• Dr Misty Jenkins says Australia desperately needs more indigenous scientists: "We don't want our mob left behind." (Supplied)Source: Supplied
During National Science Week, the public is urged to “take the five scientist pledge” - and we are here to help.
By
Signe Dean

15 Aug 2016 - 12:14 PM  UPDATED 15 Aug 2016 - 12:14 PM

This week marks the peak of National Science Week, an annual nationwide collection of festivals, activities and events geared towards celebrating all things science and technology, especially when it comes to contributions from Australian scientists.

According to the organisers, the public will have more than 1500 events to choose from this week, with over one million attendees expected across the country.

While many have their attention diverted by the Rio Olympic Games, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, has issued a challenge - for everyone to name at least five living Australian scientists.

“We can all name at least five current athletes, particularly during the Olympic games. We can all name at least five actors. These days, we can probably even name at least five celebrity chefs,” says Finkel.

“If we all knew of at least five of our nation’s scientists, and the stories of their achievements, we would think of our country with a re-doubled sense of pride.”

Calling this the "five scientist pledge" (with a matching hashtag to boot), Dr Finkel encourages everyone to learn more about Australian scientists and their achievements - and, if you are coming up short with your list of five, to ask around or do a web search.

At SBS Science we are obviously here to help you with this task. Below you will find a collection of stories on Australian science achievements, starting with these six profiles of Indigenous scientists.

Meet Gerry Turpin, who is saving ancient Indigenous knowledge from being lost forever
The Mbabaram man is unlocking the secrets of traditional medicine and bush tucker for future generations.
Meet Simone Reynolds, who is tackling a skin-crawling disease
This Indigenous scientist studies the scabies mite to improve the lives of countless people affected by the disease.
Meet Mibu Fischer, who wants to keep our ocean ecosystems thriving
This young Indigenous scientist wants to ensure we don't lose entire species of fish, simply because we didn't realise there was a problem until it's too late.
Meet Shane Ingrey, who is using science to explore Indigenous medicine
The recent graduate's research could eventually lead to new treatments for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, viral infections or even cancer.
Meet Peter Radoll, who wants to get all Indigenous Australians online
A computer course changed his life. Now Professor Peter Radoll wants every Indigenous household to have a computer and internet access.
Meet Misty Jenkins, who spends her days studying microscopic cancer killers
Indigenous scientist Misty Jenkins is killing cancer with white blood cells, and she's encouraging more Aboriginal students to follow in her footsteps.

If you just want the quickest cheat sheet, here’s a handy list of six Australian women scientists.

Meet 6 impressive Aussie women scientists
It's UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science, so we shine a spotlight on some of the great women scientists here in Australia.

And if you want more stories about amazing Australian science, here are just a few more select stories highlighting those achievements.

Meet this year's UN Special Ambassador for Pulses
Humble legumes are taking centre stage in the world's food supply debate this year, with Professor Kadambot Siddique as leading spokesperson.
Gluten-free barley beer hits the shelves thanks to Aussie researchers
CSIRO scientists have created a new barley variety used to produce a gluten-free beer released today in Germany.
Nanomaterial from native spinifex could lead to thinnest condoms yet
Australian scientists have discovered a unique nanocellulose that can greatly improve the strength and flexibility of latex used in gloves and condoms.

Happy National Science Week! Who’s your favourite Australian scientist? Tell us at @SBS_Science or leave a comment on our Facebook page!