Science communication competition, FameLab International, to stream on YouTube

Photo shows: One of the 2020 finalists: Pinky Mokwena, environmental scientist and masters researcher from Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

Dubbed the ‘World Cup of the science world’, the FameLab International science communication competition will be broadcast live on YouTube this November.

Young researchers from the science, engineering, maths and technology fields representing 20 countries will compete on the virtual stage in a series of heats to vie for the title of world’s best science communicator.

The pressure is on as each competitor will have just three minutes to communicate their specialist knowledge with the audience in an accessible and engaging way – and will be watched by a global audience as well as a panel of expert judges including geneticist and BBC presenter Giles Yeo, structural engineer Roma Agrawal and science rapper Jon Chase.

Judges and audiences alike will cast votes for their favourite talks and determine who will take home the glory and coveted title of international champion.

Battling it out in FameLab International 2020 are young researchers representing Australia, Bulgaria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Kazakhstan, Korea, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Qatar, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand and the UK.

In true international tournament style, the national representatives will first compete in semi final heats on 11-12 November, with the winners going head-to-head in the international final on 26 November which will be streamed on the FameLab YouTube channel.

Through the competition’s 15-year history, FameLab has become a much-celebrated part of the UK science scene with involvement from well-known scientists including Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Vivienne Parry and Jim Al-Khalili.

Every year the people behind the FameLab International Final – Cheltenham Science Festival and the British Council – join forces to bring together young scientists from all over the world as part of their shared charitable mission in education and public engagement in science. And communicating cutting edge scientific research and concepts in simple and accessible ways is more important than ever before.

Dr Giles Yeo, a geneticist at the University of Cambridge and presenter on BBC’s Horizon and Trust Me I’m a Doctor, and a judge in the FameLab International semi final said: ‘In these days of rampant anti-intellectualism, there has never been a more important time to celebrate excellence in science communication. I am excited to see what these talented scientists have in store!’