FameLab: 3 minute science stars

How can scientists become great communicators? FameLab can help.
15 March 2016

Interview with 

Katheryn Muir, University of Cambridge


There are clearly lots of brilliant science communicators out there, but how doFameLab most early career scientists get an opportunity to dip their toes in the engagement pool? Fame Lab is an initiative that offers that opportunity and this year's Cambridge final was held a few days ago - here's some of the contestants and organiser Kathryn Muir...

Contestant 1 - We can now predict the future of our planet's climate and our existence on earth.

Contestant 2 - And then as you look longer you realise that each spark lives for about a second and in that second it moves along a little curly path and then pops out of existence.

Contestant 3 - Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to one of the greatest model organisms in biology the worm C. elegans.

Kathryn - It's an international competition and it's an opportunity to try and find the science communicators of tomorrow by getting people working in research both within academia or within industry to speak about their research for three minutes in front of a public audience.  So it's all about describing what you do in laymans terms in such a short amount of time.  Similar competitions are run all over the world from Egypt to Vietnam, Thailand, so people are all competing in their own countries and then they come to the UK to compete in the International final.  It's open to anyone over the age of 21 that's working in science or engineering or maths, so that can be within academia or within industry.

Contestant 4 - Let's imagine that these balloons are going to represent future possible you.

Contestant 5 - Stem cells, when kept in the correct conditions, can live forever.

Kathryn - Why we hold it within the Science Festival is the educational, just, getting people interested in science but it's also really valuable for our researchers and local people working in science to be able to build their skills and communication, and build their confidence in talking about their own research to a public audience.  If they want to carry on with their research, it's a really valuble skill.


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