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G'day. Welcome to Catalyst and the 2011 Eureka Prizes.

Tonight, we join the Australian Museum in celebrating high achievers in science.

? Theme music With 24 prizes up for grabs, worth a total of $250,000, this event celebrates
Australia's best research scientists, technologists, communicators and educators.

And not a lab coat in sight. Here we have some new awards with an emphasis on youth, recognising
young science leaders and mentors of young researchers.

And there's always the Sleek Geeks Award for science students, which we'll take a look at later on,
plus I'll be hosting the winner of the People's Choice Award.

But despite tonight's celebration, it hasn't been all good press for scientists. Later in the
program, Mark Horstman takes a special look at the rising wave of attacks on the integrity of
scientists and their work.

Climate science has become a battleground.

But we'll start by catching up with Matilda-Jane Oke, who, ten years ago, won a Eureka Prize at the
tender age of 12 for her research into the effect of iron oxide on marri trees.

Matilda-Jane Oke

Matilda-Jane Oke

TRANSCRIPT

Comments

At the age of 12, Matilda-Jane Oke became the youngest winner of a Eureka Prize for Science with a
research project on how marri trees cope with iron oxide dust. Matilda's Eureka win spurred her on
to biochemistry research at the University of Western Australia and ultimately undertook a PhD in
plant biochemistry. Today Matilda is revelling in her part-time work as an educator where she's
passing on her infectious enthusiasm for a wide range of scientific research and is sparking up a
whole new generation fascinated by science.

Matilda-Jane Oke

As long as I can remember I've been, been really taken by science. Science plays an incredible role
in my life. It's, it's in everything that I do. If I could get you... Communicating science to
children is one of the most fantastic things that you can do, I think.

Child

Awesome!

Matilda-Jane Oke

Because we've got electrons in here that have a lot of energy...You can just see their faces light
up with understanding. Yeah, it's incredibly rewarding. Do you want to come and have a touch? Come
on in. Whoa ...

Both my parents are scientists. Mum's a science teacher and Dad's a geophysicist, and so I was
exposed to science at a really early age.

Matilda's Mother

Matilda just used to love planting and sort of watering the plants. And we came in one day, and in
front of the telly, she'd lined up ... remember that, you'd put all the worms so that they could
watch Play School, that you'd found in the garden?

Matilda-Jane Oke

It was definitely my parents that fostered within me a real love of science. When I was young, I
lived in a house that was on a dirt road, and used to wonder how the trees were surviving when
their leaves were covered with all this dust. Because I knew that the leaves contained stomata and
it was through these, these pores that the trees could breathe.

When I was in year eight, I was really keen to get a taste of some real science, so I did a project
which looked at the effects of iron oxide dust on the growth of young marri trees. As a
twelve-year-old, I didn't realise how, how long some of the scientific method can take. It gave me
a real appreciation of the patience of scientists.

But once I'd finished the project, ah, I heard about the Eurekas, and I thought it sounded like a
really fun thing to enter, and a really good opportunity. As I walked in, I could see that I was
the youngest person there by far. Far more grand than anything I'd ever experienced before.

Awards presenter

Our youngest-ever winner of a Eureka Prize, from Western Australia, Matilda-Jane Oke, year eight.

Matilda-Jane Oke

I was so shocked, walking up that stage, getting the award. I think I was just so overwhelmed.
Unbelievable. I think that's the best way I can describe it. The Eureka Prize has had a great deal
of significance in my life. Firstly, winning a Eureka Prize does wonders for your CV, but it also
instilled in me the confidence that I could become a scientist, and that I could do real science.
My interest in plants has continued throughout my university life. At the moment I'm doing a PhD in
plant biochemistry, but who knows - when that's done, I might try something completely different.
As long as I'm learning new science and communicating science then yeah, I think I'll be pretty
happy. It's a very powerful tool, having a scientific understanding.

