University of Sydney researchers win big at Royal Society of NSW

7 December 2018
Sydney scientists and researchers recognised with five of seven awards for 2018 by the Royal Society of NSW, Australia's oldest learned society.

University of Sydney scientists have won five of the seven Royal Society of NSW awards and medals for 2018

The annual Royal Society of NSW awards recognise excellence in science and are among the oldest and most prestigious awards in Australia. The Royal Society of NSW is the oldest learned society in Australia.

Our winners are:

Associate Professor Elizabeth New
Edgeworth David Medal

Associate Professor Liz New, from the University of Sydney Nano Institute and the School of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science, is an inorganic chemist in the field of molecular imaging and medical sensors.

Her research has progressed the field in several ways, including synthesising new chemical tools that can sense chemical environments, promoting a translational approach to the development of new chemical sensors, and establishing generalised methods that are now widely used to improve and evaluate potential cellular probes.

The Edgeworth David Medal is awarded each year for distinguished research by a young scientist under the age of 35 years for work done mainly in Australia or for contributing to the advancement of Australian science.

Professor Paul Griffiths
History and Philosophy of Science Medal

Professor Paul Griffiths, from the Charles Perkins Centre and the Department of Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, is renowned for his work in the philosophy of biology, in particular for his distinctive theoretical and methodological contributions to the philosophy of biological development, ranging across genetics, genomics and evolutionary biology.

He also made significant contributions to the philosophy of cognitive science, and most recently, to the philosophy of medicine.

The Royal Society’s History and Philosophy of Science Medal is awarded each year to recognise outstanding achievement in the History and Philosophy of Science, with preference being given to the study of ideas, institutions, and individuals of significance to the practice of the natural sciences in Australia.

Professor Elizabeth Elliott
James Cook Medal

Professor Elizabeth Elliott, from the Sydney School of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, is a professor in paediatrics and child health, and a practising paediatrician.

This prize recognises Professor Elliott’s significant contributions to improving the health and quality of life, as well as human rights, of ill and disadvantaged children in Australia, the Asia Pacific and beyond. Her translational research has been at the forefront of advances in evidence-based paediatrics, rare diseases, gastroenterology and foetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

The James Cook Medal is awarded for outstanding contributions to both science and human welfare in and for the southern hemisphere.

Professor Robert Park
Poggendorff Lecture

Professor Robert Park, from the Charles Perkins Centre, Sydney Institute of Agriculture and School of Life and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Science, is a world leader in the pathology and genetics of cereal rust pathogens.

His research not only transforms our fundamental understanding of genetic variability in all cereal rust pathogens, including genetics of resistance to these diseases, but has also made significant contributions to international efforts to control these diseases – and has thus benefitted the agriculture sector enormously.

The Poggendorf Lecture is awarded every two to three years for research in plant biology and more broadly agriculture.

Other winners

In addition to the career awards, the Royal Society of NSW awards student scholarships, and the 2018 RSNSW Scholarship winner is Evelyn Todd, a second year PhD student from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Science. Her PhD research is on 'Inbreeding and performance genetics in horses', which she is conducting under the supervision of Associate Professor Peter Thomson.

The Royal Society of NSW also recognised UNSW Dean of Science, Professor Emma Johnston, with the Clarke Medal for zoology. Macquarie University student, Anita Petzler, was honoured with the Jak Kelly Award.

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