Press Release 

5 December 2017 

SA’s ‘Pop Idols of Science’ on stage at Science Forum South Africa

Young voices in South African science will be sharing their fascinating and inspiring research at the FameLab® heat at Science Forum South Africa on 7 December 2017 at the CSIR Convention Centre in Pretoria.

FameLab® is an exciting competition to find new voices in science, technology, engineering, maths and innovation (STEMI), from across the world. Participants are offered training to enhance their science communication skills and to enable them to present their science topic to a panel of expert judges in just three minutes. Presentations are judged on content, clarity, and charisma and must be original and scientifically accurate while being accessible to a public audience.

Entrance to the SFSA and FameLab® heats is free and open to the public and we invite all science enthusiasts, young and old, to come and cheer on their favourites at the FameLab® SFSA heat.

Heats have been running since August 2017 and will continue until March 2018. Contestants who make it through the heats, win a master class training with an international trainer and may progress to the semi-finals and finals of the competition, which will be held in May 2018. The FameLab® South Africa winner will go on to compete against winners from over 30 countries on an international stage, at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival in the United Kingdom.

Note to Editor

 About FameLab®

FameLab® was started in 2005 in the UK by Cheltenham Science Festival and has quickly become established as a diamond model for successfully identifying, training and mentoring scientists and engineers to share their enthusiasm for their subjects with the public. It is implemented in over 30 countries, including the UK, USA, Brazil, South Africa, Thailand, Qatar and Kazakhstan to name a few. FameLab® South Africa is implemented in partnership between the British Council, the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), and Science Communication Agency

Jive Media Africa. More than 5000 researchers have taken part in the global competition, resulting in a vibrant network of highly skilled individuals engaging international audiences and each other. Visit

 About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

For more information, please visit: You can keep in touch with the British Council through Twitter: @zaBritish and Facebook: British Council South Africa.


Anisa Khan, British Council: Newton Fund and Higher Education Programme Manager,

Email:, Tel: 011 560 9322

About Jive Media Africa

Jive Media Africa creates innovative, cutting edge communications; grabbing attention and conveying crucial messages in accessible ways. Jive Media Africa is an award-winning agency, which has provided media and communications services to the research sector over the past decade.

For more information, please visit You can also follow them on Facebook:


Robert Inglis, Jive Media Africa Director, Email:, Tel: 033 342 9380/2, Cell: 084 357 7333


The South Africa Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) is a business unit of the National Research Foundation (NRF) with the mandate to advance public awareness, appreciation and engagement of science, engineering, innovation and technology in South Africa. All science engagement programmes within the NRF reside under three key strategic areas that combine to form an integrated and seamless approach. Through education we build up the supply of tomorrow’s scientists and innovators. Through communication we celebrate South African achievements in science and technology and build the public’s appreciation of the benefits of science. By growing the awareness of science through exploration, exhibitions and actual experience, we instil in people an enthusiasm about the wonder and application of the subject, while encouraging greater public engagement in SET issues. By taking overall ownership of science advancement initiatives within the NRF and on a countrywide scale, SAASTA is responding to an organisational as well as national imperative.

For more information, please visit

Contact: Joanne Riley, SAASTA, Science Editor: Science Communication, Email:, Tel: 012 392 9349