Jim Peacock is a CSIRO Fellow and Distinguished Professor at the University of Technology Sydney. Jim’s commitment to science, his belief in its benefits for industry and society, and his willingness to speak to the public have been of great benefit to Australia.
He was responsible for the development of insect-resistant cotton in Australia, removing dependence on agrichemicals. His achievements in plant science include the development of low-GI, high-fibre barley — of considerable value to human health. In collaboration with his research partner, Liz Dennis, Jim has also made seminal contributions to vernalisation control of flowering and a new level of understanding of the mechanisms of hybrid vigour.
He has instilled the excitement and potential of science into young Australians through the successful development of ‘Primary Connections’ and ‘Scientists in Schools’, pairing 1,600 scientists and teachers. He was President of the Australian Academy of Science from 2002 to 2006, and Australia’s Chief Scientist from 2006 to 2008. He was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for his work in science and science education.