Twelve young researchers, including UNSW's Dr Michael Kasumovic, have been selected for a spot in the ‘Top 5 under 40’ program, an initiative of UNSW and ABC Radio National to mark 40 years of The Science Show.

Top 5 under 40 aims to discover Australia’s new generation of science thinkers – and give them a voice.

After a two-day workshop this week at the ABC in Sydney - working with the network's experienced producers and science presenters, experienced scientists and guest writers, TV reporters and science communicators - the 12 finalists will develop their radio program ideas and pitch to a panel of judges.

The panel includes Robyn Williams, presenter of The Science Show, Professor Merlin Crossley, UNSW Dean of Science, Professor Fiona Stanley of the University of Western Australia and Professor Lesley Hughes of Macquarie University.

The five winners  – our ‘Top 5’ – will be announced on The Science Show on 7 March. They will then undertake a 10-day media program as 'Scientists in Residence' at RN’s Sydney studios. 

In December and January, a national call-out was made for outstanding early career researchers aged under 40 working in Australian universities and research organisations across the fields of science, medical research, technology, engineering and maths. A desire and flair for science communication was a key criteria. 

More than 250 researchers applied from across Australia, from which the impressive list of 12 applicants was selected.

Here are the finalists, in alphabetical order:

  • Matthew Baker – Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute        
  • Dani Barrington – Monash University, International Water Centre
  • Amanda Bauer – Australian Astronomical Observatory
  • Amber Beavis  – WA Museum
  • Anjali Jaiprakash – QUT, Science and Engineering Faculty
  • Michael Kasumovic – UNSW, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • Niraj Lal – Australian National University, Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems
  • Cathal O’Connell – University of Wollongong, Intelligent Polymer Research Laboratories (based at St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne)
  • Vince Polito – Macquarie University, Department of Cognitive Science
  • Paul Pounds – University of Queensland, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering
  • Kirrilly Thompson – Central Queensland University, Appleton Institute
  • Alice Williamson – University of Sydney, School of Chemistry

Read more about Top 5 under 40 here.

Media contact: Denise Knight, UNSW Media Office, 0405 207 685