Brains, Machines And Crops - A Taste Of The Future 1

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13th November 2009, 09:51pm - Views: 610





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The Tall Poppy is a metaphor for excellence and endeavour and symbolises Australia’s pride in its outstanding achievers.

ABN 71 000 025 507






Brains, machines and crops – a taste of the future

13 November 2009 

<Embargoed until 5.00pm Monday 16 November>

2009 QLD Young Tall Poppies of science announced today


Research to create more productive crops, visually aware machines, have fewer people dying of malaria and

better understand the workings of our own brains. 


Winners of the prestigious 2009 Young Tall Poppy Science Awards for Queensland will be announced on

Monday 16 November.


The future of scientific research in Queensland is looking bright with five young researchers being recognised

for their outstanding work and a passion for communicating science to the wider community. 


These young scientists will give their time next year reaching out to teachers, school students, their parents

and the broader community around Queensland and across Australia as part of the Tall Poppy Campaign run

by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science www.aips.net.au .


“The Young Tall Poppy Science Awards recognise early career researchers who have achieved significant

scientific milestones,” says Australian Institute of Policy and Science Executive Director, Elektra Spathopoulos.


“The winners represent the brightest researchers investigating the important issues that benefit all Australians

and the world such as improved health treatments and finding solutions to today’s human, social and

environmental problems,” she adds.  


With increased public debate on science issues and policy, and still decreasing enrolments in senior high

school science and maths, the need to inspire young people about science and educating the wider community

has never been more important. 


“The Awardees are passionate about the need to be role models to encourage youth to think seriously about

pursuing science in senior school, and into their tertiary education,” Spathopoulos explains.


“They will also be given opportunities to empower and inform policy makers and enlighten the next generation

about the diversity and rewards that come with a career in science,” adds Spathopoulos. “In the next year we

hope to engage the public in understanding the science that affects their community.”


In the ten years since The Tall Poppy Campaign began, numerous former Young Tall Poppy Science Award

winners have continued to excel, winning more senior science awards, including Eureka Prizes, Prime

Minister’s Prizes for Science and NSW Scientist of the Year prizes. 


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PO Box M145, Missenden Rd NSW 2050; T: +61 2 9351 0819 :F: +61 2 9351 0758 E: info@aips.net.auwww.aips.net.au 




The Tall Poppy is a metaphor for excellence and endeavour and symbolises Australia’s pride in its outstanding achievers.

ABN 71 000 025 507








The Queensland Young Tall Poppy Awards and Campaign are supported by Griffith University and the

University of Queensland. The Young Tall Poppy of the Year for Queensland prize is also supported by the

Queensland Institute of Medical Research and the Queensland University of Technology.  National seed

funding for expanding the Tall Poppy Campaign to Queensland is from the Department of Health and Ageing. 


The 2009 Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Awards will be presented by Queensland Chief Scientist,

Professor Peter Andrews AO.  The Queensland Young Tall Poppy of the Year prize will also be announced from

among the winners on the night. 


Media welcome to attend or arrange prior interviews:


Monday 16 November 

5.00pm – 6.00pm (Awards ceremony)

6.00pm – 7.00pm (Reception) 

Customs House, Queen St, Brisbane


To attend the Awards, more information, images or to arrange interviews with winners or footage:


Camille Thomson, NSW Campaign Manager – M: 0413 694 641


For further comment on the Tall Poppy Campaign, or interviews with VIPs:


Elektra Spathopoulos, Executive Director AIPS and the Tall Poppy Campaign – M: 0422 204 790


AWARD WINNERS… 


Dr David Copland, The University of Queensland

Speech Pathology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Neurolinguistics

David’s research is attempting to discover how the brain recovers the ability to communicate after

serious injury. 


Dr Brett Ferguson, The University of Queensland

Legume Nodulation and Nitrogen Fixation

Brett investigates the signaling interactions required for “legume nodulation” at the Australian

Research Council Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research. 


Dr Clinton Fookes, Queensland University of Technology

Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition

Clinton is work to create machines that can gather information from visual sources, making them

“see”


Dr Alberto Pinzon-Charry, Queensland Institute of Medical Research

Immunology of Malaria and Vaccine Development

Alberto’s work proposes that the use of whole parasites in vaccines will lead to the creation of a

cheaper, more effective vaccine for Malaria


Dr Michael Piper, The University of Queensland

Neural stem cell differentiation

Michael’s research aims to identify how the brain develops from a simple sheet of stem cells

within the embryo. 








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