ABC and UNSW reveal Australia’s Top 5 science scholars

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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