Nine of the finest new science voices from across the country will battle to represent the UK in FameLab – the world’s foremost science communication competition. The FameLab UK Final will be streamed live on Cheltenham Festivals YouTube Channel on Wednesday 3 June at 7pm as part of the Cheltenham Science Festival at Home.
Each contestant has just 3 minutes to win over the judges with their clarity, charisma and scientific content. The winner of the UK Final will go on to compete against 24 other countries in the FameLab International Final, to take place at Cheltenham Literature Festival in October. The winner will receive a prize of £2000 and the runner-up £1000. There is also an audience prize worth £1000 which viewers will vote on via an online poll.
The UK Final is hosted by science journalist Greg Foot from BBC Radio 4’s The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread? who has been presenting a daily YouTube show Let’s Go Live during the coronavirus lockdown with Maddie Moate.
The judges are TV presenter Dallas Campbell, cyber-security expert Dr Jessica Barker and Cheltenham Science Festival’s Head of Programming Dr Marieke Navin.
Having taken part in FameLab myself over 10 years ago, I know how it’s helped me and hundreds of other early-career scientists communicate to a general audience. These days, it’s more important than ever for scientists to be able to explain clearly how their work is informing and shaping our future.
FameLab was created in 2005 by Cheltenham Science Festival and is now delivered internationally in partnership with the British Council. Previous FameLab alumni have gone on to careers in broadcasting and performing, like Maggie Aderin Pocock (BBC Sky at Night) and Steve Mould & Matt Parker (Festival of the Spoken Nerd) and Kyle Evans (Born to Sum).
The 2020 UK finalists are:
Dr Aimee Paskins Northern England
Annie Howitt Cambridge
Dr Elizabeth Evans Wales
Elizabeth Mills Scotland
Maria Violaris Oxford
Paula Vila Gomez Video winner
Rebecca Ellis Wales
Dr Trecia Palmer Scotland
Varun Ramaswamy London