2017 Recipients

The Prizes are awarded annually and are a public recognition and tribute to the contributions that our scientists, innovators and science teachers are making to Australia's current and future scientific and commercialisation capabilities.

The 2017 Prime Minister's Prizes for Science were awarded at a presentation ceremony on 18 October 2017.

  • Prime Minister's Prize for Science
    Jenny Graves AO
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation
    Eric Reynolds AO
  • Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year
    Jian Yang
  • Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year
    Dayong Jin
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools
    Neil Bramsen
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools
    Brett McKay

2017 Awards Presentation

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science were proudly presented to six of Australia’s exemplary scientists and science educators by the Prime Minister on Wednesday 18 October 2017.

The black tie celebratory dinner, held in the Great Hall of Parliament House, was attended by over 450 Members of Parliament, distinguished scientists, science educators, industry captains and prominent leaders of the science and education community.

The 2017 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science was awarded to Professor Jenny Graves AO for her pioneering investigations of the genetics of sex, transforming our understanding of how humans and all vertebrate animals evolved and function, kick-starting genomic and epigenetic research in Australia, and predicting the disappearance of the male chromosome.

The Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation was awarded to Professor Eric Reynolds AO for his work in improving oral health, including inventing and commercialising Recaldent, a product based on his discovery of a protein in dairy milk that repairs and strengthens teeth, His team have also developed a test and vaccine for severe gum disease which are now being commercialised.

The Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year was awarded to Professor Jian Yang for creating ways to understand inherited traits and the human genome, pioneering new techniques to unravel its complexity and solve the ‘missing heritability paradox’. His work will enable researchers to determine the genetic factors behind complex diseases, opening the way to new drugs and better genomic risk prediction.

The Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year was awarded to Professor Dayong Jin for his work in creating new technologies to image the processes of life, including creating a series of patented photonic technologies that will enable us to view molecules at work inside living cells and to create low cost diagnostic devices.

In recognition of their dedication to inspiring and educating Australia’s future generations of scientists, the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary and Secondary Schools were awarded respectively to Mr Neil Bramsen from Mount Ousley Public School in New South Wales and Mr Brett McKay from Kirrawee High School in New South Wales. Mr Neil Bramsen, for his innovative partnerships with scientists, the community and other schools to foster students' enthusiasm, knowledge and skills in science and for utilising science as an enabler of learning across the curriculum. Mr Brett McKay, for his achievements in inspiring his students to love science and to use it in their daily lives, for bringing science to life for students not considering science as a career, and for sharing his knowledge of science teaching with his peers.

Photo Gallery

View the photo gallery from the 2017 Prime Minister's Prizes for Science presentation.

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