25 September 2023

ABC has formula for emerging scientists

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The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has joined up with the University of NSW (UNSW) to offer five media residencies for emerging science scholars.

The five early-career researchers work in fields ranging from psychology to geology and ophthalmology and were selected from more than 150 applicants from universities and research institutes across Australia.

They will undertake a two-week residency at ABC Radio National, working alongside the country’s best journalists and broadcasters and learning the craft of communicating and developing outstanding content across radio, television and online.

Presenter of Radio National’s The Science Show and co-adjudicator of the applicants, Robyn Williams said he was 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,” Mr Williams said.

Dean of Science at UNSW Sydney, Emma Johnston said it had never been more important to raise awareness of science.

She said there was a need to engage the public with some of the most critical global issues we have ever faced as well as helping to 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,” Professor Johnston said.

The recipients are Alex Russell (pictured), a psychologist researching gambling behaviour; Chameen Samarawickrama, an eye surgeon and vision researcher developing a glue to fix damaged corneas; and Dominique Tanner, a geologist studying how precious metals are created in undersea volcanoes.

A fourth recipient was Hannah Kirk, a cognitive scientist developing digital technology to detect and treat children’s attention difficulties, and finally Lila Landowski, a neuroscientist working on new ways to study stroke and investigating the brain processes behind fatigue.

The researchers are part of this year’s Top 5 program, which was launched for Australian science scholars in 2015 and expanded to the humanities, arts and social sciences in 2018.

The recipients of the 2019 humanities residencies will be announced in July.

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