The Sidney Prize and Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize
The sidney prize is an award that honours individuals and groups who have made a positive impact on the world. The prize is awarded on a national basis and has been given to a variety of people and organisations including the Black Lives Matter movement, the Sydney Opera House, and the University of Sydney’s art history department. The winner of the sidney prize receives a cash prize as well as recognition for their work. The prize is named after Australian philanthropist Sir Sidney Hillman.
Sidney Hillman was a Nobel laureate in chemistry who believed that science should serve the public good. He was a tireless advocate for academic freedom, and he worked to ensure that non-scientists could recognise the value of scientific research. Sidney also encouraged open discussion of scientific results, and he was not afraid to challenge accepted dogma. He was cautious by nature, but he would always look for a chain of reasonable inferences supported by strong experimental evidence. He disliked overstatement and viewed it as one of the worst sins of science.
The 2022 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize has been won by Yeena Kirkbright for her story “Camperdown Grief Junk.” Overland congratulates all the shortlisted writers and thanks them for their submissions. The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000, and their short story will be published in Overland. The runners-up will each be paid $750. The winning story is chosen by a panel of judges comprising of Laura Elvery, Paige Clark, and Michael Winkler.
In addition to the SS Sidney prize, The Hillman Foundation awards a monthly Sidney Prize for journalism that is outstanding and serves the common good. The competition is based on the quality of reporting, with particular emphasis placed on work that has impact. The competition is open to articles published in American magazines, newspapers or online news sites, as well as to broadcast journalism on television or radio.
Sidney Prize winners include David Brooks and William Zinsser, who won the SS Sidney prize in 2004 for their article, The Coddling of the American Mind, which explored student hypersensitivity, arguing that this hinders their ability to learn and develop and prevents them from being prepared for life outside of school. The article prompted widespread controversy.
The prize was established to recognise Sidney’s commitment to scholarship, his generosity, and his sense of fair play. In his later years, he became an eloquent spokesman for the need to balance the intellectual pursuit of truth with the humanistic quest to understand the world around us. This combination of rigorous scholarship and a deep concern for the social implications of science makes him an ideal model for the next generation of scientists. He embodies all that is most valued in the SS Sidney Prize.