ABC RN announces Australia’s best and brightest young minds

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The ABC has once again selected the pick of Australia’s sparkling early-career research talent for its TOP 5 Science and TOP 5 Humanities media residencies. Five successful applicants from each of these two domains will take part in an intensive and hands-on two weeks “in residence” at ABC RN in Sydney, working with some of Australia’s best journalists and broadcasters.

It’s a unique opportunity for emerging thinkers to go behind-the-scenes with the ABC’s expert communicators, burnishing the skills of these future leaders and role models so that their important work can be celebrated by Australians everywhere.

The ABC TOP 5 Humanities for 2022 are:

  • Michelle Newcomb
    Queensland University of Technology – studies burnout and attrition among social care professionals
  • Ming Ming Cheng
    Curtin University – studies tourism and its substantial impact on the environment, including the attitudes and habits of holiday-makers and strategies for driving behavioural change
  • Julia Cook
    University of Newcastle – examines housing affordability for younger Australians and how cliches around the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ mask a much more diverse reality
  • Niro Kandasamy
    University of Sydney – investigates how marginalised migrant and refugee communities navigate their lives in a new country, particularly Tamil communities in Australia
  • Claudia Benham
    University of Queensland – a human geographer working with communities in northern Australia who are confronting the economic and emotional impacts of climate change

The TOP 5 Humanities is presented in partnership with the University of Sydney.

The ABC TOP 5 Science for 2022 are:

  • Flora Hui
    University of Melbourne – studies glaucoma and how vitamin supplements could prevent blindness
  • Robert Streit
    James Cook University – studies the impacts of different fish and animals on reef ecology
  • Alix Woolard
    Telethon Kids institute – studies the psychology of trauma and its impact on children
  • Jacob Martin
    Curtin University – studies how we could manufacture carbon for use in the development of renewables
  • Emma Rehn
    James Cook university – studies the history and environmental impacts of ancient bushfires

The TOP 5 Science is presented in partnership with the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science – based at the Australian National University.

Cath Dwyer, Manager of ABC Radio National, sees the TOP 5 as an important way of engaging with the university sector and keeping our audiences informed. “We love welcoming these talented researchers to RN. They bring superb enthusiasm and ideas to enrich what we do here at the ABC and inform how we communicate complex ideas in a world of polarised beliefs and contested facts.”

Amruta Slee Manager of Society & Culture at RN, said Every year I look forward to the injection of brain power the Top 5 residents provide to RN, it’s vital for keeping our audiences informed about the latest research and ideas”.

ABC Science Editor Jonathan Webb said “The applications we received were extraordinary and our five winners are rising stars of science. I want more of Australia’s brilliant minds to become household names; they are solving some of our thorniest problems and we need to hear their voices! That’s what the ABC Top 5 is all about.”

The 2021 TOP 5 residencies were held virtually due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022 the ABC will present the residencies with a face-to-face component, meaning an even richer and more hands-on experience for the researchers.

Key TOP 5 dates

  • HUMANITIES RESIDENCY: Monday 22nd Aug – Friday 02nd
  • SCIENCE RESIDENCY: Monday 19th – Friday 30th
  • The TOP 5 Arts scheme is in partnership with the University of Melbourne and the Australia Council for the Arts, and will be announcing it’s TOP 5 for 2022 in coming weeks.

For further details go to: abc.net.au/top5

For more information

Laura Todd, ABC Communications
todd.laura@abc.net.au

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