1. Chelsea Flower Show success
I woke on the morning of May 22nd to hear that Australian garden designers had won the 'best in show' at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London. Not only that, but ALL the judges were unanimous in declaring this little Aussie billabong design as the winner. The Queen had previously viewed it and spent more time there than expected; it appears she liked it too. Well done Aussies: www.smh.com.au
2. Clunies Ross awards for scientific achievement
Sir Ian Clunies Ross, born in 1899, was talented in both science and administration, and was an inspiration to all who worked with him. He worked mainly in the area of disease control in animals, helped close the gap between Eastern and Western scientific cultures, and, in 1949, became Chairman of the new CSIRO.
The Clunies Ross awards are sponsored by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), and are for innovative scientific and technological advances. This year, there were seven winners named, from three separate projects in radar research, internet technology developing and manufacturing wavelength-selective switches, and tuberculosis diagnosis.
This last award was made to a team of four, who over many years have completely changed the way TB has been detected in cattle using a simpler and quicker technique. The work was originally done under the auspices of CSIRO and CSL, but as they developed the test further to be suitable for humans, the project was taken over by a public company called Cellestis Limited, which received a $400 million offer from the German/Us Group called Quiagen in 2011. (www.businessspectator.com.au
These four doctors, Tony Radford, Jim Rothel, Paul Wood and Stephen Jones are some of those scientists showing that Australian innovation can indeed be made commercially viable here in Australia – they have done it, and they are worthy recipients of an award named after a great Australian.
3. UNSW scientist elected to Royal Society
Scientia Professor Martin Green, a pioneer of solar voltaic science and currently the Director of the Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, has been elected to the prestigious Royal Society in London. Each year, the independent Fellows of this Society elect 44 new Fellows and eight Foreign Members from more than 700 candidates. Prof Green, often dubbed 'the father of photovoltaics' is in esteemed company. newsroom.unsw.edu.au
4. Talented young science students represent Australia overseas
An elite group of 21 senior high school students selected from more than 400 who attended the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra last summer will be attending a variety of international science events ithis year. Different groups will be going to to Alberta, Canada; Washington DC, USA; Pretoria, South Africa; Heidelberg, Germany; London, UK; and Stockholm, Sweden, to meet Nobel Laureates. www.nysf.edu.au
This Bible verse seems very applicable, Isaiah 40 verse 12: "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? " (ESV). Australian science certainly covers a wide range of topics and disciplines!
We, the general public, should value the important work of these and many other scientists. They have sought the understanding, constructed the technology and made the innovations to enable our society to be safe, comfortable and interesting.
I congratulate them all, and I would particularly like to encourage the young students to go out into the world and have confidence that they are as good as any other young scientists, anywhere. That way, our future will be assured. Our young writers for Christian Today have their awards night in September in Melbourne.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed atwww.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html