International Final 2018

The 2018 FameLab International final was held in front of a live audience of hundreds at the Cheltenham Science Festival. The judges included Clifford Johnson (Professor for Physics and Astronomy at the University of South California), Farrah Nazir (Creative and Partnerships Lead at the Wellcome Trust) and Vivienne Parry (Chair of Cheltenham Science Festival).

This year’s finals featured contestants from 27 different countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, UK.

Dr Siti Khayriyyah Mohd Hanafiah, a Biological Science lecturer from Malaysia, successfully competed against 27 science communicators from across the world and was crowned the 2018 FameLab International Champion. Her winning talk described the way antibodies bind to antigens and can be used as biomarkers to diagnose diseases such as tuberculosis (TB)

It’s been a roller coaster! It was so wonderful to meet people who are doing science, who are in love with science and who really want to talk about science. That was really fun. Being able to have that connection with the audience is great. And I had the opportunity thanks to FameLab!

Dr Siti Khayriyyah Mohd Hanafiah, FameLab International Winner 2018

Adrian Fenton, Senior Consultant for Science at the British Council said: “Khay’s calm, engaging presence justifiably won her the International FameLab finals, though all 27 finalists were of an exceptionally high standard. FameLab International is more than just a competition, with the finalists bonding in a way that positively shares cultures through science communication, something that illustrates the British Council’s cultural and educational principles.”

Second place was awarded to two runner-ups: Vanessa Pirotta (Macquarie University) representing Australia, and Veli Vural Uslu (Heidelberg University) representing Germany. The audience vote winner was Mihnea-Ioan Nicolescu (Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest) who represented Romania.