The sidney prize is an annual award which recognises a person or organisation that has contributed to social change and the improvement of human life. It is open to people of any nationality and can be awarded for a number of things, from academic achievement, personal attributes, community service, a requirement for start-up funding or the ability to inspire others.
Keep Stepping, a documentary by Luke Cornish that follows Gabi, a Chilean-Samoan and Romanian-born street dancer who has just moved to Sydney, and her partner Patrix, who is of Polish and Romanian ancestry, won the Documentary Australia Prize of $7,000 (A$10,000) at this year’s Australian Film Institute Awards. The film combines documentary and narrative techniques to follow the lives of two young women trying to find their place in an international street dancing competition while also grappling with the difficulties of being immigrants.
This prize is a reminder of the importance of immigration to our country and also of the way it has contributed to the strength of the United States as a whole. It also provides an excellent example of how one may be sceptical about finding a career in a new field but yet still find success when it comes to that career.
Professor Altman and Thomas Cech shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in chemistry for their discovery that RNA is not only a carrier of genetic codes but also an enzymatic catalyst, which triggers chemical reactions in living cells. This revelation revolutionised the way scientists think about chemistry and opened up new areas of research and biotechnology.
In 2004, New York Times columnist David Brooks established the Sidney Prizes, which are awarded to long-form essays on politics and culture that capture the best in contemporary American scholarship and commentary. The first Sidney Award was given to New York Times columnist Amanda Hess for her article on online sexism, and the most recent award went to “The Coddling of the American Mind” by Brooks and William Zinsser for their piece about student hypersensitivity, in which students seek safety in case they are attacked or discriminated against by microaggressions.
Currently, the award is held by the Sidney Hillman Foundation, which was established in 2000 by family and friends in memory of the late Sidney Udenfriend, second director of the Charles R. Dana Research Institute for Scientists Emeriti.
The Sidney Hillman Foundation also awards the annual Hillman Prizes for journalism in the United States and Canada, as well as the monthly Sidney Award for investigative journalism in service of the common good. The foundation also sponsors the Sidney Hillman Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Writing, and the Sidney DeVere Brown Prize and the Mikiso Hane Prize for undergraduate papers in Asian studies.
Aside from these, there are a number of other prizes offered by the University and the wider community. The Faculty of Arts has a wide range of prizes for graduating students, and for those who have just completed their degree, the University offers the Sidney Black Memorial Engineering Prize.