It is wonderful to hear that Professor Brian Schmidt of the Australian National University has won the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics, sharing with his two fellow laureates, Americans Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess.
Professor Schmidt led one of two teams to make a remarkable discovery that the universe is actually blowing apart at an ever-increasing rate. What a great discovery! It’sturned some of our most stable notions of the universe on its head and challenges our understanding of its very composition.
Thank heavens for our star-struck astronomers and their teams! It is another day on which Aussie researchers make Australians proud. It’s fantastic that we are punching so much above our weight - with just 0.3 %of the world’s population we produce 3 %of its knowledge.
I endorse Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr ‘s comnments that the Prize illustrated Australia’s great strength as a centre of scientific research excellence; a country where the spirit of discovery is valued. In acknowledging the Prize he said
“It is that spirit of discovery that has driven every genuine revolution in understanding in human history.”