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Top science communicator celebrated

13 November 2013

Maurice Wilkins Centre associate investigator Dr Siouxsie Wiles, from the University of Auckland, was last night awarded the 2013 Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize.

Dr Wiles has been honoured for her communication of a wide range of scientific issues. She will receive $50,000 with an additional $50,000 allocated to further develop her science media communication skills.

Dr Wiles is a microbiologist who researches the use of bioluminescence (the production of light by living organisms) to study infectious diseases. She leads a research group which creates bacteria that glow in the dark, in order to better understand how to prevent and fight diseases like tuberculosis and hospital superbugs.

She is a frequent media commentator and blogger, and was one of the faces of the public engagement campaign for the National Science Challenges. She has made a number of popular aminations that introduce the public to the scientific uses of bioluminescence.

The Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize is awarded to a practising scientist who is an effective communicator, to further develop their knowledge of science media communication.

It was one of the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes awarded in Wellington last night. The prizes, awarded annually, were introduced to raise the profile and prestige of science.