William Henry Bragg by Nobel foundation public domain

Bragg Membership awarded to leaders in science

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The Royal Institution of Australia will honour prominent Australian scientists with a prestigious Bragg Membership in a ceremony to be held today.

Organisation/s: RiAus

Media Release

From: RiAus

On behalf of Patron, The Duke of Kent KG GCMG GCVO ADC, The Royal Institution of Australia Chairman, Mr Peter Yates AM will formally induct Professor Michael Archer AM, Mr Peter Gago, Professor Terry Hughes and Adjunct Professor Zee Upton as Bragg Members.

Named after the prominent Australian Pioneer scientists, Sir William Henry Bragg and Sir William Lawrence Bragg, Honorary Bragg Membership is the highest category of membership awarded by The Royal Institution of Australia and recognises excellence in scientific achievement and commitment to science communication.

‘We are pleased to welcome our new inductees who have made a remarkable contribution in such diverse disciplines including paleontology, marine biology, oenology and research’, said Mr Peter Yates.

‘Celebrating the achievements of our great scientists is an important part of our development as an innovative nation’, said Mr Peter Yates.

‘By acknowledging and honouring our industry leaders we hope to inspire the next generation of scientists and STEM graduates who will play a critical role in building Australia’s future’, he said.

Iconic Australian winemaker Peter Gago was ‘shocked, delighted and humbled’ to be inducted as a Bragg Member and is looking forward to acting as an energetic ambassador of science both in Australia and overseas.

‘I am delighted as I am honoured to represent the pursuits of the many practitioners of the ancient discipline of oenology, humbled at joining eminent and world-renowned scientists and shocked to have been chosen on the right side of 60’, said Mr Gago.

Today’s ceremony follows the induction last month of Professor Brian Cox, awarded Bragg Membership for his commitment to science communication in Australia and internationally. In receiving his award, Professor Cox reflected on the sentiments of renowned scientists Joseph Banks and Carl Sagan.

‘In order to make progress in science, knowledge needs to be disseminated across the population’, said Professor Cox. ‘It was a radically modern action to form the Royal Institutions of Australia and Great Britain and this is why it is a terrific honour to be part of that’.

The new inductees join 31 other distinguished Bragg Members including former astronaut Andy Thomas, developer of the HPV vaccine, Professor Ian Frazer AC as well as Nobel Prize winners, Professor Brian Schmidt AC and Dr Elizabeth Blackburn AC.


Professor Michael Archer AM

Professor Michael Archer has been Curator of Mammals at the Queensland Museum, Director of the Australian Museum and Dean of Science at the University of New South Wales where he’s now Professor in the UNSW PANGEA Research Group. His research includes the World Heritage fossil deposits at Riversleigh, conservation through sustainable use of native resources and DeExtinction efforts to revive extinct species. He has supervised 85 research students, produced 315 scientific publications and received awards including Fellowships in the Academy of Science and Royal Society of NSW, Eureka Prize for the Promotion of Science and Member of the Order of Australia.

Mr Peter Gago

Peter Gago is Penfolds’ Chief Winemaker, a role he has held for 15 years.  A science graduate of both the Universities of Melbourne and Adelaide, Peter has leveraged his studies of Oenology to produce and promote Australian wines across the globe. He maintains that this is not too difficult a feat when armed with Penfolds Grange and other heavy-hitting Australian wine classics.  Peter is the recipient of many Global awards but treasures The Winemaker’s Winemaker Award – the second ever bestowed - in Düsseldorf, by The Institute of Masters of Wine and his global winemaking peers.

Professor Terry Hughes

Professor Terry Hughes is the Director of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, headquartered at James Cook University. A recurrent theme in his studies is the application of new scientific knowledge towards improving management and governance of marine environments.

Adjunct Professor Zee Upton

Adjunct Professor Zee Upton is a Research Director in the Institute for Medical Biology in A*STAR in Singapore, as well as an Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology. She is a biochemist by training, a tissue engineer, an inventor and entrepreneur whose research has led to the listing of a company on the ASX and the establishment of the Wound Management Innovation Cooperative Research Centre. She is passionate about ensuring research delivers benefits and champions inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches, believing that innovation frequently arises in the “white spaces” between disciplines.

Professor Brian Cox OBE is a British particle physicist at the University of Manchester and Royal Society Professor for Public Engagement in Science. He has carried out research at the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Switzerland and the H1 experiment at DESY in Hamburg. He is best known to the public as the presenter of a number of science programs for the BBC, boosting the popularity of astronomy, physics and exploration.

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