awards, as well as the natural sense of competition.
It was fitting to see Rona Sakko from CSIRO rewarded for her work with the Double Helix Science Club in winning the Science Educator of the Year – Community category. It was also interesting to see the range of different approaches adopted by tertiary science educators including field trips, mobile phone technologies and self-guided learning. Many of the awards were won by scientists in the field of health, especially obstetrics and gynecology, including South Australian Scientist of the Year, Prof Rob Norman from The Robinson Institute at the University of Adelaide. A full list of winners is available here.
The awards provided a good snapshot of the science and policy prioriities for the state, in particular the emphasis on collaboration and outcomes. There was a real sense of pride in the collaborative effort and the quality of research being conducted in the state. At Bridge8, we are proud that our relationships with universities are sowing at least some seeds for the future.