Still to come, student entries for the Sleek Geeks Awards.

? Hail hydrogen. ?

WOMAN: The winner of the Voiceless Eureka Prize for scientific research that contributes to animal
protection is Professor Paul McGreevy's lab.

(Cheering and applause)

Please, welcome Professor Paul McGreevy, representing his team.

Congratulations, Paul.

Thanks, Maryanne.

How do you feel?

Great. It's a good day for horses.

So explain to me what your research was about.

Well, we showed that the horses that were whipped more, didn't actually perform better. And that
was a surprise to all of us. We also showed that jockeys who are less experienced used more of the
whip in the critical stages of the race. And that's a bit of an indictment on the whip itself. If
we're whippinghorses unnecessarily and it's causing pain, then that's an act of cruelty. So we need
to be sure that we can justify this mainstream activity.

So I can imagine this would be really controversial research. How has the racing industry reacted
to your results?

Well, they're interested in our results. They'd like to see more of this sort of research. And
we're very happy to help them with that sort of research.

Well, congratulations again.

Thanks, Maryanne. Thank you.

Now here's Mark Horstman with his report on why scientists feel under siege.

Science Under Siege

Science Under Siege

TRANSCRIPT

Comments

Scientific institutions are working to combat a rising wave of attacks on the integrity of
scientists and their work. A range of scientific endeavours, including nanotechnology, immunisation
and atmospheric physics, are the target of misinformation campaigns that have lead to unwarranted
abuse and even death threats. Mark Horstman highlights the damage being done to the public's trust
in science and the impact these attacks have on the personal lives of hard working and
conscientious scientists.

NARRATION

Up in the atmosphere, the levels of carbon dioxide are at their highest in at least eight-hundred
thousand years. But down in wintry Canberra, we're still arguing about whether it matters.

Man A

No more government-funded fraudulent science reports.

Protesters

Yeah!

NARRATION

At this anti-Carbon Tax rally in front of Parliament House, the science of global warming is
ridiculed.

Man B

Perhaps CSIRO should follow the advice of our beloved Prime Minister - don't write crap, it can't
be that hard.

Protesters

Yeah!

Man C

Carbon dioxide, we can't charge tax to God. He's the one that put it here.

Woman

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. And they ...

Mark Horstman

Why not?

Woman

Why not? Because we need it to breathe, the plants need it to breathe.

Mark Horstman

This protest movement takes a lack of understanding about how carbon emissions warm the atmosphere,
and amplifies it into a campaign to throw the whole government out at the next election.

Professor Ove Høegh-Guldberg

What we're seeing today is a distortion of science. We're seeing the damage that it can have, it
can topple opposition leaders, it can topple even prime ministers.

Man D

It doesn't matter about the science because it's turned into a religion.

Professor Ian Chubb

And it takes more than me to stand up for this. I think all scientists have to say, 'Hang on a
second here. We will not be shouted down by the loudest voice or the biggest headline.'

Angry Anderson

There is something insidiously evil going on ...

Protesters

Yeah!

Angry Anderson

... behind this mask of a carbon tax.

Protesters

Yeah!

NARRATION

The carbon tax debate is a lightning rod for a broadside not just on climate science, but on
science generally, which concerns the scientific community enough to launch its own campaign.

Anna-Maria Arabia

The Respect the Science campaign aims to help people understand how science is done, and really
understand um, the peer review process - so how ideas are formulated, how they're tested and
re-tested.

NARRATION

Anna-Maria Arabia heads Science and Technology Australia, the peak body for sixty-two scientific
societies, with a collective membership of more than sixty-eight thousand scientists.

Anna-Maria Arabia

Scientists are quite concerned about the way their profession is being devalued and as individuals
how they feel they are under attack.

Man E

I think they're intimidated by us.

Mark Horstman

Why would they be intimidated?

Man E

Ah, because I think they sense that we're, we're, we're probably onto something.

