|Contents / home|
|Special award for Limpopo learner|
|National Science Olympiad Awards|
|Youth Science Focus Week|
|Showing career opportunities to girls|
|Africa Code Week|
|FameLab International Competition|
|My FameLab experience|
|Debates winners off to New York|
|Finding solutions to energy problems|
|Centenary of Proxima Centauri|
|Meet SAASTA's Gao Tiro|
|Refocusing our lens on our youth|
|Science on a research vessel|
|Partnership to conserve water|
|Managing freshwater resources|
|Rhodes and SAIAB promote science|
|In the news|
|It's a fact!|
Young scientists talk science on a global stage
What results when 27 passionate young scientists are brought together for an international science communication competition?
"The opportunity to inspire and be inspired," says Stevie Biffen, the South African representative in the FameLab International Competition. This exciting event took place at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival in the United Kingdom on 3 and 4 June 2015.
Young voices for science
The competition brought together the cream of the crop in young science communication talent, with the winners of 26 countries' national competitions and a representative of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). The young voices for science wowed audiences at the semi-finals and a packed final.
Biffen, an MSc(Med) student in Neuroscience at the University of Cape Town, was selected to represent South Africa in the international competition through her success in the FameLab South Africa finals at SciFest Africa in March this year. Her lively and animated style of public speaking and her message in "the science of happiness" gave her an opportunity for a prized international experience, engaging with a multi-cultural, multi-disciplined and multi-talented group of young scientists.
She says FameLab gave her the courage to communicate with the public and the bravery to share her passion for science. "FameLab has given me wonderful memories, introduced me to prolific people and has simply inspired me."
And the winner was ...
This year's overall winner was charismatic Oskari Vinko, representing Switzerland, whose theatrical talk highlighted the ongoing threat of malaria. He took on the character of a murderous malaria parasite and explained how lack of access to effective anti-malarial drugs in sub-Saharan Africa is contributing to the rise of drug resistance.
FameLab is a competition based on the "flash talk" concept, which gives participants three minutes to present a scientific concept to a non-specialist audience in an accessible manner, with only a stage, a voice and a prop or two. In those three minutes, the audience should be inspired and learn something about the science being presented.
FameLab® is an initiative of the Cheltenham Festivals in the UK. The British Council has license to deliver the competition in 26 countries overseas, including South Africa. In South Africa, the British Council has partnered with SAASTA as the national sponsor, and Jive Media Africa to implement FameLab South Africa.
Learn more about FameLab
By Joanne Riley, SAASTA