GALACTIC STAR

The West Australian - - INSIDE COVER -

Last time IC spoke to Natasha Hur­ley-Walker she had just com­pleted the world’s most ex­ten­sive ra­dio as­tron­omy sur­vey of the uni­verse, pro­duc­ing a cat­a­logue of more than 300,000 gal­ax­ies, con­tain­ing count­less stars.

It now looks as though Dr Hur­ley-Walker is on the fast track to be­com­ing a star, her­self.

The early-ca­reer re­search fel­low from the Curtin In­sti­tute of Ra­dio As­tron­omy was of­fi­cially recog­nised yes­ter­day as one of the bright­est sci­ence com­mu­ni­ca­tors in the coun­try when she was se­lected in the ABC RN and UNSW’s 2018 Top 5 sci­en­tists ini­tia­tive.

Top 5 aims to give emerg­ing schol­ars the me­dia skills they need to best share their spe­cial­ist knowl­edge with the gen­eral public and in­cludes a two-week boot camp at Aunty’s Sydney HQ next month.

ABC sci­ence ed­i­tor Jonathan Webb has been to the Murchi­son Wide­field Ar­ray, where Dr Hur­ley-Walker com­pleted her galactic sur­vey, and said he was “thrilled” about her Top 5 se­lec­tion.

“Pre­vi­ous win­ners have co-pre­sented ABC pod­casts, ap­peared on Cat­a­lyst and pre­sented iView se­ries,” Dr Webb said.

“We’re try­ing to es­tab­lish a new gen­er­a­tion of sci­ence spokes­peo­ple and role mod­els and Natasha def­i­nitely be­longs among them.”

Hur­ley-Walker

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