NARRATION

Marine biologist Ove Høegh-Guldberg is no stranger to climate controversy. A decade ago, his
work on coral bleaching warned that a two degree rise in sea temperature could wipe out the Barrier
Reef. At a recent visit to Indooroopilly State High School, Ove wants to clear up some of the
confusion surrounding the science of global warming.

Professor Ove Høegh-Guldberg

If you want to prove your hypothesis that it's not happening, you can go and pick those little bits
out and ignore the rest. But science doesn't work that way. Good science is all about looking at
the complete picture and making a balanced assessment of the change. The trust in science that
produces agriculture, medicine, you know, engineering, bridges and so on, that we trust, that's the
same science that produces our perspective on climate and on its impacts.

Mark Horstman

Such trust has been lost here. At the heart of this protest is the notion that the people here can
see through the carbon lies, because they know better than most of the world's climate scientists.
But science is based on evidence, not popular opinion. What next - let's take a vote on whether the
earth is round?

NARRATION

At a similar rally in Sydney earlier this year, that's exactly what Lord Monckton proposed should
happen with climate science.

Lord Christopher Monckton

They got the sums wrong.

Protester

Yes they sure did!

Lord Christopher Monckton

And what we are going to do is get the sums right. And the way we're going to do it is through the
ballot box.

Protesters

Yeah!

NARRATION

And then this chilling call to arms.

Lord Christopher Monckton

To the bogus scientists who have used the bogus science that invented this bogus scare, I say, we
are coming after you, we are going to prosecute you, and we are going to lock you up.

Protesters

Yeah!

Professor Ian Chubb

We're back to the Middle Ages aren't we? I mean, that's what they tried to do to Galileo, I mean,
this is an extraordinary position for my country to be in. I always thought that we would be
willing to have an argument, for sure. But sometimes I think ah, you know, how low can we go?

Anna-Maria Arabia

I personally received a death threat, um, that was quite explicit about how my life would end. Um,
not particularly pleasant things to receive when you're really just getting on with your job.

Professor Ove Høegh-Guldberg

Are we a sub-class of people who deserve this? I don't think so. You know, you sit there, and
you're, you're doing your email and this thing sort of comes up on the screen. 'You [beep]
communist, [beep] die, you must die.' The violence in the messages were just, you know ... I don't,
I'm not a sissy, okay? [Laughs] Um, it's shocking. It's just something I didn't think was going to
be part of the science career.

So they have a little zone, it's sort of crucial....

NARRATION

But it doesn't deter Ove from his message about the power of science to guide solutions.

Professor Ove Høegh-Guldberg

This is the big challenge, and your generation's got to sort it out.

Male student

A lot of the current debate, it's too political. It's hindering like action on like, the real
problem, which is long-term sustainability.

Man D

The way I see it, when we went to school as kids, it was the communists, you know, all those
horrible communists were going to get us. You know, we have to have something to scare people
about. Now they're teaching kids in school about this climate change thing.

Female student

It's a new concept really, you know, the whole idea of global warming. Adults are probably still
trying to get their head around it, start new discussions, new debates, new ideas. I guess for us,
we've learnt about it, we've sort of grown up with this whole debate.

Man F

For a layperson like myself, it appears as though the people that are promoting carbon dioxide as a
very, very nasty thing are overwhelmingly strong and passionate in their view, and not allowing the
other side to present a contrary view.

Professor Ove Høegh-Guldberg

Well there's actually you know, an opinion - spin on one hand, and then there's you know,
peer-reviewed science on the other. They're very different. But the public I think has got that,
you know, that's been hard for them to understand, and I'm not surprised that many people are a
little confused about where science fits.

If you go to our website, you can hear more from the chief scientist talking about the peer review
process and exactly what kind of science should be respected. Dr Paul Willis, you're the director
of the Royal Institution of Australia. Congratulations.

Thank you.

How does your organisation deal with reports of increasing attacks on scientists?

