The rules behind each FameLab are few, but crucial:
- You have 3 minutes to present any scientific, engineering, mathematical or medical topic of your choice
- You cannot use a PowerPoint, other electronic presentation or audio recording
- You can only use the props that you can carry onto stage yourself (there will be no time for set up)
- If you make it through the Heats to the Regional Final you have to prepare a second presentation (which can be on the same topic but must be demonstrably different in content)
A judging panel of 3-5 judges will have up to two minutes to ask questions after each presentation. They will determine the winners on the basis of three judging criteria: quality of content, clarity of presentation and charisma.
- Content: The content of the presentations MUST be scientifically accurate. If the topic chosen has controversy or uncertainty around it, then the presentation must acknowledge the opposing views. The scientific topic presented should be well chosen to suit the audience.
- Clarity: Clarity is critical for effective science communication. The structure of the talk is important; as well as making sure the audience and judges can follow the talk and are left with an understanding of the scientific concept chosen. The talk should be aimed at an adult, lay audience.
- Charisma: The audience and judges should be left inspired and enthused about science. The presenter must have that hard-to-describe but unmistakable quality of charisma. The winner will be the one who makes the science easy to listen to, entertaining and exciting. Who is not only able to communicate the science but who can share their passion for it.