Statins and Sydney Harbour: awards for spreading the word

Meet the winners of the Australia Museum Eureka Prizes for Science Communication & Journalism

Speaking science underwater – Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research

Professor Emma Johnston describes Sydney Harbour as her laboratory. It’s a laboratory that bears the impacts of four million people living nearby, not to mention a century of industry.

“Emma speaks for our marine environment with great authority,” says Kim McKay AO, Executive Director and CEO of the Australian Museum. “Her collaborative approach to working with public, government and industry is built on her own deep knowledge of marine science. She is undoubtedly one of Australia’s leading science communicators.”

Via her outreach program Run Off and Reach Out she has opened people’s eyes to the effect their lifestyle and actions have on stormwater run-off and thus their impact on our immediate marine environment. In sharing stories of marine science on the successful BBC/Foxtel history series Coast Australia, Emma has helped take Australian marine science to an international audience.

As well as educating Australians about marine science, she is determined to help inspire the next generation of scientists – work that has been recognised by the Australian Academy of Science, which awarded her the inaugural Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science in 2014.
For her work in educating the public on Australian marine science, Emma Johnston of the University of

New South Wales has been awarded the Department of Industry and Science Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research.
Watch her video here.

Battle of the experts: inside the statin war – Eureka Prize for Science Journalism

Male and over 50? Take statins to stave off heart attacks and strokes, say health authorities in the UK and US. When the ABC’s Catalyst program challenged this advice sparks flew.

The program triggered such a backlash from the medical community, and even from other ABC journalists, that it was eventually pulled from the ABC website.
Dr Elizabeth Finkel, writing for Cosmos magazine, boldly explored the controversy – looking at the experts on both sides of the conversation. Adjudicating between the camps was a major journalistic challenge.

For her article ‘A Statin a Day’ in Cosmos magazine, Elizabeth has been awarded the Department of Industry and Science Eureka Prize for Science Journalism.

“Elizabeth has explored the issue of statin medication with great objectivity and has presented the story in a balanced and fair way,” says Kim McKay AO, Executive Director and CEO of the Australian Museum.

Watch the video here.

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