International Final 2017

The 2017 FameLab International final was held in front of a live audience of hundreds at the Parabola Arts Centre at Cheltenham Science Festival. The judges included Ellen Stofan (former Chief Scientist at NASA), Jim Al-Khalili (theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster) and Tim Slingsby (Director of Skills and Education at Lloyd’s Register Foundation).

This year’s finals featured contestants from 31 different countries: Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Kazakhstan, Latvia/Estonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, UK, and Vietnam.

Tshiamo Legoale, a 27-year old Geologist from South Africa, successfully competed against 31 science communicators from across the world and was crowned the 2017 FameLab International Champion and Audience Vote Winner. Tshiamo works for the national mineral research organisation Mintek. In her winning talk on phytomining, she described how plants can absorb specific metals from the environment into their tissues and how this process can be used to literally ‘harvest’ gold from wheat.

I was very humbled by the opportunity to come here for the very first time in my life to meet wonderful people and extremely good scientists. I got to hear what everybody else in the world is doing. FameLab has been an amazing journey from the beginning to the end.

Tshiamo Legoale, FameLab International 2017 Winner

Christopher Rodrigues CBE, Chair of the British Council, said: “Tshiamo was a worthy winner in a competition which set exceptionally high standards for science communications. The British Council aims to inspire, inform and connect the youth of the world. You couldn’t ask for a better example of our mission delivered.”

Second place was awarded to two runner-ups: Nicole Phoebe Tanner (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) representing Hong Kong, and Nural Cokcetin (University of Sydney) representing Australia.

Missed the FameLab International grand final?

If you missed our live stream of the event, watch the FameLab International grand final below or visit our YouTube channel for even more famelabulous video content.