Held annually in over 20 countries across the globe, FameLab is the world's largest science communication competition. And it's coming to Ireland again in 2014.
For the first time, a regional heat is being held in The Guildhall, Derry~Londonderry on Tuesday March 18. The event is being managed in partnership between the British Council and North West Regional Science Park, a project which has been funded by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme and is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). The Department for Social Development are further funders and site owners.
With science becoming increasingly specialised, those working in the field can struggle to explain their projects to colleagues let alone the general public. And explaining what you do can be extraordinarily important. The organisers of FameLab have recognised this and challenge up and coming scientists, engineers and mathematicians to explain a complex idea in a straightforward and engaging way. In Ireland and Northern Ireland, armed only with their wits and a few props, the top newest voices from the world of science and engineering across the island will deliver short 3-minute pieces on bizarre and pertinent science concepts – expect to hear anything from why men have nipples to how 3D glasses work and is nuclear energy a good or bad thing. Presentations will then be judged according to FameLab’s '3 Cs': Content, Clarity and Charisma.
Over 4,000 participants have taken part across the globe so far. Aside from great prizes including an all-expenses paid communications master class, contestants will have the chance to represent Ireland at the Famelab international finals at the Cheltenham Science Festival with representatives from organisations like NASA and CERN. By entering FameLab, you will begin a journey with like-minded people, build your networks, expand skillsets essential for developing your career and, most of all, have a fantastic time!
To enter the North West FameLab heat, simply complete a registration form, which can be downloaded from www.britishcouncil.ie/famelab/registration-form and return to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 March. Participants can alternatively submit their entry to FameLab Ireland by online video. Check www.britishcouncil.ie/famelab/enter for further details.
‘For me FameLab was a great experience!’ said Fergus McAuliffe, an Environmental Scientist from Cork, who scooped the international FameLab crown for Ireland last year. ‘As there are a number of different rounds you will improve as you progress. This is helped by all of the training you receive (free of charge of course) from some of the world’s top science communicators. By being involved, your communication and public speaking skills will be honed and these will be of use to you in many fields down the line. And most importantly it is great fun – getting to meet many other people from around the world who share the same passion as you for science communication’.
Norman Apsley, CEO North West Regional Science Park said 'We have some of the most talented STEM professionals who are making great strides in invention and innovation equal to anything across the globe but that is not enough. To build a business and an economy, they need also to learn to communicate this to investors, to partners, to the staff who will work with them and even to the wider public; this competition provides an ideal platform to learn by competing.'