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So, how much will the rest of New Zealand care about last night’s announcement of the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes?

John Key and Wayne Mapp are going their manful best to promote research, and its close kissing cousin, innovation, as one of the main ways (the only way?) that New Zealand can lift our economic performance.

The recognition of science participants, none of them remotely like the mad-scientist depicted in movies, is a small part in that promotion.

It will be interesting to see how much interest and attention is given to the winners of the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes announced this morning in Auckland. You’d like to think someone’s tracking some numbers on the media attention……no doubt if they’re upwards, we’ll hear about it.

For the record the full list of 2010 winners is:

The P.M’s Science Prize
Victoria University’s magnetic resonance research team and Magritek (its commercialised outcome, see sticK story here). Prize of $500,000, $400,000 for research.

Future Scientist Prize
Bailey Lovett, 17, or James Hargest College, Invercargill. $50,000 towards her university studies

Science Teacher Prize
Steve Martin, Howick College, Auckland. Steve receives $50,000 and Howick College $100,000

MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist
Dr Donna Rose Addis, University of Auckland. Donna receives $200,000, with $150,000 to be used for research

Science Media Communications
Dr Cornel de Ronde, GNS Science. Cornel receives $100,000, $50,000 of which will be used to develop his science communication skills