What concerns us is that there are so many issues around today that are based on science and yet
there's this disconnect where the Australian population don't really understand the science behind
those issues and our job is to engage the Australian people with the messages of science so they
can make better decisions.

And it's more than climate science, isn't it? So it's not just climate scientists who are being
attacked?

Well, it's all kinds of scientists that are under attack at the moment. I mean, I've got friends
who are marine biologists who are under attack, getting death threats because they're outspoken on
marine reserves. Evolutionary biologists are getting death threats just for studying evolution.
Firstly, anybody who makes a death threat to anybody should be prosecuted to the full extent of the
law. But what really concerns me is can those people really think that by shutting the scientists
down the science is just going to go away? That's delusional thinking. I think there's always been
that level of science ignorance but people haven't been able to make those threats before in quite
such a public way but now with online social media, it's just too easy.

Of course, tonight is a night for celebrating science. It's been good to see you, I think this will
be our last goodbye but don't go too far away because we do have a small presentation so we'll see
you in a little while.

I look forward to that.

Pretty soon, we'll know the winner of the People's Choice Award. But first, another prize on offer
tonight is the University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Award. It's for students who have a passion for
science and a flair for telling a scientific story through a short film. Here are sleek geeks, Dr
Karl and Adam Spencer.

Sleek Geeks Eureka Prize

Sleek Geeks Eureka Prize

TRANSCRIPT

Comments

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Adam Spencer profile the finalists and ultimate winner of the Sleek Geeks
Prize for primary and secondary students.

NARRATION

The sleek geeks science prize aims to inspire primary and secondary school students to communicate
scientific concepts in ways that make all of us sit up and take notice.

As always Karl hundreds of entries, comedy, drama, animations, songs and already culled down to a
short list.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

And out of this mountain of excellence there will be just one single winner.

Adam Spencer

Well, strictly two winners, one for primary and one for secondary. But I take your point.

Brandon Gifford

Ah, g'day, my name's Brandon Gifford and my film is the sensational snake.

SENSATIONAL SNAKE FILM

By Brandon Gifford, Cassino Christian School

Brandon Gifford

Snakes, they live in some of the harshest terrain on earth, underground, above ground and in water.
They do many things court, climb, slither and play but in this clip we'll be looking at how they
hunt.

NARRATION

Many species invenomate their prey mainly to paralyse or slow it down until it eventually dies.

INTERVIEW:Brandon Gifford

The hardest thing about filming this film was the fact that it's snakes, trying to get them to bite
at the camera. They just wanted to bite me, they didn't want to have anything to do with the
camera, so I'd get in close, have the camera right here, get right in close and then
whoosh...they'd strike straight at my face. Don't know why!

NEUROPLASTICITY FILM

by Jack McDonald, Varsity College

Jack McDonald

My entry is called Neuroplasticity and don't feel bad if you don't know what that is because most
people haven't heard of the term.

Neuroplasticity means that the brain can change itself and re-fire and re-wire itself in new ways.

INTERVIEW:Jack McDonald

During filming I had to hold a pig's brain in my hand which was freezing and I took about a hundred
takes to get it right.

Jack McDonald

Sometimes when a person has part of their body amputated, they can experience what is called
phantom pain. Even though a finger might have been removed, the pain that the person once felt when
the finger was injured has been wired into the brain.

Through the use of a mirror box, it's possible to trick the brain into thinking that the finger is
still there and make it think that it's able to move around.

STICK INSECT FILM

By Anastasia Kennett, Croydon Public School

Anastasia Kennett

In my film I explain the stages that a stick insect lives through, from egg to adult.

Have you ever wondered how one of these little insects can turn into one of these magnificent
creatures? Today, I'm going to show you how.

This female stick insect is just about to lay an egg..

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

Look at the size of it!

Anastasia Kennett

And this is the egg.

