Details just in on the Prime Minister’s newly established science prizes. Check out the website devoted to the prizes here.

The jewel in the crown is the Prime Minister’s Science Prize itself – its worth $500,000 – to an individual or team undertaking breakthrough research in New Zealand. $100,000 goes to the individual or team itself, while $400,000 goes towards their future research programme.

Now let’s put that in perspective – the money involved is sort of like winning the Nobel Prize, considering that most Nobel prizes in the sciences are won by three people these days who spilt the US$1 million between them.  Given the exchange rate at the moment, its like the equivalent of a one-third share in a Nobel – with the big difference being you have to spend the bulk of the cash on future research whereas the Nobel prize winners can spend the money however they want to.

The MacDiarmid Young Scientist prize remains – John Watt from Victoria University strikes gold – he picks up the inaugural prize worth $150,000. He wouldn’t even have known that was available when he applied for the award. He must be beaming today!

Full details below – also good to see a sizeable ($150,000) going towards a science media communication prize…

There will be five categories of prizes:

  • The Prime Minister’s Science Prize – $500,000
  • The Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Young Scientist of the Year Prize – $150,000
  • The Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize – $50,000
  • The Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize – $50,000 to the teacher and $100,000 to their school
  • The Prime Minister’s Science Media Communications Prize – $150,000