The Meeting Place

Mr Smarty Pants says he's 'not particularly smart'

If you haven’t heard of Dr Karl, you’re been missing out on a lot of knowledge and fun. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki has made history by becoming the first Australian to win the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the popularisation of science.

For almost 40 years, Dr Karl has been answering questions on radio and television, writing books and sharing his knowledge on the complexities of science – and nature, health, the environment, technology and mathematics.

He can usually explain, in minutes, concepts or ideas that might have taken hours to research and understand.

The award, received in recognition of his “longstanding commitment to fire up people's curiosity for science and share his passion for the subject”, puts him in rarefied company. Previous winners include Sir David Attenborough, Arthur C. Clarke, David Suzuki and Margaret Mead. In addition to the Kalinga Prize, he received the Albert Einstein Medal at the World Science Forum in Budapest.

Always modest, he says: “One thing that gives me a great advantage is that I'm not particularly smart. My IQ is only about 110, which is in there with two thirds of the population between 115 and 85.

“That means for me to be able to understand something, I’ve really got to go into it, but then I understand it.”

Dr Karl was about two when his Polish parents, both Holocaust survivors, came to Australia from Sweden in the early 1950s.


Congratulations Dr Karl.

He just has an excellent memory of stuff he reads.

Good for you Doc. Well done and well deserved.

Very well deserved..Dr Karl has been a great favourite in our family for many years. A little clip of him trying to trace his roots. You can see the rest on SBS on demand..

Well merited awards, I'd say. Bravo, Dr Karl!

More than well deserved Dr Karl !

Wonder which of his famous shirts he wore to the presentation!

Congratulations Dr Karl!

Earlier this year he gave a talk to high school students at the State Library WA as part of the Disrupted Festival. Judging from the attendance and the questions asked, it's clear Dr Karl is still creating magical moments with science!

Dr Karl suffers from "face blindness".  Not something I would like to have at all.

A good bloke and always interesting. Congrats Dr Karl, a well deserved win.