INTERVIEW:Anastasia Kennett

The filming wasn't that easy though. The stick insects were great but I couldn't say exoskeleton. I
just decided to change the word to outer skin.

Anastasia Kennett

Now that is the incredible life cycle of a stick insect.

WHY THE FISH COULD NOT CROSS THE ROAD

By Wilson's Creek Public School

The team

We're the team that made the film 'Why The Fish Could Not Cross The Road'.

Kid A How come we don't catch as many fish as we do downstream?

Kid B Why, why can't they get up here?

INTERVIEW

Kid C It's about fish migration in our local creek and the way our bridge affects the fish that
swim upstream and downstream.

NARRATION

Using a golf ball, tape measure and stop watch, we measured a water speed of 3.7 metres per second.

Adam Spencer

How cool is that? They measure, they do some experiments, they come up with a theory and they test
it with rice bubbles.

Kid D Right now we know how to fix the bridge!

HAIL HAIL HYDROGEN

The team from Warrandyte High School

The Team

Hi, we're from Warrandyte High School in Melbourne. We're proud of our song, Hail Hail Hydrogen.

The Song

Compress the H2, make it cool, it now becomes our major fuel

INTERVIEW

Our song is about how the most common element in the universe, hydrogen, can stop global warming.

Song

hail, hail, hydrogen...

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

That's a catchy rhythm...

Song

No pollution can be done..hail, hail, hydrogen...time for our explosion...

Adam Spencer

Well, here it goes Karl, they're about to announce the Sleek Geeks secondary school's winner for
2011.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

Ah, the suspense is killing me.

Adam Spencer

It's just here(he jokes)

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

That's blank...(he jokes)

Adam Spencer

Karl, the magic of television.

The Eureka Awards Night

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

The winner is the incredibly handsome Brandon Gifford. Come on down Brandon.

INTERVIEW WITH RUBEN MEERMAN AND BRANDON GIFFORD

Ruben Meerman

Hey Brandon, congratulations.

Brandon Gifford

Thanks mate.

Ruben Meerman

How does it feel?

Brandon Gifford

Pretty surreal actually. I was expecting second, third? But to win it, it's still sinking in.

EUREKA ANNOUNCEMENT

The winner of the primary school Eureka prize is Anastasia.

INTERVIEW WITH ANASTASIA KENNETT AND RUBEN MEERMAN

Anastasia Kennett

It's really scary and it's really awesome because I never thought I'd get here and it's like I'm
here and I've won. So it's pretty cool.

for science journalism is Dr Jonica Newby and Lile Judickas. Please welcome to the stage, Dr Jonica
Newby... GRAHAM PHILLIPS: Jonica and Lile have won for their special Catalyst report on fatherhood
- The Male Pregnancy.

JONICA: These men are about to become fathers. But are they pregnant too? Today, only two out of
three children will reach 18 with their fathers still at home. It's a paradox at the heart of
contemporary fatherhood. At the same time, our expectations of dads are rising exponentially, more
and more kids are growing up without them. So with dud dads, divorce, and complicated biology all
in the mix, can science tell us what makes a good dad?

Looking here, big smile!

(Cheering)

Finally, it's time and Graham is on stage about to present the nominees for the People's Choice
Award.

Now, votes have flooded in from all over the country

People's Choice Award 2011

People's Choice Award 2011

TRANSCRIPT

Comments

Catalyst gets up close with Australia's top scientists at The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes. Find
out if you backed a winner when Graham Phillips presents the People's Choice Award.

Dr Graham Phillips

Now votes have flooded in from all over the country in support of our six finalists who are Doctor
Anina Rich, researching synaesthesia and the mixing of the senses in creating a different
perception of the world.

Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, treating spinal cord injury using cells from a person's own nose.

Dr Peter Macreadie, examining the dynamics of carbon storage by sea grasses.

Dr Vanessa K Peterson, progressing alternative and sustainable clean energy technologies.

