The Sidney Prize and Neilma Sidney Prize

sidney prize

Awarded to a group or individual that has made a significant contribution to Australia’s culture, society or economy, the sidney prize is decided on a national basis. Applicants are assessed on their past achievements and their potential to make further contributions to Australian life in the future. This year’s prize has been awarded to the Black Lives Matter movement, founded in 2013 by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the US for the murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin.

A prolific scientist and dedicated teacher, Sid was a model of integrity. He was cautious by nature, but open-minded. He never rushed to judgment but always looked for a chain of reasonable inferences that was backed up by strong experimental evidence. He was averse to overstatement and hated showboating. Sid was also a strong advocate for academic freedom and stood up for the rights of women in science.

He worked with a wonderful range of people from many different countries and cultures, and appreciated the importance of diversity in his research group. In his obituary, a number of his former students and colleagues recalled how generous and supportive he was to those around him. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, and he loved his family very much.

In a career that spanned more than 60 years, Sid produced an amazing array of groundbreaking discoveries in the field of RNA biology and shared a Nobel Prize with Tom Cech for his work on RNase P. He was a tireless and creative worker, an inspiring teacher and an all-round good guy who will be missed by his friends and colleagues at Yale and beyond.

The Overland Neilma Sidney prize seeks moving and powerful short fiction themed loosely around the notion of ‘travel’. First place receives $5000 and publication in the autumn issue of Overland. Two runner-up stories will be published online alongside the winner. The competition is open to all writers living in Australia or elsewhere and at any stage of their writing career.

The Sidney Cox Memorial Prize is offered annually to that piece of undergraduate writing which most nearly meets the high standards of originality and integrity that Sidney set for himself and for his students in his teaching and in his book, Indirections for Those Who Want to Write. It is administered by a committee of former students and friends, of which Robert Frost ’96 is honorary chairman and Budd Schulberg ’36 is active chairman. The work must be written in English and may be on any topic. Submissions are due April 15. See the full guidelines for more information.

By Beck-Web
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