FameLab SA Winner 2023

Taskeen Hasrod was chosen as FameLab SA 2023 winner during the national leg of the International FameLab science communication competition held on Thursday evening, 21 September 2023, at the National Research Foundation (NRF) auditorium in Pretoria. As the national winner, she will represent South Africa in the International FameLab competition hosted by Cheltenham in the UK on 24 November 2023.

During the FameLab South Africa Final, ten young scientists showcased research from some of the top academic and research institutes across the country in a way that non-experts can follow along and enjoy.

Taskeen captivated the judges with her storytelling skills and her passion for using artificial intelligence to create a more sustainable future. Her research in environmental analytical chemistry aims to create a circular economy by extracting valuable by-products from acid mine drainage. The traditional chemistry experiments used to measure by-products are time-consuming and expensive, however, and Taskeen is developing machine-learning techniques to short-circuit the process.

Runner-up Caleb Swanepoel from the University of Cape Town is working to improve phage therapy to treat antibiotic-resistant infections. Caleb, who is in the second year of his MSc studies, says the worldwide growth of antibiotic resistance has sparked new interest in phages, which are viruses that target and infect bacteria.

Runner-up Ayesha Osman from the University of South Africa is studying for a PhD while lecturing engineering students. Her research aims to use titanium, copper and gold to develop an antibacterial alloy for use in dental applications, and she says it has the potential to affect millions of people who need dental implants.

To watch the FameLab SA finale, click here.

About FameLab

FameLab is an international competition designed to engage and entertain by challenging young scientists to communicate their science to a public audience in under 3 minutes. Talks are fun and engaging, making science relevant to everyone, without using jargon or formal presentations. Talks are judged on content, clarity and charisma.

Entrants must be 21 to 35 years of age and currently registered, studying or working in science, technology, engineering or mathematics in South Africa.

Multiple heats take place across the country, hosted by various institutions. Any institutions wishing to host a heat can complete the Expression of Interest (https://bit.ly/FameLab_ExpressionOfInterest). The schedule of heats will be published soon with details of how participants can register.

  • Enhance your presentation skills through competition and training by some of the world’s best science communicators.
  • Network with scientists from diverse disciplines.
  • Be part of the growing community of passionate scientists, from around the world. Get noticed – put your science on a national and international platform.
  • National winner will receive a R5 000.00 cash prize and the chance to represent South African in the FameLab International finals.
  • National runners-up will win R2 500.00 cash prize each.
  • Semi-finalists will receive science communication masterclass training delivered by world renowned trainers.

Judges can come from a range of disciplines and backgrounds including science, science communication, media and FameLab alumni. Find the judges’ top tips here.

FameLab Videos

Contact Us

Ms. Lithakazi Masilela

Ms. Lithakazi Masilela

Project Coordinator