Pictured above: Biochemist Didac Carmona, a researcher in Austria, was the winner of FameLab International 2012. Photo rights FameLab International
For the first time, Malta will be joining FameLab, an international competition spanning over 20 countries in Europe, Asia and North Africa in the search for the next top science communicator. FameLab offers young researchers and early career scientists an opportunity to showcase their skills.
All science students, educators and researchers, especially those who are passionate about science and want to communicate their enthusiasm about the subject to the public, are being invited to register by emailing [email protected] FameLab strives to push forward charismatic individuals to inject enthusiasm into science-related subjects and communicate science to wider audiences.
FameLab aims to discover and launch enthusiastic, promising scientists and engineers who can inspire people to see the scientific world from a new, fresh and friendly perspective. The competition is the brainchild of The Times Cheltenham Science Festival. Last year’s overall winner can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/user/famelab
Contestants should prepare two talks of three minutes each about their favourite scientific concepts and present these talks in an entertaining way. Science-related subjects can refer to engineering, medicine, dentistry, health science, computer science, and other similar scientific fields. One can also send an email to the organisers to make sure that s/he is on the right track.
FameLab Malta is looking forward to hearing about the most fascinating scientific facts to the downright weird ones. Anything from computers generating classical music which can rival even Mozart, to how polymers can be used to ‘style’ magnetic particles making them more attractive to cells.
Auditions will be held at the Music Room in St James Cavalier on the 6 April 2013 between 10:00 and 15:00. People above 18 years can either register in advance or turn up on the day. The panel of judges includes ecologist Dr Sandro Lanfranco, writer Malcolm Galea and engineer Dr Ing. John C. Betts. Each judge will assess the finalists’ presentations on three main qualities: scientific content and accuracy, clarity of delivery, and charisma.
FameLab was set up in 2005 by Cheltenham Festivals to find and nurture scientists and engineers with a flair for communicating with public audiences. Since 2007, thanks to a partnership with the British Council, FameLab has gone global, with competitions now held in more than 20 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States.
The first FameLab Malta competition is organised in partnership with the British Council, University of Malta, Research Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT), and with the support of Actavis, Microsoft Innovation Centre, Vodafone, Manoel Theatre, Malta Chamber of Scientists and St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity.
The University of Malta is urging science-related students, young scientists, engineers, and technologists to participate and showcase their profile and talent in pubic dialogue. The young communicators can help to show new dimensions to the way science is portrayed, showing how science subjects are made easier to grasp and understand.
The FameLab Malta initiative is in line with the University’s Trust, RIDT, highlighting the value and usefulness of science and research. RIDT drives to support research activity and to seek additional funds to expand the University’s research studies.
The Malta finalists will get the chance to take part in a weekend master class on 27 and 28 April with Malcolm Love, a media and communications professional who has worked with the BBC flown in from FameLab UK. He will spend time with the Malta finalists, mentoring them and ensuring that they will get the best possible chance to battle it out in the FameLab Malta final in May. The winner of the Malta final will win a fully covered trip to compete and represent Malta in the Cheltenham Science Festival on 4 to 9 June 2013.
Past winners of FameLab have gone on to travel the globe, perform in festivals and feature on national TV and radio, and many combine public-facing activity with ongoing research. All finalists become part of a global network of science communicators.