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A First for Australian Physics: All Female Recipients in Biennial AIP Awards for 2020

1 Jul 2021 12:47 PM | Anonymous

In a first for the AIP since the introduction of national AIP medals, we are celebrating the fact that all four of the biennial medals have been awarded to women. These awards include the Harrie Massey Medal (awarded in conjunction with the Institute of Physics), the Alan Walsh Medal, the Education Medal and the Ruby Payne-Scott Award. In these awards, we are recognising very talented physicists and congratulate these winners on their achievements and success!

Since the awarding of the first AIP medal, the Walter Boas medal (1984), the overwhelming majority of medals have been awarded to men. Indeed, before 2008, only the Bragg Gold Medal had ever been awarded to a woman. The AIP has been working to encourage nominations from across gender and background, and we encourage you to consider those among your colleagues and peers who might be eligible for these awards in the future.

We also acknowledge all nominees submitted to these awards, as the selection panels have noted it can be very difficult to choose the winner each year. To provide some information about the selection process for the awards, we can advise that nominations of both men and women were received, thanks to our now established focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion in the process and the effort of the nominators. For each award there was a separate, independent selection panel (and for some awards a two-stage selection process with different panels), where each selection panel comprised volunteers with a mix of gender and backgrounds.

The annual awards (Walter Boas medal, Bragg Gold Medal, TH Laby medal and Outstanding Service to Physics Award) will be announced later in the year and we look forward to discovering who amongst the nominees will be successful.

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