Neville Stevens Medal winner
Mr Scott Hocknull
Neville Stevens Medal
Scott Hocknullís citation read by Neville Stevens
Scott's passion for Earth Science started in high school,
where he organised field trips for fellow students and became a volunteer for
Queensland Museum. In 1993 Scott presented a
paper at a CAVEPS conference entitled "Life as a Secondary School
Student in Palaeontology". Then at the age of 16, he published his first
paper on a new species of fossil freshwater bivalve.† After secondary school Scott decided to
defer University and volunteer for an entire year at the Queensland Museum,
including field trip participation and continued palaeontological research.
After secondary school, Scott was employed as an Interpretation Officer at
Queensland Museum.† For a year, he organised talks and workshops
for the general public and schools, before starting a Bachelor degree at the
University of Queensland (UQ). During his university studies Scott continued
to give presentations at CAVEPS and won the student prize in 1997 for the
best student talk. As a second year and only undergraduate presenter, this
came as a very pleasant surprise.††
Scott was also involved in the UQ Biological Society, as Secretary,
then President, coordinating talks and workshops in natural history.
Scott Hocknull receiving his medal
from Neville Stephens
In 2001 Scott became the youngest curator in Australia at the Queensland Museum
and in 2002 Scott was awarded Young Australian of the year. During this time
he presented on average 3 talks per week. His role included being Youth Week
Ambassador and talking to disadvantaged children about careers, science and
palaeontology. Scott also presented many and varied talks to many and varied
groups, including; the Australian institute of management, at the conference
for injury awareness week, Ballarat Science Expo as part of Sleek Geek week
and for Geosciences Australia.
A highlight for Scott was his chance to talk about Earth Sciences and
Australian Palaeontology with Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Phillip,
during there visit in 2002.
Scott presented a number of Palaeontology classes
throughout the Northern Territory
on his Tour of Duty.† These included
talks to aboriginal communities in Pine Creek, Katherine, Alice Springs, Darwin and Gove.† Scott has appeared on a number of
television shows talking and promoting palaeontology; including National
Geographic Channel, Local News Channels, The Panel, The Glass House, Totally
Wild, Hot Source and Bop.
After passing on the Young Australian title, Scott continued
to spread his passion for earth science through presentations at conferences,
schools, for societies and volunteer groups. In 2003 Scott was a finalist in
the Eureka Awards for science communication and a Centenary Medalist.
Currently Scott is a member of the Spotlight on Science
Taskforce, overseeing the future of science education in Queensland. He is also involved with the
development of Palaeotourism, through the organisation of several field digs
and helps develop teaching programs for education officers at Queensland Museum.† At the same time, Scott is completing his
PhD on the Mt Etna fossil Fauna, climate change over the past 5 million
Response of thanks by Scott
I do not remember if you might remember, Neville, but
about in 1993 you might have received a letter from a very strange little boy
who had a passion for palaeontology and dinosaurs. He lived just south of Brisbane. Your advice to
him was to join the GSA and in fact if I hadnít joined the GSA I would not have
received the Alcheringa and the other journals that came out. If I would not
have received all those I would not have known about all the things that are
happening in Geology in this country and the state.
Thank you very much for doing that to me as a kid,
although I got teased for it.† It was
one of the best things I did.
Thank you very much GSA for honouring me with this medal.
Palaeontology and communication sciences is a big thing and for those students
(that are) who are really interested in earth sciences always think that
science communicating is part of your everyday life, because in the end it
will be part of your life and the best part of your dreams.