University to help in search for the next big name in science communication

University to help in search for the next big name in science communication

The search for the best new science and engineering communicators across the UK continues its journey in Aberdeen next week.

FameLab, the UK’s biggest competition to find the newest voices in science communication is joining up with the University of Aberdeen’s Public Engagement and Researcher Development teams to host a training session and heats open to almost anyone working in the sciences.

Competitors are invited to sign up for the Aberdeen heat on November 12 to perform a 3-minute set about a scientific topic of their choosing.

A panel of judges will select four finalists to go through to the Scottish final in Edinburgh on November 30 at Summerhall, and ultimately compete for a place in the UK final held next April. 

Scottish winners will also receive a master-class with some of the UK’s top science communicators while the overall winner receives a cash prize and career development opportunities in public engagement.

FameLab was first launched in 2005 as an initiative of the Cheltenham Science Festival working in association with the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. The competition is designed to help motivate and encourage scientists and engineers to talk about their work with the public.  Contestants have just three minutes to present a topic in science, engineering or maths in an exciting and engaging way to a non-specialist adult audience.

Dr Kenneth Skeldon, Head of Public Engagement with Research commented “We are delighted to again host a regional heat for FameLab. As a past regional finalist I can vouch for the competition’s ability to build confidence and sharpen creativity and communications skills.”

Last year’s competition saw two postgraduate researchers from the University proceed to the London final. Sonia Watson, one of the finalists said “Famelab was a great confidence building experience. It helped me develop new networks that have enriched both my career and research development.”

Dr Lucy Leiper of the University’s Researcher Development Unit added “FameLab is a great personal development opportunity for anyone working in the sciences and gives an opportunity to shake off any stereotypical images of working in these areas. “

The FameLab Aberdeen heats take place at Satrosphere Science Centre on Tuesday November 12 from 5.30pm. The optional training session is being held earlier that day takes place from 1.30am-4.30pm. Entry to both the training and heat is free by registration however winners must be able to proceed to the Edinburgh final on November 30 to have the chance to progress to the National Final. The University is providing free transport to and from the Edinburgh final.

Entry to Famelab is free – to complete the online form visit www.famelab.org/uk

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