Day 81. 140 characters

In November 2012 on November 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Life Scientist winner Mark Shackleton grew a whole milk producing breast from mammary stem cells. Can’t get my head around that.

This comes from @kristinalford, one of many tweets offered by her in attendance at the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes ceremony in Canberra last night.

Say what you will about the value and necessity of twitter, but there is an absolute skill in covering an event with accuracy, humour and insight in short bursts of only 140 characters. It’s communication broken down to an essential core, a kernel of value.

Still not sure? I’ll give you a few more. But first, here is a quick summary of the prize winners from last night’s ceremony (thanks to AusSMC):

  • Professor Ken Freeman (Australian National University)
    – winner of the $300,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. He discovered that what we see of galaxies—as stars, gas and dust—is only a small fraction of their mass. The rest is dark matter;
  • Eric May (University of Western Australia)
    – winner of the $50,000 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year for his work towards making liquid natural gas a cleaner resource;
  • Mark Shackleton (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre)
    – winner of the $50,000 Science Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year. Mark’s work on breast cancer and melanoma is transforming our understanding of how cancers grow and resist treatment;
  • Michael van der Ploeg (Table Cape Primary School in Wynyard)
    – winner of the $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools resulting from opening the world of science to students on Tasmania’s northwest coast;
  • Anita Trenwith (Salisbury High School, north of Adelaide)
    – winner of the $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools. She has created a unique program that makes science accessible to special‐education students.

Here are some more of Kristin’s tweets (using the hashtag #pmprizes to identify relevance to the occasion). I think you’ll agree they give a taste of Kristin’s personality and offer her own take on the event.

#pmprizes juliagillard being most amusing to welcome us to the PM Prizes for Science @ Parliament House

I am impressed, this must be third or fourth time in a few years that a South Australian teacher has won a teaching #pmprizes

And a wonderful moving speech from secondary teacher winner Anita Trenwith. Touching on her personal struggle and her passions #pmprizes

Teachers and family do seen to be the key reasons scientists enter science. A personal connection to the passion of science #pmprizes

“Better to be lucky than clever” says Prof Eric May, winner of Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Sciences #pmprizes

The best thing about #pmprizes is the speeches, hearing the interests & passion, and the varied personal & professional support networks

And that all recipients get teary acknowledging that support #pmprizes

Hearing that dark matter & dark energy are different things. Why is dark energy there? “It is just there” says @cosmicpinot #pmprizes

Look quite frankly I think LSD might help with this and with me understanding particle physics #pmprizes

That last one is my favourite.

[photo thanks to richard_north on flickr]


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