Dr Alex Meier, looking for weakness in the malaria parasite by knocking out genes. And Doctor
Tracey Rogers, discovering non-invasive ways of researching Antarctic top predators.

EUREKA ANNOUNCEMENT PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD

The winner of the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research people's choice award is
Professor Alan Mackay-Sim. Welcome to the stage.

EUREKA ANNOUNCEMENT

Congratulations to Professor Alan Mackay-Sim.

INTERVIEW DR GRAHAM PHILLIPS AND PROFESSOR ALAN MACKAY-SIM

Dr Graham Phillips

So what's it like to win the big one.

Prof Alan Mackay-Sim

Wonderful, fantastic.

Dr Graham Phillips

Do you think it will change your life in any way?

Prof Alan Mackay-Sim

What I hope is that it will give a bit of notoriety to spinal cord research, you know, it really
gives people with spinal cord injuries a bit of hope that something's happening.

Dr Graham Phillips

Well, congratulations.

Next time on Catalyst, reflections of an astronaut...

If I could live in space, I would definitely do that.

..guitar legends reinventing the guitar...

You won't believe where the guitar is going next. (Plays note)

And...

What happens when you cross a bee with a robot?

Well, congratulations, Jonica. Another one.

Well done.

Thank you. Well

done. And while we're all here together, we thought we'd officially congratulate you on your new
job at RiAus.

Thank you very much.

And thank you for your fantastic contribution over, what, ten years?

Ten years it's been, yeah.

And we got you this gift.

Oh, wow. Oh, thank you very much.

Can you identify them?

Yeah, these are fish from the Green River formation in Wyoming. They're about 45 million years old,
give or take a couple of days. They're beautiful! Thanks, guys.

We thought you'd know.

Brilliant, thank you.

Well, that's all we have from the 2011 Eureka Prizes. For full details of the winners, go to our
website: Now, we thought we'd leave you with a little montage of some of Paul's best work over the
last ten years, put together by producer Anja Taylor and editor Chris Spurr. See you next time.

See you soon. Bye.

Bye

.

Welcome to Mordor! ? Trust me, it's OK ? Trust me, thingo ? Trust me, it's all you need ? Trust me.
? Hello and welcome to Catalyst. Where... The Bronze Age was the beginning of our mastery of
metals. It's the unfortunate dead I'm interested in. But who was he and why was he killed in such
an horrific manner? I can do it, I can do it by memory. I have an infallible thingo. An infallible
thingo. Me, including 600 other... (Talks gibberish) Ah! He was 63 years old, and here comes a bus.
(Laughter) Let's try that again. Is there an Oscar in that? Where'd I come up with that from? I was
just ad-libbing, man. I was just feeling free. ..this bloke gonna make it into Vogue?

Which is one of the ways we can date animals by what age the pin is that went into it.

I've never thought of dating a pin before. So it's no surprise that many people became distrustful
of what goes on behind locked laboratory doors. I bet that doesn't make the Christmas tape... It's
OK, I'm rolling on. Ready, please, Mr Music.

Well, it sounds like he's pretty close but still aim straight down the hill so...

He just nicked to that coffee shop down there. Hello! Am I being chatted up by a frog?

You are.

Mutton dressed as lamb - discuss.

(All baa)

Science can be a double-edged sword. I'm controlling this wheelchair with my hat. Ah! Beyond
beautiful, it was a symphony. (Laughs) Where's the bone? Where's the rock? Come on, I'll show you.
Well, it's all hands to the pump. They've got a lot of bones to get out and not much time so I'm
giving them a bit of a hand. That is a genuine piece of dinosaur bone. For two hours, people from
all around the world got to play palaeontologist and find fossils. That makes me very happy. I'm so
happy! It's probably beer o'clock.

Oh, definitely time for a beer.

Closed Captions by CSI - Matt Whitmore & Jacqui Mapoon

This Program is Captioned Live.