The sidney prize is an award that recognises people or organisations who have contributed to social change and improved human lives. It is given out on a national basis and has been awarded to a number of groups including the Black Lives Matter movement, an international organisation devoted to promoting human rights and non-violence; the Sydney Opera House, an iconic Australian cultural landmark; and the University of Sydney’s art history department.
Despite the success of his research, Sid was an idealistic man who believed that science should serve the public good and not only advance the field of knowledge. He also was a staunch advocate for academic freedom, defending the right of scholars to publish their work without fear of censorship.
His scientific legacy is a testament to the integrity of his character, and it is hoped that his values will inspire generations of scientists to follow in his footsteps. Sid’s humility, his sense of fair play and his ability to communicate complex ideas simply have made him an exceptional role model.
While Sid was cautious by nature, he was open-minded and was willing to challenge accepted dogma – something that proved difficult for him at times. He was always looking for a chain of reasonable inferences that could be supported by strong experimental evidence. He disliked overstatement and viewed it as one of the worst sins of science.
Sid’s most important contribution may be his recognition of the role of RNA in gene expression and in cell development. This discovery was crucial to the successful development of genetic engineering and stem cell research. In addition, it opened the door to the understanding of cancer and other diseases.
During his lifetime, Sid Altman was the Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University and shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Thomas Cech for their discoveries concerning the mechanism of gene regulation by RNA. In addition to his pioneering work in RNA biology, Sid was also known for his dedication to fostering the next generation of scientific leaders.
Overland is pleased to announce the winner of its 2022 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize. The winning story, by Yeena Kirkbright, titled ‘Camperdown Grief Junk’ has been chosen from a shortlist of eight pieces and will receive $5000 in prize money along with two runners-up who will each be paid $750. The judges, Laura Elvery, Paige Clark and Michael Winkler, would like to thank all the writers who submitted stories to this year’s competition. The Overland team would like to particularly acknowledge the outstanding work by all the finalists. You can read all the shortlisted pieces here. The winning story will be published in Overland’s Summer 2023 edition. For further information about the Sidney Prize, visit the website. The MAK Halliday Postgraduate Research Prize is named in honour of the founding professor of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney and is awarded to the best conference presentation or publication by a postgraduate research student in the department.