Media Release: Celebrating the pathfinders to the future

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel has congratulated the recipients of the 2016 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

You can read the media release below, or download it as a PDF.


Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, has praised the dedication and creativity of Australia’s science community at the presentation of the 2016 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

“Scientists are constantly thinking about the tremendous potential our future holds, and the best way for us to unlock it,” Dr Finkel said.

“Science, and follow-on innovation, represent our path to that future; from cutting edge research, to the development and commercialization of new products, through to the dedicated teachers who inspire our next generation.

“The Prizes recognise outstanding individuals from all of these fields. But more than that – they recognise the importance of these groups working together with the community to reach Australia’s best future.

“As Chair of the judging panel, I know that these recipients are not only leaders in their own right, but also representatives of an extraordinary cohort. It’s my pleasure to congratulate and thank each of them for their contributions to Australian science.

“I’d also like to thank the members of the judging panel for their efforts. As some of the best in their fields, they understand the years of hard work and dedication that forms the foundation for each of tonight’s successes.”

Dr Finkel said the newly-established Prize for New Innovators, together with the existing Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation, highlighted the importance of new ideas and thinking big to Australia’s economy.

“A major misconception people have about innovation is that it only happens in other countries or in start-up companies,” Dr Finkel said.

“But innovation happens in all industries, all the time – its other names are ingenuity, boldness, and giving it a go.

“The magic happens when people allow themselves to imagine a better way to do things – and then make it happen.”

The 2016 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science were presented to recipients across seven categories, who shared in $750,000 prize money.

Last updated: Thursday, 07 November 2019