Leading body image researcher named as Victoria’s brightest young scientist

We are delighted to announce that Dr Scott Griffiths has been awarded the 2018 Victorian Young Tall Poppy of the Year. Dr Griffiths was chosen by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science as Victoria’s most outstanding young scientist for achievements in the area of scientific research and communication.

The awards were announced at Swinburne University on Thursday, 15 November.

Dr Griffiths is an NHMRC Early Career Fellow with the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, where he leads the Physical Appearance Research Team (PART) together with Dr Isabel Krug. PART is internationally recognised for world-class research on eating and body image disorders, appearance-based discrimination and stigmatisation, and the ethics and moralisation of cosmetic surgery and appearance-enhancing drug use.

Dr Griffiths contends that eating and body image disorders are moving targets due to constantly shifting cultural influences, with major implications for diagnostic classification schemes, population screening, treatment and prevention, and public policy.

“The Young Tall Poppy Award is a testament to the hard-work of our team in the School of Psychological Sciences and to our collaborators nationally and internationally. High-quality science is a moral obligation requiring the efforts of many, and together we rise to the challenge" says Dr Griffiths.

Under the award, Young Tall Poppy winners around Australia will spend a year sharing their knowledge with school students, teachers and the broader community through workshops, seminars and public lectures.

“Scott is a gifted science communicator and such a fantastic ambassador for eating disorder research” said Professor Sarah Wilson, Head of the School of Psychological Sciences. “Scott and his team’s research generates positive change for those suffering from an eating disorder and negative body image.”

“Scott actively seeks out partnerships, and his team’s ongoing collaboration with the Butterfly Foundation ensures that the outcomes of his research are utilised where they are most needed, with the development of effective models of prevention and care for people at risk of or with eating disorders.”

The Tall Poppy Campaign was created by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science in 1998 to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Sir Howard Florey, Nobel Prize winner and discoverer of penicillin, and to promote awareness of the wealth of Australian scientific and intellectual excellence.