Science communication training: Fame Lab Heat and Competition

The Centre for Invasion Biology is taking new initiative in the challenging task of bringing science to the public. The C·I·B, together with the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), will host the FameLab science communication training and heat exclusively for students from the five DST-NRF Centres of Excellence affiliated with Stellenbosch University.

During February 2016, twenty students and Post-Doctoral Associates from the C·I·B, SciSTIP, CBTBR and SACEMA will take part in a science communication training day, provided by Jive Media. On the 18th of February the students will show what they have learned by giving three minute talks to a panel of judges. The two best talks will go through to the national finals of the FameLab science communication competition.

Hosting the competition will be the start of far more extensive opportunities for our young scientists to hone their science communication skills.

What is FameLab?

FameLab is an exciting international competition that promotes science and technology by creating a space for scientists to find their voices and reach public audiences. FameLab has been referred to as the “Pop Idols of Science”. Contestants (young research scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technologists from the age of 21 to 35) have just three minutes to present a science topic to a panel of expert judges, using only what they can carry onto the stage with them. The talk should be entertaining, original, scientifically accurate, and accessible to a public audience. FameLab is an initiative of the Cheltenham Science Festival in the United Kingdom. The competition began in 2004 and has grown to include 26 countries around the world.

FameLab in South Africa

Since 2013, young scientists from around South Africa have been entertaining public audiences through FameLab. Each year, the winner has travelled to the United Kingdom to share South African science with a global audience. FameLab has demonstrated its ability to build capacity for science communication, identify emerging high-flyers in science, build networks across science disciplines, and bring like-minded organisations together around the common goal of building South African science.

The winner of the South African final receives prizes and a return trip to the United Kingdom to participate in the international final — expanding their horizons and making them part of a global network of young scientists.

For more information about FameLab, follow this link.