Swinburne University of Technology Research Fellow, Dr Alan Duffy, has been named a finalist in the 2016 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes for promoting understanding of Australian science research.
Presented annually, the Eureka Prizes reward excellence in:
- research and innovation
- science communication
- school science
Dr Duffy has been recognised for his efforts to convey the latest scientific discoveries to Australians through the media.
In more than 100 appearances on popular television shows, Dr Duffy has explained everything from gravitational waves and ice ages to the distant Universe.
He appears regularly on ABC Breakfast News, Channel Ten’s The Project and Channel 7’s Weekend Sunrise, and has also featured on premier science shows such as Catalyst.
His radio appearances across the ABC and commercial stations have seen him become a ‘go-to’ whenever there’s a breaking news story involving science or the night sky.
Dr Duffy says that anyone can understand incredible scientific discoveries; it’s simply a matter of finding the way to bring distant events closer to home.
“Australians are naturally curious. I never worry about whether a discovery or event in the night sky will interest them. My efforts are in finding that everyday experience familiar to us all that best encapsulates the science.
“Creating the analogy shortcuts the lifetime of learning in a narrow field to something instantly recognisable and helps the audience to intuitively get it,” Dr Duffy says.
“Modern research can sometimes appear incredibly remote from our experiences but it’s often intimately connected with our everyday lives. This is the key for explaining science, finding the way to remind the audience that there’s an incredible world out there and that they are part of this exploration.
“I believe that familiarity with science is critical for our society to respond to the challenges facing it. Often the problems seem insurmountable or too large to deal with and it is only through more science not less that we will overcome them.
“Australia has a bright future ahead if we can encourage the next generation to keep their inherent curiosity, not letting it become dulled trying to fit into prescribed careers but rather going out and inventing their own,” Dr Duffy says.
The Eureka Prizes will be presented in Sydney on Wednesday 31 August 2016. View all the 2016 Eureka Prize finalists.
Dr Duffy will be presenting The Science of Science Fiction at Swinburne’s Open Day Sunday 31 July 2016. Plan your day and discover why we’re the must visit Open Day.