Three of Sydney's most influential

16 December 2008

Professor Rick Shine, from the School of Biological Sciences, Professor Simon Chapman from the School of Public Health and Professor Michael Kidd from the Faculty of Medicine have been named in the top 100 most influential people in Sydney by the Sydney Morning Herald'sthe (sydney) magazine.

The list of Sydney's top 100 most influential people was released on 11 December 2008 in a special edition of the (sydney) magazine.

Professor Rick Shine, dubbed 'The Protector' in the list, was selected for his research in reptile and amphibian evolutionary ecology. His most recent research on methods to control the impact of cane toads on native animals by introducing smaller less poisonous cane toads at invasion fronts, was particularly highlighted in his listing.

The panel also acknowledged Professor Shine's decades of research on snakes and his conservation and public communication efforts on reptiles and amphibians.

Read more about Professor Shine's research on cane toads and his lecture as winner of the 2008 Macfarlane Burnet Medal from the Australian Academy of Sciences here.

Professor Simon Chapman, named as 'The Crusader' in the publication, is professor of Public Health at the University and is recognised in the list for his tireless anti smoking campaigns which have helped to reduce the number of Australian men and women who smoke daily from 45 and 32 per cent respectively in the 1970s, to 17 per cent for both sexes today.

It goes on to say that next year, under a grant funded by the New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Professor Chapman will spend time in China advising researchers there on how to bring the smoking rates down.

This week Professor Chapman has also received the leading national public health award, the Sidney Sax Public Health Medal.

The Sidney Sax Public Health Medal is awarded annually by the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to public health.

The nomination for the Medal reads:
"Professor Simon Chapman has been prominent in Australian and international public health movements for over thirty years. His contributions to reducing tobacco use and the harms it causes, to gun control, the consumer movement and to public health debate about a wide range of public health issues have made him one of Australia's most recognised and respected figures in public health."

Earlier this year, Professor Chapman was awarded the NSW Premier's Awards for outstanding cancer research and elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. He recently stepped down after 17 years as Editor of the British Medical Journal Specialist International Journal, Tobacco Control.

You can read more about the work of Professor Chapman online.

Professor Michael Kidd, 'The Advocate', is head of general practice at the University and former president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Professor Kidd was a pioneer of treating HIV/AIDS patients in general practice.

At the recent 2020 Summit, Professor Kidd argued that GPs should play a bigger role in preventing Australians getting sick, and then in an article that appeared in the Medical Journal of Australia in July this year he "parlayed' his credibility into pressuring the Federal Government to rethink its $275 million plan for "super clinics".

In 2009 he will continue his work with the World Health Organisation, focussing on mental health and the prevention of chronic diseases among Australia's Pacific Island neighbours, and has also taken up the chairmanship of Doctors for the Environment.

Read more about the work of Professor Kidd online.

Contact: Jake O'Shaughnessy

Phone: +61 2 9351 4312 or 0421 617 861