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The First Scientists: Deadly Inventions and Innovations from Australia's First Peoples

2023 - Shortlisted


Judges' Comments 

Kamilaroi man and ‘Deadly Science’ founder Corey Tutt has created a vitally important text which tells the stories of First Nations inventions and innovations stretching back thousands of years. The narrative – which is beautifully illustrated by Dhungatti artist Blak Douglas — takes the reader on a journey across the knowledges of Aboriginal Australia, divided into six sections (the first astronomers, first engineers, first forensic sciences, first chemists, first land managers, and first ecologists). 

This engaging book provides a profound but accessible examination of the knowledges produced by the oldest living culture on earth. The author places these knowledges in the context of the dynamic cultural systems which inform the next generation of First Nations deadly scientists and offer hope for sustainable futures. This inspirational and much-needed text should be on everyone’s shelves.