Last week Prime Minister Julia Gillard awarded the annual Prime Minister's Prizes for Science: recognition, at the highest level of government, not only of the achievements of Australian scientists but of the importance of the subject itself. As Gillard said in her ceremony speech:
This year the urgency of embarking on our clean energy future has brought science to the centre of our national debate, it's very centre, and that's as it should be.
|The 2011 winners of the Prime Minister's Prizes for Science|
Here in the UK there are many and varied prizes for science, but nothing quite like this. As the home of many of the finest scientific establishments, societies and institutions in the world, we regularly recognize scientific endeavour, achievement and communication. But given the importance of science in our lives, in policy and business, it wouldn't go amiss for our own government to exhibit some faith in the scientific community and present some form of formal recognition for those who conduct research here. This, particularly, in a time when government cuts are hitting the scientific community hard. I call for a UK Prime Minister's Prize for Science.
But I wonder - who do you think should win?
Julia Gillard's speech can be read in full here.