How to Win a Nobel Prize: UWA Nobel Prize winner Barry Marshall hopes to turn kids on to science through reading

Nobel Laureate Barry Marshall with Year 12 science students Stephen Whitmore, Rachel Williams, Emily Guo, Joan van Zyl, Hannah Davies, Timothy Dugmore and Akim Lual. Picture: Martin Kennealey d473327
Nobel Laureate Barry Marshall with Year 12 science students Stephen Whitmore, Rachel Williams, Emily Guo, Joan van Zyl, Hannah Davies, Timothy Dugmore and Akim Lual. Picture: Martin Kennealey d473327

NOBEL Prize winner and UWA Professor Barry Marshall has written an adventure book in the hopes of inspiring young scientists follow his footsteps.

How to win a Nobel Prize follows Prof Marshall and nine-year-old Mary McCusker as they travel through time to learn the secrets behind some of the most fascinating and important scientific discoveries; talking space and time with Albert Einstein, radiation with Marie Curie and suggesting experiments for young scientists to do at home.

The chance encounter between Prof Marshall and Mary led to the creative work of non-fiction to inspire young scientists to win their own Nobel Prize.

Prof Marshall said the book is aimed at young kids harnessing their curiosity and giving them a starting point on how to make new discoveries.

“With each chapter, there is an experiment that is connected to a previous Nobel Prize Winner,” he said.

“You can read about the winner, the research and most importantly what is has led to.

“Ideally the reader will realise the things they use every day at home or at school started off by someone just being a bit curious.”

Prof Marshall enjoys talking to young people like Mary, particularly because she shares similar interests in science and maths.

“Mary is at a great age, where she is starting to get interested in the more intricate areas of science and starting to think about what she will do when she grows up,” he said.

“This influence will hopefully direct her in an area where she will be really productive.

“When Mary wins her first Nobel Prize, people will say how wonderful that is. But, like me, Mary will say the most wonderful thing is making the discovery and knowing you’ve got some new knowledge that will help mankind.”

Mary said it was amazing to be a character in the book and hoped to inspire other kids to gain an interest in science.

“I think the book might help other kids to do their own experiments and get them to learn about other Nobel Prize winners, and how you can win one yourself,” she said.

Mary’s motivation to help people stems from her grandfather who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, an illness she hopes to find a cure for.

“It’s important to find out new ways of doing things that will improve the world. It’s not so much about winning a Nobel Prize as it is about helping people” she said.

How to win a Nobel Prize, written by Prof Marshall with Lorna Hendry, and illustrations by Bernard Caleo, is available Thursday April 5 from selected stockists across Perth including the Co-Op bookshop at UWA.

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