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FameLab, Science Delivered in Three Minute Presentations

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  • Registration Date : 2019-06-25
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Scientific Common Sense

FameLab, Science Delivered in Three Minute Presentations

The presenter takes the stage. After a very brief self-introduction, they quickly move on to the presentation. They use small props to explain scientific principles in an approachable way. This is FameLab, a STEM event that stands apart from traditional research presentations or seminars. Rather than relying on traditional materials, in this international competition interesting props are used to present topics in science, mathematics and engineering with a three-minute time limit. The use of conventional presentation slides is not allowed, and presenters use only their words, gestures and props. After the presentation, presenters share more in-depth information through a four-minute question and answer session with the judging panel. Thus, the presenter has to captivate and leave an impression on the audience through creative storytelling within the short space of three minutes.

Sharing Science as Culture

FameLab began in 2005 as part of the Cheltenham Science Festival. This competition started as a platform for young scientists and engineers to train their communication skills. Now, it finds greater significance as a cultural event for sharing scientific knowledge with the public, through the activities of science communicators trained through FameLab over the years. Currently, FameLab is a major international scientific event, with over 9,000 young scientists and engineers participating in 52 countries around the world.

린앙 이미지6ⓒCheltenhamfestivals

In the U.S., the FameLab contest was organized by NASA, leading to nationwide interest. In Bulgaria, FameLab was introduced as part of STEM education, with a graduate school of scientific communication being established. In Serbia, the winner of FameLab was a torchbearer at the International Student Olympiad. Thus, FameLab is not just a competition for scientific discussion, but an event to promote the value of science, raise awareness of various STEM fields, and change the culture of science.

Three Minutes to Create a Better World

Each year, presenters bring a wide range of topics to FameLab. Sometimes bizarre and quirky, these presentations make the audience laugh and cry. Questions asked range from “Why do men have nipples?” to “Is nuclear power bad or good?”, provoking thought and inspiring ideas. Researchers from all across the spectrum of STEM took the stage at FameLab once again this year. Tim Gordon from the UK left a deep impression on the audience with a cautionary tale regarding the depletion of coral reefs caused by climate change, told from the perspective of a baby coral losing its home due to rising ocean temperatures.

린앙 이미지6ⓒGrow-media.co.uk

“Over the past 5 years, climate change has been destroying coral reefs. This is why I have been studying them relentlessly. I believe that if we understand the ecosystem better, we can find better ways to protect it.”

Tim Gordon will continue to fight the environmental destruction of our time, working to protect the ocean ecosystem and promote its value. With his selection as FameLab winner this year, we can hope that more people will join his cause.

Science Communicators Promoting the Value of Knowledge

There are numerous science communicators giving presentation like these in the UK, where FameLab was founded. Competitors who make it to the final in FameLab Korea are also given the title of Science Communicator. Science Communicators selected through FameLab work to raise awareness of scientific values and principles shaping our daily lives, through science busking, lectures and writing for mainstream media.

린앙 이미지6ⓒFameLabKorea

“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.” - Herbert Spencer

Through such science communication, we are taken one step closer to the thing that makes our daily lives possible - the drive to understand, and the ambition to improve our world.