ABC and UNSW reveal Australia’s Top 5 science scholars | radioinfo

ABC and UNSW reveal Australia’s Top 5 science scholars

Friday 24 May, 2019
Dr Alex Russell

The ABC and UNSW Sydney have announced the recipients of the 2019 Top 5 media residencies for emerging science scholars.

This will enable some of Australia’s brightest minds to share their knowledge and expertise with a wide audience.
The five early-career researchers work in fields ranging from psychology to geology and were selected from more than 150 applicants from Australian universities and research institutes and they will now undertake a two-week residency at ABC RN, working alongside journalists and broadcasters in learning to communicate and develop outstanding content across radio, television and online.
ABC broadcaster Robyn Williams, presenter of RN’s The Science Show and co-adjudicator of the Top 5 applicants, said: “This year we were struck by the exceptionally high standard and appealing conviviality of the recipients. They are passionate about science communication and I am looking forward to seeing them share their knowledge and expertise with the ABC’s audience.”
UNSW Dean of Science and Top 5 ambassador, Professor Emma Johnston, says: “It has never been more important to raise awareness of science, to engage the public with some of the most critical global issues we have ever faced and to help inspire the next generation of scientists. This year’s exceptionally talented winners are enthusiastic about science communication and ensuring complex research discoveries reach a wide audience.”
The Top 5 recipients are:

  • Dr Alex Russell: psychologist at Central Queensland University researching gambling behaviour including the role of advertising and sports "micro betting".
  • Dr Chameen Samarawickrama: eye surgeon and vision researcher at the University of Sydney who is developing a glue to fix damaged corneas.
  • Dr Dominique Tanner: geologist at the University of Wollongong studying how precious metals are created in undersea volcanoes.
  • Dr Hannah Kirk: cognitive scientist at Monash University developing digital technology to detect and treat children’s attention difficulties.
  • Dr Lila Landowski: neuroscientist at the University of Tasmania working on new ways to study stroke and investigating the brain processes behind fatigue.




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Anthony The Koala
26 May 2019 - 9:36am
My congratulations to the awardees. It is important that complex topics be explained to the 'reasonable intelligent listener'. There are many brilliant scholars who know their work but cannot communicate their ideas, not only to a radio audience but to the students at university who still feel perplexed at the topic.

It is also important for Australia and the world to know about cutting edge research. For those who missed out on an award, I hope that their specialty topic is covered in a future ABC program. But which ABC program, particularly which RN program will the cutting edge science be disseminated? We need more than "The Science Show" and the program on the natural sciences tx'ed on Sunday at 1300.

Should cutting edge research be limited the the sciences? Methinks not! Knowledge from non-science disciplines are used for the benefit of society too. For example, there was a PhD graduate in education from Macquarie University who was awarded a PhD (in the early 2000s, candidate lived in Summer Hill at the time of the award) for improvement in outcomes for primary school students with learning difficulties. Certainly not science-related but helps society. Disseminating such information brings awareness of issues to educators who may not be aware of such a technique. Education is an illustrative example. There may well be cutting edge research in law and international relations that we don't know about but the community could be aware. Science alone may not solve the world's problems.

If follows that RN could expand its programs about cutting edge research whether it is about a PhD or current research project conducted at a university, whether science or non-science. That is another program in addition to "The Science Show" could be dedicated to cutting edge research.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield
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